Agudath opposes NYC safe sex campaign


The leading U.S. umbrella group of fervently Orthodox Jews accused New York City of promoting casual sex.

In a letter to the New York City Department of Health’s assistant commissioner for AIDS prevention, Monica Sweeney, Agudath Israel of America objected to a new ad campaign designed to promote condom use. Aguda argues that the ad campaign “affirmatively encourages young people to engage in casual sex.”

“In our community – and, I am sure, in many others as well – the message our clergy, educators and parents try to impart to our children is that a lifestyle of promiscuity is not only dangerous but also inappropriate,” wrote David Zwiebel, Aguda’s vice president for government and public affairs. “By what right does the New York City Health Department deign to undermine that message?”

New York City began free distribution of its own branded prophylactic, NYC Condom, last year, and according to the Department of Health, 36 million condoms have been distributed. A new condom was introduced on Valentine’s Day, accompanied by a glitzy campaign of print and broadcast advertisements featuring the tagline “Get Some.”

Aguda noted that it objected to the distribution of free condoms even without the sexy ads, which it implored the department to reconsider.

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