Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ Project 2009 a detailed look & 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 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

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Christians should apologise to gay people — Pope Francis

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I can only imagine the antigay religious fanatics such as Dr Wayne West, Shirley Richards and JCHS with Jamaica CAUSE, must be squirming in their skins when they saw this one; an appropriate start to reconciliation indeed and also the clerical abuse black eye that has smudged the Catholic church's image over hundreds of years.

a previous quote from the Pontiff 

ROME, Italy (AFP) — Pope Francis said Sunday that Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should apologise to gay people and seek their forgiveness for the way they have been treated.

Speaking to reporters as he flew back to Rome from Armenia, the pope was asked if he agreed with comments by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx that the Church needed to say sorry for the way it has treated the gay community.

"We Christians have to apologise for so many things, not just for this (treatment of gay people), but we must ask for forgiveness. Not just apologise — forgiveness," he said.

"The questions is: if a person who has that condition, who has good will, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?" the pope added, repeating his famous "Who am I to judge?" remark about homosexuality made early in his papacy.

That comment was one of the first indications that the Vatican under Pope Francis' leadership would take a more conciliatory approach to the gay community, but also prompted criticism from the Church's more conservative members. This is the healing that is so needed in these times to gain true tolerance as I think Jesus would approve and indeed extend to all.

Francis expanded his apology to also include other people who have faced discrimination.

"I think that the Church not only should apologise... to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologise to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been forced to work."

The comments come just two weeks after the Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub in which 49 people were killed.

At the time the Holy See condemned the attack as a "homicidal folly and senseless hatred".

The CNN carried the story as this in part:

Groundbreaking Moment

"I believe that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has offended," he added, "but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons."

The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at large of America magazine, called the Pope's apology to gays and lesbians "a groundbreaking moment."

"While St. John Paul II apologized to several groups in 2000 -- the Jewish people, indigenous peoples, immigrants and women, among them -- no pope has ever come close to apologizing to the LGBT community. And the Pope is correct of course. First, because forgiveness is an essential part of the Christian life. And second, because no group feels more marginalized in the church today than LGBT people."

The Pope's comments came in response to a question about a German Cardinal who said the Catholic Church should apologize for being "very negative" about gays. The Pope was also asked whether Christians bear some blame for hatred toward the LGBT community, as horrifically demonstrated in the Orlando massacre at a gay night club that killed 49 people on June 12.

'Immense Blessing'

Francis first uttered that rhetorical question -- Who am I to judge gay people? -- in 2013, also during a news conference on the papal plane. His comments were hailed as a breakthrough for a church that has historically condemned homosexuality, often in harsh terms. Francis has not changed church doctrine that calls homosexual acts sinful, but he has shown a more merciful approach to people on the margins, including gays and lesbians.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Catholic gay rights group, called the Pope's remarks "an immense blessing of healing."

"No pope has said more welcoming words to LGBT people than when Pope Francis today offered his recommendation that the Church -- indeed all Christians -- should apologize for the harm religious traditions have caused to LGBT people. The pope's statement was simple, yet powerful, and it fell from his lips so easily."

As is often the case, the Pope's press conference encompassed a number of controversial questions. Here are the Pope's answers about Brexit, former Pope Benedict XVI and why he used the word "genocide" to describe the murder of more than 1 million Armenians in the early 20th century.

Let us see if this pivotal moment in the Catholic church's history will resonate deeply especially here in Jamaica.

Peace & tolerance indeed

H

'Girl-on-girl dancing out of hand' .......... what!

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I would have expected this some ten years or so ago in a more backward time but since the introduction of carnival and such girl and girl dancing was slowly accepted. But to see such opposition in 2016 is ridiculous as carried in the Star news recently. In a previous post in 2008 I had brought some attention to the paranoia on so called lesbian dancing: Lesbians Take Over? and this Same-sex dancing ... what's up with that? (Gleaner Article) 2009 from Gay Jamaica Watch and 
Gays convert popular parties they say .......... oh boi

Some entertainers are crying shame on a seemingly growing trend on the party scene, that of girls wining and gyrating on each other.

Recording artiste Razor-B, known for his raunchy dance songs geared at the female audience, said girl-on-girl dancing is tacky.

"Men should take responsibility for it because the ladies want to dance, but di man dem look like dem (and) 'fraid fi dance with them. I will go to a party with like 10 girls, but I can't dance with all of them. I'm just one Razor-B," he said.

Foota Hype, a popular selector, said on Instagram last week that it appears some women no longer feel comfortable to dance with men.

"This outa hand fi real, enuh. The nation lost star. It's like wrong a become right. Every gyal a tun lesbian. Some a dem not even realise it because them think it's the new way to have fun," Foota Hype proclaimed.


freedom of choice

However, other entertainers are not as vexed about the issue, and believe people have the freedom to party as they please.

Recording artiste Raine Seville says it is not an activity she would partake in, but she believes in freedom of choice.

"It's not necessarily something I'm supportive of, but everyone is entitled to live their life and party as they choose. There are some people who do it for the fun of it. They're just living in the moment and they're partying and having fun," she said.

Though seemingly tolerant of females dancing together, Raine Seville admitted it would be uncomfortable watching males dance together in a similar fashion.

"It would definitely be an uncomfortable thing to see. It might be biased to say that, but it's honest," she said.

Unlike Raine Seville, recording artiste Bad Gyal CeCile told THE STAR that she engages in girl-on-girl dancing with her female friends.

"Because something "can" be sexual doesn't mean it is," CeCile said.

"I myself learnt this was normal years ago when I was performing at a 16-year-old birthday party in one of the islands. While onstage, the birthday girl and her friends came on stage to dance with me, and I walked off feeling offended," she revealed.

"I was actually reprimanded by her parents for disrespecting the child on stage at her party. It was explained to me that to them it was normal," CeCile added.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

3 LGBT Suicides (2 attempts) in 6 months .......... concerns

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DJ Footie in good times


So as news spreads of the surprise suicide of DJ Footie on June 11 a female DJ who specialized in soca dancehall style mostly many are now wondering what is going on out there as news of a brother(not LGBT) named Delus of a popular DJ Konshens and how he has ended his life has triggered a national discussion as the shock is palpable. He reportedly conducted his successful attempt with a gun and the event was supposedly caught on camera as he filmed his last moments; the reason unconfirmed by the police is he got bad news of a herpes diagnosis and decided he could not go on as family life issues and such was too much for him, based on another video he made describing same. I also imagine the pressure and expectations of dancehall in terms of multiple partnering ties in with misogynistic themes and bravado sealed off with badmanism. Maybe he could not go on but only days before he made another clip on Fathers’ day thanking his fans for their support and birthday wishes then days later the end.

As a DJ myself for over 20 years I am not aware of us really choosing suicide as an option when trouble hits, again it depends on each ones constitution but one would use the very music on the ones and twos to sedate ourselves in case of challenges, it is long known that music is therapeutic but maybe Footie did not see it so. I am really sorry to hear of this one. For this one to come in the middle of Pride month internationally is even more egregious as this is a time for more positive imaging and LGBTQ discourse; rainbow flag controversy aside.

DJ Footie’s case the reports are that she essentially had no signs of challenges and so it is a major shock to persons which is usually the case in previous successful attempts. The loss of one of my long time allies as hinted to in a previous post he just ended it all even after posting his usual articles on Facebook only to be floored by the news on his profile. The two other reported attempts in separate matters both occurred in January and February respectively. The former tried some sort of poison or pills and was only discovered by a visiting friend who spontaneously stopped by her house. She had been stressed with some family challenges and expenses she was saddled with before but all seemed well until the discovery of the attempted ending of her life.

The March matter was a cutting or slicing attempt as the male attempter hoped to slowly bleed to death and was also discovered by a friend after several phone calls, social media linking and no apparent response. He has since been referred to a community influential and a psychologist for proper interventions. We have also been speaking occasionally on the phone where at opportunities encourage him to keep up with her appointments and so on. I am disturbed by the issues and the fear or reluctance of persons to reach out though; I am not a psychologist and may never understand the complexities fully but it is a bit disconcerting that persons are on Facebook, Instagram and so on and continue to present a bettered or false representations of themselves even as they struggle and despite increasing pages offering avenues of escape if you will or counselling. I have expressed this challenge of falsified or alter ego online personas versus self imposed pressure to keep up appearances before which I think are part and parcel to some of this. The incessant need to get likes and some recognition given (narcisstic mirroring) how rejected psychologically some feel so I guess the urge to use social media and so on for alternatives is somewhat understandable.

Another concern is the false sense of security that seems to be push by JFLAG and others as they seem more interested in image rightsizing than the actual realities, it is understandable to have a positive side but we must also GET REAL, coupled with the strange continued reports of social media fallouts due to sometimes new users both in age and commencement are having teething problems using Apps and adding public pages while not scuttling friends’ lists while mixing family members some of whom end up monitoring activities; to include the look of folks, their gender and even how many males or females dependent on the profile’s owner likes ones pages or posts. There are hardly good sustained any avenues for coming out by one’s recognisance and while social media platforms offer instant communication and a not so perfect avenue for being out many persons especially older ones are running into some challenges as they adjust to using new technologies and engaging other persons. While JFLAG operatives and such can afford to be out and it seems to push others to want to do the same others do not have that luxury and may also feel inferior or left out which possibly can. They all have visas and can depart in a moment’s notice whilst the ordinary ‘likkle sport’ is not so blessed, a point repeatedly made sometimes by some.

Ostensibly it would be difficult to convince persons to come forward with challenges and although we have had help lines established nationally but which need far more awareness support persons choose what in their minds the easier way out. Some of the same outlets though seem not equipped to handle LGBT matters which may further complicate the recovery process and some outlets are run by faith based organizations or churches. We just never know the pain persons are enduring. One former participant of the Aphrodite’s PRIDE Jamaica’s Enterprise Training said something profound yesterday, she said words to the effect that persons who are struggling need to reach out and do not put on a show as if everything is OK when they are not. I have been trying in a small way to encourage persons to actually be themselves via their social profiles but I know that is going to be difficult to sustain such a suggestion given how the world works today.



According to Chooselife the figures for suicide are not so hot as in 2014 59 persons were successful, 2015 some 51 persons did so and to date 32 have been successful for varying reasons including revenge, hurt, family issues and so on.

What is also interesting with these cases is that the individuals were from relatively stable homes or lifestyles, they seem on the face of it not to be struggling with finances or existence save and except for the latter case where she had some alleged financial issues but all in all they were not poor or displaced or homeless for that matter. These ties in with my concerns as to presenting or living a double life when the painful truths are hidden only to be a farce, in fear of being seen as less than what was and is presented. One hardly hears of suicide attempts in the lower socio economic circles in quite a while and the age cohort of suicides just by a cursory review without the benefit of strong statistics seem to be between the early twenties to early forties. Older folks tend not to consider suicide as an option although my aforementioned ally Mark who ended his life in NY was in his mid fifties.

My last direct contact with someone who was considering suicide was in late 2014 and which lasted just over a year with intermittent talk therapy or versions of it but he was referred to a professional who aided greatly. What also concerns me as well is that successful suicides made public and given the feeling of no attention then seeing the news getting so much of it can be a catalyst for contemplators to make such attempts as the experts tell us. For every successful suicide made known the contemplator wishes or wants to also achieve the same results and may work actively normally quietly towards ending their own life. Even how I prepared this post I had to choose my words carefully as I was advised some years ago during suicide prevention day observance as sensational appearing coverage can be a catalyst for such contemplation as they may feel attention is finally paid to them after the relief is attained in their eyes.

I hope you my readers if you know of any such persons contemplating such a final course to reach out to some outfit or requisite expert and informally some talk and words of encouragement can help; that is of course if outwards signs of trouble are there as in many cases no evidence is shown of signs of trouble.

Peace & tolerance

H

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

J'cans Tap Gay Online Rental Market - Misterb&B Seen As Opportunity To Diversify Income

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Well this is not anything new as the writers at Gleaner's business department present the captioned article in Sunday's last paper. The only new part are the platforms but networking has always been a feature of the gay tourist who takes the chance to come to Jamaica, especially at smalle properties and guest houses. I have facilitated such trips; especially when there is an event involved from overseas DJs to female/male impersonators (Drag king).

Previous entries will bring that to bear, such as:




Here is the current article in question:

As Jamaicans tap into the online rental market for business through platforms such as Airbnb they are slowly becoming more amenable to a side of the market that is largely shunned domestically gay travellers.


Some landlords and property owners are open to visitors through applications such as misterb&b, which caters to gays.

Still, it is not a big market by any measure. The number of local rooms available remains low at nine, but it grew from five two months ago Comparatively, Airbnb offers more than 1,000 listings across Jamaica.

The misterb&b site prides itself on listings, which offer "tips to stay like a gay local". Those hosts with whom Sunday Business spoke said offering the service complements the regular bed and breakfast offering.

"We don't do it only for the money," said one host, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rooms for gay visitors are listed across the island ranging from US$60 upwards, compared with Airbnb, which offers rooms for as low as US$20.

The theme of offering a 'safe space' was mirrored by other hosts, but all asked to remain anonymous for this story. It underscores the discreet service these listings offer within Jamaica, seen as a homophobic hot spot.

The most recent anti-gay furore surrounded the Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte tweeting that raising the gay rainbow flag at the US Embassy last week was disrespectful of Jamaican laws although she gave no legal rationale. The act of buggery that is, anal sex remains illegal, but there are no explicit laws against homosexuality.

Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook says that travel apps, whether catering to straight travellers or gays, do not need to channel activity through the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).

"The JTB has no jurisdiction over the creation of travel apps," said Pennicook in a response facilitated through the JTB marketing department. "The JTB has no direct relationship with Airbnb nor misterb&b.

There are numerous online entities that provide travel services such as air, accommodation, ground transfer, etc. to the travelling public, but these services are not, nor are they required, to be channelled through the JTB."

The local gay lobby group, J-FLAG, provisionally endorsed the move as it offers safe spaces to gays.

"Anything that creates a safe space for travellers is a good thing, assuming that the app and the people renting have good intentions," said a spokeswoman at J-FLAG.

"I am a lesbian and if I am travelling I know that not all places are friendly to the LGBT community. So on the face of it, it would seem as a good thing," she said.

The spokeswoman, who also requested anonymity, said she would want the app service to be more inclusive of lesbians.

Misterb&b launched in 2013 primarily to allow gay men to secure gay-friendly rentals. Misterb&b offers 55,000 rentals in 130 countries and is not affiliated or associated with Airbnb.

The site came about after co-founder Matthieu Jost encountered mixed experiences while renting on travel sites. He recalled a most uncomfortable host in Barcelona four years ago whose hostility sparked the impetus for the site.

"Upon arrival, the host felt not comfortable with gay men staying in her home. She even asked 'Are you going to sleep in the same bed?'" according to information on the rental site.

From that experience, Jost misterb&b's chief executive officer decided a short-term rental service by and for gay men was needed to help provide safety and community for travellers.

also see:
Calling for a Tourism Boycott on Jamaica is a dumb idea at this time 2013

Is ‘The Most Homophobic Place on Earth’ Turning Around? 2015

Cuba's shot in the arm for LGBTQ personhood & pink tourism

Monday, June 20, 2016

Uncomfortable with Endocrinologist explanation of the case of the intersex infant

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In a previous post (Jamaican Intersex (ambiguous genitalia) baby case a cause for concern part 2 ) I mentioned the push by a certain endocrinologist on early surgery of an infant who was featured on CVM TV some time ago. He has been interviewed since and has seemingly steered clear of suggesting surgery on a baby as an option, but I am not comfortable at all.



Here is an excerpt of the article involving the gentleman:

For thousands of years children have been born with what’s called ambiguous genitalia — a condition in which there is incomplete development of the external genitals, and at birth doctors are not able to clearly define a sex. Last week, Dr Leslie Gabay, consultant paediatrician and paediatric endocrinologist, addressed the biology of the condition. This week, he speaks of stigma and social repercussions.


WITH regard to the social repercussions, the sex of a baby is usually the first question friends and family members have after a birth, Dr Gabay said.

“Generally, I recommend that the parents say the infant is undergoing tests to clarify the sex due to incomplete development of the genitals,” he advised.

“If we do this, then there is no stigma. Stigma occurs only when the child goes home with one sex and this is subsequently changed. Hence the importance of early diagnosis.”

Dr Gabay said stigma has to be dealt with by family support, parental education and counselling, where necessary.

He pointed out that it is important to note that the physical development of infants (sex) has nothing to do with the psychological development (gender).

“When we’re looking at the conditions, we’re looking at developmental disorders of sexual maturation. That can give us various issues. When you talk about gender, you talk about how people feel about themselves,” he said. “I may have testes, I may have XY chromosomes, but psychologically I feel like a female. When there’s a disconnection between the physical and the psychological, we call that gender dysphoria where somebody is feeling one way, but has a phenotype that is opposite to how they feel.”

A paediatric endocrinologist looks at what can and can’t be corrected, which is whether your hormones have the capacity to complete your development as a male or female.

“So, for example, we will have an XY male who has testes and is actually making male hormones but he doesn’t have the receptors for them to work on, so he can’t get a complete development into male external genitalia. We sometimes have those same individuals with XY and testes, but their genitals look like females because the testosterone they’re making cannot work to convert the genitals into a male. So there are a number of different medical conditions which all fall under the disorders of sexual maturation, which can give you a disconnect in terms of your chromosomal sex, your gonadal sex and your phenotypic sex,” he said.

He added: “The difference between Caitlyn Jenner’s case, for example, which is a psychological disconnect between the psychology and the physicality of sex, versus when a child has a disorder of development, is vast. So, for example, if you are a boy you have XY, you have testes, you make testosterone but your tissues can’t respond to testosterone — you look like a girl. There’s nothing that I or anybody can do to make you into a boy. So you’re a girl by how you look, except that you won’t have a womb to have babies and therefore you may be able to get some sperm to do IVF, but you’re not going to carry a baby.”

Dr Gabay said most people don’t know what their chromosomes are, so definition of sex is mostly phenotypic — how you look.

“Until you have a baby or get pregnant you don’t know that your ovaries can make eggs, but all along you’re walking through school as a girl. Your chromosomes don’t make you a girl, the fact that you can make eggs or have a womb doesn’t make you a girl,” he said. “When I met you I thought you were a girl and that’s because of how you look. That’s how people walk around looking at individuals. So how we socialise in the world is based on how we look — our phenotype.”

He added that when we want to reproduce and move forward for another generation, that’s when our chromosomes, sperm and ovaries become important.


“I can’t say at six weeks of age how you will feel at five years old. But I can say at six weeks whether your hormones have the capacity to complete your development as a male or complete your development as a female,” he explained.


ENDS

Intersex activists have been advocating to delayed surgery decision making on the pat of impacted individuals with proper engagement in terms of education.

Also see:
Jamaican Intersex (ambiguous genitalia) baby case a cause for concern part 1

28 EU member states reach consensus on LGBT rights for first time

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The 28 EU member states have reached a consensus on LGBT rights for the first time in European history.

The Council of the European Union reached consensus on Friday on a Netherlands-backed agreement concerning women’s rights, gender equality and the protection of LGBTI people across the EU.

For the first time ever, the 28 member states agreed at the Council to work against “any discrimination” against LGBT people, and to ramp up pan-European efforts on equality.

It urges individual national governments “to consider working together with the European Commission with regard to its List of actions to advance LGBTI equality”, and “to take action to combat discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity”.

It comes in the wake of the Orlando attack.

Under the terms of the agreement, the European Commission will prepare an annual progress report on the position of LGBT rights across every European country, evaluating progress across a number of areas with recommendations for reform.

The EU already requires member states to adopt anti-discrimination employment protections, but there is a large disparity in LGBT equality across Europe.

Dutch equalities minister Jet Bussemaker said: “European cooperation is essential to efforts to fight global homophobia and strengthen women’s rights. With the dreadful attack in Orlando still fresh in our memories, I don’t need to explain why it’s so important for the EU to take a clear stand.

“LGBTI rights and women’s rights are human rights that transcend borders.

“Everyone has the right to be who they want to be, regardless of their background or origin.

“It’s very important that we act together against countries and organisations that violate the rights of women, gay men, lesbian women and bisexual, transgender and intersex people.”

The President of the Council, Lodewijk Assche added: “Gay rights and women’s rights are human rights, without limits. Everyone has the right to be who you want to be, regardless of background or origin.

“It is very important that we now have a common European vision and goal that ensures collective action against countries and organisations that infringe gender equality, the rights of women, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender and intersex persons.”

ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director Evelyne Paradis said: “The adoption of the Council conclusions is finally a clear confirmation at the highest level that EU member states are committed to working together on promoting LGBTI rights across the EU and beyond.

“It is a clear call to the EU institutions that they can stop being cautious in standing up for LGBTI rights; they have the backing of member states to really step up their work in this area.”

However, ILGA-Europe called on EU institutions to secure tighter commitments from member states, noting a reference to “fully respecting the Member States’ competences, national identities and constitutional traditions” that could potentially be cited as an opt-out.

Ms Paradis added: “Now more than ever, the EU’s institutions and member states must show the LGBTI community that they are willing to stand alongside them in the face of intolerance.

“These Council conclusions must be a living document that guides their work for all LGBTI people, without any ifs or buts.”

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ian Boyne on Grow Up On Gay Intolerance!

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So Ian Boyne erudite commentator has hit the nail on the head again in what I see as a fair commentary; others in the LGBT circles are up in arms over his criticisms of the arrogance and reverse intolerance. It is not the first time though he had sought to point it out as posted here on Gay Jamaica Watch: The Intolerant View Of Tolerance .............

now comes his latest salvo:

flag at the US Embassy on Hope Road

No Jamaican law was violated or disrespected when the United States displayed the rainbow flag of the LGBT community on its own territory in Kingston. And rather than showing disrespect to Jamaica, the act indicated its acknowledgement of the vibrancy of our civil society and of our democratic 'articulate minority'.

Jamaicans have pointed out that the Americans dared not put up a rainbow flag in a country like Saudi Arabia or other Islamic states with Shari'a law. But that is precisely the point: The Americans know we have a strong democratic tradition and that no violent action would follow, despite the vast majority of Jamaicans' strident and visceral opposition to homosexuality (which, strictly, is not criminalized; only anal sex). They knew the dominant voices in media would push back against any popular dissent and that they could, of course, count on the visa-hungry masses to hold their tongues and violent implements in hope of entering paradise!

the tweet that started it all (not included in the Gleaner excerpt)

They were right. The attorney general has never regretted any action of hers as she has those few words proclaimed on Twitter. She has been clobbered internationally and everywhere in cyberspace. But some brave soldiers of the Gospel have come to her defence, though. I admire their courage but am less impressed with their reasoning. Helene Coley-Nicholson, president of Lawyers' Christian Fellowship (LCF), says the flying of the rainbow flag "sends an overt symbol that the United States Embassy in Jamaica is aligned with those who would break our laws".

First, Helene, embodied in the first principle of diplomacy and international relations - mutual respect - is the notion of tolerance for diversity. States do not only have relations with those whose laws, customs and ideologies are compatible with theirs. Jamaica did not break off relations with the United States when it legalized gay marriage, even though we are not aligned with that at all.

TOLERANCE, RESPECT

America has relations with countries with laws that penalise adultery, alcohol, and pork consumption, homosexuality, and which practise Internet censorship and a host of authoritarian laws. This is what happens every day among states. It is not disrespectful for friends to uphold their beliefs and practices in contradistinction to others. That's what tolerance and respect really mean: That I can freely engage my expression of preferences even when they clash with yours. This is at the heart of the democratic ethos and of respectful relationships.

LCF makes the following statement, which, on the surface, seems benign but which is deeply offensive: Conceding the fact that "the embassy is considered American territory in international law," the Fellowship nevertheless goes on to say in its release that "the LCF asks US Ambassador Luis Moreno to immediately take down the flag and in so doing eliminate potential misunderstanding", and - note this -"barriers to the natural outpouring of sympathy and support for the United States and those who have suffered". This is reprehensible and deplorable. Our people's "natural outpouring of sympathy" would be constrained by the presence of that gay flag? If that is true, we should hang our heads in shame. That is not complimentary and is not something we should broadcast. That is advertising our moral and cultural backwardness.

I submit we have a deeper problem not just in Jamaica but in the world: It is a problem of a deeply illiberal, anti-democratic, anti-pluralistic spirit. It not only afflicts conservative Christians.It afflicts supposed liberals, leftists and gay activists. The issue is not primarily hate. It is an abhorrence of tolerance, a despising of opposing views, a cherishing of bigotry. It is not only among fundamentalists. Some of these gays activists are among the most arrogant, bigoted, and democracy-averse people you can find. I declare a plague on all the houses.

The Christians in Jamaica who rightly recognise that this issue of gay rights is a political one must know how to fight political battles. They must be intellectually and strategically sharper than they have been and not keep playing into the hands of those who are enemies of the Church.

The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, like its sister organisation which Coley-Nicholson runs, also concedes that "the US Embassy is considered to be on US soil", but goes on to say in its release that "the embassy is still a guest of the Jamaican Government and is expected to conduct its affairs in a respectful manner".


GROW UP, JAMAICA!

No, it is the Jamaican people who must grow up and start respecting people's civil liberties and right to their own way of life. We don't have to force the Americans to agree with us that homosexuality is an abomination worthy of punishment in an eternal hellfire.

They should be free to proclaim their solidarity with fellow citizens who are gay, some of whom lost their lives in the nation's biggest mass-shooting massacre. They chose to grieve by showing haters that they stand in solidarity with a community they see as oppressed and despised. We can disagree and feel those people should repent of their sinful ways. That is our right to believe that. But we can't impose that on our guests, Dr Wayne West. We must show some respect and regard to our guests.

I am a conservative Christian who follows a Bronze Age book written by nomadic tribes who deemed homosexual practice unethical. But I don't believe we have any right to impose the Kingdom of God on anyone in this age. I believe we must maintain this free, pluralistic society, and we have no right to ban non-Christian expressions.

We should strive to penetrate the society with Christian ethics and to convince people that our views are right. Lucien Jones is doing a valiant job in that regard. But we must resist the temptation to theonomy and theocracy. We must learn from the excesses of the fanatical Muslims who are a threat to civilisation everywhere. (Notice I did not say 'Muslims', but 'fanatical Muslims'.)

Pastor Al Miller, in his response, was equally flawed. He pleads in a letter in theObserver on Thursday that "diplomacy requires respect and the art of understanding the customs and beliefs of those with whom one engages. The diplomat makes every effort not to offend".

So a diplomat must show respect and honour to the custom of female circumcision, Indian caste traditions, child brides, Shari'a law? In earlier times, should respect have been shown to foot binding, duelling, etc? Should apartheid have been respected because it was law? Was Mandela immoral to defy it? Al Miller feels that the flying of the rainbow flag "can only be interpreted as a deliberate act of provocation". Provocation to what? You realise what you are saying, Rev? He says it was a "deliberate slap in the face of the Jamaican community". Well, again, we should be ashamed if that is so.

It's no slap in my face if someone wants to affirm his homosexuality or show solidarity with the gay community. As long as I am allowed to have my Stone Age belief that homosexuality is wrong and worship my Invisible Friend in the sky, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as the New Atheists would say, that's okay. Fly your gay flag anywhere but my premises and I am okay. Problem is that it is not just the Christian fundamentalists who pose a threat to liberal values. Increasingly, so-called liberal societies are free-speech terrorists.

The June 4-10 issue of The Economist has a cover story, 'Free Speech Under Attack', which makes interesting reading. In its editorial, it notes that "the idea has spread that people and groups have a right not to be offended. That may sound innocuous. But if I have a right not to be offended, that means someone must police what you say about me or about things I hold dear such as my ethnic group, my religion." Gays are principal offenders, wanting to insulate themselves against so-called hate speech and offensive language.

Some gays would just as soon shut down all opposition, citing homophobia and hate to mask their own intolerance. An illiberal, intolerant spirit is growing on all sides. It must be firmly resisted. Let a hundred flowers bloom - along with the weeds. Democracy detractors, go home!

- Ian Boyne is a veteran journalist working with the Jamaica Information Service. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and ianboyne1@yahoo.com.

also see:

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Intersex spokesperson speaks in the European Parliament for the first time ever today

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In an historical first this afternoon, the European Parliament heard from an intersex person on the rights and needs of intersex people across Europe

Intersex people are born with bodies that do not entirely match the definition of either the male or female gender.

During a public hearing on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2015, Dan Christian Ghattas, explained the situation of intersex people in Europe.

"It is estimated that around 1 in 200 people are born intersex," Ghattas explained, "and they are usually subjected to surgery and hormone treatment within the first two years of their lives in order to fulfil societal expectations about gender."

"This treatment of infants means that we do not get the opportunity to make choices about our own bodies. Most intersex people experience psychological trauma as a result.

"This is a violation of our right to self-determination, and contravenes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

"We are asking the European Parliament to take an active role in supporting our rights, including a European Parliament own-initiative report on the rights of intersex people and a study on how EU gender equality legislation could be used to protect our rights."

Vice President of the European Parliament's LGBTI Intergroup, Malin Bj√∂rk, commented: “LGBTIQ people face a constant political battle for the right to exist. Gender norms around how male and female bodies should look lead to a violation of the right to bodily integrity of intersex people."

"This is a form of violence and we have a responsibility to fight against in our struggle for justice. Therefore, the presence of an intersex organisation in the European Parliament in a hearing on fundamental rights is politically important, and something I value and celebrate.”

Ghattas appeared in the Parliament this afternoon with the support of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), the Organisation Intersex International Europe (OII), and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Related MEPs

What the PM should tell Mrs Malahoo Forte (Observer)

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Well the goodly folks at the Observer have come to some senses despite some previous pieces and gay baiting in times passed. The recent furore over a flag is the cause of it. 

the tweet that started it all

the flag at the Embassy at Hope Road

I am in agreement with the stance taken:

They commented 

Attorney General Mrs Marlene Malahoo Forte has unnecessarily ignited a firestorm by her ill-considered tweet Monday evening which accused the United States Embassy of disrespecting the laws of Jamaica by flying, at half-mast, the rainbow flag of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and Transgender) community.

The embassy took the action as a mark of respect for the 102 people killed or injured in the horrific shooting incident at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which was carried out in the early hours of Sunday morning by a lone gunman who was in turn shot dead by the police.

At a time when the global community is focused on unity in the overarching trans-national fight against terrorism, it is regrettable that a tweet by the attorney general should have caused this negative fall out. Her brief words could give rise to the false interpretation of being counter to the correct position of the Jamaican Government, so eloquently expressed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in offering condolence to the US Government, family and friends of the victims of this unspeakable terrorist act.

Not surprisingly, the rapid-fire social media utilised by her to send the tweet has already relayed it globally and, as could be expected, it has been latched on to by the international media. More importantly, the US Embassy has taken note and, we are sure, would have onpassed it to the State Department.

We can only hope that the tweet does not impact the normal cordial and productive relations with our long-standing and highly valued partner, the United States.

We note that Mrs Malahoo Forte had pointed out in that unfortunate tweet that she was expressing her personal view, no doubt mindful of the need to minimise any possible negative interpretations being attributed to the Government. But that doesn’t let her off the hook.

It is clear that she was unaware that senior public officials who hold important portfolios and ministers of government ought not to express their views publicly, especially on sensitive matters, even under the cover of the view being personal.

It is too fraught with danger because it has implications well beyond the official and is, we suggest, a course of action that is a veritable banana peel, as the attorney general must by now have recognised. It is our view that the fragile cover of an utterance being personal is to be avoided at all cost. It invariably does more harm than good, as has now happened.

Of course, Jamaica enjoys and promotes freedom of expression. But those who speak in the name of the people must be careful to avoid confusion in the minds of their audience. It is a sacrifice they make for holding public office, and they can’t eat their cake and have it too.

The risk of untold, unintended negative repercussion of ill-conceived utterances can lead to unnecessary expenditure of time, energy and resources pursuing damage control which could have been avoided with more care and attention.

The prime minister must let Mrs Malahoo Forte know, in no uncertain terms, if he has not yet done so, that it must not happen again. It is a first offence and she is inexperienced in office, but she must be expected to take a more cerebral approach to such sensitive matters.

The attorney general should not need us to warn her of the dangers of unthinking utilisation of the informal social media which has no geographical or national boundaries.

ENDS

also see:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Guns kill people ............

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Owen Blakka Ellis

In an ideal world, Christians are supposed to be completely safe and protected from potential violence, especially while attending a prayer meeting inside a church. And nobody would challenge me if I say that in a sane universe, children should be totally safe and free from harm while learning and playing in school.

Patrons watching a movie in a cinema in a civilised society should also expect that if any shooting is going to happen, it would happen exclusively on the big screen. And one would have thought that in 2016 gay, lesbian, transsexual and queer people would be safe and happy in gay night club in the United States of America. But things are not the way they should be.

Why? The answer is partly in the simple but powerful message of that 1980 tune by Eddie Fitzroy that says, "di gun, di gun, di gun it is a dangerous weapon. Di gun, di gun, di gun it is a wicked invention." Yeah man, is true. And acquiring that wicked invention in the US appears to be about as easy as getting good ganja to buy in Jamaica. The thing though, is that guns...well, simply put, guns kill people.

added in solidarity

Yes people, and what happened with guns in the hands of a sick man in Orlando over the weekend is beyond wrong. No ifs, no buts, no maybe or because. It just damn downright immoral and scary. Yuh nuh agree? I don't know any of the victims or survivors, but God knows I feel for them and their family.

hate and terror

And I join all the people of conscience in condemning the attack that has been aptly labelled by US president Barrack Obama as 'an act of hate and terror'.

I have to join the chorus. What's the point of having a voice, if I did not add my voice today, to the millions all over the world expressing sorrow, anger and outrage over the senseless loss of lives? What's the purpose of having a heart if you're not touched by the palpable pain and grief that one man inflicted on so many people who never did him any harm?

The Orlando shooter's father reportedly suggested in an interview that the murderous rampage he went on may have been triggered after seeing two men kiss in public. How that affect him? I have said this before, and I will say it again for all the self-appointed judges and arbiters of other people's sexual morality: what another consenting adult does sexually should only be your business if you intend to have sex with him or her! It should not be the basis for war. And right now, it feels like we're in the midst of a war.

suffer more

Fi real peeps, it feels like we are living in a world at war with itself. And all of us suffer the collateral consequences - although some suffer more than others. My heart goes out to all the already maligned and marginalised gay people whose sense of security is now further compromised by the tragedy in Florida. And my heart goes out to the genuine, devout Muslims who will now face more discrimination and be unfairly judged by the actions of one cowardly and deranged man who chose to dress up his ugly hate in the garment of radical religious rhetoric.

Look here nuh, I'm not about to join the bright people who are busy drawing battle lines and taking positions on either sides of the debates around homophobia versus LGBTQ rights or US gun control policies and second amendments rights, etc. But I have to wonder how a man who has been investigated by the FBI for possible links to terrorism can legally buy semi-automatic weaponry easy, easy so. If this world nuh crazy, me mad!

ENDS

I agree with Owen here but the madness that has since ensued has clouded the very thing that should be the focus.

#IstandwithOrlando

Also see from GJW:

Gay club killing unlikely in Ja .........

Dormant anti gay feelings resurface in Florida shooting aftermath

Attorney General Malahoo Forte condemned for comments on US Embassy's rainbow flag

Rainbow flags vs Jamaicans murdered which is more important?

SCOTUS Strikes Down Abortion Clinic Regulations in Texas

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download the judgement HERE

WASHINGTON (AP):

The Supreme Court struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics yesterday in the court's biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter century.

The justices voted 5-3 in favour of Texas clinics that had argued the regulations were only a veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get abortions in the nation's second-most populous state.

Justice Stephen Breyer's majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman's right to an abortion.

Texas had argued that its 2013 law and subsequent regulations were needed to protect women's health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.

'UNDUE BURDEN'

Breyer wrote that "the surgical-centre requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an 'undue burden' on their constitutional right to do so."

Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Breyer.

Ginsburg wrote a short opinion noting that laws like Texas' "that do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion, cannot survive judicial inspection" under the court's earlier abortion-rights decisions. She pointed specifically to Roe v. Wade in 1973 and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Thomas wrote that the decision "exemplifies the court's troubling tendency 'to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue.'" Thomas was quoting an earlier abortion dissent from Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February. Scalia has not yet been replaced, so only eight justices voted.

Alito, reading a summary of his dissent in court, said the clinics should have lost on technical, procedural grounds. Alito said the court was adopting a rule of, "If at first you don't succeed, sue, sue again."

Abortion providers said the rules would have cut the number of abortion clinics in Texas by three-fourths if they had been allowed to take full effect.

When then Governor Rick Perry signed the law in 2013, there were about 40 clinics throughout the state. That number dropped to under 20 and would have been cut in half again if the law had taken full effect, the clinics said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the law "was an effort to improve minimum safety standards and ensure capable care for Texas women. It's exceedingly unfortunate that the court has taken the ability to protect women's health out of the hands of Texas citizens and their duly elected representatives."

ENDS

I can imagine the squirming yet again by antigay groups added to the apology call from the pope just days ago Dr Wayne West and others must be fuming. Things are slowly changing towards some sensibility and real Christians ought not to be paranoid and misguided as to tolerance and choice and leave all judgement to God.

Peace & tolerance

H

Ronnie Thwaites’ rubbish on flying rainbow flags grooms children into “particular lifestyle”

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I guess some politicians want their piece of fame from this rainbow flag fiasco and they can’t resist the urge to join in but one wonders if their motives are genuine especially those from the parliamentary opposition; owing to the fact that when they were in power they duped us all on a now farcical conscience vote on buggery. The Former education minister from the prior HFLE fiasco turned opposition spokesperson Reverend Ronnie Thwaites has displayed his poor thinking yet again. This is the same man who as Education minister was directly responsible for the removal of progressive materials in the Home & Family Life Education, HFLE manual despite his guest speaker duties at JFLAG’s International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia, IDAHOT in 2012 and the resulting increased fear-mongering and moral panic and the recently ended guidance counselors and gay students controversy. I was expecting some more enlightened narrative on just basic tolerance from the goodly Reverend but I am yet again disappointed as remarks made by Thwaites on the controversial tweet-faux pas by Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte had further muddied the water in some circles.


the tweet that started the ball a rollin'

Gleaner poll results on the issue

What is ironic is that many persons may have passed the flag at the US Embassy at Hope Road prior to Mrs Forte’s tweet-faux pas I bet did not know what the flag meant until this controversy, so the good that can come out of this it is a teaching moment for us LGBT voices included who know the flag is for LGBT but do not know the history of it.

In a television interview on CVM TV on June 14, 2016 when asked after a public where the Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed support to the families impacted by the Orlando Pulse gay club shooting Thwaites said that the flying of a rainbow flag at the US Embassy is effectively grooming children into “a particular lifestyle that is different from the Judaeo Christian norm which is in fact the foundation of our constitutional order and I believe of our personal and national health...... ”

In other words polite speak for HIV is a gay disease resulting from anal sex; a ploy that is often used by antigay religious bigots such as Dr Wayne West, Betty Ann Blaine and Shirley Richards. I am not stupid as the goodly Reverend thinks some of us are and continue to pray on the public’s ignorance. So the hardened positions continue, will there ever be movement towards true tolerance anytime soon with the kind of continued paranoia and fear of openness of LGBT people and that a flag is so frightening in this round of it. Mr Thwaites of seems to forget that the very laws in Jamaica were inherited by us by default after independence in 1962 from Britain protected under a ‘savings law clause’ which preserved them until we must make the amendments and deletions when needed and this buggery law in particular needs to go. Also the UK has moved from a theocracy essentially to more civil legislative environment, as an attorney Mr Thwaites ought to be more balanced and indeed honest when making such remarks. He ought to also know that the buggery law when first promulgated was more about the smear campaign in the UK under Henry VIII to give effect to the English church reformation while extirpating the Catholic church and replacing it with the church of England which is the dominant denomination today in the UK; with subsequent re-enactments and amendments to 1967 when the forward thinking parliament decided the law should go and they were on good ground.

Then there are others in support are ascribing motive of imposing homosexuality and whether such flags are flown in US Embassy in Saudi Arabia for example and or ‘double standards’ as opposed to Jamaica and that the US would not do it; while ignoring the fact that that it is a different jurisdiction and that the death penalty under Sharia law as homosexuality is illegal but homosexuality is NOT illegal in Jamaica but buggery is despite the gender of the receptive partner(s) involved. Double standards are indeed needed in such delicate diplomatic relations especially with states like the Saudis; there are implications on world affairs that are too delicate to infuriate the fickle relationship. Some people just don’t think these days. Lest we forget who were murdered sadly in Orlando and the Attorney General in my view is saying indirectly LGBT Jamaicans dare not put up a flag to celebrate what we are about.

Why is the term ‘alternate lifestyle’ still being used in modern times to describe sexual orientation or homosexuality? Thwaites cannot bring himself to speak directly to the issues openly it seems. Let us put to rest the silliness about “homosexual lifestyle” or “alternate lifestyle” once and for all; as a phrase it is pure propaganda, a gossipy generalization and completely unworthy of a Christian who, following the counsel in Proverbs seeks understanding and insight into life and people. As Christians some will have to decide if we are going to partake of divisive “party spirit” that racked the church at Corinth or follow Christ as discerning attentive principles – to that still small voice and sharpen concerns for the ostracized instead of creating more strife.

Bear in mind that there is a reference in Luke 17:34 where Jesus in a teaching on the rapture makes what appears to be a neutral non-discriminatory reference where it read (King James Version):

Grooming when last I checked is not about an external influence as remote as a flag that can just influence someone so simply; as if to say children are going to get up and have sex as a rainbow flag denotes homosexuality and they will try it out. This grooming argument is not new and I had done an entry on the subject to try to decipher the phenomenon as untrained as I am but just sheer common sense is enough. Grooming involves a more personal one on one contact with the intended victim over time usually in an unbalanced power differential situation as the groomer seeks to psychologically imprison their target. A rainbow flag could not have any serious impact to those who do not have any understanding of what it signifies; what it denotes to the US and by extension the global struggle for LGBT rights and recognition. 



See:  The Deliberate Misuse of the “Sexual Grooming” Term by Antigay Fanatics to Promote Their Hysteria
Also let me remind us all that we have had rainbow flags in public spaces before and no one has died or simply become gay on sight due to the bright colours or some hypnotic powers emanating from the symbol. The fear is palpable. 

kites such as these have been sold by men at stop lights all over the island I imagine to students as well, are we to assume by Thwaites position that such rainbow kites will also groom children in a 'particular lifestyle?"

I have to agree with Mutabaruka in a sense, in his opening shot on his Stepping Razor show on the matter where he sided with Mrs Forte in principle but is alarmed at how Christian voices are saying either the shooting was retribution by God or that it was justified; he also questioned how a God who is represented in the Bible as a kind God is being presented to uphold barbaric principles? He then in patois of course mentioned the other abominations that are contained in Leviticus and highlighted the selectivity hypocrisy and the death penalty in Sharia law alongside the suppression of women’s freedoms.

“..... If you remove the Bible what would they (antigay Christian voices) do?”

he mentioned that he was contacted by one of the antigay groups who wanted him to sign a petition to remove the flag to which he seems to have ignored; he also reiterated a point I have also said that no government is going to be bold enough at this time given the push back will chance amending the buggery law by their own recognizance. He mentioned that fact that if one left the Muslim faith one may be punished by death.

“...the Bible supposed to be the book weh a show you a way to peace and justice and love and generosity and dem ting deh; and it mek people so hard inna dem heart?” he said in part.

“Mi nuh hear nobody a seh mek wi demonstrate ‘gainst adultery, wah happen to the church, cause most a de parson dem a adulterer ...... parson a look sista Dinah .... sista Dinah I’ve been watching you for a while ......... how de church nah preach ‘gainst adulterer?” he continued “the whole a wi would a dead.”

He concluded:

“Tell me, who is without sin mek dem cast the first stone”

Peace & tolerance is really needed in these times.

H

also see:

Sex-ed does not say have sex — NFPB head

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finally some sense to address the fear mongering of comprehensive sex education as published in the Observer


NATIONAL Family Planning Board (NFPB) Executive Director Dr Denise Chevannes-Vogel has said that exposing adolescents to information on sexual reproductive health will not drive them to have sex if they are not already sexually active.

Speaking at an HIV forum at Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew on Monday, Dr Chevannes-Vogel came out in full support of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, which has come under recent scrutiny after concerns were raised about the infiltration of the philosophy into the education system.

Dr Chevannes-Vogel called for “frank conversations” which, evidenced by the loud applause, got the nod from the audience.

In May, Education Minister Ruel Reid met with representatives of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society to hear their concerns and made it clear that the education ministry’s philosophical position is that gender is fixed as male and female.




He said then that a recent review of the approved books used with the Health and Family Life Education curriculum indicate that their contents are in conformity with Jamaica’s philosophical position on sexuality and gender.



However, this is not the first time sex-education material has provoked the ire of the public. Related content had come under scrutiny in 2012 after an uproar about some parts of the Health and Family Life Education curriculum encouraging homosexuality. It was withdrawn and revised to be more sensitive to Jamaica’s traditional beliefs and practices.

Though the forum — which was held under the theme ‘Health for All: Putting Youth and Adolescents at the Heart of the HIV Response’ — sought to raise awareness about adolescent and youth-specific issues in the response to HIV and AIDS, Dr Chevannes-Vogel moved to broaden the theme to put youth at the centre of a comprehensive sexual reproductive health response and sustainable national development.

“When we look at the correlation between good, optimum, sexual reproductive health and sustainable national development, the linkage is clear,” she stated. “And as a matter of fact, that was part of the basis of the integration of HIV and sexual reproductive health; they share common drivers — the gender inequalities, the cultural attitudes, the poverty, the unemployment, gender-based violence, sexual violence, incest.”

The National Family Planning Board is the lead agency for the HIV response after the Government merged some aspects of the National HIV Programme with the family and population planning programmes of the NFPB.

In addition to the common drivers, Dr Chevannes-Vogel pointed out that adolescent pregnancy is very high in Jamaica.

“We have the unenviable reputation of being fourth-ranked in the Caribbean region with an adolescent fertility rate, age-specific fertility rate, of 72 per 1,000 girls age 15-19. This compares to the Caribbean average of 65 and the global average of 49,” Dr Chevannes-Vogel shared, while admitting that the data is a bit outdated but provides an indicative figure.

She insisted that, in terms of sustainable development, Jamaica will not get very far unless there is a “comprehensive approach” looking at sexual and reproductive health, in addition to HIV.

“I think we need to recognise what it (Comprehensive Sexuality Education) is and what it is not. It is not sexualising young people and adolescents,” she insisted.

“What it is, is providing, in an age-appropriate, context-specific way, information that users and adolescents need to protect their sexual reproductive health.

“By telling adolescents and young people the kind of information [they need, it] doesn’t make anyone have sex.

“If they are not already sexually active, giving them the information is not going to drive them into sex,” she stated.

Dr Chevannes-Vogel said irrespective of the name given, whether it is Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Comprehensive Sexual Health Education, or Human Sexuality Education, what happens is having that “frank conversation” to help to empower young people.

She also pointed out that sexual education must be gender-specific and must also take into account how society drives sexual health behaviours for boys and girls.

“For boys, you have to have ‘nuff gyal inna bundle’. You cannot be thought to be gay,” she explained. “For girls, the notion [is] that you need a man to validate who you are; the notion [is] that if you haven’t had a child by the time you are a certain age, you are a mule.

“All of these are the cultural attitudes that we also have to empower our young people against,” she said, while reiterating the NFPB’s support for the ‘Health For All’ initiative.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

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Podcasts You may have missed or want to re-listen




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.



and



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

More uploads




Aphrodite’s PRIDE JA tackles gender identity, transgender misconceptions .....



Nationwide New Network, NNN devoted some forty five minutes of prime time yesterday evening to discuss the issue and help listeners to at least begin to process some of the information coming from the most public declaration exercise as done by Jenner. Guests on the show were Dr Karen Carpenter Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Psychologist, ‘Satiba’ from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica of which I am affiliated and Lecturer (Sociologist) and host of Every Woman on the station Georgette Crawford Williams (sister of PNP member of parliament Damian Crawford); one of the first questions thrown at Satiba by host Cliff Hughes was why has Jenna waited so long at 65 years old to make such a life changing decision?

Satiba responded that many transwomen have to hide their true identity in life .... given her life when she was younger she was a star athlete she would have been under tremendous precious to stay in from the expectations by the public and her team etc, also owing to the fact that she had a family as a man with children one may not want to upset the flow at that time until the kids are old enough. There is a lot of burden of guilt that some persons carry in weighing the decisions of coming out or transitioning so suppression of one’s true self is the modus operandi.

Dr Carpenter cautioned after a heated exchange:

“We really must remember as professionals we must stay in our lane I will never pronounce as a Sociologist cause I am not a Sociologist ............When we have an opportunity to speak publicly we must be careful of what we say unless it is extremely well informed......”


Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website


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)

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?

Promised conscience vote was a fluke from the PNP ........



SO WE WERE DUPED EH? - the suggestion of a conscience vote on the buggery law as espoused by Prime Minister (then opposition leader) in the 2011 leadership debate preceding the last national elections was a dangling carrot for a dumb donkey to follow.

Many advocates and individuals interpreted Mrs Simpson Miller's pronouncements as a promise or a commitment to repeal or at least look at the archaic buggery law but I and a few others who spoke openly dismissed it all from day one as nothing more than hot air especially soon after in February member of parliament Damian Crawford poured cold water on the suggestion/promise and said it was not a priority as that time. and who seems to always open his mouth these days and revealing his thoughts that sometimes go against the administration's path.

I knew from then that as existed before even under the previous PM P. J. Patterson (often thought to be gay by the public) also danced around the issue as this could mean votes and loss of political power. Mrs Simpson Miller in the meantime was awarded a political consultants' democracy medal as their conference concludes in Antigua.


War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?



War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West (supposed in-laws of sorts) as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me in a sense as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.


Fast forward 2015 and the exchanges continue in a post from Dr Wayne West: Maurice Tomlinson misrepresents my position on his face book page and Blog 76Crimes

Tomlinson's post originally was:






Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II






Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality

I examine the possible reasons why we have the homo-negative challenges on the backdrop of a missing multi-generational understanding of sexuality and the focus on sexual reproductive activity in the curriculum.

also see:

and





Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time





(2014 protests New York)

Calling for boycotts by overseas based Jamaican advocates who for the most part are not in touch with our present realities in a real way and do not understand the implications of such calls can only seek to make matters worse than assisting in the struggle, we must learn from, the present economic climate of austerity & tense calm makes it even more sensible that persons be cautious, will these groups assist when there is fallout?, previous experiences from such calls made in 2008 and 2009 and the near diplomatic nightmare that missed us; especially owing to the fact that many of the victims used in the public advocacy of violence were not actual homophobic cases which just makes the ethics of advocacy far less credible than it ought to be.

See more explained HERE from a previous post following the Queen Ifrica matter and how it was mishandled

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.

Some Popular Posts

Are you ready to fight for gay rights and freedoms?? (multiple answers are allowed)

Did U Find This Blog Informative???

Blog Roll

What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence & venom force gay Jamaicans to hide



a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration.

The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men.

The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed.

At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace.

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 lgbtevent@gmail.com



Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
  • 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

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

  • Welcoming, examining and implementing 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 for your support.

Tel: 1-876-799-2231




Peace

Information & Disclaimer


Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alleged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names withheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practitioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature 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.

Recent Homophobic Cases

CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact lgbtevent@gmail.com or call 1-876-799-2231

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.


What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)


First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmaneuvering the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers

The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311

Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police


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 tensed) 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. 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

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.

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

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 update, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston



THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts


THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts 




The Prime Minister (Golding) on Same Sex Marriages and the Charter of Rights Debate (2009)


Other sides to the msm homeless saga (2012)


Rowdy Gays Matter 21.08.11 more HERE



Ethical Professionlism & LGBT Advocates 01.02.12 more HERE


Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11


2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape and virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure


Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11


Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica .... Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11 MORE HERE 


MSM Homelessness 2011 ...my two cents


Black Friday for Gays in Jamaica More HERE


Bi-phobia by default from supposed LGBT advocate structures?


Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11 (HOT!!!) see more HERE


A Response to Al Miller's Abnormality of Homosexuality statement 19.11.11


UK/commonwealth Aid Matter & The New Developments, no aid cuts but redirecting, ethical problems on our part - 22.11.11


Homophobic Killings versus Non Homophobic Killings 12.07.12


Big Lies, Crisis Archiving & More MSM Homlessness Issues 12.07.12


More MSM Challenges July 2012 more sounds HERE


GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 more HERE


Homosexuality Destroying the Family? .............. I Think Not!


Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now?


Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12 and more HERE


Should gov't provide shelter for homeless msm?


National attitudes to gays survey shows 78% of J'cans say NO to buggery repeal


1st Anniversary of Homeless MSM civil disobedience (Aug 23/4) 2012 more HERE


JFLAG's rejection of rowdy homeless msms & the Sept 21st standoff .........


Atheism & Secularism may cloud the struggle for lgbt rights in Jamaica more HERE


Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II and more HERE


MSM Community Displacement Concerns October 2012


The UTECH abuse & related issues


Beenieman's hypocrisy & his fake apology in his own words and more HERE


Guarded about JFLAG's Homeless shelter


Homophobia & homelessness matters for November 2012 ................


Cabinet delays buggery review, says it's not a priority & more ...........................(November 2012) prior to the announcement of the review in parliament in June 2013 More sounds HERE


"Dutty Mind" used in Patois Bible to describe homosexuals


Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter 2012 More HERE


George Davis Live - Dr Wayne West & Carole Narcisse on JCHS' illogical fear


Homeless MSM Issues in New Kgn Jan 2013 .......


Homeless MSM challenges in Jamaica February 2013 more HERE


JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness 2013


Poor leadership & dithering are reasons for JFLAG & Jamaica AIDS Support’s temporary homelessness May 2013 more HERE


Response To Flagging a Dead Horse Free Speech & Gay Rights 10.06.13




This Day in History