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 29, 2010

Trinidad happenings: Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) on "His Way Out Ministries" tour there .......

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When Phillip Lee (left) gets on a plane on October 29th and leaves our shores, the story of the His Way Out Ministries’ visit to multireligious T&T will not be about a “reformed” American gay man who came to combat growing acceptance of homosexuality here…to deliver a message that homosexuality is acquired…reinforce the Lordship of Christ and the authority of scripture, which says homosexuality is a sin…and spread the news that no one has been delivered from homosexuality except through Christ.

UN Right to Education Special Rapporteur Vernor Muñoz said sex education is a human right

It will instead be about three other stories:

that the GLBT community in T&T is ready to organize and advocate visibly for equality; that public opinion in T&T is that gay people should be able to live their lives; andthat young people care about something other than themselves, and that they hold a vision for citizenship that is about taking care of each other and standing up for what they believe in.


The mainstream media hasn’t been very interested in this last story. Even when the young people organizing to demonstrate an alternative local vision to Lee and his hosts’ visited media houses to tell their story, except in the case of Power 102, they didn’t think young people’s agency and vision that newsworthy. But a few journalists did.


Please follow this story on CAISO/GSPOTT Blog: HERE

Let us not forget that this same Ministry along with Phillip Lee was in Jamaica some time ago
Stokely Marshall, LCFJ President and Pastor Phillip Lee Pastor Phillip Lee, Sir Patrick Allen, Stokeley Marshall
Stokeley Marshall, then President of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship and Pastor Phillip Lee, (centre in the photo on right) Executive Director of His Way Out Ministries based in California, USA outside of Kings House just before paying a courtesy call on the Governor General of Jamaica His Excellency Sir Patrick Allen on May 26, 2009. His Way Out Ministries is a Christian based ministry that supposedly provides support for men and women who seek freedom from unwanted same sex attraction.

Peace and tolerance

H

LGBT History Month - Symbols & their meanings

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Where did they all come from and what do they mean?

Gay men and gay women.
Bisexual.
Transgender.
___________________________


The rainbow flag is the most widely used and recognized symbol of the gay pride movement. The flag was developed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978. At the time, there was a need for a gay symbol which could be used year after year for the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade. Baker took inspiration from many sources--the hippie movement to the black civil rights movement--and came up with a flag with eight stripes.

Baker explained that his colors each stood for a different aspect of gay and lesbian life:

  • Hot pink for sexuality.

  • Red for life.

  • Orange for healing.

  • Yellow for the sun.

  • Green for nature.

  • Blue for art.

  • Indigo for harmony.

  • Violet for spirit.


Baker and thirty volunteers hand-stitched and hand-dyed the flags for the 1978 parade, and they were an instant hit. But when he took his design to the San Francisco Flag Co. to have it mass-produced for the 1979 parade, he had to remove the hot pink stripe. At that time, pink was not a commercially available color.

Later that year, when Harvey Milk, was assassinated, the 1979 Pride Parade Committee realized that baker's flag was the perfect symbol under which the LGBT community should unite. The committee got rid of the indigo stripe to make the colors evenly divisible along the parade route: red, orange, and yellow on one side of the street; green, blue, and purple on the other.

This is the flag we see, and use, and fly, today.
________________________


Most everybody recognizes the Pink triangle as a symbol taken directly from the Nazi concentration camps. When concentration camps are mentioned, most people tend to think of the Holocaust--for good reason--but the fact is that there were many homosexual prisoners in those camps as well.

The real story of the Pink Triangle began prior to World War II, Paragraph 175, a clause in German law, prohibited homosexual relations. In 1935, during Hitler's rise to power, he extended this law to include homosexual kissing, embracing, and even homosexual fantasies. Over 25,000 people were convicted under this law between 1937 and 1939 alone, and were sent to prisons and later concentration camps. Their sentence also included sterilization, most commonly in the form of castration. In 1942, Hitler extended the punishment for homosexuality to death.

Prisoners in Nazi concentration camps were labeled according to their crimes by inverted colored triangles.

  • Green triangles were for regular criminals.

  • Red triangles were for political prisoners.

  • Two overlapping yellow triangles--to form the Star of David--were given to Jewish prisoners.

  • Pink triangles were given to homosexual prisoners.

  • Pink and Yellow overlapping triangles went to gay Jews, the lowest form of prisoner.


Although homosexual prisoners were not shipped en mass to the Auschwitz death camps like so many of the Jewish prisoners, there were still large numbers of gay men executed along with other non-Jewish prisoners. The real tragedy though occurred after the war. When the Allies defeated the Germany and the Nazi Regime, the political and remaining Jewish prisoners were released from the camps; the regular criminals were not released for obvious reasons.

The homosexual prisoners were never released though because Paragraph 175 remained West German law until 1969, so gay men and women watched other prisoners freed, and then spent another twenty-four years in prison.

In the 1970s, the pink triangle was used in conjunction with the gay liberation movement, and in the 80s, ACT-UP [AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power] adopted the it as their symbol, but turned it upright to suggest an active fight rather than passive resignation.

There are also people who were the triangle pointing up if they know someone who has died of AIDS.

The pink triangle is a symbol closely connected to oppression and the fight against it, and stands as a vow never to let another Holocaust happen again. Like the word "queer," it is a symbol of hate which has been reclaimed and now stands for pride.
______________________


One symbol which continues to remain popular is the lower case Greek letter lambda. It was originally chosen by the Gay Activists Alliance of New York in 1970--a group which broke away from the larger Gay Liberation Front at the end of 1969, six months after it's foundation in response to the Stonewall Riots.

Because of its official adoption by the GAA, which sponsored public events for the gay community, the lambda soon became a quick way for the members of the gay community to identify each other. The reasoning was that the lambda would easily be mistaken for a college fraternity symbol and ignored by the majority of the population.

Other meanings of the lambda symbol include:

  • The Greek letter "L" stands for "liberation."

  • The Spartans believed that the lambda represented unity.

  • The Romans took it to mean; "the light of knowledge shining into the darkness of ignorance."

  • The synergy which results when gays and lesbians work together towards a common goal.

  • The theory that straights and gays, or gays and lesbians, or any pairing of these three, are on different wavelengths when it comes to sex, sexuality, or even brain patterns.

  • An iconic rendering of the scales of justice and the constant force that keeps opposing sides from overcoming each other. The hook at the bottom of the right leg would then signify the action and initiative needed to reach and maintain balance.


Whatever the lambda meant or means today, it's everywhere. Even though at one time it acquired a strictly male connotation, it is used by both gays and lesbians today. Back in December of 1974, the lambda was officially declared the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights by the International Gay Rights Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland.
_________________

The Red Ribbon Project was created by singer/songwriter Paul Jabara and the New York-based Visual AIDS group in 1991. Visual AIDS is a charity group of art professionals aimed at recognizing and honoring friends and colleagues who are dying, or have died, of AIDS. Visual AIDS not only encourages art organizations, galleries, museums, and other AIDS organizations to commemorate those who have died of AIDS, but also to educate the public about the transmission of AIDS and HIV and the needs of those living with AIDS.

The red ribbon was originally inspired by the yellow ribbons prominently displayed during the Gulf War in support of U.S. soldiers. The color red was chosen because it is the color of blood and its symbolic connection to passion and love. The red ribbon made its public debut when host Jeremy Irons wore it during the 1991 Tony Awards. Since then, wearing the red ribbon has become a fashion statement and extremely politically correct.

There are those who feel that the red ribbon has lost it's importance, and is now simply lip service to AIDS causes, however, the Red Ribbon Project is still going strong and remains a driving force behind AIDS awareness. It is the Project's sincerest hope that one day it will no longer be needed.

The White Knot.
The symbol for Marriage Equality.
The White Knot is the symbol for marriage equality.
Wear it to show your support and to create conversation.
Use it to tell everyone that equal rights are important.
Share it so that all loving couples can have the same rights.

Everybody deserves the right to Tie The Knot!

PNP-YO: fight homosexuality – Friday November 16, 1979 (Jamaica Daily News Letter) (Flashback)

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PNP-YO: fight homosexuality –

Friday November 16, 1979 (Flashback)

The PNP Youth Organization says it is seriously concerned about the growth of homosexuality particularly among certain students and is calling on its members and youth in general to take steps to “combat and remove this activity from the Jamaican society”

The organization said the matter has been made more acute in the face of increasing economic hardships which made young people more vulnerable to financial manipulation by adult homosexuals.

At a PNP YO Central Committee meeting over the weekend concern was expressed over certain social ills and the committee said it was calling on Government, the PNP and the Jamaican people especially the youth to take immediate action.


A second matter was the growing increase of hard drugs including cocaine which the YO said was being pushed almost openly among young people.

The Organization claimed there had been very little action by the Police Force and the state in this matter and suggested that the Security Forces concentrate on the distributors pushers and users of hard drugs rather than the present harassment and prosecution of ganja smokers.

In addition the YO called on the Parliamentary Committee investigating the use of ganja to speedily complete its work and make recommendations to government.An advice also went out for the youth not to allow political tribal war to recur.

The Jamaica Daily News.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Obama tells bloggers he's "evolving" on gay marriage

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President Barack Obama told a group of liberal bloggers Wednesday that his views on same-sex marriage, which he has previously opposed, are evolving and that society is moving in the direction of granting marriage rights to same-sex couples.

"I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine," Obama said in response to a question from Joe Subday of Americablog.

"I think that it is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships.

I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents. And I care about them deeply," Obama continued. "And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about. That’s probably the best you’ll do out of me today." Later, Obama seemed to suggest that legalization of gay marriage is inevitable.
"The one thing I will say today is I think it’s pretty clear where the trend lines are going," he added. Gay rights activists, many of whom have been deeply disappointed in Obama for failing thus far to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act--and for continuing to defend those laws in the courts, were heartened by Obama's comments. Some said Obama seemed to be laying the groundwork to change his position on same-sex marriage before a likely re-election campaign in 2012.

"Presidents don't usually think out loud unless they intend to send a signal that they are shifting a position," said Richard Socarides, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton on gay issues. "I think [Obama] realizes he can't run as a gay rights advocate in 2012 and be against marriage equality. People see domestic partnerships are separate but equal."

Elsewhere in the interview, Obama revealed that he has asked a gay GOP group, the Log Cabin Republicans, to help him win between two and five Republican votes for repeal of the measure in the Senate.

The Violence Of Intolerance

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Navanethem Pillay, Contributor
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

In the past few weeks, we have seen a spate of attacks directed against people perceived as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. In Belgrade on October 10, a group of protesters shouting abuse hurled Molotov cocktails and stun grenades into a peaceful gay pride parade, injuring 150 people.

In New York on October 3, three young men, believed to be gay, were kidnapped, taken to a vacant apartment in the Bronx and subjected to appalling torture and physical abuse. In South Africa, a large-scale march in Soweto brought attention to the widespread rape of lesbians in the townships, which perpetrators often try to justify as an attempt to 'correct' the victims' sexuality.

A veil of silence

Homophobia, like racism and xenophobia, exists to varying degrees in all societies. Every day, in every country, individuals are persecuted, vilified or violently assaulted, and even killed, because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Covert or overt, homophobic violence causes enormous suffering which is often shrouded in a veil of silence and endured in isolation.

It is time we all spoke up. For while responsibility for hate crimes rests with the perpetrators themselves, we all share a duty to counter intolerance and prejudice and demand that attackers be held to account.

The first priority is to press for decriminali-sation of homo-sexuality worldwide. In more than 70 countries, individuals still face criminal sanctions on the basis of their sexual orientation. The existence of such laws exposes those concerned to the constant risk of arrest, detention and, in some cases, torture or even execution. It also perpetuates stigma and contributes to a climate of intolerance and violence.

No help from politicians, media

Sadly, too often those who should be exercising restraint or using their influence to promote tolerance do just the opposite, reinforcing popular prejudice. In Uganda, for example, where violence against people based on their sexual orientation is commonplace and human-rights activists defending the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people face harassment and the threat of arrest, a newspaper on October 2 published a front page story 'outing' 100 Ugandans who the newspaper identified as gay or lesbian and whose photographs were carried alongside the headline 'Hang them'. It is time we recognised such journalism for what it is: incitement to hatred and violence.

Political leaders and those who aspire to public office have a particularly important duty to use their words wisely. The candidate for public office who, rather than appealing for tolerance, makes casual remarks denigrating people on the basis of their sexuality may do so in the belief that he or she is indulging in harmless populism, but the effect is to legitimise homophobia.

Last month in Geneva, I spoke at a panel discussion on decriminalising homo-sexuality, sponsored by a diverse group of 14 countries from Europe, North America, South America and Asia. In a video message, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu lent his support and spoke with passion about the lessons of apartheid and the challenge of securing equal rights for all. "Whenever one group of human beings is treated as inferior to another, hatred and intolerance will triumph," he said. It should not take hundreds more deaths and beatings to convince us of this truth. It is up to all of us to demand equality for all our fellow human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

Navanethem Pillay is United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Feedback may be sent to columns@gleanerjm.com.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MSM homelessness issues

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So last evening (October 27th) while making my way to work I met a friend of mine who was worried about the population of males mostly who congregate at certain sections of Kingston especially at nights. Some of these brothers, transvestites and drag divas openly flirt with their friends in full view of the public much to their possible harm it is also no secret that many of them are engaged in commercial sex activities.
The horror stories continue to come to hand from the men themselves when I see them at parties or on my way about in Kingston sometimes or from others who they may have related the matters to.

There was a shooting incident as outlined on GLBTQ JA Wordpress edition some time ago by a taxi driver who witnessed the event and related his account of it. See the story linked below:

Shots fired at homeless gays in Kingston, homeless situation spiraling out of control

and also

As recent as Saturday last one well known individual in the community was chased by a group of men in New Kingston allegedly for harbouring a youth in his company. The men apparently felt the youth would have been sexually harmed by the man but it turned out to be his "spoogy" or "prentice" as they sell cigarettes and other items at club spots and intersections around to make a buck. The police have also been accused yet again of abuse usually by rounding up the men and random searches coupled with verbal abuses and rough treatment.

copyright - property of zazzle

Go HERE to see posts from GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger related to other police harassment accusation and cases.

and HERE from this blog of previous accounts and articles.

The openness of the men in being who they are is welcomed in as far as being out and proud is concerned but the possible harm from ignorant homophobes or down-low men who dislike public effeminate behaviour is very much real. The chases on foot and by car have been heard of, the verbal abuses, the police harassment are building and nothing from the advocates thus far in trying to alleviate this major set of issues, instead they themselves have employed strict security measures for the property that houses the office along with armed guards now. Looks like wi fraid a wi own shadow to rhatid.

So what can we do folks?

To get the guys off the streets now after being used to such "freedom" in a sense maybe ticklish as it may not be a smooth ride to adjust them to rules, order and a possible confined space in the form of a homeless shelter with structured activities. It bothers me that we can't seriously do something about this, as my friend said in relating his concerns to me "We may have to save them from themselves" a sad comment coming from the LBGT community at this time when we all together are already given the BS from general society.

Simply giving them a "smalls" of money is not enough and it shouldn't be that they should have to be lazy and begging also as some are in fact there because of plain indiscipline it is clear that not all of them are angels as we know this but why can't we put some opportunities to make them active and not idle or possible educational activities especially for the younger guys as many of them are in their late teens to early twenties with at least one new comer to the downtown group attending school and skips classes deliberately to hang out with the older guys. It is said his mother is not so interested after hearing of his alleged homosexual leanings.

The not so new phenom of drag queens or cross dressers who in most instances look really good as women I am told even trick gay men who traverse the areas where they congregate have been prancing on the streets late at nights with their other friends who do have material wealth who sometimes pass by in noisy music filled expensive motor vehicles and SUVs thus making themselves targets of the cops and anti corruption teams who are looking for credit card and other money fraudsters as well. They have publicly stated sometime ago that they will be cracking down on persons within the gay community as well who are alleged to be involved in these rackets. Given all of that plus the general crack down as well on commercial sex activities in New Kingston and the surrounding business and hip strips the men are constantly on the move. The particular park where they gather and hustle at nights until the late hours if the morning as well has been targeted by the police in which they have their job to do but the raucous behaviour of the men and divas coupled with the growing anger that seems to be mounting from members of the public, taxi drivers and the security guards around at other businesses does not auger well for the MSM's safety I fear.

Other suggestions:
Proper well timed and structured stabilization interventions PRIOR to any educational and skills building activities

Counselling support for both active persons in the interventions and parents and guardians of same where possible

Empowerment programs and self efficacious activity to get persons to also chart their own route to personal development

Training as possible peer educators with other homeless persons who are not apart of the running program(s) at the time

Inter-community cultural activities as a cathartic release mechanism and raising the visibility of these persons in the community with a view to support from within.

Public education campaign(s) to raise awareness and participation from the LGBT body politic

Finding and adopting best practices from other jurisdictions on shelter management and care of residents therein.

Long term goals for permanent housing facility for displaced persons and or victims of homophobia, disabled persons of LGBTQIA orientation, skills training incorporated in structure

Talk therapy and other psychological exercises for participants meshed with the self efficacious activities aforementioned

Liaising with related groups, individuals and organizations with the needed skill-sets  expertise and capacities

Having successful clients of the program(s)/initiative(s) becoming spokespersons so as to encourage following residents/clients in their own development

A transitional residential facility preferably located in an uninhabited or low populated green space for less visibility to a prying public and also for a relaxative environment for introspection 

With the arrest as well of two of the group members from the downtown population earlier this year also is disturbing as reports suggests they have been abused while incarcerated. One was charged for buggery apparently towards another based on an alleged erroneous report that they were cousins having sex, the cousin is said to be under aged. Another man who has been at a St. Catherine lockup for an illegal firearm charge for some time is also being beaten by other inmates in his cell as he was allegedly outed by select officers at the facility where he is housed which is not surprising.

Please friends let us wrap our heads around how we can begin to tackle this major problem if it is not by only reaching one at a time, some young man who looks promising and encourage him to begin on the road to change and development, that is of course until some major interventions happen.

There are a few others who have gained employment and are slowly adjusting to normal life if there is such a thing for a gay man in this country but as far as a having a roof over ones head and an income that's a start. This is good news coming from this long standing problem exacerbated with the closure of a shelter some time ago and an elitist position taken by some people who ought to know and do better.

Bigotry even within the systems that are here to serve us?

Mek wi watch dis nuh and have hope fi di yute dem.

Peace and tolerance

H

click the "Homeless MSM: tab immediately below for previous exclusive entries on homelessness 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Court of Appeal Manitoba Canada: When a condom carefully used or viral load undetectable no significant risk of HIV transmission

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Update: Court of Appeal decision on Mabior Case in Manitoba

Last February, the Legal Network intervened before the Court of Appeal of Manitoba in the Mabior case. Last week the Court of Appeal decided that there in this case there was no duty to disclose when a condom is carefully used or when his viral load was undetectable. Read on for more information on the decision and the implications of this decision on other cases concerning criminalization of HIV non-disclosure and exposure. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Network at info@aidslaw.ca or 416-595-1666.


Court of Appeal of Manitoba - R. v. Mabior, 2010 MBCA 93

For a person living with HIV to be convicted of (aggravated) (sexual) assault for HIV non-disclosure, the risk of HIV transmission must be significant. Based on the facts and medical evidence presented in this case, the Court of Appeal decided that when a condom was carefully used or when the accused’s viral load was undetectable there was no significant risk of HIV transmission. Therefore there was no duty to disclose in those situations. The appellant, who was convicted on six counts of aggravated sexual assault for HIV non-disclosure at trial, was acquitted on four counts when a condom was carefully used or when his viral load was undetectable.

Mabior was diagnosed HIV-positive on January 14, 2004. At the time of his diagnosis, and numerous times thereafter, he was advised by a public health nurse to inform his sexual partners of his HIV status and to always use condoms. The accused began antiretroviral therapy (ART) shortly after his diagnosis. The therapy resulted in an undetectable viral load between early October 2004 and December 2005. From January 2004 to March 2006, he engaged in sexual intercourse with multiple women without disclosing his status.

At trial, Mabior was convicted on six counts of aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing his status to his partners. He was sentenced to fourteen years’ incarceration. The total sentence included additional convictions that were not related to HIV non-disclosure. The decision was appealed before the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

The principal issue on the appeal was whether the trial judge erred in her application of the legal test of “significant risk of serious bodily harm” (i.e. significant risk of HIV transmission) in the particular circumstances of the case. Since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Cuerrier, a person living with HIV can be convicted of (aggravated) (sexual) assault for not disclosing his/her status to a partner before engaging in an activity that represents a significant risk of HIV transmission. The trial judge considered that even when a condom is used there is a significant risk of HIV transmission for the purpose of the criminal law and reached the same conclusion for an undetectable viral load. According to the trial judge, the risk would only be sufficiently reduced when a person has both an undetectable viral load AND uses a condom.

The Court of Appeal refused to follow the trial judge’s and Crown’s reasoning and stated very clearly that the test set out in Cuerrier was not a “no risk” test but required the presence of a significant risk. The Court further explained that: “[s]ignificant risk means something other than an ordinary risk. It means an important, serious, substantial risk.” The Court of Appeal also stated that “[l]egal assessments of risk in this area should be consistent with the available medical studies” and acknowledged that “[t]he application of the legal test in Cuerrier must evolve to account appropriately for the development in the science of HIV treatment.” As a result, the Court decided that the careful use of condom OR an undetectable viral load can reduce the level of risk below the threshold test of a “significant risk.”

Based on these findings, Mabior was acquitted with respect to four counts when he carefully used a condom but did not have an undetectable viral load OR had an undetectable viral load but did not use a condom.

While this decision is heading in the right direction by recognising that—based on science—people should not be convicted when they carefully use a condom or have an undetectable viral load, the Court of Appeal does not provide absolute certainty in the application of the law. The Court has been very cautious and refused to make a general statement that condom use or an undetectable viral load would automatically preclude criminal liability. It will depend on the facts and the medical evidence available in each case. For instance, it remains open to the Crown to prove that additional factors increased the risk of transmission in a particular case (e.g. a condom was not carefully used, use was inconsistent or that the accused had another sexually transmitted infection at the time he/she had sex which might have led to a spike in the viral load) or bring medical evidence that would show that there was a significant risk of transmission.

Also, according to the Court, if a condom breaks, the person living with HIV has a duty to disclose his/her status even if the sexual intercourse is interrupted. The Court was concerned about the ensuring that the exposed partner has access to post-exposure treatments. However, we believe there should be no duty to disclose if the person had an undetectable viral load when the condom broke if there is no additional factor to increase the risk of transmission.

Another interesting point in the decision is that the Court of Appeal recognised that the nature of the disease has evolved with the availability of treatments and that HIV is no longer a death sentence. The Court continues to consider that HIV transmission is a serious bodily harm for the purpose of the criminal law. However, the Court questions the fact that exposing someone to a significant risk of HIV transmission is still considered as “endangering” one’s life. A (sexual) assault will only amount to an aggravated (sexual) assault, which carries a higher maximum penalty, if the conduct of an accused endangers the life of a complainant. The Court of appeal was not called upon to determine this issue. Therefore, this part of the decision is only an opinion (obiter comments). However, it shows that the Court took into account the evolution of the disease in its reflection with respect to the application of some existing offences to HIV non-disclosure.

Lower courts (trial courts) in Manitoba will be bound by the decision of the Court of Appeal, which means that, in Manitoba, a person living with HIV cannot be convicted for (aggravated) (sexual) assault for not disclosing HIV positive status if a condom is carefully used or he/she has an undetectable viral load unless it is proven that, given the specific circumstances of the case, the risk of transmission is increased by additional factors. Outside Manitoba, the decision will not be binding but is likely to influence lower courts and Courts of Appeal from other provinces in Canada. However, as of now, we cannot exclude the possibility that the decision might be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The decision limiting the scope of the criminal law to the very circumstances where the risk of HIV transmission is real has great merit. It clearly rejects the Crown’s argument that sex can never be consensual in the case of non-disclosure. The Court recognizes that this is not the law in Canada and that the “[c]riminal sanctions should be reserved for those deliberate, irresponsible or reckless individuals who do not respond to public health directives and who are truly blameworthy.”

Again, we welcome the decision of the Court for recognizing that either condom use or an undetectable viral load can be sufficient to preclude criminal liability. However, we regret that it does not provide certainty that, in all cases, the use of a condom or an undetectable viral load will remove the requirement to disclose.

Disagreement keeps Buju in US jail

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BY PAUL HENRY Observer staff reporter
henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

REGGAE artiste Buju Banton's release from a US jail has hit another snag due to a disagreement with the prosecution over the security company he wants to hire for his 24-hour security detail.

The disagreement is such that the parties will be heading back to the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court for the matter to be reviewed by Magistrate Judge Anthony E Porcelli tomorrow.

"The defence can't get the prosecutor to agree to the security company," a source close to the matter told the Observer.

As part of his bail conditions, it was stipulated that Banton be placed under house arrest, have a 24-hour security detail, at his expense, and wear an electronic monitoring device. The security detail is to ensure that Banton does not violate the terms of his house arrest.

Judge Porcelli had also ruled that the government agree with whatever security arrangement Banton is putting in place.

Banton, whose real is Mark Anthony Myrie, was offered bail in the sum of $250,000 bail after his cocaine and gun trial ended in September with a hung jury.

A retrial is slated for some time in December.

The Observer reported last week that the four-time Grammy nominee artiste was having problems taking up his bail because of the strict conditions set by Judge Porcelli.

Banton was arrested at his Tamara, Florida, home last December and charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute five killogrammes of cocaine, and possession of a weapon during the furtherance of a crime.

Under the terms of the house arrest, Banton can only leave his house for meetings with his attorney, for doctor's appointments, to purchase medication and for court-appointed hearings. He will also be subjected to drug testing.

He will have to surrender all his travel documents.

After clearing this hurdle of satisfying the bail conditions, Banton's legal team will have to seek bond in the immigration court. Banton's entertainment visa was revoked following his arrest.

The conditions were set as there were concerns that the artiste may be a flight risk.

Frailty, Bone Disease and Vitamin D Deficiency: An Update From the 1st International Workshop on HIV & Aging

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This is part of a series of articles summarizing presentations from the 1st International Workshop on HIV & Aging, which took place in Baltimore, Md., from Oct. 4 to Oct. 5, 2010. Jump to the table of contents to see the other articles in this series.

Frailty and Aging With HIV

The program was kicked off by Luigi Ferrucci, M.D., Ph.D., who gave the first presentation on frailty. He works in geriatrics and presented general data from previous studies in the aging HIV-negative population. He presented compelling data that showed people lose lean body mass (via a syndrome called "age-related sarcopenia") and strength as they age, and those decreases are correlated to higher mortality. Also, inflammation markers such as interleukin-6 increase with age, and levels of over 2.5 pg/ml in the blood have been linked to disability due to loss of muscle strength and mass. He also added that aging-related inflammation can decrease brain volume and may be implicated in depression and other health issues.


Joseph Margolick, M.D., Ph.D., presented previously published frailty data from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), an ongoing study that since 1984 has enrolled 6,972 men who have sex with men (MSM) in four U.S. cities. Some of these men got infected with HIV since they enrolled, and have been followed up before and after infection. He presented data on a total of 1,045 men with HIV who were followed. About 75 percent of them had an undetectable HIV viral load.

Margolick and his team attempted to determine whether frailty was more common among HIV-positive gay men than HIV-negative gay men. They defined frailty by creating a "frailty-related phenotype" (FRP) -- i.e., a measurement of the physical characteristics of frailty. The FRP was based on a brief survey that assessed four components of frailty: weight loss ("Since your last visit, have you had unintentional weight loss of at least 10 pounds?"), exhaustion ("During the past four weeks, as a result of your physical health, have you had difficulty performing your work or other activities [for example, it took extra effort]?"), slowness ("Does your health now limit you in walking several blocks?"), and low physical activity level ("Does your health now limit you in vigorous activities, such as running, lifting heavy objects, participating in strenuous sports?"). A participant was considered as having FRP at the visit if the answer to at least three of the four questions was "yes." (The assessment of weakness [e.g., grip strength] was not incorporated into the MACS protocol until October 2005 and therefore could not be used in defining the FRP.)

The FRP thus defined had a prevalence of 4.4 percent among MACS HIV-negative MSM aged 65 years and older, which was similar to the prevalence of frailty observed in the Cardiovascular Health Study for men of similar ages. After adjusting for most important factors, frailty was still higher in HIV-positive men compared to HIV-negative men. In fact, Margolick reported that the frailty of a 55-year-old HIV-positive man may be similar to that of a 65-year-old HIV-negative man. History of unintentional weight loss before the initiation of HAART was strongly associated with frailty.

I caution that the HIV-positive people involved in the MACS study population include many men who were exposed to the more "toxic" antiretroviral drugs of the past, and who were also more prone to have wasting syndrome in the past than we experience nowadays, so the data may not be easily extrapolated to the current era. Also, it would have been nice to have measures of testosterone levels in these men, since low testosterone has been associated with frailty in HIV-negative men, and we see testosterone deficiency rates of 20 percent to 30 percent in aging HIV-positive men even after the introduction of HAART. Basal metabolic rate has also been found to be higher in HIV-positive men compared to HIV-negative men, which means that our bodies are not as efficient at burning food for energy as HIV-negative, healthy people.

No therapeutic intervention data was presented to review the effect of exercise, testosterone replacement, or other factors that may improve frailty in HIV-positive men. I always tell people in my lectures to prevent frailty in their older years by exercising and keeping their testosterone at normal levels now, while they are younger. This will help them build muscle and bone mass that will enable them to prevent disability due to fractures or weakness.

Bone Loss Among People With HIV

As HIV-negative and HIV-positive people age, their bone density decreases. Post-menopausal women are more prone to have bone loss, but men also have this problem. In HIV, there is bone loss at earlier ages than what is expected in the general population. It seems that the virus itself can cause this problem, which seems to get worse among people who are taking HIV medications. The questions are 1) whether or not bone loss stabilizes with time after someone reaches undetectable viral load and 2) when -- and who -- to test for bone loss.

Todd Brown, M.D., Ph.D., reviewed available data on bone loss in HIV that show increased incidence of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Bone loss seems to be associated with inflammatory responses due to HIV infection and/or by the lack of balance between bone cells that build bone compared to cells that help them be reabsorbed. The SMART study showed that people on HIV medications lose more bone than those who are not being treated. Past history of unintentional weight loss, low body mass index, smoking, low testosterone and other well-known bone loss inducers are also common in HIV-positive people -- just as they are in the general population. It is yet unclear if those who started HIV medications with lower baseline CD4 cells, who have been infected the longest, or who were exposed to the more toxic antiretroviral drugs of the past are at higher risk of bone loss.

There are several cohorts that are starting to show an increasing trend of fractures in people living with HIV. Brown reminded us that the latest bone guidelines recommend doing bone scans on HIV-positive people in they have a fracture; if they have traditional risk factors; or if they are 50 years of age or older. To assess who should be prescribed bone density-enhancing drugs, it is also recommended to calculate risk of fractures using the FRAX equation after measuring bone density with DEXA. (To learn more about bone density and screening in people with HIV, read or listen to this January 2010 interview with Brown and Ben Young, M.D., Ph.D.)

It is unfortunate that Brown did not have time to discuss different interventions to increase bone density. As far as I know, there is only one small study that has studied an intervention in HIV-positive people with bone loss. It provided all 44 volunteers 500 mg of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D per day, and also gave some volunteers one weekly dose of alendronate (Fosamax) for 96 weeks. Both arms had mild increases of bone density, with the Fosamax + calcium + vitamin D arm having the highest improvement.

But increases, when they occur, are slow, so it is always better to prevent bone loss than to try to reverse it once it has progressed to critical levels. Resistance exercise, calcium, vitamin D and several medications can help increase bone strength. But it seems that HIV-positive people also have vitamin D deficiencies that may prevent proper calcium absorption to build stronger bones.

The Vitamin D Conundrum

Judith Currier, M.D., is a good friend of the HIV community and a top clinician in Los Angeles. She reviewed the data on vitamin D deficiencies, which have been linked to bone loss and other health-related issues. This is probably the hottest vitamin in HIV research in the present. It is made by the body after our skin is exposed to sufficient amounts of sunshine, but the liver and kidneys need to transform it into the "active" form, known as 25-OH vitamin D, which is the form that helps our bones and immune system.

Vitamin D may be involved in increasing the ability of immune cells to kill invaders in our bodies. It also seems to help those with tuberculosis have less severe disease symptoms and progression. It can also mediate inflammation by decreasing tumor necrosis alpha levels. In addition, a review of seven past studies in HIV-negative people, five of them found a correlation between low vitamin D levels and higher cardiovascular risk (although the studies were not very similar, so it is difficult to compare apples and oranges).

The general population commonly suffers from vitamin D deficiencies, especially now that most of us try to avoid the sun to minimize skin cancer. People with darker skin, those who live in northern latitudes, those in winter time and the elderly tend to have more vitamin D deficiency. And HIV in itself, as well as the medications used to treat it, seem to also be risk factors.

It is not completely clear if low vitamin D in HIV -positive people is due to inflammatory responses caused by HIV. Emerging data point to the likelihood that HIV-positive people using Sustiva (Stocrin, efavirenz) may have lower vitamin D levels due to this drug's acceleration of the degradation of the vitamin in the liver (it lowered vitamin D levels by 4.5 percent in 26 weeks). Other small studies have shown than Viread (tenofovir) may also affect the metabolism of vitamin D into its active metabolite in the kidneys.

Dr. Robinson from Ontario, Canada, presented some data that may indicate those with lipoatrophy have more vitamin D deficiencies due to changes in skin thickness. I am not convinced about this, however; I think that longer HIV infection was probably the most important factor in those who had lipoatrophy and vitamin D deficiency.

No one has really determined what "vitamin D deficiency" really means, but most clinicians agree that keeping blood levels of 25-OH vitamin D over 30 nanograms/ml may be appropriate to ensure proper amounts of vitamin D. No one knows what the optimum dose of a vitamin supplement should be, nor do we know for sure who should be tested for vitamin D deficiencies. In light of emerging data, however, a growing number of doctors are ordering vitamin D blood level tests in their patients, and are also recommending vitamin D supplements for those who are deficient -- typically 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day, although retesting is needed to determine if a dose adjustment is needed over time. It is a cheap supplement and one that may not harm people even at higher doses, although a recent study in HIV-negative women who were prescribed megadoses of vitamin D in on-again, off-again cycles suffered more fractures than HIV-negative women who were not.

There is a large study looking at the long-term effects of vitamin D plus fish oils in 20,000 HIV-negative people to see if fractures and other health issues are improved by these supplements. However, results will not be available until five years from now.

Las Vegas COGIC Pastor Arrested on 11 Sexual Abuse Counts

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This is becoming a sadly familiar story. Yet another pastor in the rabidly anti-gay Church of God in Christ—the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States and the second largest African-American denomination—is accused of sexual misconduct against teenage boys. A Las Vegas pastor was arrested on 11 sexual abuse charges ... five years after a similar case against him was dropped, reports the Las Vegas Sun.

2010_10_12_MccurdyBilly Eckstine McCurdy, 57, pastor of the Revival Temple Church of God in Christ, was taken into custody at 1 p.m. Friday at his home in North Las Vegas without incident, police said.

The alleged victims say they were forced into a sexual relationship with McCurdy, police said. They allege he used his position in the church and biblical scriptures to control them and force them into sex acts, police said.

Police said McCurdy spent a great deal of time with young people, including on youth trips to Arizona and California. Police said he conducted events at his home with young men, including sleepovers, and allowed teenagers — two victims involved in the case, among them — to live with him for extended periods. According to the criminal complaint, the alleged crimes happened between April 2007 and October 2009.

The teen boys testified at a grand jury, which indicted McCurdy last Thursday on six counts of sexual assault and five counts of open or gross lewdness. McCurdy is being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail, adds the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Detectives believe "other victims" have not come forward.

Similar charges were dropped in 2005, after North Las Vegas Police arrested McCurdy after a teenage boy told investigators the pastor fondled him while they slept in the same bed. Will McCurdy's congregation stand by their pastor ... again? Or will they blame the boys for coming forward?

This becomes only the latest charge of sexual misconduct within the Church of God in Christ, which is well known for attracting many closeted black gay men and rivals the Catholic Church for the many sexual predators within its leadership.

COGIC is embroiled in numerous lawsuits and criminal investigations around clergy sexual abuse—there is a micro-site on the Church website—and has been accused of covering up sexual misconduct cases for decades.

On January 30, a former COGIC pastor was sentenced to 20 years on charges he raped a teenage girl some 25 years ago.One church reportedly has four convicted pedophiles on its payroll. And in March 2010, an Alabama COGIC bishop was also accused of sexual misconduct.

In November 2010 at the Church of God in Christ's Holy Convocation Youth Service in Memphis, the infamously "ex-gay"—or should we say merely "re-closeted"

Grammy Award winning gospel singer Donnie McClurkin delivered an incendiary rant against gays and gay youth and compared them to vampires.

Glass houses, stones, etc.. ENDS


notes:

So where will this really end? well finally the black church is now seeing its own unraveling of sexual abuse and all this time it kept quiet about the Catholic Church mess over the years. What is even more disturbing is the both major accusations now in the public domain are from Pentecostal denominated or affiliated churches and one wonders with their insistence on having or being "filled' with the "Holy Spirit" one should have discerned these problems when having certain "gifts"


What is happening here?

Are these men of the cloth really there to lead or to enrich themselves and impose their "sick" desires as a result of drunkenness of power from having such influence of congregants' minds?

Are there more stories like this to come from other Black churches elsewhere?

What about the Jamaican context and why we haven't heard a peep about this type of behaviour in Jamaica?

Then again given our unique set of sensitivities involved we may never get this forced "cleansing" or outings happening anytime soon, as for the victims' sake I hope we do and by extension the nations' so we can finally discuss these and related issues and their separation from consensual adult gay relationships thus helping to dispel the misconstrued information that has heavily influenced our most active and caustic homophobia with in some instances disastrous consequences.

Think on these things folks.

UPDATE: 5:48pm

After going over this blog I found a story I posted earlier this year of a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor here in Jamaica who was accused of seeking sex from a teenage boy and was said to have been recorded soliciting the youth - an excerpt reads:

"A deacon at a Seventh Day Adventist church in Kingston, who was taped trying to make sexual advances to a teenage boy recently, left the place of worship after he was disciplined. Steven Benjamin*, a member of the church, told THE STAR that everyone was shocked when the tape was played for a pastor..."

Continue to the rest of the article here: Deacon Seeks Sex from boy says The Star

Peace and tolerance.

H

Fitzgerald’s Nightclub (Houston TX) CANCELS “Kill Gays” Capleton Performance

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by Josef Molnar

With its bright tones and rolling rhythms, Jamaica’s dancehall music brings the familiar messages of politics and religion to its many fans.

But for a small number of musicians like Capleton, reggae dancehall music is a medium for a much darker message of homophobia and anti-gay violence, and one club in Houston has responded by canceling the performer’s upcoming show.

Fitzgerald’s revoked its agreement to host the musician, but according to a man who answered the Preet Pavilion telephone, Capleton is still scheduled to perform at the venue. Raggae and dancehall music have a strong fan base in Houston, and Capleton is scheduled to play there on Oct. 15.

Andy Thayer, a spokesman with Gay Liberation Network, a Chicago GLBT right organization, said musicians like Capleton use the stage as a pulpit for their anti-gay rhetoric.

“Capleton is bad apple in terms of his attitude toward gay people,” he said. “He had a concert on Dec. 25 of last year and called out to the people there to show their hands if they’ve hurt gay people.”

That phrase, “All who a bun battyman and sodomite, hand up,” or “All who have burned queers and sodomites, put your hands up,” reinforces the cultural bias against GLBT people in Jamaica, one of the worst offenders in terms of anti-gay rhetoric and violence. And by attaching his message to one of the most popular styles of music in that country, Capleton has reinforced his message of hate.

“The situation in Jamaica is a particularly dangerous site for gays and lesbians,” Thayer said. “There has been repeated mob violence against gay and lesbian people, with the authorities standing passively by while that happens.”

Thayer said that although music is protected speech, venues which support anti-gay violence should consider more than revenue when booking these musicians. A concerted movement in Chicago to cancel Capleton’s show at the Kinetic Playground club was successful in keeping the musician out.

“This is a lesson for clubs generally,” he said. “We need to hold clubs accountable for booking groups like this, and we hope venues not just in Chicago but nationwide are more careful about the kinds of groups they bring in.

“There is no obligation for them to provide a place for this kind of violent speech.”

Please thank and patronize Fitzgerald’s.
Fitzgerald’s
2706 White Oak Dr.
713-862-3838

To voice your opinion about Capleton’s appearance at Preet:
Preet Pavillion
11040 South West Freeway Houston TX 77074
713-937-8100

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Official calls for more resources to fight AIDS

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From the Jamaica Observer......

ROSE HALL, St James — Director for the National HIV/STI programme, Dr Kevin Harvey says that the country's "AIDS crisis" is far from over, as he called for more resources to be made available to tackle the deadly disease.

"AIDS is still the leading cause of death in Jamaica in the 22 to 49-year-old group, which is really the productive sector of the population," Dr Harvey told stakeholders Tuesday at the 21st HIV/STI Annual Retreat at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa.

"The prevalence rate of the adult population is going up and we have consistently high prevalence rate in the men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, prison inmates... so we are seeing that they are groups with some worrying prevalence rate and these rates have remained significantly high over the past three years," he explained.

He said despite the efforts of the Government and its international donor partners, the programme has never been properly funded.

"We have never been able to get adequate funding for the HIV programme. We have only really gotten about 40 per cent of the money required to fund the national strategic plan," he noted.

He argued that creative ways must now be found to adequately fund the programme.
"We need to come up with new approaches for funding the project, and that is why we are here for the next three days to see how and what are the new strategies that we can put in place," he said.

"We understand the global financial crisis but HIV is one of the most important issues that we have to deal with."

The Ministry of Heath has reported that between 1982 and 2009, the number of persons reported with AIDS was14,354, of which 7,772 had died.

The retreat which is being held under the theme 'Partnership for an Effective and Sustainable Response' ends today.

According to Minister of Health Rudyard Spencer, the objectives of the retreat are geared at enhancing the work of the National HIV/STI Programme and providing a forum for partners and stakeholders to contribute to further improving the programme.

He said the participants will, among other things, examine practical approaches and models for sustaining an effective national response.

Other objectives include reviewing the role of the International Development Partners in achieving universal access and the need for medium and long-term sustainability planning; highlighting major achievements, sharing best practices and assessing the progress of the National HIV/STI Programme and local partners towards universal access to HIV prevention and treatment services and strengthening and broadening multisectoral and civil society participation through the sharing of technical approaches in addressing most at risk population.
ENDS

Note:
According to representatives from JFLAG recently and other sources there was not a formal invitation extended to advocates from the LGBT fraternity especially given the spike in infection rates in the MSM populations where at last count via the 2007/8 study and report stands at 31%.




Peace and tolerance

H

Breast Lumps In Men

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Breast lumps in men are uncommon but cause great concern when they do occur. A lump may be found in both breasts but usually occur in only one. Breast swellings are common in newborns because of the high levels of oestrogen received from their mothers before birth.

Lumps also often occur in young men in early adolescence because of the conversion of androgens to oestrogen. This swelling may be tender. It may be of short duration, lasting up to 18 months and, rarely, the lump persists throughout the adolescent's life.

Certain drugs, such as spirolactone, are known to cause increases in the size of the breasts. Men who receive drugs similar to oestrogen for the treatment of prostate cancer will experience growth in the size of the breasts.

Men can also have a breast lump which is cancerous. Fortunately, these cancers are rare. A third of men with breast cancer have family members who had breast cancer. There is also a familial form of breast cancer where both genders are at risk of the breast cancer. Sadly, breast cancers in men are often far advanced because of delays in taking action by both patient and physician.

Cancerous lumps

A rock-hard lump which may be fixed to the chest or cause changes to the overlying skin could be a breast cancer. Any man with a breast lump should visit his doctor for an examination. Most times, the doctor can differentiate between a non-cancerous swelling and a possible cancer.
A definite diagnosis is made using fine-needle aspiration or by removing the lump guided by ultrasound. Men with breast lumps should have a mammogram. As in the case of women, mammograms are 90 per cent effective in determining whether the lump is cancerous. Ultrasound may be used to detect cysts in the breast but these are also rare in men.

Breast self-examination

Men, too, should examine their breasts once monthly. This may be done standing in front of the mirror, lying down or in the shower. Look at both breasts for size, any turning in of the nipples, bulging or dimpling of the skin. With one hand behind your head, use the other hand to press against the breast on the other side. Check the entire breast with your finger pads. Use small circles as you move your fingers up and down the breast.

Breast lumps in men and women require evaluation and should be dealt with as soon as they are discovered. Most of these lumps are not serious but all of them should be evaluated for cancer.

Dr Pauline Williams-Green is a family physician and president of the Caribbean College of Family Physicians; email: yourhealth@gleanerjm.com.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reggie asked, “Who will shed tears for the baby doves?” a poem for same gender suiciders

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we can, no must cry, wail, moan laugh, sing, scream

tell these same gender loving stories

though they bruise our hearts speak these ugly facts

that parade as truth we must speak for those whose tongues

have been slashed at the root

stand for those who have been limbed from thigh to ankle

like trees in Jamaica sing for those whose songs

have been ripped from their throats dance for those stilled

by rhythmic blows to their bodies we must be the wind for the fledgings


trying to flex their wings we must bear them up

lift them hold them close dry their tears

feed them not cannibalize them

dispense generous doses of antidotes for hate

prepare them for the probability of exclusion

baptize them in limpid pools of love and light

thicken their delicate skin against insidious intolerance

teach them how to soar how to be


tell them show them they are loved

speak life to them teach them how to survive.



In memory of

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover (11)

Jaheem Herrera (11)

Tyler Clementi (18)

Seth Walsh (13)

Billy Lucas (15)

Asher Brown (13)

Zach Harrington (19)

Aiyisha Hassan (19)

Nokia Cowan

Victor Jarrett (26)

Sakia Gunn (15)

Matthew Sheperd (21)

and the countless other same gender loving youth, whose names I do not know, who took their own lives or had their lives ended because of who they were….



(c) fabian thomas

Veteran Jamaican singer speaks gay rights in song

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International reggae singer Mista Majah P formerly known Major P may create history with the release of his new song “Rights.”

Mista Majah P was born in Kingston Jamaica, but migrated to Canada at an early age. He was the recipient of the Canadian Reggae music award on several occasions. P now resides in the United States.

Majah P is the first ever Reggae artist to make a song that promotes love for gays. The song “Rights” might create some controversy in the Reggae community, but Majah is an artist on a mission to change the face of reggae music, according to his manager Tony T.

“Rights” covers the touchy topic of gay rights versus reggae music, two sides that has been bitter enemies from as far back as Reggae/Dancehall music goes. But more so now that before, gays are stepping up their pressure against Reggae and Dancehall artist in what they called a campaign against “Murder Music.” This is causing a tremendous fallout in revenue for Reggae and Dancehall artists going on tours.

To further highlight the issue between gay rights activists and reggae artists; Buju Banton hit song “Boom Bye Bye” in the early 1990’s, created major controversies back then and could be seen as the song that single handedly triggered a global response from gay rights activist. Almost two decades later “Boom Bye Bye” is still affecting Buju Banton, since many of his tour dates late last year was cancelled due to protests by gay rights groups.

Just two weeks ago Urban Islandz reported to you that Capleton show in Chicago was cancelled because of gay rights pressure on the promoter. Additionally, last week we reported that dancehall artist Vybz Kartel whose real name is Adidja Palmer was forced to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act while on tour in Europe to avoid his shows from being cancelled.

Tony T said these are the main issues why Majah P was prompted to release the song “Rights.”

“What my artist hope to accomplish is to start a conversation between the gay community, the reggae artists and the world. The reason is my artist is tired of having door slam in his face and the face of all reggae artist and fellow Jamaican who get blame for what a few do or what they think or believe in. You have to remember that not all reggae artist or Jamaican hate or discriminate against gays. My artist biggest problem is he believes he is being stereotype by certain people or certain organization saying that you got dread and you come from Jamaica, right away they single you out saying there is another Jamaican who is using his music to spread hate and death and that has to stop.”



Tony also added, “The motivation behind this song is Mista Majah P believes that these artist who are talking so strongly and discriminating against gays are hypocrites, they say one thing in Jamaica and do another thing when they are out of Jamaica, when they come and perform in Canada or the state, especially in California ninety per cent of their audience is gay, or the club they are performing in is own by the gay community, they close their eye and collect the money and go back to Jamaica or where they come from and pretend and to me that is a double standard. Don’t spew hate and death on gays and close your eye and take there money. That is not right”

Without doubts, the song is expected to create some controversies in the Reggae community. Urban Islandz took the opportunity to ask some Reggae fans how do they feel about the song?

One outspoken fan said, “I don’t think the gay community problem is reggae music, they should focus on their real issues which is the message they are portraying in society and leave Reggae artists alone. This new song by this artist is trying to change Reggae music culture.”

Another fan expresses that, “the song is sending the right message where reggae music and the gay community is concern, and it’s time to deviate from hate lyrics and make amends with the gays and move the music forward.”

Obviously there will be fans who take both sides of the divide, so we ask Tony how Majah P plans to deal with the controversies that will arise as a result of the song.

“If there is controversy and i am sure there will be Mista Majah P and his camp can deal with that Mista Majah P is a very intelligent person plus he is very diplomatic and also he is a born leader he has a silver tongue he is a politician in the making.”

Tony T said they are already receiving positive response from promoters in the United States since the release of the video on Youtube.

“After releasing this video on Youtube we got a call from a promoter asking permission to use the video to promote his label and his reggae show telling us that he was having a very hard time because club and shop owner would not allow him to put up or leave flyer with artist from Jamaica or any body doing any form of reggae show because reggae was now murder music and they will not promote nothing like that can you believe that.”

The question now is, what response does the rest of Reggae artists have for this song?

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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