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

Friday, October 30, 2009

US HIV Travel Ban lifted .... Ryan White Act signed .... Obama & inclusivity again ....

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President Obama said today his administration is lifting a 22-year-old ban that prevented persons with HIV/AIDS from entering the country.

"It's a step that will encourage people to get tested and get treatment, it's a step that will keep families together, and it's a step that will save lives," Obama said, noting that the process of reversing the rule began during the George W. Bush presidency.

The United States was the first country to institute such a ban, "a decision rooted in fear rather than fact," Obama said. Now only a dozen nations continue the practice. "If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it," the president said.

Obama made the announcement as he signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, which provides help to more than half a million Americans.


White was the 13-year-old from Kokomo, Ind., who in 1984 contracted AIDS after a blood transfusion, and became internationally known by fighting for his right to attend school.

White died in 1990, but his legacy lives on. Obama said that because of Ryan's courage, "we didn't just become more informed about HIV/AIDS, we began to take action to fight it."


White's mother, Jeanne, attended the White House signing ceremony (pictured).

(by David Jackson; photo by Gerald Herbert, Associated Press)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What can we learn from the new US Hate Crimes Bill?

3 comments
="

Golding and Simpson Miller failed to lead article clearly shows the cowardice of our political leaders to remove any hints of rights or freedoms to GLTBQ Jamaicans because of fear, ignorance or plain hypocracy, they play to the gallery to sure up political capital.

Coincidentally we have a wonderful example of the US Hate Crime Bill being passed as we pussyfoot with our own Charter of Rights debate, a set of rights set out that have been on and off the nation's and parliament's agenda for the past 17+ years with Joint select committee after joint select committees arguing over definition of words such as "sex" "gender" worrying that the gay lobby will try to move an action to ask for marriage rights. The removal of an entire section on discrimination of persons by sexual orientation the very thing that this US bill has sought to make tantamount in as far as the death of Matthew Shepard is concerned with agitation from his family, rights groups & individuals and some state officials for nearly ten years.

see the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Introduced in Senate)
Charter of Rights Bill a hit with US Embassy, even without LGBT rights included
Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in the US


They are those who use the procreation arguments to justify their bigoted agenda totally overlooking the need to protect the minority and least amongst us. As one radio host puts it "The rule of the tyrannical majority" Jamaica has not grasped the concept of rights and freedoms for all and wish to be selective about who should or should not enjoy them, it is not universal in our context.

So what can we learn from this wonderful example from our neighbour up north?
my answers, you can form your own please:

  1. Learn from the actual verbiage
  2. Engage in discussions about rights, tolerance, strategies used to devise our own
  3. Confront opposition in a meaningful and respectful manner
  4. Community education drives to get persons to understand the importance of universal rights
  5. Examine the coverage granted in the US bill for our own adoption
  6. Demand our politicians stop hiding behind "red herring" topics and pontifications
  7. Embrace the tolerant citizenry for peaceful co-existence
  8. Resolute stance on violence and verbal attacks from homophobes
  9. Case studies where appropriate for analysis
these are just some things that come to mind you may have a plethora of others, let's continue the dialogue to arrive at amicable solutions to this homophobic problem in Jamaica

Peace

H

Equality Florida asks you to sign letter to ‘stop murder music’

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Nadine Smith at Equality Florida:


It's been just one month since five Florida performances were announced for Buju Banton. Since then, three venues have canceled the notorious singer whose lyrics call for the torture and murder of gay people.
His song "Boom Bye Bye" is advocates pouring acid on LGBT people, "burning them up bad like an old tire wheel", and shooting them in the head with an AK-47. He also sings "Anytime Buju Banton come, f--gots get up and run ... they have to die".

Do your part to stand up to anti-gay incitements to violence.

Sign the letter to venue owners and elected officials.
Buju Banton is still scheduled to perform in three Florida cities this week. Thursday, Oct. 29th, in Jacksonville, Friday. Saturday, Oct. 31st, in Miami; and a new date was added for Friday, Oct. 30th, in St. Petersburg.

We will present this letter to venue owners and elected officials
While other cities in Florida and across the country have canceled Bantons concerts, the venues in Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, and Miami have not yet responded. We're calling upon the venue owners and elected officials to take a stand against hate.
"Boom Bye Bye" has become an international gay bashing anthem. In 2004, Brian Williamson, Jamaica's leading gay activist, was violently chopped to death with a machete in his apartment in Kingston. A reporter walked to his street shortly after the murder and found a crowd of people gathered outside Williamson’s apartment singing and celebrating his murder and shouting the chorus of “Boom Bye Bye”.

Equality Florida staff have received an unprecedented flood of hate mail and threats in response to our public opposition to Banton's hateful lyrics. One staff member received a letter stating: "YOU ARE STARTING A WAR IN WHICH YOU WILL BE KILLED" And another says "YOU'LL BE 6 FEET UNDER PERMANENTLY."

WE MUST STAND UP TO THESE HATEFUL ATTACKS

So far, due to an outpouring of opposition from Equality Florida members and community allies, management at the venues in Tampa and Orlando have canceled Banton's performances; the Tallahassee event in now listed as withdrawn on the Eventful.com website; and Toyota has dropped it's sponsorship of the Miami event. Jacksonville management has not responded.
Do your part to stand up to hate in these communities.

Sign onto the letter that we will send to the venue owners and elected officials in Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, and Miami.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Golding and Simpson Miller failed to lead

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October 26, 2009 - Gleaner Editorial

We wish to make two observations. First, when politicians are short of cogent and workable solutions, their default position, usually, is a reach for populist distractions - drawing the red herring, as it were.

The second is that the real test of a democracy is not only its ability to cater to the will of the majority, but how well it acknowledges and protects the rights of the minority, including people with whose ideas and concepts we may not agree. Indeed, it is this latter notion that makes a democracy, even as it remains the best form of government yet devised, the most difficult to manage.

We have been drawn to think on these issues in part because of some of the tone of the parliamentary debate on Jamaica's proposed Charter of Rights, especially remarks by Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller. They reached for the lowest common denominator and played to the gallery, which, of course, was not necessarily the people sitting in Gordon House. Rather, it was an appeal to their ever-narrowing political base.

Enumerative fashion

The Charter of Rights is a good thing, which has the broad support of this newspaper. It seeks to set out, in enumerative fashion and relatively simple language, the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Jamaican people. Importantly, it seeks to place greater limits on the capacity of the state to derogate those rights.

Significantly, however, there is no protection in this charter for the individual who faces discrimination because of his or her sexual orientation. A parliamentary committee that drafted the final recommendations contorted its way out of offering any such protection. That was, and remains, good political cover for Mr Golding and Mrs Simpson Miller and, we dare say, a goodly many members of parliament.

The fact is, Jamaica is deeply homophobic, or pretends to be. Homophobia attends the country's sense of machismo; it frees us to go gay-bashing, and not just figuratively. Indeed, the week before the MPs began to sing their platitudes to the Charter of Rights, a young man was attacked by a mob for his perceived effeminate gait. Happily, he was rescued by the police, for which he might count himself lucky.

Lack of imagination

This brings us back to where we started. The debate is taking place in the middle of a deep economic crisis, to which the Government has, up to now, displayed a patent lack of imagination or acuity. It has talked!

We are not surprised, in the circumstances, that Mr Golding found it useful to weave into his remarks a declaration that "I will not accept that homosexuality must be accepted as a legitimate form of behaviour or the equivalent of (heterosexual) marriage".

The Jamaican Parliament, Mr Golding added, would not make same-sex unions legal - "not as long as I sit here". And he inveighed against gay-rights lobbyists who wanted to undermine the country's "values or culture".

Mrs Simpson Miller was not as extreme in hiding behind the supposed inability of leaders to be "too far in front of those who are being led" and for the positions of the majority to be taken "scrupulously into consideration".

What, in reality, was on display was weak leadership and, we fear, an unintended endorsement of abuse of and discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Intolerance begets intolerance (Letter to Gleaner 27.10.09)

0 comments
The Editor, Sir:

While Buju Banton (Mark Myrie) is by no means the only Jamaican artiste to sing a song that promotes violence against homosexual men, he has become the target of many gay-rights groups internationally. He has had several concerts cancelled and has been met with protests at many other venues.

This may seem a bit unfair, given that he is not alone in singing such lyrics, or the fact that the song was released almost 20 years ago, and the artiste has since softened his image tremendously.

What is, however, surprising is the hypocrisy of those in Jamaica who have come out in support of Buju and others. They complain that foreigners should not interfere in Jamaica's internal matters when gays are persecuted and prosecuted and hate is spewed at several groups with impunity, but in the same breath, expect foreigners to sit by and allow those from outside to come into their countries and perpetuate the same hatred they are allowed to in Jamaica.

Minority-rights protection

The same principle of minority-rights protection that people like Buju want in places like the US, Canada or in Europe are, in principle, the same ones that gay-rights groups would like Jamaicans to protect in relation to the gay and lesbian community, among others.

On what basis should a foreigner like Buju be allowed into the US, Canada or the EU to sing freely about killing gays, while gay citizens from these countries who visit Jamaica could be subjected to 10 or more years in prison in Jamaica?

Jamaicans cannot expect to avail themselves of the freedoms in these societies when they refuse to extend similar freedoms to the citizens of these countries. Buju and others have no right to enter or perform in the US, in the same way that American gays have no right to be themselves in Jamaica.

In the same way that Jamaica feels it has the right to protect its societal values, Americans have the right to protect their values. It is all about reciprocity.

I am, etc.,

RICARDO SMALLING
rsmalling@sympatico

Let the dust settle .......... part 2

4 comments
Let the dust settle part 1 spoke to the whole accusations and counter accusations between Buju Banton and the gay community in the United States predominantly San Francisco the described gay capital of the world where Buju's tour has met with fierce opposition.

Now the dust has settled somewhat what do we see? Buju seems to have won this round (lost the war overall) with more dates slowly added to his tour and the American Civil Liberties group in Miami coming in support of him in a statement issued some time ago (who cares?) they seemed to have missed the boat in as far as understanding the requests or commands in Buju's lyrics to kill gay men and the methods prescribed, of note shooting directly in the head with an Uzi.
My calling for letting the dust settle was to get us to see the landscape more clearly and get rid of the noise and smoke from opposers and supporters alike from all sides. Of note the gay people who met with him in San Francisco have not responded to the criticisms levied by some in the music industry locally and in some instances seem to suggest the meetings never happened and the photos of Buju bumping fists with gays were doctored which I found so ridiculous, folks will do anything to deny or avoid discussing issues directly that they find all kind of silly excuses.

There is also talk of Buju loosing allegedly millions from cancellations a point I have a little difficulty digesting as most of the venues are small club houses not arenas of stadiums like he used to get in his heyday of Til Shiloh CD prominence.
Will the gay groups get another chance to meet him face to face again? I doubt it unless they resort to picketing him and his shows again or some miracle in the future. I feel he now knows how to play the game with PR and press while working his contacts in the community even though he doesn't support us. It would have been good if the folks who met with him used the time to discuss the situation here in Jamaica and how to help to defuse the fiery homophobic climate in our nation with a serious view to meaningful tolerance.
Some within the opposition are trying to get information on hate crimes from the agencies of government of all places including the police, this clearly shows the still lack of knowledge of the Jamaican situation and apprising oneself at best some more before launching into actions. I hope that the endeavours are tracked and noted carefully.

Be it resolved though that the interventions from our foreign supporters are welcomed however how interested is the average GLBT Jamaican on the ground if one should poll or even just ask about the present impasse many don't even care or are just becoming aware due to mainstream media coverage especially from US cable stations as many Jamaicans have cable service, the question is whose fault is that and how do we fix that? boi mi nuh know yah sah

JFLAG's silence until recently when I feel it was forced to respond because of pronounced media coverage and the photos from the meeting on blogs and news sites worldwide was disturbing to me, the group said it was not impressed. My criticism of them and ordinary GLBT Jamaicans goes further as there hasn't been any serious public support for the interventions by the Cancel Buju Banton campaign not even so much as a response, Jamaican membership or statement on the website. I guess some are timid and don't wish to publicly show support and are emotionally there in spirit as some of the Facebook comments and private messages suggest but can we be in the shadows and cowards all the days of our lives?
Now is the time to begin picking our brains to finding formidable solutions now that the issue of Murder music has gotten the public attention it deserves from an American standpoint as actions like this are normal in Europe and the UK through their own Stop Murder Music campaigns respectively. Recently Sizzla was in the news as his show was cancelled by SMM Bern.

We have to keep the issues alive in Jamaica or it may just die as a nine day wonder as some have, while doing so however new ideas must be found to strike a balance needed to push tolerance. (fan away the extra dust)

Peace and walk good

also see:
Gays may have overstepped their bounds giving Buju ultimatum says human rights activist

Golding and Simpson Miller failed to lead (Gleaner Editorial on the Charter of Rights debate)

H

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dominican Educator believes buggery laws should be decriminalized

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Interesting similarities to our local scenario on the HIV/MSM access to healthcare landscape.
A local family life educator in Dominica believes that the decriminalization of the island's buggery laws should be given consideration.Valda Bruno-Durand told a press conference organised by the Dominica Planned Parenthood Association recently that the issue should also be about accepting an individual.“It’s about accepting the choice an individual make. In terms of our laws, we know the laws against homosexuality. I think we should see it as an issue of development and an issue of health. It is now being seen as a moral and religious issue. People say things like our country will be damned; our society will become Sodom and Gomorrah.

As we see now Jamaica is not the only Caribbean territory struggling with this issue of MSM sex and HIV/AIDS intervention coupled with efforts from the religious community to chastise GLBT people by beating them with the Bible and condemnatory remarks and endorsing ecclesiastically tinged old colonial buggery laws to stifle personal freedoms. This educator like some of our local HIV experts have also spoken out to demand revision or decriminalization of the buggery laws or at least some considerations so we can deal with properly serving the MSM community in terms of treatment and education is often met with deafening silence or outright opposition from weak politicians and the religious bigots who pander to the so called popular sentiments to remain politically viable.

"You hear all these things and we seem to leave out the human aspect of it,” she said. Bruno-Durand, who is an outspoken human rights activist, also gave a religious spin on the matter. She said persons must also remember that God makes no mistake. "We use the bible as our weapon but we leave out certain aspects. No one is asking that you should become a homosexual. We are also not saying that homosexuals should be going around and encourage other individuals to become homosexuals. That is not what the issue is about.
It is about helping young persons progress,” she said.Meantime Bruno-Durand said men who have sex with men are not coming forward to get tested for HIV/AIDS. She said decriminalization of homosexuality could prompt gays to come forward and get tested.“In Dominica, in terms of our HIV statistics, we have more men than women who are testing positive.

The statistics is baffling because that is only a situation in Dominica. Everywhere else, the rates of infections are highest in women. Dominica has a very high MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) population and this is what is driving the epidemic,” he said.She said the matter should be looked at in a positive way.“We need to see how we can create a better society and not how we can pass judgment on the individuals. Too many times we tend to judge too quickly,” she added.
Buggery or homosexuality is illegal in Dominica.

Buggery in my estimation however is not homosexuality and is also practised by heterosexual couples although it is hard to quantify the levels here in Jamaica since it is a taboo issue.

H

excerpts from Dominica online

Buju gets green light to perform in Miami

2 comments
Howard Campbell
Buju Banton, whose Rasta Got Soul tour of the United States has been dogged by protests from gay rights groups, will perform at the Reggae Bash show in Miami this week.

The event was in danger of being cancelled after groups like Equality Florida wrote to city officials, including Mayor Manuel Diaz, complaining that some of Banton's music incites violence against gays.

Andrew Minott of promoters Global Vybz Entertainment told The Gleaner last week that the show will take place on Saturday at the 5,000-seat James L. Knight Center.

"Everything's good, everything's on," Minott said.

According to Minott, a statement from the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) admonishing the gay groups may have saved the day. It accused them of promoting censorship.

Written by the Florida ACLU's executive director Howard Simon, the statement was published in the October 18 edition of the Miami Herald.

"I guess when they (gay groups) saw that letter, they backed off," Minott said.

Members of Global Vybz have had dialogue with the gay lobbyists. They recently appeared in a panel discussion with Equality Florida spokesperson Vanessa Brito on WAVS, a south Florida-based Caribbean radio station.

Even though is company got the green light, Minott admits the negative publicity seems to have hurt.

"Ticket sales are slow, I think all the protest talk made people weary," he said.

Equality Florida is the latest gay rights organisation to come out against Banton performing in a major US city. Similar protests forced the cancellation or rescheduling of Rasta Got Soul shows in Salt Lake City, Utah, Columbus, Ohio, Richmond, Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The groups say their protests are driven by the violent tone of Banton's 1992 anti-gay anthem, Boom Bye Bye.

Banton met gay activists prior to his show in San Francisco two weeks ago.

They demanded he reach out to homosexuals, including those in Jamaica.

News you can use - The right to duty counsel

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The Legal Aid Council, an arm of the Ministry of Justice provides legal services for persons who are in police custody and are without privately retained lawyers through the Duty Counsel Programme.

The programme provides attorneys-at-law, available to persons who are in police custody either as a result of being a suspect in a criminal matter or are being accused (charged with an offence), but yet to appear in a court of law.

The Legal Aid Regulations stipulates that everyone has a right to Duty Counsel.

How does the system work?

To ensure that the system works effectively and efficiently, it is important that law enforcement personnel advise detainees or accused persons of their right to Duty Counsel. Each police station has a list of the names and contact information of a duty counsel available to that station. The detainee himself/herself may ask the police to contact the duty counsel. No questioning of the suspect should be done in the absence of his/her lawyer.

In cases where police personnel are unsuccessful in contacting counsel, the Legal Aid Clinics or the Legal Aid Council may be contacted for assistance.

What is the role of the Duty Counsel?

Having accepted a matter, Duty Counsel will visit the lock-up, correctional institution or remand facility and interview the client, give advice, provide representation at a question and answer session or identification parade. The lawyer may also apply for station or court bail on the first court appearance of the accused, and where the circumstances require, file a Writ of Habeus Corpus to prevent suspects or accused persons remaining in custody for lengthy periods.

Is there a cost?

Duty Counsel is available regardless of the offence the person is suspected of or charged with. There is no cost to the recipient of Duty Counsel, thereby guaranteeing the citizen access to legal representation. No application form is necessary to obtain Duty Counsel. The lawyer's duties end at the first court appearance of the accused or at such earlier time, for example on the release of the client.

What happens after the first court appearance?

After the end of Duty Counsel, where further assistance is needed, an application may be made for legal aid. If granted, an attorney is assigned to the matter for trial.

Currently, of a panel of approximately 320 attorneys, more than 190 are enlisted for Duty Counsel requests.

For further information regarding the Duty Counsel Programme, contact the Legal Aid Council, located at 72 Harbour Street, Kingston, telephone 948-6999 or the Justice Education Unit of the Ministry of Justice, telephone 908-4761.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The hypocritical and opportunist religious right

1 comments
the caption is so appropriate in our scenario......


So as we see in the post following this one from the Gleaner that the church has, as a matter of convenience sided with the DJs on bashing homosexuality, at least so they claim. In trying to distance themselves from the violence as advocated by Buju Banton and others they, the religious right to me are looking like a bunch of opportunist and waggonists using this convenient sordid episode to push their bigoted positions.

Interestingly the same dancehall artists who they now side with also promote casual sex with minors, abuse of women and ganja smoking, murder of informants, vigilante justice, glorifying acts of gun crimes as measurements of being a true man among other acts deemed sinful and abominations by the church are not met with such a loud chorus of opposition, where are they on these matters?

(night sounds and a cricket chirps)

How selective these church people are? that is not say that all Christians or church folk are like this as there are more enlightened folks in the crowd they just don't or can't be bothered I guess to challenge the crap coming out of the penny section. 

The use of the Bible is where the selectivity really is, the same verses used as quotes to condemn us (noteably Leviticus 18) also has a list of others wrongs and ills which were prescribed for Jews to Moses at that time and to suggest that Sodom and Gomorrah argument is so lame as we all know that that homosexuality was not the predominant reasons why it was destroyed. 

Sometimes one should ignore this crap but I think also we must let people make fools of themselves and the public is slowly becoming weary of all this constant arguments over persons orientation and related activities. The church should concern itself about the poor and indigent who are visible to our eyes everyday on the streets who really need the help, prayer and love, the homeless children in homes who need care and support and stop trying to pry through my and others keyhole to see who we are sleeping with.

Waggonists
This is not the first time the anti gay church lobby has joined in a chorus of sorts to echo their anti gay sentiments, those sentiments are more often times than not have an invitation to tolerance or peace. The rhetoric is usually condemnatory in its form yet the same Bible that is used to beat us says judge not and ye shall not be judged:

Judging Others
Lk. 6.3738, 4142
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mk. 4.24

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

How we forget the other parts of the Bible and conveniently use parts that seem divisive to justify bigotry and hate sending us to hell from the pulpit and applauding yourselves for doing a marvelous job.

I am not a Bible genius but certain actions of the church or some of it's members warrant examination. Didn't Christ also say come as you are and have we forgotten the woman with the alabaster box?

Peace

H

The Church and the DJs agree (Gleaner 25.10.09)

0 comments
please also view:

Meeting controversy, Music industry split over Buju's face to face with gays




Athaliah Reynolds wrote
Some church leaders have come out in full support of Jamaica's dancehall fraternity while condemning the actions of international gay rights groups that are placing immense pressure on many local artistes.

While the church leaders who spoke with The Sunday Gleaner argued that it was wrong to incite violence against any group, most agreed that the dancehall artistes had a right to express their disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle.

"To those artistes who have continued to speak out against that kind of lifestyle in their music, I'll encourage them to keep up the pressure, not in a violent way, but certainly to continue to proclaim the message," Bishop Delford Davis of the Power of Faith Ministries in Portmore said.

the truth

According to Davis, while the church is completely against violence, the truth must be told and not censored.

"Truth is very costly, I think they should be strong enough to maintain their position in as much as they are being penalised. A price has always had to be paid for truth."

Davis said his message to the DJs would be to remove the element of violence from their music, but continue to spread the message that a lifestyle of homosexuality is immoral and wrong.

"Do not incite violence, but certainly continue to propagate the message of sanctity of human sexuality. We fully support the message that is proclaimed of God's purpose and plan for procreation and human sexuality," he argued.

For pastor Bobby Wilmot of the Joy Town Community Development Founda-tion when the gays took their lifestyle into the public domain they opened themselves for criticisms.

"When you were practising your homosexual lifestyle privately, fine, that's in your space. But the moment you bring it into the public domain you are saying to people they must accept it and therefore that gives me the right to reject it," he argued.

Wilmot continued: "Now as a man of God, I would reject it from a word of God, but the man who is in the dancehall, who is not coming necessarily from a Christian perspective, this is how he operates. He's going to come at it in his way."

Wilmot said while he does not support violence, he has to agree with the stance of the dancehall man.

"I would respond by saying Sodom and Gomorra was destroyed by God, so take heed to that, there's a lesson there!"

Wilmot bashed the gay community for forcing the cancellation of concerts featuring some dancehall artistes.

"When you cut me off like that, you are preventing me from bringing my views to the public - you are not fair, it can't be right," he said. "You say this is my lifestyle before the public, I must be allowed also to say I am against it."

Reverend Donald Webley of the, Rosemount Missionary Church in Montego Bay, St James was critical of both groups.

"The same level of force being used by the gay community to undermine the dancehall artiste is similar to the way in which some dancehall artistes have been advocating violence towards them. Both of them seem to be using a similar approach to get their messages across."

He added: "I think the dancehall artistes need to have the opportunity to express themselves but of course not in a violent way."

Webley said the recent demands of the gay community of reggae artiste, Buju Banton are ludicrous. "The demands that have been made upon him are outrageous and unreasonable."

According to Webley, Buju should publicly apologise and withdraw the anti-homosexual anthem Boom Bye Bye because it is clearly violent.

But Webley argued that the homosexual community should not use its power to undermine Buju's ability to earn or to support a lifestyle that he is morally against.

homosexuals right

For Pastor Raphael Thomas of the Annotto Bay Gospel Hall believes that the homosexual community is right to target the concerts of some Jamaican artistes.

"I don't think it is right to promote violence against those who practise that kind of lifestyle, although it is not something that the church can endorse. They are people that the church must reach out to and seek to help them just like persons who are involved in other kinds of activities that are not considered right."

According to Pastor Thomas the violent approach of the dancehall artiste is not right.

"We respect the orientation of the DJs and their strong disagreement with that kind of lifestyle but it still does not give them a right to promote violence against the homosexuals." Pastor Thomas said.

"There are other ways that we can seek to correct, what I consider to be the unacceptable lifestyle of the gay community without seeking to be violent towards them," added Thomas.

athaliah.reynolds@gleanerjm.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

Charter of Rights Bill a hit with US Embassy, even without LGBT rights included

2 comments
Vivian Crawford (second left), executive director, the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), entertains Dr Don Baker (left), political officer at the US Embassy in St Andrew, and Katherine Rafaniello (right) and Bianca Obllins, the embassy's vice-consuls, at the IOJ Oct 22, 2009. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Meanwhile the US accepts New Hate Crime Bill to include GLBT people, how ironic?

Congress Extends Hate Crime Law To Gays

here is the US Embassy article in today's Gleaner:

Kimesha Walters

AN AMERICAN political officer is lauding Jamaica for creating a Charter of Rights Bill, saying it was healthy for an emerging economy to recognise the rights of its citizens. The officer also pointed to the possibility of an improved relationship with the United States given the push for a new charter.

Dr Don Baker says the United States has a similar policy, and he suspects that the Jamaican format will be similar.

However, he noted that there is no single way of being a democracy.

Baker revealed that despite tarnishes due to crime and violence, the country has maintained a good report in the US Embassy's annual human-rights reports, specifically in the area democracy.

"Jamaica respects the human rights of its citizens, for the most part. It has some challenges in terms of crime and those things but we're hopeful that Jamaica will continue to address these issues," Baker told The Gleaner after a presentation at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) yesterday.

The political officer is responsible for drafting the annual human-rights report at the US Embassy. To complete that report, Dr Baker looks at several factors such as the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and religious liberty. These, he says, provide an assessment for how well Jamaica is doing in providing for its citizens' human rights.

Baker said the importance of the report can be seen in the reactions of countries, such as China, to negative comments.

"It's not as a direct result of the report, but countries that are not democratic do not respect the rights of their citizens, don't have as close ties with the US as with democratic nations," Baker explained.

"Oftentimes, there might be sanctions or penalties for countries that abuse their citizens or don't recognise their rights," said Baker.

ENDS

my two cents:

Have the US Embassy people realised that GLBT people are ignored?
Maybe we have to lobby them to bring pressure to bear on the government this is of course excluding the smoke screen debate on gay marriage as invented by the gay christian right movement, namely the Lawyers Christian Fellowship

Peace and tolerance.

H

Germany gives pension rights to gay civil partners

0 comments


By Jessica Green

Germany's high court today ruled that civil partners of government employees are eligible to receive the same pension rights as their straight married counterparts.

Germany’s high court strengthened the rights of gay couples on Thursday, ruling that government employees with registered civil unions are entitled to the same pension plans as married couples.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the highest court in the country, heard the case of a Hamburg public servant who had been in his job since 1991.

The public-sector pension company VBL had refused to consider him in the same way as a married person, despite the fact he had been in a civil partnership for eight years.

Under VBL's stance, he would have received €74 less each month than a heterosexual married man, while his partner would receive no surviving dependants’ pension if he died.

The court ruled today that VBL's position was unconstitutional.

According to The Local, the unnamed man's lawyer Dirk Siegfried said: "I see this as a very big step for the equality of homosexual marriage not only for employee pensions, but in many other areas too."

In August, the same court confirmed that gay and lesbian people can adopt their partner's children, overturning a previous court ruling.

It rejected the argument that to allow the female partner of a child's mother to adopt would undermine the rights of the other biological parent.

A recent study revealed that 6,600 children in Germany are being raised by gay and lesbian parents.

However, gay or lesbian people or couples cannot adopt children they are not related to.

Social Democrat politicians, including Germany's Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, have called for a change to the law.

Gay and lesbian couples can register their partnerships and their rights include most of those of marriage, including the possibility of stepchild adoption, but they are denied the same tax benefits.

Source TL News
A failure to give gay partners the same benefits infringes the basic right to equal treatment, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said.

The decision nullified an earlier ruling from the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) regarding a Hamburg man who has been a public servant since 1991 with a supplementary pension. The public-sector pension company VBL – the largest such company in the nation – refused to give the man married status, despite the fact that he’d been living in a registered civil union for eight years. This meant that his retirement benefits would be €74 less each month, and his partner would receive no surviving dependants’ pension in the event of his death.

But constitutional law forbids privileging one group above another, the court found. VBL is now required to adjust its benefits.

“I see this as a very big step for the equality of homosexual marriage not only for employee pensions, but in many other areas too,” the Hamburg man’s lawyer Dirk Siegfried said.

Openly gay Green party MP Volker Beck called the decision a “conclusive breakthrough.”

The legal protection of marriage and family can no longer be used to discriminate against homosexual couples, Beck added, calling the ruling a “clear defeat for the conservative ideologists” in among Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

He also encouraged the German government to give homosexual couples equal treatment in tax law.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Buju Banton's show at Trincity/Palm Beach Club faces opposition

3 comments










Scenes from Tuesday night's protest in Dallas. Buju Banton meanwhile it has been reported that he didn't know the "Faggot" word he used was so offensive to lgbt people as it is considered normal in Jamaica.

More on the story HERE

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Opposition sides with Govt on No to same sex marriage

6 comments

Yesterday during the debate on the Charter of Fundamental Rights & Freedoms in Parliament the Opposition party the Peoples National Party PNP joined the institutional discrimination action to oppose Gay Marriage in Jamaica. The Charter which is being debated on the question of gender and rights sand freedoms for gays and lesbians in particular has had infused deliberately the invented gay marriage issue which was never a point of contention by the GLBT community or JFLAG for that matter.

As JFLAG recently described the gay marriage issue as a smoke screen to push the anti gay agenda and as I see it it's an invented discussion from very early in the debate as far back as 2006. 

The PNP seems to have forgotten that it has a large active GLBT support base and with her leadership being brought into question several times one wonders what will the community say or do about this. Obviously this is just to side with the popular view as our politicians are weak as rats and only pander to the public in order to avoid controversy and criticisms. The gay marriage issue was invented by the religious right chiefly among them is the Lawyer's Christian Fellowship with one of its chief personalities Shirley Richards.

See Gay Marriage - An Invented Issue by the christian right movement post with references to previous submissions made by them on the Charter of Rights Bill debate. Here is another grandstanding by our opportunist politicians who use issues like this to make themselves shine in the eyes of the public and again the GLBT community is side stepped in the name of convenience when even within the PNP at practically ALL levels of the party there were and are gays let us not fool ourselves for one minute. We must call it as we see it,

what are we afraid of in giving rights and recognition to GLBT people?

do people feel as of gays are somehow going to poison or infect others with homosexuality?

are society's mores going to change simply because GLBT people are allowed their own set of rights?

why is the GLBT community not talking more about this and other issues actively?

why is everyone acting as if gays aren't in both political parties at various levels?

We have a long way to go in just doing the right thing without worrying about loss of political capital, the PNP now looks hypocritical in all this some time ago when Ernest Smith made those awful and unfortunate remarks in Parliament it was the PNP surprisingly who produced a press release condemning the PM's actions and his use of his Parliamentary privileges.

See these posts
Gleaner Editorial - Credit to the PNP in the face of Mr Smith's stupidity

Opposition, People's National Party condemns anti gay comments as dangerous precedence from GLBTQ Jamaica.

Institutionalised homophobia is on folks and we are again shafted in the name of political cowardice and theocracy with a government face.

Peace and tolerance.

H

SMM protests Sizzla in Denmark

1 comments
The Star News on October 20, 2009 published this story on SMM in Denmark protesting Sizzla performing in that side of the world while Buju faces his evils in the US. The story is written in a balanced form it seems and doesn't have the usual synical tone the Star normally takes on these issues that could be becuase they know they are being followed by a larger international readership particularly symapthetic to this issue. It seems the SMM campaign is now in world effect mode and are going after dancehall and other acts who perform anti gay music and promote or incite violence to gays, predominantly Jamaican GLBT people.

article by Sadeke Brooks:

Members of the gay and lesbian community are again making their voices heard when it comes to reggae artistes with anti-gay messages.

First it was a slew of concert cancellations for Buju Banton on his North American tour to promote his latest album Rasta Got Soul, as members of the gay community aggressively picketed every venue the 'Gargamel' was slated to perform. They got the upper hand as Buju conceded to a meeting with a group in San Francisco last Monday. However, Buju made no promises about changing his opinions on the taboo community.


Now fellow Rastafarian reggae artiste Sizzla Kalonji is facing the latest verbal outbursts on his European tour.


Late last week, a concert venue said it would cancel his show in Denmark if he did not change his anti-gay stance.


However, the threat was later withdrawn.


The artiste, whose real name is Miguel Collins, was scheduled to perform at the Danish venue Pumpehuset last night.


The Copenhagen Post claimed Sizzla said he was a 'role model' for young people in Jamaica and stood by his anti-gay stance. He was quoted as saying he only signed the Reggae Compassionate Act so he could continue performing in Europe.


However, Sizzla replied shortly after on Pumpehuset's website saying he was misquoted.


"It is clear that what I have said has been misconstrued in an interview I had given since I have been on tour. Some who are interviewed, granted interviews in good faith, others may have other motives or axes to grind but I have none," the statement said.


equal rights and justice


It continued: "I believe in peace, equal rights and justice for all mankind and malice towards none. The Reggae Compassionate Act was signed with that belief and it will not change. Me signing the Reggae Compassionate Act is my unflinching belief and commitment towards its goals. In all my shows that I have done so far, I have not wavered from that commitment, which will stand to a lasting testimony."


When contacted, Sizzla's publicist, Olimatta Taal, confirmed on Sunday night that the concert was still scheduled for last night.


Sizzla was not available for a comment but Taal says she speaks on his behalf.


"It is evident that Sizzla and other artistes in the reggae industry are being attacked. These organisations have protested concerts and used the press as a tool to push their agenda. Many concerts have been cancelled as a result of their actions and lots of money have been lost. There is a bigger picture that I think these organisations are not looking at," she told THE STAR.


She added: "Sizzla and the other reggae artistes are all products of a strong, rich Caribbean culture with certain values and principles. They have all been moulded by environments that are a marriage of love and hate, poor and rich, Christian and Rasta, peace and violence. They use reggae music as a way to express themselves, be the voice of the voiceless and the marginalised. Most times the topics they discuss and sing about are controversial but that is the beauty of reggae music and its mother Rastafari. "


Buju Banton's meeting with the gay group in San Francisco has received mixed responses. While some said it was overdue, others questioned his moral mettle.


Buju, who recently relinquished a portion of his estate in an out of court settlement with long-time domestic partner Lorna Strachan, said in the meeting they spoke and he listened and he spoke and they listened.


One of the gay activists noted that Buju's views were shaped by Jamaica's homophobic behaviour and anti-buggering laws.


Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch wrote to Prime Minister Bruce Golding urging action to stem endemic violence against gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Jamaica.


Just last week, during the debate on the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Golding reiterated that the country's Parliament would not recognise same-sex marriage or union while he was in power.


"I make no apology in saying decisively and emphatically that the Government of Jamaica remains irrevocably opposed to the recognition, legitimisation or acceptance of same-sex marriages or same-sex unions," Golding declared at the debate last Tuesday.


Taal pointed out that Jamaica's views on homosexuality is not unique and that the gay community is being selective with its demonstrations.


"The whole world is torn around the issues of homosexuality and homophobia but reggae music is the scapegoat with reggae artistes as the targets," she said. "The lovers and supporters of reggae music must stand up and unite to protect reggae artistes and reggae music, which are misunderstood."

2 more suspects for Terry's murder .....

1 comments
According to the Jamaica Observer Oct 21, 2009 two more suspects were held for Terry's murder - MONTEGO BAY, St James - Two men were held in the Bushy Park area of St Catherine Friday in connection with the murder of John Terry, the former British honorary consul who was murdered in St James last month.

TERRY... was found dead at his home in Mount Carey, St James on September 9.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green, one of the men is from St James, while the other resides in Bushy Park.

Their detention brings to three, the number of persons that have so far been held in connection with the much-publicised murder.

Earlier this month, a 23-year-old man- whose name is still being withheld by the police- was arrested in St Catherine.

Green told reporters in Montego Bay that the first suspect, who is charged with attempted murder and wounding in unrelated matters, is to face an identification parade soon.

He stressed, however, that the 23-year-old is still being interrogated in connection with Terry's murder.

The other two, the assistant commissioner added, are being interviewed and at least one, he noted, is likely to face an identification parade.

Terry was found dead at his home in Mount Carey, St James on September 9.

His body was nude and he appeared to have been beaten with a blunt object. The body was wrapped in a sheet and a post-mortem revealed that the man was strangled to death.

Residents of Mount Carey said a man was seen running from Terry's home the night before the body was found.

Green, meanwhile, said that the investigations into the former British consul's death was progressing satisfactorily.

"I am very much satisfied. We have made some good strides," he said. "We have had good support from the residents of St James and Jamaica as a whole, and we have been provided with some good information from witnesses."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let the dust settle ..........

7 comments
Presently the war of words with the Gay community's campaign in the US specifically San Francisco with the murder music fallout concerning Buju Banton's Boom Bye Bye song is drowning out the rational thinking and important discussion on tolerance and how to move forward as people despite sexual orientation with everyone taking sides on the issue of homosexuality in Jamaica.

With Buju supposedly no end to the war comment reiterated on a radio program recently that has created a firestorm from the groups and individuals who are already incensed from the meeting with gay representatives in San Francisco they called for financial donations to JFLAG among other things which were deemed unrealistic. I am of the view that with heated exchanges and cross and counter cross bickering we won't see the possible solutions and or ideas for us to move forward.


Find more audio posts like this on GLBTQ Jamaica Members' LINKUP, send an email to lgbtevent@gmail.com to be approved

Scroll to the title that matches this post title double click or press play once highlighted to hear the audio response) (ignore snapvine references as they are now closed {March 31st 2010} as recorded then as my original audio hosts)

Mutabaruka's Cutting Edge Program - Buju Meets With Gays radio discussion with Buju via phone
(Muta photographed)

Buju Banton may never capitulate to the strong opposition from the GLBT community and in the backyard of the most powerful gay lobby community that there may be in the world. He is now reportedly relegated to smaller venues with patronage to the tour being just the West Indian community, some African Americans and a few white supporters which includes gays with some many dates cancelled upon last count by yours truly:
50 dates booked and more in the works
App 32 shows cancelled
9+ reschedules

these of course are figures known from the Cancel Buju Banton site

This obviously is not a successful tour as being hailed by his management and certain members of the local media. In fairness in looking at this issues and all sides contending Buju has made some comments following the meeting in presenting his new image including this one from a recent newspaper article:

"I love everyone in the world. I don't love no special group from another group. There are other needy organisations out there."

If Mr. Mark Myrie, Buju's real name has moved on from his naive youthful exuberance when he first recorded and performed Boom Bye Bye some 17 years ago which also raises the question about a youth's ability to come up with such awful lyrics at his age of 16 begs examination as well, why doesn't he and his management pull the song and distance himself from such horrible lyrics calling for the death of a set of persons he doesn't like?

If Rastafari is to represent love and he Buju Banton has seen the light then do the right thing, just separate himself from this evil past. Some critics like Mutabaruka, a Rastafarian poet and public persona I have a lot of respect for, has said as bourne in the recording above that Buju Banton has turned a new page and has not recorded lyrics that advocate hate and violence since his conversion to Rastafari then why doesn't Muta encourage Buju Banton then as a senior statesman in the Rastafari movement to pull the song from the market and disassociate himself from any such derogatory remarks of death and mayhem towards GLBT people?

The Record is 17 years old

In this digital age recordings be they audio or video have a longer shelf life and it's not like this recording is going to go away these are not the days of old vinyl 12'' and 45s recording where records get lost or damaged from overplay and poor care of the discs and fade from popularity, the public including young kids have direct access to this and similar kinds of materials, it's on YouTube and other social media and can be downloaded from free mp3 sites, blogs and engines just the same, so the argument that he recorded the song some 17 years ago is not the issue and is a poor excuse to justify the continued preservation of such materials.

There will always be new listeners especially the impressionable youths would will believe this kind of rally cry and with all the craziness out there who knows there may just be someone who takes it literally and decides to act. I think we lost a golden opportunity to speak to Buju about this rationally without asking for unrealistic goals and basically insulting his intelligence in fairness to ask for him to donate money to GLBT people here. I am certainly not interested in any money from murder music and not asking him to "buy" his way into our favour.

We have get our heads clear and work when the dust settles to have continued meaningful dialogue where possible.

In the meantime still a deafening silence from the rest of the dancehall community including other murder music artists like Capleton, Sizzla, Elephant Man and Mavado.

Peace
H

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gays may have overstepped their bounds giving Buju ultimatum says human rights activist

2 comments
Human rights activist Yvonne McCalla Sobers, photographed, convener of Families Against Terrorism, FAST is contending that the overseas gay community may have overstepped its bounds in the demands put to local artist Buju Banton in a recent meeting following the impasse in the Cancel Buju Banton agitations where protest and boycotts were levied chiefly due to Buju's song Boom Bye Bye and his call for the killing of gays.

News came earlier this week that Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie met with representatives of the gay community, following the cancellation of several of his concerts.

However Mrs. McCalla-Sobers who was speaking Sunday on RJR's weekly news review programme "That's a Rap!" argued that international gay organizations may have pushed too hard and may have been working at cross purposes to the aims of the local gay community.

According to Radio Jamaica she said she has spoken with persons in the local gay community directly and through workshops and during these discussions, the rights they were interested in were not those put forward to Buju Banton by the international gay community.

"If discrimination and the buggery law were some of the issues raised by the international gay community I would say yes you have been speaking to persons here and this is what matter.

But I'm not sure about any of those issues that they raised and how in fact these may create the local backlash that the local gay community may not want to experience,"

Mrs. McCalla Sobers commented on Sunday October 18, 2009 on Radio Jamaica's RJR weekly news review programme That's a Rap!.

The California-based gay activists reportedly demanded that the DJ hold town hall meetings to profess respect and love for gays, make donations to Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) and sing songs about loving gay people.

Buju Banton and his management team reportedly rejected out right all the suggestions put on the table.


(excerpts from RJR)

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17/10/09

0 comments

"The campaign to make poverty history-a central moral challenge of our age-cannot remain a task for the few, it must become a calling for the many. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I urge everyone to join this struggle. Together, we can make real and sufficient progress towards the end of poverty."

United Nations Ex-Secretary-General, Kofi Annan"Excerpts taken from his message to be delivered on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October 2006".

October 17, 2009 marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The poverty rate in the United States has now risen to 13.2 percent, the highest level in eleven years of course developed states are used as a benchmark of sorts. And around the world, two billion people, or a full third of humanity, are poor, living on less than $2 a day. One billion live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1 a day. The latest numbers from the United Nations indicate that over a billion people are also going hungry. Irene Khan argues that these harsh numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. Poverty, the book argues, must be recognized as the world’s worst human rights crisis.
The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on October 17 th to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. Replicas of the commemorative stone have been unveiled around the world and serve as a gathering place to celebrate the Day.

One such replica is located in the garden of United Nations Headquarters and is the site of the annual commemoration organized by the United Nations Secretariat in New York. Through resolution 47/196 adopted on 22 December 1992, the General Assembly declared 17 October as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invited all States to devote the Day to presenting and promoting, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities with regard to the eradication of poverty and destitution.

The resolution further invites intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to assist States, at their request, in organizing national activities for the observance of the Day, and requests the Secretary-General to take, within existing resources, the measures necessary to ensure the success of the Day's observance by the United Nations. October 17th presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of October 17 th also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

GA Resolution A/RES/47/196 of 31 March 1993
Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International. Born in Bangladesh, she is the first Asian woman to head Amnesty International. She won the Sydney Peace Prize in 2006, and her book, out in the US today, is called The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights.
H

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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

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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