The Safe House Project 2009 for Displaced & Homeless MSM/Transgender reviewed & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Diaspora in Miami defends Buju Banton, Beenie Man

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Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

A GROUP of Jamaicans in Miami have launched a petition to allow deejays Buju Banton and Beenie Man to appear on the October 31 Reggae Bash show in that Florida city.

The group has sent a letter to Miami mayor, Manuel Diaz, and Carlos Alvarez, mayor of Miami/Dade County, asking for their support. The show is scheduled for the James L. Knight Center.

Equality Florida, a gay rights group, told the Miami Herald that Banton has a history of abusing homosexuals. It pointed to his infamous 1992 anti-gay song, Boom Bye Bye, as evidence.

Forgotten matter

But Andrew Minott of Global Vybz Entertainment, promoters of the show, countered by saying the song was done almost 20 years ago and that Banton no longer performs it at concerts.

"The song was forgotten about. Because they are making it a big issue it's come to the forefront. Let sleeping dogs lie," Minott said.

According to the Miami Herald, the car dealership, Toyota of Hollywood, has ordered three of its salesmen to withdraw support for the concert.

Several calls by The Gleaner to Banton's manager, Tracii McGregor, were not returned.

Equality Florida is the latest gay organisation in the United States to challenge Banton's American tour, which is in support of his Rasta Got Soul album.

In August, promoters Live Nation and AEG cancelled dates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston, following robust protests by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

Backlash forcing hand

The gay backlash has forced the singjay's management to reschedule shows in other major cities such as Salt Lake City, Utah, Richmond, Virginia and Columbus, Ohio.

Banton and other dancehall acts, including Sizzla and Capleton, have been dogged by gay activists in the United States and Europe for several years. In 2007, gay rights groups drafted the Reggae Compassionate Act, which called for dancehall acts to show more tolerance towards homosexuals.

Banton has denied signing it, but the Miami Herald published a section of the document with the signature Mark Myrie (Banton's real name) affixed to it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jamaican wins Inaugural Gay Caribbean/USA Pageant

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Mimi Mancini (photographed) wins Pageant in New York
A Jamaican male who did an impersonation of deejay Lady Saw was crowned the winner of the 2009 Gay Caribbean/USA Pageant in Brooklyn, New York, last Tuesday Sept 22, 2009

Mimi Mancini copped the title from a field of five gay men all of Caribbean origin and representing their various island homes.

Hemish Gervis, promoter of the pageant, told THE STAR that Mancini, who is originally from St Ann, and who now lives as a woman, stunned the crowd with his impersonation of the dancehall diva, in the talent section of the pageant. Gervis also said that Mancini left little to the imagination in his swimsuit appearance, where he paid tribute to Dunns River Falls.
Second place went to Guyana's Vanessa Flowers (photo), while third was Frantica Boujourles representing St Lucia. Fourth and fifth were Barbados' Rehanna B. and Madame Fleur De Fleur of Martinique, respectively.
Madame Fleur de Fleur (photo)
Gervis said the show was a huge success, thanks to the support from the media, the New York Police Department and the Unity Fellowship Church.

The pageant, which is expected to become an annual event, was in its first year.


St Lucia’s Frantica Boujoules seen centre fared well among the competition, securing the third place at the 2009 Gay Caribbean/USA Pageant.
In the talent segment, the contestant called on all St Lucians to unite, followed by a performance of Sandra Lorde’s song “St Lucia Unite.” Boujoules paid tribute to St Lucia’s enchanted rain forest. The presentation went over well, resulting in a tie with Guyana for best swimwear.
Mimi Mancini of Jamaica was crowned winner of the 2009 Gay Caribbean/USA Pageant. Mancini was over the top in the talent segment and brought the house down with an impersonation of Dance Hall Queen Lady Saw.
Second place went to Vanessa Flowers of Guyana. Barbados’ Rehanna B was positioned at fourth while Madame Fleur De Fleur of Martinique came in the fifth spot.
The show was a tremendous success with a large crowd in attendance. The organizers recognize that the showwould not have been a success without the help of many persons and institutions. To this end, they wish to thank the media, NYPD, Unity Fellowship Church, the contestants for their determination and all those who supported. (St. Lucia Star)
H

One more cancellation

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Local organizations say reggae artist's lyrics promote violence against gays
BY BRIAN McCOLLUM
FREE PRESS POP MUSIC WRITER

Majestic officials have called off
Wednesday's scheduled show by reggae musician Buju Banton after protests by metro Detroit lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations.

Banton, a Jamaican artist whose tours have included stops in Detroit and Ann Arbor, has come under fire for his music, including lyrics that critics say promote violence against gays. National music companies Live Nation and AEG also have canceled several of his planned U.S. dates.


To help defray the Majestic's costs, local activists plan to stage a Wednesday benefit concert at the adjacent Magic Stick. Tickets are $10 for the 8 p.m. show, which will feature local LGBT performers.


Majestic director Dave Zainea said the venue stands to lose about $10,000 for canceling its Banton contract.

Zainea, a self-described progressive who has worked with the LGBT community, said he was unaware of the controversy when he booked the show in August.

"We certainly don't endorse his lyrics or advocate violence," said Zainea.

Protestors have cited lyrics from Banton songs such as "Boom Bye Bye," which describes gay encounters and includes such lines as, "Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel."

The Triangle Foundation is among the groups arranging Wednesday's benefit show.

"The Majestic has usually supported the community over the years," said spokesperson Alicia Skillman. "We want this to be a win-win."

Contact BRIAN McCOLLUM: 313-223-4450 or mccollum@freepress.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tassle continues over Buju Banton's tour in the US

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Groups opposed to Buju Banton's present tour are still up in arms about it as his Boom Bye Bye tune is still the subject of disgust and is viewed as rightfully so, hate music.



This time the pressure is in Miami the next leg of the tour which will also see Beenieman as well on the bill.

(photos of some of the protest paraphernalia created to counter the tour)
He also has a song entitles "All Battyman fi dead" (All gay men must die) and could be considered just as tersely worded as Buju's Boom Bye Bye.

CBS 4 Miami carried a piece as well on both artists and their expected appearance on October 31st: Upcoming Reggae Concert Stirs Gay Controversy




The posters seen here are from http://cancelbujubanton.wetpaint.com/ a site specifically designed to launch protests at varying venues scheduled to host the sinjay.


Some venues so far that have cancelled the shows:
DETROIT, MI SHOW CANCELED!SANTA CLARA, CA SHOW CANCELED!3 RICHMOND, VA SHOWS CANCELED!

ORLANDO & TAMPA SHOWS CANCELED!SALT LAKE CITY SHOW CANCELED!
see the site directly for more updates
The comments he made here in Jamaica recently at the album launch on the University of The West Indies' campus who openly embraced him where he said he doesn't fear those gays as we were a bunch of guys behind a fax machine is proving him wrong. For a bunch of guys behind a fax machine they/we are surely giving him a hard time. Quote:

"It is just a few guys behind a fax machine, but we must come together and write letters because it is more of us than them."

Buju Banton - April 22, 2009

Here is the article: RASTA GOT SOUL: for everyone . including gays, I think this is just damage control from the fallout over the years on the Boom Bye Bye issue which however hasn't worked he also no longer has the backing of any major label so he distributes in his own.

Peace and tolerance.

H

Outweekly Jamaica Protests homophobic treatment by Hilton Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica

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Saturday Sept 19, 2009 saw a peaceful protest outside the Hilton Kingston Hotel grounds, young Jamaican LGBT activists and volunteers showed there frustration in silence, by standing outside the Hilton Hotel with a big “bright rainbow flag,” to draw more attention to the Hotel’s treatment of Jamaican LGBT citizens.

The decision to have a peaceful demonstration outside the Hilton came only weeks after a member of the lgbt community was attacked and dragged outside the hotel from members of the security team, for not having enough money to pay for the dinner he ordered.

On August 7, 2009 a board member of The OUTWEEKLY group, was stopped, verbally harassed and asked to leave the Hotel because he was perceived to be a homosexual. “The Hotel don’t have enough water for u fishes” (there is no space at the hotel for homosexuals), “its time we start killing out you faggots, too much of you guys now.” Say members of the security team.

This marks the latest campaign brought against the Hotel, with letter writing, text sending and “the snow ball technique,” we where able to see a reduction in visit from members of the lgbt community. If our letters remain unanswered by management at the Hilton Hotel, we will be force to take more drastic measures in dealing with homophobia at the Hilton.

Writing letters to the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism, picketing events and promoter who choose the Hilton Hotel to have there events and business meetings are some of the steps we are going to take against the Hotel.

The Campaign aims to create an atmosphere free from discrimination and fear, to promote love and understanding for everyone who decides to visit or stay at the Hiltons regardless of sexual orientation.

posted with permission - Outweekly Jamaica

They also raised a flag on IDAHO Day 2009:

Here is an excerpt of the Press Release they prepared



OUTWEEKLY joins with other groups on International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) to make a statement that there is much work to be done to improve the quality of life for LGBT people internationally and as well here in Jamaica. As part of its celebration of IDAHO, OUTWEEKLY raised a Rainbow Flag in the capital city of Kingston as it is the world’s most recognized symbol of LGBT diversity.

The six colures represent various facets of LGBT communities: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for art, and violet for spirituality.

OUTWEEKLY recognises the need for an end to homophobia in Jamaica because our brothers and sisters continue to be attacked and injured, forced from their communities and even murdered for being themselves. We recognise and urge the government to take a stand to curb the drivers of Homophobia. The Church and the Dancehall, with its often violent and anti-gay lyrics, have and continue to play their part in instigating violence and creating a negative image of the gay community. We believe strongly that the church in particular should concern itself with preaching love and not hate.


See more here on GLBTQ Jamaica

Peace and tolerance

Friday, September 25, 2009

Caribbean HIV rate ranks second to sub-Saharan Africa

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Find more videos like this on GLBTQ Jamaica LINKUP


In terms of global HIV prevalence rates, the Caribbean region ranks second only to sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 230,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean. And in some places — like Haiti and the Bahamas — AIDS remains one of the leading causes of death.
Daljit Dhaliwal sits down with Julia Greenberg, the associate director of AIDS-Free World, a global advocacy group tackling HIV/AIDS.

They place Jamaica’s AIDS epidemic within the context of the Caribbean region, address anti-sodomy laws in Jamaica and around the world and identify the successes and shortcomings Jamaica has experienced in containing the epidemic.
Daljit and Julia also look at the role women play in the epidemic. Women make up half of the adults living with the virus in the Caribbean, and are infected by “bridging populations” — bi-sexual men who are leading double lives. Julia raises the possibility of linking women’s rights with gay rights to tackle the spread of the epidemic.

The Glass Closet is a multimedia reporting project produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Worldfocus. It explores the themes of HIV, AIDS and homophobia in Jamaica.

Not an easy road for Buju Banton

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It's not difficult to imagine Buju Banton performing his prophetic hit song Not An Easy Road some time soon, making adjustments to the lyrics, replacing the word road with 'tour'."It's Not An Easy Tour" would be quite apt.

Apart from shows that have been cancelled, this is the third time on the current US tour that there has been a change of venue. And this is the second time in the same city - Richmond, Virgina. The show had to be moved as gays have been applying tremendous pressure on the Gargamel.

"In what has turned out to be the most controversial reggae show ever brought to Virginia, the Buju Banton Richmond show has yet again been moved to a new location! The Hat Factory has bowed to pressure placed on them by the gay lynch mob who have zeroed in on Buju Banton and are determined that he will not perform in Richmond, Virgina.


"However, the gay activists have seriously underestimated the power of Jah, and the show, which will go on, has been moved to the Richmond Skateland, located at 5512 Hull Street, Richmond, VA on Saturday, September 26th," an e-mail from sources connected the controversal tour stated.

As reported in last week's Splash, the gay community in Richmond, VA is determined in its fight to prevent Buju Banton from performing in their city.

They have been loud in their outcry against the Jamaican entertainer. So determined are they, that they even sent an e-mail tocity councilwoman Ellen Robertson, threatening violence as well as revenue loss to the venue called The National.

This development came on the heels of a number of other shows that were cancelled. This prompted Buju's camp to issue a statement seeking to assure fans that the tour is diffinitely on and that efforts were being made to replace the cancelled shows at different venues.

The Rasta Got Soul tour has some 30 dates before completion

Leave my right to appeal to the Privy Council

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I strongly disagree with the call once again by politicians to remove our rights as citizens to appeal the Privy Council as our final appellate court without proper discourse or ventilation of the options available and costs. What is this rush? I think they want to have a hanging court firstly and also a court that can be manipulated I fear. The Caribbean Court of Justice is a good idea and should be done but not in the haste that some politicians would like to see it happen. If politicians get their way with this then what else can be changed by a phone call or over a drink or at the stroke of a pen if one is not happy with a law or a piece of legislation. The opportunist PNP desperate for some attention have jumped on the train since the new President of the UK Supreme made remarks to the effect that the lower lords spend much time hearing matters from former colonies.


Here is a link to a radio discussion on natiowideradio on the matter with an eminent Queen's Council and a Principal of the Law school here in Jamaica: GO HERE


Here is AJ Nicholson (the anti gay Senator and former Attorney General) quoted in an article in the Gleaner (25.09.09), can you imagine if he got his way?:

'Have we no shame?' - Nicholson calls UK comments on the Privy Council reason enough to move to CCJ Gary Spaulding
Statements attributed to a high-profile judge in the United Kingdom (UK) have given the parliamentary Opposition renewed fillip to push for the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to be used as Jamaica's final appellate court instead of the London-based Privy Council.

The Opposition is calling on the Government to table the required legislation in Parliament to revive the process of delinking from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and to have the CCJ as our final court of appeal," former Justice Minister A.J. Nicholson said at a press conference yesterday.

Nicholson was spurred by comments made by the soon-to-be president of the Supreme Court in the UK, Lord Nicholas Phillips.
(remember this cartoon) Jan 19, 2007

Establish own court

The British judge has reportedly called on Caribbean countries to establish their own final court of appeal and questioned whether some Privy Council cases, including Jamaica's death-row appeals, needed to be heard by a panel of five of Britain's most senior judges, who have to spend disproportionate time on these matters.

The report out of the London media said many independent observers, presumably British taxpayers, say the privilege of continued pro bono (free) use of the appellate body is both an ideological stain and a financial drain on the newly created Supreme Court.

Declaring that he shares in the shame of the nation overstaying its welcome in the Privy Council, Nicholson characterized his call as urgent and regrettable, but stressed that this was no time for recriminations.

"It is unflattering for us as a people of an independent country to have placed ourselves in a situation to be told in quite measured but certainly unambiguous terms that surely the time has come for the imperial apron strings to be finally cut," Nicholson declared.

Nicholson was justice minister and attorney general in the P.J. Patterson administration which had spearheaded the thrust for the establishment of the CCJ as the country's final court of appeal.

Ironically, the then PNP administration was thwarted in its efforts by a ruling from the Privy Council.

He said in light of this week's reports in the UK media, the Government could no longer hold fast to the requirement that an indicative referendum be held to determine whether Jamaica should retain the Privy Council as its final court of appeal.

Nicholson, who had always been a passionate advocate for a regional appellate body, made an impassioned appeal to the Bruce Golding administration to set the machinery in motion to embark on the judicial course to replace the Privy Council with the CCJ. "I feel the shame," he declared yesterday.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New United Nations president calls homosexuality 'unnacceptable'

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Ali Abdussalam Treki said homosexuality was not acceptable

By Jessica Geen
The newly-installed president of the United Nations, Ali Abdussalam Treki, has said that homosexuality is "not really acceptable".

Treki, who is the Libyan secretary of African Union Affairs, opened the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly Friday with a press conference.

One question concerned the UN resolution which calls for the universal criminalisation of homosexuality.

In reply, Treki said: "That matter is very sensitive, very touchy. As a Muslim, I am not in favour of it . . . it is not accepted by the majority of countries. My opinion is not in favour of this matter at all. I think it's not really acceptable by our religion, our tradition.

“It is not acceptable in the majority of the world. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy . . . I think it is not,” he added.

The ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee, Florida's Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, told On Top Magazine: "The anti-gay bigotry spewed by this Qaddafi shill demonstrates once again that the UN has been hijacked by advocates of hate and intolerance."

Stigma, HIV & MSMs in Jamaica, A Deadly Cycle

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Find more videos like this on GLBTQ Jamaica LINKUP


Jamaica's hard-to-reach and embattled gay community has been ignored by the government's public health program for the last twenty-five years. Last year a study revealed that nearly one-third of their gay community may be infected with the virus that causes AIDS, but the Island's public health response remains paralyzed by homophobia as the epidemic continues its uncontrolled spread through Jamaican society.This video is part of a global conversation about HIV/AIDS, stigma, secrecy and homophobia. Join the conversation and tell us your story at: www.pulitzergateway.org/the-glass-closet


CREDITS:Produced and Directed by Micah FinkCorrespondent: Lisa BiagiottiDirector of Photography: Gabrielle WeissEditor Gabrielle WeissProduced in association with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and WorldfocusWith support from the M-A-C AIDS Fund

Sexual offences Bill from Guyana

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rape definition expanded, gender-neutral
Stabroek News
The long promised Sexual Offences Bill which proposes a comprehensive overhaul of the current archaic law was tabled in the National Assembly yesterday following sustained calls for urgent reform of the legislation.

The bill, which was read in the name of Human Services Minister Priya Manickchand, was sent to a select committee for further deliberations. Its tabling comes after lengthy countrywide discussions on the subject especially regarding the current system’s inability to offer adequate protection to women and children who are victims of sexual abuse.
Escalating violence, including sexual violence, against women and children and the absence of the bill on the parliamentary agenda had prompted a sustained protest by the Coalition to Stamp out Sexual Violence Against Children which routinely picketed the Office of the President. The body accused the administration of “foot-dragging” on important legislation and it continuously pressed for the bill to be placed high on the “political agenda”.


Prior to the coalition’s initiative, the Guyana Human Rights Association had made significant contributions to the sexual reform debate, specifically outlining recommendations with regard to the offence of rape.

The new bill proposes wide-ranging reform of the legislation on sexual violence currently on the books and proposes to change quite a few of them, and at the same time definitively spells out the rights of victims of sexual abuse — raising much needed awareness. It mentions too the establishment of a National Task Force for Prevention of Sexual Violence to address implementation.

One of the more critical aspects of the bill is that it proposes making the criminal offence of rape gender-neutral to include sexual assault on boys and men. The bill is also seeking to bring the offence of rape in line with reform around the world and is therefore maximizing protection by widening the definition.

Section 3 of the proposed legislation says that a person commits the offence of rape if that person (the accused) intentionally engages in sexual penetration with another person (the complainant) or intentionally causes the complainant to engage in sexual penetration with a third person. It is also rape if the complainant does not consent to the penetration, and if the accused does not reasonably believe that the complainant consents.

This new definition caters for any offensive activity as it defines penetration as “any intrusion however slight and for however short a time, of any part of a person’s body or of any object into the vagina or anus of another person, and any contact, however slight, between the mouth of one person and the genitals or anus of another, including but not limited to sexual intercourse…”


The bill also proposes to amend the law with respect to rape and marriage. Section 37 specifically states that a marital or other relationship, previous or existing, is not a defence to a charge of any offence under the bill. Currently, a husband could not be found guilty or raping his wife, but this new bill seeks to change that.

Also, the bill abolishes the presumption that a male under 14 years of age is incapable of sexual intercourse as stated in Section 38.

The issue of consent is also being considered with the bill saying that consent cannot be inferred by reason of sexual arousal and that belief in consent is not a defence. As regards children and vulnerable adults, “unless expressly stated in any of the offences, it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the complainant did not consent”.

Positions of trust

The bill creates new offences relating to positions of trust specifically targeting children and persons with mental disorders. Sections 25-27 deal with persons in position of trust regarding certain vulnerable adults–persons with mental disorders.

The new offence of breach of relationship of care is with a view to prohibiting sexual activity between those in position of authority care relationships or in custodial contexts such as hospitals, care homes, police stations and prisons and the people they look after. The aim is to protect vulnerable adults from exploitative behavior cased by familiarity with the carer.
Section 19 addresses abuse of a position of trust with regard to children and includes carers in children’s homes and orphanages as well as social workers, probation officers, coaches, instructors, baby sitters, child minders and others.

The offence of an abuse of a position of trust carries a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for five years on summary conviction; on conviction of indictment, imprisonment is for ten years. The penalty is the same for persons who are found guilty of engaging, causing or inciting sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder.

The bill states that the offence ‘sex with an adult relative’ will cover sexual activity between certain adult blood relatives — parent, child, sibling, grandparent and grandchild.

Further, Sections 28-31 include a gender-neutral offence of indecent exposure relating to the indecent exposure of both male and female genitalia in circumstances where the accused intended to cause or where it was reasonably likely that the behaviour would cause alarm or distress.

Special measures

The bill introduces special measures to assist complainants to give evidence in sexual abuse cases when they appear in court, and judges will be obliged to order the use or one or more of the measures in all sexual offence cases unless the complainant requests to give evidence unassisted. One of the measures includes a screen or other arrangement preventing the accused from seeing the complainant.

Other measures in Sections 58, 59 and 60, include allowing children to give evidence by video-link through an intermediary, use of anatomically correct dolls, allowing written evidence where the child is prevented from testifying, and allowing hearsay evidence to build up a circumstantial case where the child cannot testify.

Section 61 allows the complainant to make a “victim impact statement” at the hearing of a bail application, as well as after conviction but before sentence and the court is obliged to take this into consideration when making a decision in those circumstances.

The bill also proposes an end to the practice of accused persons cross-examining complainants. According to the explanatory memorandum, “Recognising the trauma caused to victims who are forced to face the questions from the person those victims claim have caused them pain and injury, clauses 62 to 65 disallow the accused from cross-examining in person the victim of an offence charged under this Act as well as the witnesses who were at the time of the commission of the offence, children”.

Police investigations
Amid continuing concerns about the approach of the Guyana Police Force to reports of sexual violence the bill seeks to make it mandatory for the police, where a report of sexual violence is made, to investigate the matter promptly and either charge the accused or forward the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions within three months.
Section 41 (3) of the bill states that failure by the police to comply constitutes neglect of duty by the commander of the division of the force in which the report was made and he/she shall be liable to answer disciplinary charges.
Section 42 (1) and (2) speaks of the complainants and the new rights afforded to them.
“Where a report is made of an offence under this Act, at no point during the investigation shall the complainant be required to recount the complaint or any part thereof, in the presence of the accused. The complainant shall not be required to view or be in the presence of any person referred to in the complaint as having perpetrated any offence under this act save for the purposes of an identification parade…”
It states that such an ID parade could only be conducted by way of audio visual link, a two-way mirror or any other manner sensitive to the complainant’s well-being.

Bail
As it relates to bail the law is reversing the policy of the court considering certain factors before bail is granted where the charge is a child sex offence or where the accused had a previous conviction of any sexual offence stating that “it shall be the accused who has to satisfy the court that it is in the interest of justice for him to be granted bail”.

'Deejays and gay groups need to call a truce' - McKenzie

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Clyde McKenzie (photo)

Howard Campbell

Music industry veteran Clyde McKenzie says after nearly 20 years of protests by gay groups against dancehall acts in the United States and Europe, the time may be right for the genre's elite to negotiate a truce.

McKenzie pointed to the current hostility by gay advocates in the US against singjay Buju Banton.

"These (gay groups) are obviously powerful people and they (dancehall acts) may think it's in their best interest to find common cause with them. On the other hand, they can stand their ground and still profit, because some people attach value to integrity," McKenzie told The Gleaner.

If the stand-off persists, McKenzie fears the gay backlash could once again relegate dancehall music to regional status in the US.

Maintaining momentum

"If the lobbies maintain momentum, it has the potential to do a lot of harm. Dancehall may be in danger of going back to the days of ethnic charts and Jamaican clubs," he said.

In 2007, gay groups in the US and Europe drafted the Reggae Compassionate Act, which called on dancehall acts to be more tolerant to homosexuals.

Banton and deejay Beenie Man have reportedly denied signing this document, while others have reportedly refused to endorse it.

Several dates on Banton's Rasta Got Soul US tour have been cancelled due to protests from gay groups who cite his 1992 song, Boom Bye Bye, as encouraging violence against them.

Major gigs

Shows in major cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, Utah, have been cancelled. Other dates in Richmond, Virginia and Columbus, Ohio, have been moved to alternative venues after promoters came under pressure from gay organisations.

"They have stymied his career. He has not been able to do the crossover thing which many people thought he could do some years ago," McKenzie, CEO of Firewall Solutions marketing company, said.
Banton is one of few contemporary reggae acts who have successfully built a following in the US outside of West Indian communities, largely through touring.

His rootsy 1995 album, Til Shiloh, reflected his new-found Rastafarian faith. It was a hit in the underground market and with college students.

Homeless MSM harrassed on streets by police

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Allegations of harassment of gay adolescents and men by the police have once again surfaced. Last week on two nights in a row taxi drivers(not gay)and other msm who witnessed the happenings have reliably informed me that they witnessed police searching and ruffing up men and loiterers on the streets especially in certain business districts of Kingston. A police source however said that there is a drive afoot to clamp down on windshield wipers, pimps, ganja sellers, phone card sellers, prostitutes and dope dealers on the streets who peddle their wares illegally or try to solicit business openly.

In the drive to do so the cops seem to be employing a very hard handed approach to this.

Thursday September 17, at around 11pm two males known to some in our community were accosted and searched randomly by three officers who all had m16 guns drawn and using expletives at the men, they were overhead accusing them of being battybois, when the young men protested and said they weren't the cops asked then why were they in that particular area. The area in question is a known strip for commercial sex activities carried out by predominantly females. The following night another set of guys this time, one who is known to be struggling after he was threatened in his rural community of his birth to leave as he was a faggot, he now resides in Kingston as a drifter were also searched, hit over the head with a baton and harassed vigorously by the lawmen.

While I can appreciate the need to rid the streets of the negative elements, randomly targeting males and accusing them of being battybois is not my idea of how to go about it, I had thought we were leaving that kind of behaviour behind with the small progress made under this new police administration with police community relations and lgbt people, we were beginning to see positive signs of proper police conduct towards gays, one tiny step forward, three big steps back it seems, the other part to this equation is what can be done to provide safe houses or shelter for these homeless gays. 

The gay community itself loathes and fears taking in any of them in as persons feel they can't be trusted as others who have been assisted but erred have made it bad due to breaking the trust extended to them by stealing and other awful happenings. As it stands there is very little in the way of interventions for this most vulnerable grouping. Can anyone help or suggest how we can begin to tackle this eyesore on our landscape and redeem these young males before they fall through the cracks and either end up dead, become drug addicts or perpetrators of violent crimes.

Help or suggestions anyone! 

See also:
Homeless MSM in Jamaica
Gay Party DVD Reveller on the Run
both from glbtqjamaica's blog

Peace

H

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

STONEWALL COLUMBUS CALLS FOR CANCELLATION OF RESCHEDULED BUJU BANTON CONCERT

1 comments
Stonewall Columbus is calling for the immediate cancellation of the concert by reggae singer Buju Banton who is currently scheduled to perform at The Alrosa Villa on October 2, 2009. Banton is infamous for a career spanning twenty years in which his lyrics call for deadly violence against gay men. His performances have sparked protests in cities across America, resulting in several cancelled performances on his US 2009 tour including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston.

Through his music, Banton promotes a culture of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, singing in his most notorious song , Boom, Bye Bye that "when Buju Banton come, faggots get up and run." Other lyrics included "they have to die" and that he will "shoot 'em in the head" or "burn 'em up bad."

In his home country of Jamaica, Banton and his fellow performers of "murder music," have helped to create and sustain a culture in which violence against LGBT people is not only tolerated, it is even celebrated. Banton has not renounced his homophobic lyrics, or his explicit calls to violence against people in the GLBTQI community. He has performed these songs in various recent concerts and been quoted as saying proudly "There is no end to the war between me and the faggots."

Columbus has the largest number of LGBT people per capita in the nation. Producing a show that spews this much hatred is a direct slap in the face to the tens of thousands of LGBT people who live, work and raise families in our diverse twenty-first century city. Stonewall Columbus urges supporters to take swift action to stop the preaching of hate against the LGBT community and asks that all fair-minded people stand with the LGBT community in calling for the cancellation of this performance on October 2.

Send letters to: The Alrosa Villa, 5055 Sinclair Rd. Columbus, Ohio 43229 or contact them through their website at www.alrosavilla.com [9/23/09]

Tatchell asks EU/UK to stop aid to Jamaica

3 comments
Mr. Tatchell and others including JFLAG are barking up a wrong tree I feel this time with the John Terry matter, while emotions run high because of the gruesome murder I do not think that this one can be described as a hate crime. It is well known in certain circles that Mr. Terry was involved in homosexual activities at his home and the young man in question as new information unfolds is alleged to have been seen in his company on more than one occasions. I strongly suspect this is a "situational homo' crime where a downlow man has secret relations with an affluent gay man for gifts etc which is part of a larger problem that feeds the violent homophobic reactions to the yardie gaydom.

the Jamaica Observer writes:
BY KARYL WALKER Crime/Court Desk Co-ordinator walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

THE Government has scoffed at a call from Peter Thatchell, founder of gay rights activist group Outrage for Britain and the European Union (EU) to stop sending aid to Jamaica unless the country's buggery laws are repealed.

"The Government does not expect this call by this advocate group to affect the excellent relationship between the EU and member countries which is based on mutual respect for their sovereignty and laws," Daryl Vaz, the minister with portfolio responsibility for information, told the Observer.

Buggery is punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years under Jamaican law, but Thatchell would like the Caribbean country to take the law off the books, as well as institute tougher laws against homophobic attacks.

Thatchell's call followed the murder of British honorary consul John Terry, who was found dead at his Mount Carey, St James home earlier this month.

It is, however, suspected that Terry, who was said to be gay, was killed in a crime of passion by his lover.

"In the wake of the murder of the British honorary consul in Jamaica, in an apparent queer-bashing attack, is it time to make British and EU aid to Jamaica contingent on the Caribbean island's repeal of its anti-gay laws and its tougher action against homophobic violence," said Thatchell, who has constantly bashed Jamaica for keeping its buggery laws on the books.

Terry's nude body was found wrapped in a sheet. He appeared to have been beaten with a blunt object and an autopsy revealed that he was strangled.

Police said there was no sign of a break-in.

A note was found on Terry's body which was signed by 'A gay man'. Assistant Police Commissioner Les Green said last week that Terry's murder did not appear to be a homophobic attack.

Police statistics show that the majority of gays murdered in Jamaica have been victims of crimes of passion.

Green, meanwhile, has called on Jamaica's growing gay community to assist the police in nabbing their prime suspect.

"I am appealing to the homosexual community to provide us with information on the suspect. We need the information," Green said.

Police last week released a composite sketch of a man who Mount Carey residents said ran from Terry's house and asked for directions to the nearby resort city of Montego Bay.

The suspect, who is believed to be in his early 20s was described as being of slim build, brown complexion, and with a bleached face.

He was last seen wearing a brown shirt, brown pants, a brown cap with white on the peak and was carrying a black and grey knapsack.

Thatchell was, however, wary of Jamaica's perceived intolerance of homosexuals and accused the Government, police and health workers of aiding and abetting attacks against gays.

"It seems Jamaican police view all gays as criminals. They mostly refuse to protect them. Amnesty International confirms that gays and lesbians have been beaten, cut, burned, raped and shot on account of their sexuality," he claimed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jamaica's gays worship in the closet

0 comments

(my question is: has the closet door been flung open with this article?)

By Micah Fink - Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
KINGSTON, Jamaica — It takes just 15 minutes to set up an underground church.

The gay-friendly church, the Sunshine Cathedral, now has 147 active members organized into four branches around the island. (Gabrielle Weiss/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting)

Two boxes and a white sheet make up the pulpit. The altar is a card table. Folding chairs constitute the pews. Then Rev. Robert Griffin, a solidly built gay American minister in his mid-40s, unpacks a battered cardboard box; inside is a wooden chalice, two candle holders, a communion plate and a dog-eared copy of the King James Bible. Add a pianist warming up on an electric keyboard and suddenly an empty meeting room is transformed into the Kingston branch of the Sunshine Cathedral, Jamaica’s only gay church.

“We call it church in a box,” said Griffin, who travels to Jamaica once a month from Florida to hold services for Jamaica’s gay community. He helped found this congregation five years ago after reading a Human Rights Watch report about institutionalized anti-gay violence in Jamaica.

“We were asked to come in to create a safe place for people — the gay and lesbian community — to come together and worship,” he said, explaining that the Sunshine Cathedral, with 147 active members organized into four branches around the island, is now an affiliate of his home denomination, the Metropolitan Community Churches. This gay-friendly church, founded in Los Angeles in 1968 by an enterprising Pentecostal minister in response to being defrocked for being gay, today serves as a focal point for congregations emerging around the world.

“We have to operate underground because of the hostility towards the gay and lesbian community here in Jamaica,” said Griffin, explaining that the location of this meeting is a closely held secret and that every service is arranged through word of mouth. “If it was known publicly where this congregation meets, I’m pretty sure there would be some type of violence toward the congregation.”


Jamaica is a hostile place for gay men and women and homophobia is woven into the everyday fabric of society. To travel around Jamaica in a long-distance taxi or commuter vans is to be continuously assaulted by the throbbing lyrics of popular dancehall DJs calling for the killing of "battymen," as gay men are known here. Anti-gay attitudes are also embedded into the nation’s criminal codes and anyone convicted of the “abominable crime of buggery,” as anal sex is defined, can be sentenced to up to 10 years of hard labor. And while firm statistics detailing anti-gay assaults, beatings and murders are difficult to find — mostly because the police are as likely to harass a victim of a gay assault as they are to help — it seems that almost every member of Jamaica’s gay community that I encountered had at least one, if not several, personal horror stories to relate.


In just one packed afternoon, I met one woman who was shot several times by a gunman who shouted out “de lesbian fi dead” (the lesbian must die), as he pulled the trigger. One man told me his best friend was murdered, chopped into pieces with a machete, and had the skin flayed from his face; he then went on to relate how another gay friend was locked up in his parent’s house by a group of gunmen who then set the building on fire and burned him alive.

Then there was another congregant whose features appeared in video shot at a gay birthday party that became a black-market best seller after a copy was stolen and then released on the streets. He’s had to abandon his home twice, in two different cities, after neighbors saw the video, recognized him and made plans to kill him. And he’s one of the lucky ones, the man says, since he’s lived to tell the tale — unlike four other gay men he knows who had the misfortune to appeared in the video and were later hunted down and murdered.

CONTINUE (3 more pages)

Concern, vigilance and tolerance urgently required

0 comments
As the heat is turned up internationally on GLBTQI people in terms of homophobic violence and their own respective legal issues and problems in their own jurisdictions, I think our community here in this homophobic state has become too complacent right across the board. While we depend on the financial and emotional support from our friends overseas this alone is not enough, yes a certain amount of pressure can be brought to bear on issues and legislation to an extent and to keep the discussions going to shine the spotlight on those things that need urgent attention from overseas intervention we are going to have to shake ourselves up and solve our own problems.



With the increase of homophobic violence here especially that of our lesbian sisters where another case of "Corrective Rape" has occurred within the past weeks making this the fifth such case in Jamaica in this year alone. The victims, a couple, had suffered before in 2008 after they were threatened by thugs in their residence at the time, they since relocated to another area to rebuild their lives but trouble seem to follow (not the same thugs) and they were allegedly held at gunpoint this time and raped in new surroundings. Sadly I feel really down by this latest news of vicious hate against another human being. It is not yet clear how the actual buildup to this act took place but clearly this is something radically wrong.

A set of questions came to mind:
  1. What can be done for victims and their recovery so as to avoid new attacks?
  2. Do we need to look at safe zones for persons to live?
  3. Are life skills or survival techniques needed to be taught as well for GLBTQ people in general?
  4. How do we engage the public in conversations about tolerance and basic respect for human life?
  5. What rights do there that exists for glbtq people?
  6. How are we the active agitators gonna wake up the sleepers among us to realise the seriousness of the situation?
  7. Is JFLAG still needed in this fight and if so what role could they play?
  8. How do we tap into the capacities available in government an the private sector?
  9. Do we need to put the pink dollar in our pockets and do not support unfriendly businesses?
  10. How do we begin to educate the public on basic human rights?
There is alot of work needed of course with a view to have peaceful existence in the land and safe passage for glbtq persons. We cannot sit by and be comfortable because today for you, tomorrow for me, one never know what next will happen and to whom. It is getting dangerous for everyone, lesbians can no longer say that they aren't affected by homophobic or lesbophobic violence anymore.

There are too many movers and shakers in this country who know what they are and can do something to stop or at least foster the well needed discussion and self examination as a nation to deal with all the attendant issues of human rights in general. We as glbtq people also have to be prepared to work with and in other areas of rights and freedoms to secure rights for all.

Everyone has to be prepared to move out of their comfort zones in order to understand and act on issues to respect the human component of who we are as a people. Tolerance is the only way to secure a peaceful co-existence.

"Out of Many, One People"

What's your take? lgbtevent@gmail.com

Peace
H

Religion & HIV in Jamaica videos

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Find more videos like this on GLBTQ Jamaica LINKUP

Dr. Peter Figueroa led Jamaica’s battle against the AIDS epidemic for more than twenty-five years. He reflects on the institutional and social factors that made it difficult for the National HIV Control Program (and Jamaica’s political leaders) to come to grips with HIV/AIDS in the gay community.



Find more videos like this on GLBTQ Jamaica LINKUP

An interview with Rev Robert Griffin, a pastor with the Metropolitan Community Churches, explains his work helping to establish the Sunshine Cathedral, Jamaica’s only gay church.

Monday, September 21, 2009

International Day of Peace

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Find more videos like this on GLBTQ Jamaica LINKUP


Short Moments of Peace, Repeated Many Times, Become Automatic
Free Download of the book as a pdf file to read or print -
By gaining confidence in our innate peace, we make the greatest contribution that anyone can ever make in life. With each person’s contribution of their own inner peace, we the people of the world, create world peace. By the power of short moments of peace, repeated many times, our peaceful nature becomes obvious at all times.

The grassroots movement of Great Freedom offers the practical know-how to bring inner peace about, and provides a free, worldwide, 24/7 support system, including trained teachers, written teachings that elicit and evoke our peaceful nature and a global community committed to inner and world peace. Please visit the website for information and simple, unerring instruction: http://www.greatfreedom.org/peacezone.html

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The sexuality genie is out of the box (sexual rights of citizens)

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Glenda Simms

Gleaner writer Mel Cooke continues to stretch our social imagination and challenge the Jamaican society to rethink its predisposition to pretend that we have the final answer on the most profound and complex aspect of the human condition - our sexual identity.

In the September 13 edition of The Gleaner, Cooke replaced the second page socialites and highlighted a few of the issues that are currently being discussed in the rum bars, the beauty parlours and on the verandahs of the not-so-high-and-mighty.

The page carried an article which asked the question: 'Semenya - male or female?' The context of this discussion carried in a report out of Johannesburg suggested that, at all levels of the South African society, the passion and empathy for the mental state of 18-year-old Caster Semenya is well understood. We can all imagine how the glare and disrespect of the powerful and mighty in the global sporting village is affecting Caster's immediate family, especially her mother.

it's a girl

Every woman who has given birth can flash back to the moment when her child moved down the birth canal to see the light of day and received the first slap on its backside to solicit the celebrated first scream of the human child. This event might have taken place in a small well-lit modern public hospital facility, a private birthing home with doctors, nurses and forceps or in a mud hut attended by a traditional healer and the women of the village. The setting is irrelevant. In the vast majority of birthing moments worldwide, the first question posed by the birth mother to the person who delivered the child is, "Nurse, what kind of baby is it?"

We know for sure that Caster Semenya's mother asked that question at the time of her birth and we know without a doubt, that the 'birthing one' looked at the baby's genitalia, saw a vagina and said, "Mama it's a girl."

Against this biological definition, Caster Semenya was a girl in her village, in her school and in her church. Her peers and her family members perhaps noted that she did not like 'girly' things. She loved to run and prance and compete with the boys and she was, like many strong-willed and accomplished young girls, a typical 'tomboy'.Semenya's athletic abilities brought her to the attention of the world. She dashed, like a gazelle ahead of the 'girly-girly' athletes and won in record time the 800m race in Berlin on August 19.

She won!

Had Semenya lost the race, her name would not be on anybody's lips. She won! According to the report out of Johannesburg, "Her dramatic improvement in times, muscular build and deep voice immediately sparked the speculation about her sex." In other words, the vagina was not enough to make her woman. It is only enough if we keep our heads low and do not try to excel, especially in the arenas in which men have set the standards.

It is interesting to note that Mel Cooke has alerted the Jamaican public to the possibility of our women footballers being requested to do a sex test. This idea, he says, is based on a number of behavioural patterns exhibited by some of these young women. Apparently, they dress like men, move like men and produce language that could rival the most foul-mouthed men.

It would appear that in this traditionally male-conceived and dominated sport, girls have no choice but to shed the trappings of the femininity that has been prescribed by society over time.

Girl footballers' role models are the young men who bring glory and money to their countries. Traditionally, the girls have gathered on the sidelines waving their pompoms as they cheer on the boys. The transition from pompom wavers to serious footballers who challenge opposing teams from other cultures and other geographical regions must be quite a challenging psychological shift for young women and girls.

In the efforts to shed definitions of femininity as prescribed by the patriarchal system, women and girls must be taught to find new ways of developing a sense of self, a voice linked to their inherent strengths and creativity, a mind unfettered by negativity and a spirituality rooted in the collective consciousness of generations of ancestors who laid the blueprint for the positive aspects of contemporary life.

In order to balance the nonsensical conversation about the Jamaican woman who dares to re-define her persona, Mel Cooke also featured 'proud men in skirts' and described Rassrod, who struts his stuff in a beautiful skirt and matching top above his beautifully honed mid-riff. With long braids, natural jewellery and a burlap fez, Rassrod proudly displays his masculinity in a skirt.

men in skirts

Those of us who have been raised in the Anglican Church wonder what is so strange about men in skirts. We have seen pastors, priests and bishops dressed in long frocks, fancy fezzes, braided sashes and other gold-trimmed regalia.

I was confirmed and inducted into the traditions of the Church when I was 12 years old. During this mysterious ceremony, I secretly wondered what was under the bishop's skirt. I never found out because I did not have the courage to ask him or the stone-faced women and men who administered at this ceremony.

Later on in life, I visited Bangladesh and noted that hundreds of poor men in Dhaka moved in and out of traffic in their skirts. No one mistook them for girls.

This bringing home of the Caster Semenya story to the Jamaican scene is both enlightening and challenging. Perhaps the society will, for the first time, be forced to deal with human sexuality in an intelligent and less hysterical mode.

Issue 29, April 2006 of Policy Briefing, which comes out of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex focused on sexuality and development. In this document, sexuality is defined as, "a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction".

All aspects of human sexuality are "influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological social, economic, political, cultural, ethical, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors".

sexual rights of citizens

Within this broadly defined context, it is important for government and civil society agencies and actors to understand and respect the sexual rights of every citizen within the boundaries of nation states. These rights include:

High standards of health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care service;

The right to seek and impart information in relation to sexuality;

The right to informed and non-judgmental sexual education;

The respect for one's choice of his or her adult sexual partner;

The right of adults to be sexually active or not;

The right to consensual adult sexual relationships;

The right to consensual marriage with those of marriageable age, as defined in the constitution of the state;

The right of adults to decide whether or not and when to have children;

The right to live in a state in which human rights requires that all persons respect the rights of others.

Within this broad framework of rights, the nation state of Jamaica must recognise that while most persons are defined as men and women/male and female, there are others who do not fit this plurality. These categories of persons are designed by the same Great Spirit who designed the vagina and the penis - the major marker of male and female. The mysteries of the Creator are profound and beyond the complete comprehension of mere mortals.

We who consider ourselves as the standard-bearers of the right kind of human sexuality might need to take another look at the basis of our arrogance, exclusivity and predisposition to think that our God appointed us to understand all the reasons for our diversity.

The genie is out of the box - let the dialogue begin!

Dr Glenda P. Simms is a gender expert and consultant. Feedback may be sent to columns@gleanerjm.com

Luke 6: 27-38 (On judging persons and tolerance)

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27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.



33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.



36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.



More and more I find the church missing the boat as far as preaching God's word, the objective as I understood it is to win souls for the Kingdom, not tear people down or put persons as outcasts because they don't live up to the church's expectation. Religion, protocol, ceremony and just plain self gratification have become stumbling blocks for the church's real focus. I think Christ had the same problem when he was here on earth when he would seem to be compassionate and caring to outcasts his followers would often question why and scorn them urging him to do so as well. Yet he taught them that these are the folks among you that you should go to, to love care for and share with.

Yet we see open discrimination everyday right before our eyes, the homeless are ignored and left to suffer, gays read out of congregations and treated as lepers because of what the church considers reprobate lifestyles and paedophilia wrongfully laid at our feet, religious pundits trying to theocratically impose hard lined beliefs founded on shaky ground.

Tolerance is a must, we all must begin to agree to disagree and move forward on issues of common interest.

H

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Parliamentary Committee struggles to define sexual intercourse

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MEMBERS of a Parliamentary Committee considering the proposed guidelines for a National Workplace Policy on HIV/AIDS are struggling to identify a definition for sexual intercourse in relation to the draft legislation and the potential for discrimination on HIV-positive employees.

At Wednesday's Joint Select Committee meeting, the members expressed reservations over a definition submitted by the Attorney General's Department.

Marlene Aldred, who represented the Attorney General's Department, told committee chairman Pearnel Charles that the term sexual intercourse, although defined in the discussion paper's glossary, was not used within the body of the discussion paper. 


She said given the context outlined in the glossary, there was a clear distinction between sexual activity - which involves vaginal, anal or oral penetration - and sexual intercourse, which was recognised by the (Jamaican) courts as vaginal intercourse between a man and a woman.

She said her department, while mindful of the country's buggery law that criminalises acts committed under the Offences of Persons Act, recommended the green paper's glossary be amended to read as sexual activity instead of the latter.

However, committee members Senator Norman Grant and Rudyard Spencer, who were clearly uncomfortable with the definition outlined by the AG's department, noted that the committee could not include an illegal act within the proposed legislation.

Both men, however, agreed that the proposed definition suggested by the AG's department be given further consideration with a view to revising it.

Following further revisions, a new meeting date was scheduled for Thursday, October 15 when committee members will review and sign off on the proposed guidelines before submission to Parliament.

House approves Sexual Offences Bill

0 comments
THE HOUSE of Representatives gave the nod to the Sexual Offences Bill on Tuesday after reviewing 28 amendments made by the Senate in July.

Tabled in the House earlier this year, the bill reforms and amalgamates the various laws relating to rape, incest and other sexual offences. It also repeals the Incest (Punishment) Act, as well as several provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act.

It also provides for the establishment of a Sex Offenders Registry, which will maintain a list of sex offenders.

Member of Parliament for St Catherine Central Olivia Grange said the amendments would have a more far-reaching impact in relation to the protection of women and children.

Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller welcomed the legislation, stating, "The Senate was very meticulous … and so we have no difficulty accepting the recommendations coming from the Senate."

Prime Minister Bruce Golding had previously sought leave of Parliament to withdraw the bill, due to the significant number of amendments that had to be made.

Friday, September 18, 2009

John Terry in Situational homosexuality?

0 comments

Crime scene: Mr Terry was found in his bedroom at his home in Montego Bay

John Terry in Situational homosexuality?, so it seems, In an explosive article from British newspaper Mail Online author David Jones writes an extensive piece under the caption:

How murder of our gay man in Jamaica has exposed the double standards of the paradise island
He goes into some detail and refers to the home and quiet rural community of Mr. Terry as photographed above, he questions whether or not Mr. Terry had a secret gay life. He examines in some detail with the help of an alleged former lover of John Terry, the gay scene in Montego Bay and proceeds to describe the caustic reactions there to homosexuality. All in all it seems as a genuine article. Mr. Jones said he also managed to speak to a neighbour of Mr. Terry who regarded him with much admiration and doubted his homosexual romps when questioned by the reporter. There was a memorial service today for him, he will be cremated at a later date.
I had my doubts from very early that this was a hate crime, note found or not.
I am a bit concerned though that while the police investigations are proceeding Mr. Jones (article's writer) has already trying the case by releasing what could amount to relevant details or even interviewing a potential witness. Weh unu tink?
Here are some of the sections that grabbed me:
......... "the great and good of Jamaica will trek up a tortuous mountain road and file into a dilapidated little stone-built church to pay their last respects to Our Man in Montego Bay. According to his wishes, John Terry MBE will be cremated and his ashes scattered on his beloved island.
Given his elevated position, many expected the memorial service for Britain’s Honorary Consul — who was brutally murdered last Wednesday — to be staged in a more auspicious venue.
Speaking for the first time since her ex-husband was found bludgeoned and strangled at his home, Mr Terry’s second wife, Elizabeth, told me: ‘We deliberately chose a very simple place because it is a perfect reflection of the way he lived his life. John was a very simple man.’ "........
........."The only white man for miles around, he was accepted as an ‘honorary Jamaican’ for his readiness to muck in and help neighbours, whatever their problem.
He even spoke in the local patois, which he had perfected after 40 years on the island"........
........"His numerous male lovers included Desmond, now a 45-year-old Jamaican charity worker, who told me how he and ‘Mr John’ had been occasional partners for almost 30 years, having first met on a beach when Mr Terry was in his mid-30s, and Desmond was just 16.
‘When I opened the paper and saw he’d been murdered, I couldn’t believe it,’ said the slender, shaven-headed man, who asked not to be identified for fear that he might be targeted next.
Weeping, he added: ‘He was such a good person, so considerate, so stylish, with such great taste; and so entertaining when we went back to his house to fool around.'
It was all just fun. He never harmed anyone. Why would anyone want to do this to a man like Mr John?’
Desmond’s incomprehension is being echoed by everyone who knew the Honorary Consul. "......
........"According to his occasional lover, Desmond, however, he was part of a group of wealthy, white expats in Montego Bay who coveted the company of so-called ‘coconut Rastas’: a crude term for handsome, young Jamaican boyfriends who, like a coconut, were deemed to be black on the outside, but white on the inside.
The expats do not pay directly for the favours of these young men, whom they meet at known gay pick-up haunts, such as beaches and bars, but would buy expensive clothes, meals, and other gifts for them.
‘Sometimes these boys can cause a lot of trouble,’ said Desmond pointedly, pondering on the reason for Mr Terry’s murder.
‘They might start ringing their guy all the time, demanding more and more things, and if he refuses they will threaten to “out” him. It’s like blackmail,’ he added.
Occasionally, he said, some of the white ‘sugar daddies’ also venture along the so-called Hip Strip, a street of raucous bars and clubs where some male prostitutes are willing to risk a beating, or worse, by openly soliciting......"
Anyway click the photo for the full article
Peace

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Bad Man Nuh F*** Batty (Masculine Men Don't F*** Ass) (The Fear of The Feminine in JA ) 16.04.15


A look at the fear of the feminine (Effemophobia) by Jamaican standards & how it drives the homo-negative perceptions/homophobia in Jamaican culture/national psyche.



After catching midway a radio discussion on the subject of Jamaica being labelled as homophobic I did a quick look at the long held belief in Jamaica by anti gay advocates, sections of media and homophobes that several murders of alleged gay victims are in fact 'crimes of passion' or have jealousy as their motives but it is not as simple or generalized as that.

Listen without prejudice to this and other podcasts on one of my Soundcloud channels

hear recent pods as well:

Information & Disclaimer


Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use the Happenings section to select other posts of a different nature.

Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

Please use the snapshot feature (if available for your device(s) to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

God Bless

Other Blogs I write to:

Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.

contact:

APJ Website Launch & Link


Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1




audience members interacting during a break in the event


film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

The Hypocrisy of Jamaican Anti Gay Groups & Selective Actions of Societal Ills


The selectivity of the anti gay religious voices on so called societal ills is examined in this podcast as other major issues that require the "church" to have spoken up including sexual abuse by pastors in recent times yet mere silence on those matters is highlighted.

Why are these groups and so called child rights activists creating mass hysteria and have so much strength for HOMOSEXUALITY but are quiet on corruption in government, missing children, crime in the country and so much more but want to stop same gender loving persons from enjoying peace of mind and PRIVACY?

Also is the disturbing tactic of deliberately conflating paedophilia with same gender sex as if to suggest reforming the buggery law will cause an influx of buggered children when we know that is NOT TRUE.

MSM/Trans homeless - From gully to graveyard



When are lives interrupted be allowed a real honest chance to move from interruption to independence and stability? I just cannot tell you friends.

An article appeared in the gleaner today that just sent me into sadness mode again with this ugly business of LGBTQI homelessness. The author of the piece needs an intervention too as he (Ryon Jones) uses terms such as cross dressers and or homeless men which if transgender persons are present they cannot be described or seen as such, sigh another clear display of the lack of impact and reach of so called advocacies and advocates who are more interested in parading as working but really aint having much impact as they ought to or claim.

We are told of houses being put together from time in memorial; the Dwayne’s House project seems dead in the water, the Larry Chang (named after a JFLAG cofounder) seems stuck in the mud and Colour Pink’s so called Rainbow House seems insignificant in relation to the size and scope of the national problem. JFLAG as presented on this blog is obviously not interested in getting their hands dirty really on homelessness save and except for using the populations as cannon fodder and delegating same; as far as I am concerned presenting them as victims of homophobia which is true but where are the programs and the perceived millions donated or granted since President Obama’s visit to address LGBTQ matters?

More HERE

Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?


Former host of Dr Sexy Live on Nationwide radio and Sexologist tackles in a simplistic but to the point style homophobia and asks the poignant question of the age, What really are we as a nation afraid of?


It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.

Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.

Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE

also see:
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation


Sexuality - What is yours?

The Deliberate Misuse of the “Sexual Grooming” Term by Antigay Fanatics to Promote Their Hysteria



Just as I researched on-line in NOT EVEN five minutes and found a plethora of information and FACTS on Sexual Grooming (and thanks to Dr Karen Carpenter for some valuable insight I found out what Sexual Grooming was) so too must these fanatics go and do the same and stop creating panic in the country.

The hysteria continues from the Professor Bain so called protests to protect freedom of speech and bites at the credibility of the LGBT lobby collectively continues via Duppies Dupe UWI articles when the bigger principle of the conflict of interest in regards to the greater imperative of removing/preserving archaic buggery laws in the Caribbean dependent on which side one sits is of greater import when the professor’s court testimony in Belize went against the imperative of CHART/PANCAP goals is the more germane matter of which he was former head now temporarily reinstated via a court ex-parte injunction. The unnecessary uproar and shouting from the same hysterical uninformed quarters claiming moral concerns ....... MORE CLICK HERE

also see if you can

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness



Reminder

In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realize the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonor. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

also see a flashback to some of the issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless LGBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:


a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tense

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated

i) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

Vacant at Last! ShoemakerGully: Displaced MSM/Trans Persons were is cleared December 2014





CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:

the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE


May 22, 2015, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston


New Kingston Cop Proposes Shelter for Shoemaker Gully LGBT Homeless Population




Superintendent Murdock

The same cop who has factored in so many run-ins with the youngsters in the Shoemaker Gully (often described as a sewer by some activists) has delivered on a promise of his powerpoint presentation on a solution to the issue in New Kingston, problem is it is the same folks who abandoned the men (their predecessors) from the powerful cogs of LGBT/HIV that are in earshot of his plan.

This ugly business of LGBTQ homelessness and displacements or self imposed exile by persons has had several solutions put forth, problem is the non state actors in particular do not want to get their hands dirty as the more combative and political issues to do with buggery's decriminalization or repeal have risen to the level of importance more so than this. Let us also remember this is like the umpteenth meeting with the cops, some of the LGBT homeless persons and the advocacy structure.

Remember JFLAG's exclusion of the group from that IDAHO symposium on LGBT homelessess? See HERE, how can we ask the same people who only want to academise and editorialise the issue to also try to address their own when they do not want to get their hands dirty but publish wonderful reports as was done earlier this month, see HERE: (re)Presenting and Redressing LGBT Homelessness in Jamaica: Towards a Multifaceted Approach to Addressing Anti-Gay Related Displacement also LGBT homelessness has always been with us from the records of Gay Freedom Movement(1974) to present but the current issues started from 2009, see: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009 as carried on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch. CLICK HERE for FULL post of this story.

Gender Identity/Transgederism Radio discussion Jamaica March 2014





Radio program Everywoman on Nationwide Radio 90FM March 20th 2014 with Dr Karen Carpenter as stand-in host with a transgender activist and co-founder of Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica and a gender non conforming/lesbian guest as well on the matters of identity, sex reassignment surgery and transexuality.

CLICK HERE for a recording of the show

BUSINESS DOWNTURN FOR THE WEED-WHACKING PROJECT FOR FORMER DISPLACED ST CATHERINE MSM



As promised here is another periodical update on an income generating/diligence building project now in effect for some now seven former homeless and displaced MSM in St Catherine, it originally had twelve persons but some have gotten jobs elsewhere, others have simply walked away and one has relocated to another parish, to date their weed whacking earning business capacity has been struggling as previous posts on the subject has brought to bear.

Although some LGBT persons residing in the parish have been approached by yours truly and others to increase client count for the men costs such as gas and maintenance of the four machines that are rotated between the enrolled men are rising weekly literally while the demand is instead decreasing due to various reasons.



Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.


What to Do .....




a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone

b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council

c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state

d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police

e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number

f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided

g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence

h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail

i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail

j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence

Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:

1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues


If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -

If one is locked up then the following may apply:
Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime.

There are two standards that must be met:

1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight

Locked up and appearing in court

 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest

 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?

b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?

c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?

d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?

 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process

Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

Popular Posts

What I am reading at times ......

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com or Tel: 1-876-841-2923 (leave a message just in case)




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H or Howie

Tel: 1-876-841-2923
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Battle Lines Javed Jaghai versus the state & the Jamaica Buggery Law



Originally aired on CVM TV December 8th 2013, apologies for some of the glitches as the source feed was not so hot and it kept dropping from source or via the ISP, NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED and is solely for educational and not for profit use and review. The issue of the pending legal challenge in the Constitutional Court in Jamaica as filed by Javed Jaghai an outspoken activist who happens also to be openly aetheist.

The opposing sides are covered as well such as
The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society
The Love March
Movement Jamaica

The feature seems destined for persons who are just catching up to the issues and repositioning JFLAG in particular in the public domain as their image has taken a beating in some respects especially on the matter of the homeless MSM front. They need to be careful that an elitist perception is not held after this after some comments above simplistic discourse, the use of public agitation as beneath some folks and the obvious overlooking of the ordinary citizen who are realy the ones who need convincing to effect the mindset change needed and the national psyche's responses to homosexuality in general.


John Maxwell's House