Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless MSM 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 men in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and 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

Friday, June 20, 2008

Buggerer gets four years

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Barbara Gayle wrote in the Star News 

A 48-year-old man who admitted having 11 previous convictions for sexually molesting young boys has been jailed for four years for indecent assault on a young boy.
Norman Hoffman, security guard, of Maxfield Avenue, Kingston 11, pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court last month. Sentencing was put off until yesterday
Hoffman admitted 11 previous convictions for offences of buggery and gross indecency committed on young boys. 

He is the father of five children 19 to 29 years.

Summer camp
The court was told that Hoffman went to a church in the Corporate Area and said he was a Christian. He was subsequently appointed youth director. He took some boys to a summer camp last year and reports were made to the police that he sexually assaulted one of the boys.

Attorney-at-law Melrose Reid made an impassioned plea for leniency for Hoffman. She said Hoffman was very sorry for what had happened and was willing to get counselling.
Miss Justice Kay Beckford put off sentencing until yesterday to allow Hoffman to get counselling while in custody.
The judge in sentencing Hoffman said she had to send him to prison because he was a habitual sex offender.

Well what do you all think about this story??

"Leave People Boi pickney alone"

Then again knowing what we now know of paedophilia and the issue to do with the problem being a disorder as deemed so by the Bible for all in the psychological community was this man a paedophile?

We also are told by the experts that most same sex paedophile perpetrators are not homosexual although they get involved with younger same sex persons. Abuse is abuse and the supposed sexual orientation of the perpetrator is immaterial as an attraction to children of a sexual nature is a diagnosable and treatable disorder.


Nicholas Groth is a pioneer in the scientific study of sexual offenders against women and children, who has treated over 3000 child molesters over the course of two decades. A former director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections, Groth is the author of Men Who Rape: Psychology of the Offender, a work widely regarded as a classic textbook on the psychology of sexual violence.

He concurred in a recent debate on homosexuality vs paedophilia that Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous. In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual. It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.

The general belief in the stereotype that "Homosexuals are dangerous as teachers or youth leaders because they try to get sexually involved with children" or that "Homosexuals try to play sexually with children if they cannot get an adult partner." is very real in our scenario.

Certainly the religious community and by extension the mainstream in most instances do not subscribe to the difference and just group men who are same sex attracted as paedophiles waiting to pounce upon their next victim thus polluting the nation, the family and foisting homosexuality on persons, strange how these same religious  persons are quicj condemn without researching the information and even the Star News sensationalistic as usual publishing this story without examining if only a little the nuances involved for readers to get a better grasp of the topics.

Peace and tolerance

H


Remember Folks To Be Vigilant

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Hi Folks a word from us to you:

Visit the newspaper sites or purchase the paper(s)

Read the Letter to the Editor

Write your own Letters to the Editor

Respond Appropriately to the Author(s) where neccessary and respectfully

Keep the dialogue going

Call the talk shows

SPEAK UP!!!

http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/
http://www.sunheraldja.com/frontpage/
http://www.nationwidenewsnetwork.com/ (double click the radio dial icon to lauch)
http://www.go-jamaica.com/power/ Power 106FM
http://www.newstalk.com.jm/

Suprised? Poll finds continuing intolerance for gays

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JAMAICA REMAINS unaccommodating of gay lifestyles, the latest Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson polls have found.
The polls, conducted on May 31 and June 1 across 84 communities in Jamaica's 14 parishes, found that 70 per cent of respondents believe that homosexuals and lesbians should not be entitled to the same basic rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual Jamaicans.
The polls, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, found that 26 per cent of respondents believe that homosexuals should enjoy the same level of lifestyle as other persons.
The study found that women are more accommodating of gay lifestyles. Some 34 per cent of them said gays should enjoy the same basic rights compared to 20 per cent of males who share this view.
There have been several cases of attacks on homosexuals in Jamaica in recent years as most locals use violence to display their dismay at the practice.
Treatment of homosexuals
Dancehall artistes have been blamed for the less-than-accommodating treatment of homosexuals, with locals said to be acting out the violence portrayed in the lyrics.
During a recent official visit to the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in an interview on the BBC's programme 'HARDtalk', said that, in Jamaica, "we do have a long-standing culture that is very opposed to homosexuality. I think that is changing. I believe there is greater acceptance now that people have different lifestyles, that their privacy must be respected".
The prime minister, however, said he would not allow gays to be part of his Cabinet, eliciting cries from several human rights and gay activists locally.
Golding has refused to bow. In his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in Parliament on Tuesday, the prime minister referred to the interview and then made a thinly-veiled swipe at gay lifestyles.
Likely to vote for Golding
"I make no apology, absolutely no apology when I say that anything that I regard as contradictory, as inimical, to the foundation of [the] family unit, is not something that will ever sit comfortably," the prime minister said.
Golding's stance in the BBC interview earned him some favour among persons who identified themselves as supporters of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP). Twenty-six per cent of the respondents said that, based on his stance, they are more likely to vote for Golding and his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the next election.
In total, 45 per cent of respondents said they are more likely to vote for Golding and his party because of the statement.
The prime minister has lost little support with just five per cent of respondents who said they are less likely to vote for him because of the statement.
Meanwhile, Golding's statement that he would not have gays in his Cabinet will make no difference in the way 65 per cent of PNP supporters and 20 per cent of JLP supporters are likely vote. In total, 48 per cent of the sample said it would make no difference at all, while two per cent said they don't know.

Penance for gay indulgence

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published: Friday June 20, 2008

The Editor, Sir:
As a nation we are frothing with indignation that we are being forced to bend at the waist to accommodate the homosexual lifestyles.
We have our own social codes, but little does anyone know that we also have the perfect deterrent and punishment. For those lesbian women and gay men, our society should make mandatory the punishment by enforced consumption of large quantities of Scotch bonnet peppers.

FULL Letter Here

Thursday, June 19, 2008

JFJ Press Release: Policing cowboy style - round em up and lock em up, JFJ Press Release

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June 17, 2008 – Kingston, Jamaica -- Last weekend’s cowboy-style round-up that saw the arbitrary detention of a reported 107 young men must be a timely warning to policy makers who have recently called for legislation that will enlarge police powers and make it legal to detain persons for six weeks without charge. Whilst the details of the event are sketchy, we understand that only one person has been charged in connection with breaching the terms of his bail. All others have been released.
Superintendent Harry Daley’s account in a radio interview is that he was at the dance where the events occurred and there he was confronted by army personnel. He was in uniform and declared his rank and his identity. When he demanded to know who was in charge, an army major drew his 9mm pistol and stuck it in his face with words to the effect that ‘the 9mm’ was ‘in charge’. These events raise serious questions, among them:
1. What intelligence led to the raid that excluded the police commander in charge of the area in which the operation was staged?
2. What operational orders did the army personnel have, that would have emboldened the commanding major to draw his weapon on a uniformed police superintendent who declared that he was the commander in charge of St. Catherine North?
3. Why was the army running an operation that properly ought to have been a police matter?

Outside of the operation’s legitimacy, the ugly and embarrassing fall-out over protocol, power and chain of command between the police and the army begs for public caution.

These questions and many more take on even more serious implications in the context of proposed legislation to legitimize the detention of persons for up to six weeks without charge.

In every instance in the past that Jamaican citizens have been called upon to surrender civil liberties, their lot has worsened not improved. The strategy of asking for citizens to surrender their civil liberties in the interest of fighting crime has been tried ad nauseum since the state of emergency in 1976. It has not resulted in a decrease in violent crime; in fact this tactic has had the opposite effect. Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) acknowledges that crime in Jamaica is an extraordinary challenge but believes that the country’s success in defeating crime is not to be found in extraordinary police powers. It is to be found in extraordinary police men and women providing exemplary leadership and service and acting to uphold the law and the constitution.

We call upon the Prime Minister not to enhance the police powers of detention and the encroachment of individual civil liberties but instead to:
a) Enhance the police capabilities to solve crime;
b) Enhance the Criminal Justice System’s capabilities to rely on scientific evidence and to deal with matters expeditiously and justly;
c) Heighten its social intervention in economically depressed communities;
d) Heighten its school programs that emphasize civic responsibility, family values and respect for authority;
e) Punish corruption and mediocrity. Reward honesty and excellence; and
f) Hold everyone to account.

JFJ urgesthe Prime Minister to view last weekend’s regrettable events as a caution against this latest call for civil liberties to be surrendered, ostensibly to fight crime. We succeed or fail in any struggle by the quality of our decisions not the quality of our conditions.

Fear of a Black Lesbian Planet

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"It's the big pink elephant in the middle of the room. Everyone knows it's there — and we quietly tiptoe around it, afraid that even acknowledging its existence would throw off the delicate balance that exists in our pretending it isn't standing there, grazing on our avoidance. If we do choose to look at the elephant's skin, we see that she carries the tattoos of racial division — exclusion, nasty feelings, words, and actions, the unspoken rules of separation. Black lesbians trying to find out who we are both as women of color and as lesbians find the invisible wall we bump up against while trying to find access into the lesbian community even harder to bear. White women may feel equally bruised by a situation where they don't feel they are being exclusionary at all. Some black women, reeling from accusations of being overly sensitive, question whether or not we are just imagining foul play. "I firmly believe that when we sense racism, it's happening," says Danielle Abrams, a biracial performance artist who addresses issues of race, gender and sexuality in her work. "I think we're all told that it's not happening. We've been taught to think that we're hysterical or neurotic when we sense racism."

Click The Post Title for the full article or go here

and thanx to Samiya ..............Good luck http://scryptkeeper.blogspot.com/

Is there a greater sin?

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Is there a greater sin?

Dear Editor,
I would like to ask Pastor Ira Thompson of the Bethel United Church of Jesus Christ, who commended the PM's "enlightened" responses on the BBC's HARDtalk programme, what the Bible says about fornication and adultery, based on the fact that he is upholding biblical Christian values.
Aren't these sinful acts that should be denounced just as fervently as homosexual acts? In the Bible, weren't people stoned because of the acts of adultery? So, if these are all sins, when and who decided that one was a greater sin than the other and that God, who made us all in His image, is going to preferentially castigate homosexuals?


J Boreland
jirmz@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Other Side of AIDS ........ Documentary

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If you know someone who is HIV Positive or has full blown AIDS or are you curious about the other points of view on the subject matter follow the link below to the Full documentary




Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Intersex Information and definition

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Inter-sex
There was a time not so long ago when parents couldn't answer the question "Boy or girl?" until a child was born. But nowadays, most people expect parents to be able to answer that question well before birth. That makes things even more awkward for parents whose children have an intersex condition.
When a child is born with an intersex condition, even though the doctors and parents may have thought they knew what sex the child was from prenatal sonograms, the sex of the child may be unclear. There may be several days of tests before doctors and parents decide what gender to assign such a child.
"Intersex" is a general term used for any form of congenital (inborn) mixed sex anatomy. This doesn't mean that a person with an intersex condition has all the parts of a female and all the parts of a male; that is physiologically impossible. What it does mean is that a person with an intersex condition has some parts usually associated with males and some parts usually associated with females, or that she or he has some parts that appear ambiguous (like a phallus that looks somewhere between a penis and a clitoris, or a divided scrotum that looks more like labia). It's important to understand that intersex doesn't always involve "ambiguous" or blended external sex anatomy. Sometimes a child or adult who is intersexed can look quite unambiguous sexually, although internally their sex anatomy is mixed. This happens, for example, with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome, where a person has some male parts (including a Y chromosome and testes) internally, but is quite clearly feminine on the outside. It's important to also be clear that intersex is different from transgender in that a person with intersex is born with mixed sex anatomy, where as a person who is transgendered is a person who feels himself or herself to be a gender different than the one he or she was assigned at birth. Some people who are transgendered were born intersexed, but most were born with "standard" male or female anatomy.
When a baby or child is recognized to have an intersex condition, it can be quite traumatic for the parents. Parents want their children to have happy, "normal" lives, and they worry that a child with intersex cannot do so. All parents imagine their children's futures, and parents of children with intersex conditions can have a very hard time doing that; they're not sure whether to imagine that child will marry, whether the child will give them grandchildren. As a consequence, the parents' identities also become confused and uncomfortable.
This is why people like me who advocate for the rights of people born with intersex conditions also actively advocate for the rights of their parents. Too often, because some well-intentioned medical professionals dealing with intersex hope to provide a "quick fix," parents' persistent confusion and distress is not adequately addressed. Yet parents in such situations obviously deserve the best care available, including professional psychological and social services. They also deserve help finding other parents who have been through the same thing. Parents I've talked with tell me that being able to talk with another parent immediately reduced the amount of stress and confusion they felt, and enabled them to focus on the joy of having a beautiful (and often perfectly healthy) baby.
Unfortunately, until recently, the dominant medical system for treating intersex treated parents as a means to an end. Psychologist John Money at Johns Hopkins University developed that system which assumed gender is all a matter of nurture, not nature. Money claimed that any child could be turned into any gender as long as the parents believed in the assigned gender. As a consequence, doctors told parents of children with intersex what gender a child was and then doctors scheduled intensive "normalizing" surgeries to try to make the genitals look clearly female or male (usually female). Confusion and distress on the part of the parents and child were downplayed, because doctors believed the only real issue was the gender assignment, and that once gender was assigned and sex "assignment" surgeries were started, they had to stay the course no matter what. They assumed a clear gender identity would alleviate all parental distress and therefore all distress on the part of the child, and that "normalizing" procedures would provide a clear gender identity.
Money claimed to prove this system worked with a case known as "John/Joan." After a pediatrician accidentally destroyed the penis of an identical twin boy (who was not intersexed) during circumcision at eight months, Money recommended to the parents that the child be made into a girl. They decided to take his advice and for years Money claimed the sex reassignment had worked. We now know that that child, who grew up to take the name David Reimer, was never happy as a girl. John Colapinto tells his story--including his attempts to rebuild what he could of the male anatomy that was taken from him in "reassignment" surgeries in the book As Nature Made Him.
What, then, should parents of a child with an intersex condition know? The first thing they should know is that "ambiguous genitalia" are not diseased. They just look different. Unusual genitalia may signal an underlying metabolic concern, like Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), but doctors can usually treat metabolic concerns without doing surgery on the child's genitalia. Many babies born with intersex conditions are perfectly healthy and do not require any medical intervention other than diagnostic tests. Parents therefore need to press doctors to make clear to them which parts of their child's anatomy involve threats to their child's physical well-being, and which are psycho-social concerns. They should also press doctors to explain which interventions must be done on an emergency basis (for example, when a child is born without any urinary opening) and which can be put off until parents have had the time to calm down, to get to know their own baby and other parents in similar situations, and to explore all of their options. They also should actively request referrals to professional and peer counselors, so that they can express, in a supportive and unhurried environment, their own feelings of confusion, grief, shame, and fear.
Parents should also know that doctors are likely to seek from them consent for "normalizing" genital surgeries when the child is still very young, because many doctors believe that this will make the parents' distress end and will prevent the child from feeling any distress. In fact, these surgeries carry great risks, including risks to genital sensation (which the child will need later for a healthy sex life), continence, fertility, and life. The risks should not be downplayed, particularly in consideration of the fact that "normalizing" surgeries are not medically necessary for physical well being. A nurse told me recently of one baby girl who ended up in intensive care on a ventilator because of complications from an elective "normalizing" surgery. Many parents have expressed to me disappointment in the surgeries after having discovered that the surgeries can't really give their child "normal" looking genitals. Some surgeries require that parents do follow-up care that parents may find very troubling. For example, "vaginoplasties" which lengthen or build vaginas out of skin or pieces of colon often require that parents regularly dilate the new vagina with a lubricated dildo. Several mothers have told me that, if they had understood that that was what would be involved in home follow-up care, they would have waited until their child was old enough to consent to and do the dilations herself. Parents also need to know that the few follow-up studies available show that "normalizing" genital surgeries done in infancy or early childhood seem to have a poor long-term success rate. That is why more and more doctors are recommending that parents put off these surgeries until puberty, when the surgeries tend to be more successful and when children can provide input on the decision-making process. It is also why parents should press doctors to explain to them exactly what scientific follow-up studies can or can't tell them about the success of these interventions.
Parents should also be aware that legal scholars have recently shown that parents of children with intersex conditions are often not fully informed before they consent to "normalizing" surgeries. In the recent past they have not been told, for example, that the claim that gender comes from nurture has fallen into serious question, and that doctors cannot actually know what gender a child will end up feeling. As a consequence some parents have consented to have their micropenis boys turned into girls, only to discover later that studies by Dr. William Reiner at Johns Hopkins University have shown that many children born with micropenis ultimately take on the male gender identity regardless of having been raised as girls with surgically "feminized" genitalia. Parents have also not been adequately informed about which procedures were essentially elective. Finally, parents have not been advised of what was and was not known about the long-term effects of this system of treatment.
It is important that parents of children with intersex conditions press doctors to tell them the exact diagnosis once the doctors know it. This will enable the parents to do their own research, and to find other parents with similar experiences, as well as understand their options. Parents of children with intersex conditions--indeed, parents of any child with a complex condition--should ask for copies of the child's medical records on a regular basis. According to an article in December 2001, in the British Medical Journal, "a paternalistic policy of withholding the diagnosis is still practiced by some clinicians" in intersex cases. These physicians mistakenly believe that shielding parents from exact diagnoses in intersex cases protects parents and children from unnecessary harm. A few also mistakenly believe this practice is ethical and legal; it is neither.
A recent article in the British Journal of Urology notes that photographs taken of them as children and later published in medical journals and textbooks have unintentionally harmed some people with intersex conditions. Parents should guard against unnecessary photographing of their children as well as unnecessary display to medical students and residents, particularly as the child becomes old enough to understand and remember these incidents. While teaching hospitals will be inclined to use the opportunity of caring for a child with intersex for educational purposes, parents should resist any encounter that does not directly benefit their child, given the risks. The trauma to parents and child that can arise from repeated display of a child's genitalia to strangers should not be underestimated.
When facing the possibility of intersex, parents should know that every child can and should be assigned a gender as boy or girl and that doing so does not require any surgery. Gender assignment is accomplished for every child (intersexed or not) through the social and legal labeling of a child as boy or girl. In intersex cases, doctors and parents can work together to try to figure out what gender a child is likely to feel given that particular child's anatomy and physiology, given what doctors know from scientific studies of outcomes in similar cases, and given how the parents see that child's gender. The parents will have to recognize that there is a small but real chance that gender assignment may not hold, that the child may express the other gender later, and that this is why it is best to leave the child's anatomy intact as much as possible. Removing parts doesn't remove the possibility that the child may change gender later; it only makes it a lot harder for the child to do what she or he wants or needs later.
When parents are making decisions on behalf of a child with intersex, they should keep in mind what the sociologist Suzanne Kessler has shown: Kessler asked a group of men whether, if they had been born with "micropenis," they would have wanted to be turned into girls, and she asked a group of women whether, if they had been born with large clitorises, they would have wanted to have their clitorises surgically shortened. The vast majority of men said they would rather grow up with micropenis than as girls. The vast majority of women said they would have wanted to have their large clitorises left alone. But asked what they would choose for a child in the same situation, many said they would opt to turn micropenis boys into girls and would opt for cosmetic surgeries on girls' large clitorises. The reason behind the different answers is the compassion we all feel for children. We all want to protect children from hardship. But the key to keep in mind is what the child would likely want for himself or herself. Kessler's study as well as interviews with adults with intersex (both those who were subject to "normalizing" surgeries and those who were raised without "normalizing" surgeries) indicates that the vast majority of people want their parents to let them decide for themselves whether to risk health, appearance, genital sensation, continence, fertility, and life. Putting off the surgeries until at least puberty allows the child to have input on the decision, and it seems to provide for better outcomes as well as providing for the possibility that surgical techniques and outcome data will improve in the interim.
Finally, parents should know that intersex does not have to be treated with shame and secrecy. The social (and sometimes also the medical) system by which we treat parents of "different" children as pitiful or shameful is a system that harms those parents and children. Intersex is a natural variation--we see it in all animal species and throughout history. People with intersex can grow up as healthy boys and girls, men and women. Their best shot at doing so is when their parents are not made to feel ashamed of themselves or their children. Unfortunately, "normalizing" procedures like cosmetic genital surgeries sometimes inadvertently make parents and children feel unnecessary shame. Many adults I know with intersex conditions feel that their parents' decision to change their genitals for cosmetic reasons means that their parents saw them as freaks, even though that isn't what their parents intended. Dealing openly with intersex is the best defense against the shame-game. Parents should therefore have access to professional and peer support as they learn to talk with their child about intersex in an open, honest, and accurate manner. Parents will also find that connecting their child to peers with intersex will allow their child another opportunity to talk openly about the challenges of living with intersex. Talking this through undoes the shame and secrecy that pretty much everyone involved agrees has historically been the most harmful aspect of intersex.
No one is suggesting that in cases of intersex we "do nothing." But parents need to know that intersex is primarily a psychosocial concern, and that it is therefore best treated with substantial and continuous psychosocial support, professional and peer. The bottom line is that children with intersex conditions and their parents deserve honesty, respect, and support. But we are not yet at the point where that is automatically provided. We all need to do our part, as doctors, parents, neighbors, and teachers, to demystify intersex and see to it that parents of children with intersex conditions know the same pride and joy of parenting as others.

Testimonials (Flashback)

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Lesbian attacked at work

Extortion

Manly middle-class queers not spared

Male Hairdressers beaten

Woman incites bashing

Hospitals scorn bashing victims

Cops fire at gay crowd

HIV-phobia and a gay safe house destroyed

Meeting machetes

Bashing at KFC

Click HERE for more

Deaths statistics regarding homophobic crimes in Jamaica (Flashback)

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1982-2001 Statistics
Julius Powell of J-FLAG: 'We have had 47 murders since 1982 which we have directly attributed to their sexual orientation'. (source: Jahworks.org, December 2001)

1997-2002 Statistics
More than 30 gay men have been murdered in Jamaica in the past five years. (source: The Guardian, October 2002)

1997-2004 Statistic
At least 30 gay men are believed to have been murdered since 1997, according to published reports.

2005-2006:


According to the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, J-FLAG, more than ten homosexuals were killed on the island, between 2005-2006 alone. Last year, there were 40 assaults. (source: BBC report: Coming Out in Jamaica, July 2007) (transcript from the Jamaican For Justice interview)


JULY 2007:
Interviewer: "I asked Carolyn Gomes from the Human Rights Group Jamaicans For Justice, if attacks were increasing?" Carolyn Gomes: "We do know that between last year and this year that mob violence against gays is up. We certainly are aware it's a huge problem. These are people beaten to the point of nearly close to death". (source: BBC report: Coming Out in Jamaica, July 2007) (transcript from the Jamaican For Justice interview)

SEPTEMBER 2007:

Between February and July of this year, 98 gay men and lesbians were targeted in 43 different mob attacks, according to the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays. Four lesbians were raped, four gay men were murdered, and the houses of two gay men were burned down. (source: Newsweek)


AMNESTY USA - OUTfront! Jamaican report (Flashback)

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Amnesty International OUTfront! Jamaican report (June 2004):
Battyboys affi dead: action against homophobia in Jamaica

In January 2004, around 30,000 people attended a huge stage show and Rastafarian celebration, Rebel Salute, in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. Some of Jamaica's most celebrated artists were present. Throughout the night, Capleton, Sizzla and others sang almost exclusively about gay men. Using the derogatory terms for gay men - "chi chi men" or "battybwoys" they urged the audience to "kill dem, battybwoys haffi dead, gun shots pon dem... who want to see dem dead put up his hand" (kill them, gay men have got to die, gun shots in their head, whoever wants to see them dead, put up your hand).

Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, TOK, and Capleton are amongst the stars who have written lyrics variously urging the shooting, burning, rape, stoning and drowning of gay people.

From Buju Banton's Boom Bye Bye, which threatened "batty boys" with "ah gunshot in ah head", to Beenie Man's "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays" to Babycham & Bounty Killer's "Bun a fire pon a kuh pon mister fagoty, Ears ah ben up and a wince under agony, Poop man fi drown a dat a yawd man philosophy" (Burn gay men, til they wince under agony, gay men should drown, that's the yard man's philosophy), the exhortations to kill and maim seem to know no bounds.

Deadly Lyrics"When yuh hear a Sodomite get raped...
But a fi wi fault...
It's wrong
Two women gonna hock up inna bed
That's two Sodomites dat fi dead."

(Sodomites -- A derogatory term for lesbians)


– Elephant Man
"When you hear of a lesbian getting raped
It's not our fault
It's wrong
Two women in bed
That's two Sodomites who should be dead."



Although the singers are Jamaican, their records are widely distributed abroad. Recently organisations in Jamaica such as J-FLAG, Jamaica's only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group, have been joined by others around the world targeting the artists themselves, as well as radio stations, record labels and music stores that have distributed and promoted the songs.

The groups have sought to bring the lyrics to the attention of the public and the authorities. In December 2003, campaigners from the British gay rights group OutRage called on the British police to arrest Bounty Killer for incitement and conspiracy to commit murder, amongst other offences, during a UK tour. As the group stated in a letter to the Metropolitan Police, "in a democratic society people have a right to criticise homosexuality, but they do not have the right to encourage queer-bashing violence and murder."

The problem of homophobia in Jamaica goes far beyond any single artist however. Here, reports of violence regularly meted out to members of the LGBT community have reached such an extent that they have started to attract international headlines. Action is needed on a much wider scale to systematically tackle the prejudice that inspires the attacks and the laws which facilitate them.

"My experience as a gay man living in Jamaica is one which is marked by periodic incidences of abuse, both verbal and physical. I have lost count of the number of times I have been verbally abused, called ‘battyman', ‘chi-chi', ‘sodomite', ‘dirty battybwoy' (all derogatory terms for homosexual men)."
-- Gay man, talking to J-Flag, 2003.
The reports that AI has received range from vigilante action by members of the community to ill-treatment or torture by the police. Gay men and women have been beaten, cut, burned, raped and shot on account of their sexuality. In the past two years at least 5 Jamaicans have been granted asylum in the UK because their lives had been threatened as a result of their sexual identity; others have been granted asylum in the USA and Canada. AI believes that these reports are just the tip of the iceberg however. Many gay men and women in Jamaica are too afraid to speak of their experiences to human rights organizations or to the authorities.

One man described to J-FLAG how six men from an infamous "garrison community" (poor, inner-city communities controlled by either of Jamaica's two main political parties) blocked a road to beat a local gay man.

"The crowd stood around watching, chanting "battyman, battyman, battyman" before gathering around him as he lay on the sidewalk. The crowd beat, punched and kicked him. They threw water from the gutter and garbage on him, all the while shouting "battyman, battyman." Then they dragged him down the road for half a kilometre. They shouted "battyman fi' dead." As I stood across the street I realised there was nothing I could do to help him. Some mothers were actually in tears at what they were witnessing but there was nothing that they could do either. ... The crowd was saying "Give him to us! Let us kill him! He's a battyman!"
When police arrived they had to call for back-up. Three police jeeps arrived and fired shots into the air to clear the crowd.

The story is typical. Once a person's sexuality becomes known to family or community, they are at risk. Amnesty International has interviewed many people who have been forced to leave their areas after being publicly vilified, threatened or attacked on suspicion of being gay. They face homelessness, isolation or worse.

In a particularly egregious recent example, a national newspaper reported in February 2004 that a father had encouraged students to attack his son after he discovered a picture of a nude man in his rucksack. One student described the attack on the 16-year old on 18th February 2004 by other students: "him get nuff lick, kick, box and thump from other boy and girl." School authorities were forced to call police to escort the boy off the compound. Police were also attacked. Students received a "stern warning" but, at the time of writing, no-one had been charged in connection with the assaults.

One man was forced to leave his community in 2003 after his friend was murdered and he was threatened by local gunmen. He is still homeless and living a hand-to-mouth existence.

"One morning, at about 2 a.m., my friend was at a dance in the community. He was enjoying himself and dancing and suddenly there was a gunshot and a bullet hit my friend in the back of his head. He turned around after realising he was shot and they shot him in his face again three more times. He fell, but they continued to shoot him as he lay on the ground. Then they announced that I was next and "battyman fi' dead."
Protection is often denied by the police, who in many cases appear to tacitly or actively support such violence. Amnesty International has received many reports of police failing to investigate homophobic-hate crimes. In some cases they fail even to take written or verbal reports of incidents. One man called the police after running into a supermarket to escape from an attack in Half Way Tree, Kingston:

"We waited more than half an hour and still the police did not come. The police station is less than five minutes away. We eventually realised that the police were not in fact on their way and decided to see if we could leave safely. We were shaken by this incident, but doubly upset because the police had not responded to this homophobic attack."
In many instances, the police have tortured or ill-treated LGBT victims of crime seeking assistance from the police. AI has received numerous reports of police arresting and detaining men overnight whom they suspect of being gay, or charging them with offences such as loitering. In some cases individuals have appeared in court several times before charges were dropped. In other cases known to the organisation, police have stopped passers-by or placed gay men in the holding-area of police station, informing those present of the "batty-men" and encouraging further verbal or physical abuse.

An example of the kind of treatment LGBT individuals can expect from the police occurred in 2003 when a group of gay men were attacked, beaten, ill-treated and detained by plain clothes police officers as they socialized together in a bar frequented by the gay community in Kingston. One of the victims described what happened to J-FLAG:

"All of a sudden, a white van pulled through the gate and men armed with firearms jumped out of the vehicle and starting to fire shots into the crowd. We scattered in all directions, jumping fences and dividing for cover. A group of three of my friends and I began to run. They could jump the fence, but I had difficulty so they had to drag me over the fence with men chasing us and firing at us. This happened three times and each time I was dragged over the fence I fell on my head. Finally, we got to a residence and I hid behind a tree. My friend was not fast enough to find a hiding place and the two men who had been chasing us caught him and began to beat him with their fists and their weapons, kicked him as he lay on the ground, calling him a battyman. They took him away.

I met up with some of the guys from the crowd on my way home, and found out that my friend had been taken to the police station, and that the men who had attacked us were plain-clothes policemen. When I saw my friend later, he told me that they verbally abused him at the station and had told their co-workers that he was a battyman and they began to verbally abuse him as well. They held him overnight and released him. He was not charged with any offence."

Police appear to also target healthcare providers working with LGBT individuals and there have been several reports of nurses, community workers or others being unlawfully detained and ill-treated by the police. In 2003, three men were detained and searched by the police in Half-Way Tree. When asked by the police why they had condoms on them, they reportedly stated that they were promoting safe sex to both men and women. Police told the men that they were to be locked up for promoting "battybusiness". The men were crowded into the back of a police car as none of the officers wanted to sit next to them. They were not allowed to let their bodies touch the policeman who was also sitting in the back of the vehicle. At the police station, other officers told them that they should be dead and that policemen should have killed them rather than bringing them into the station. Police pointed them out as "battymen" to everyone who came into the station. The men were released after three hours.

"We did not report this to the police because my friend felt, based on past experience, that the police would be unsympathetic and possibly abusive too."
-- Man attacked with rocks by three armed men in 2003.
This kind of behavior from police officers means that an accurate picture of the number of victims of homophobic violence in Jamaica is impossible. Since so much shame and disbelief surrounds violence against the gay community – and since victims can not expect to receive the protection of the law - the number of men and women who report abuse is assumed to be many times fewer that the number of actual incidents.

The police are not the only authority to actively discriminate against non-heterosexual individuals. Reports of individuals losing their jobs once their sexuality has become known to their employer are common. Sometimes medical staff have reportedly joined in abusing gay or lesbian patients. When a group of gay men accompanied their friend to hospital after he was attacked, stabbed and robbed, they were verbally abused by staff in the accident and emergency department. One told J-FLAG that:

"The porters, janitors, and even some of the nurses laughed at us. They took a much longer time than usual to attend to us; we got to the hospital at about 10 p.m. and they did not attend to us until the next morning."
Although lesbianism is not a criminal offence under Jamaican law, gay men are not the only targets of this kind of violence in Jamaica. Amnesty has assisted in several cases of lesbian women from Jamaica who have sought asylum abroad following persecution at home. Amnesty International has received reports of acts of violence against lesbians, including rape and other forms of sexual violence. There are reports of lesbians being singled out for attack on the grounds of "mannish" physical appearance or other visible manifestations of sexuality. Some reports of abduction and rape emanate from inner-city garrison communities where local NGOs have already expressed concerns about very high incidences of the prevalence of violence against women. There are some reports that lesbian women have been forced to carry drugs by community gangs, on threat of, or after having been abducted, beaten or otherwise degraded or assaulted.

Perhaps fuelling such acts is the widespread public misconception that lesbianism is illegal. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the public is largely unaware that this is not in fact the case. This perception is reinforced by comments made by authority figures, such as politicians, the media, religious leaders and dancehall musicians. A Gleaner/Don Anderson poll of September 2001 posed the question "do you think that homosexuality should be legalised?" – drawing no distinction between male or female same-sex relations. According to the Jamaican NGO J-FLAG, the derogatory Jamaican word for lesbian, "sodomite", further underlines this misconception, as the word derives from an imputation against males.

Against this backdrop of high levels of violent crime - including murder - against gay and lesbian people in Jamaica, tacitly accepted by the police, are the laws that continue to criminalise consensual gay sex between males. Article 76 of the Jamaican Offences against the Person Act punishes the "abominable crime of buggery" by up to ten years' imprisonment with hard labour. Article 79 of the same act punishes any act of physical intimacy between men in public or private by a term of imprisonment of up to two years and the possibility of hard labour.

Jamaica is not the only country within the region that retains laws criminalising consensual sex between adults of the same sex. Only two English-speaking Caribbean countries do not criminalise this at all: the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. Here, reports of discrimination and ill-treatment are still common. In July 2003, a Bahamian Bishop threatened to become the first "live Guy Fawkes" if the Government passed legislation legalizing same sex marriage. "The devil and every demon in hell can expect the church to react because God has done too much for us," he reportedly said. Jamaican and Guyanese laws are silent on lesbianism, whilst in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Saint Lucia, all acts of homosexuality are illegal.

Such acts of violence are set against a public which appears to strongly endorse the idea of differential treatment. A recent poll showed that 96% of Jamaicans were opposed to any move that would seek to legalise homosexual relations. Many churches have released statements indicating their support for the retention of current laws. In December 2001, Roman Catholic bishops in the Caribbean stated that they would be against decriminalising consensual sex between consenting adults. In 2001, the Jamaican Prime Minister reiterated his support for the exclusion of gay men from the Boy Scouts movement.

The risks facing LGBT people in Jamaica are increased because of the lack of effective governmental programmes catering to the needs of the gay and lesbian community. From the lack of effective victim support or witness protection schemes, to ineffective and oftentimes brutal policing, to an absence of refuges, the authorities are, in the organisation's view, unable to protect LGBT people in need.

In such a climate, the activities of J-FLAG are crucial. At the forefront of lobbying and campaigning on the issue in Jamaica, their work supporting LGBT people and promoting an agenda of inclusion and equality in extremely hostile conditions is essential. Their activities include running a telephone helpline, workshops and training of authorities, including health care workers, media and students . However the NGO has very limited funds and their activities can not and should not replace actions by the state to fulfil its international legal obligations to protect citizens from violence (the "due diligence" concept).

The way forward?
Is there an impetus for reform from within Jamaica? The Prime Minister of Jamaica has publicly confirmed his intention to retain legislation which discriminates against homosexuals on many occasions.

In 2000 the Jamaican parliament discussed J-FLAG proposals to amend the current bill of rights to the Constitution to include prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexuality. Section 24(3) of the Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, place of origin, political opinions, colour or creed. The proposals were rejected in June 2001 by a Parliamentary Special Select Committee. The Committee reportedly feared that the provision would force reform of other laws, such as those on marriage and taxation.

In December 2001, a parliamentary Select Committee recommended that Parliament review laws criminalising consensual gay sex. The proposals were rejected by Parliament in January 2002.

The senior medical officer, Dr Figueroa, subsequently called for homosexuality to be decriminalised in February 2002 at an AIDS conference. Other health professionals voiced concern at the extent to which stigma against gay people contributed to Jamaica's inability to reduce the prevalence of HIV and AIDS. Although some individuals in the public eye occasionally voice opinions which are supportive of legislative reform with regard to the law in this area, Amnesty International believes that they do not in themselves negate a public climate that is enduringly hostile towards LGBT individuals, and which is characterised by frequent comments from those in authority condemning homosexuals. Indeed, the government reasserted after the conference that its position on homosexuality, including its decriminalisation, remained unchanged. Responding to Dr. Figueroa's comments, an editorial in the Jamaica Gleaner at the time noted that, "we suspect ... that this proposal will not get anywhere fast in this homophobic society."

With thanks for J-FLAG for sharing case histories for this action.
This is an internal briefing though the cases can be cited in actions.


What You Can Do

Take Action!Take action to protect LGBT people in Jamaica. Call for a debate on the repeal of sodomy laws, and for legal reform to protect LGBT people from violence and discrimination.

Donate securely to JFLAG or us here (see paypal donations buttons on this blog)

Men chased, beaten after MoBay carnival stage display (Flashback)

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April 1, 2007: Anti-gay attack:

Men chased, beaten after MoBay carnival stage display(St. James, Jamaica) The police in Montego Bay say they are investigating the mob attack on three alleged homosexuals during the MoBay Nite Out carnival event early yesterday morning, which left one of them hospitalised.

"We are speaking with them to see if they can identify the people who attacked them, with a view to making arrests," said St James commanding officer Steve McGregor. The Observer was told that the men, who were part of a group of costumed revellers in the carnival procession along the popular Gloucester Avenue "Hip Strip", drew the ire of the mass gathering when they took to the stage shortly after midnight and proceeded to gyrate on each other."According to the reports, they were wining and dancing on each other and this did not sit well with the crowd," McGregor told the Observer.

Subsequently, in a show of disgust, the crowd reportedly pelted them with bottles and stones, insisting that they leave the stage. However, according to a man claiming to be an eyewitness, chaos ensued when the men retaliated by returning the missiles into the crowd. The accused men were soon set upon, chased and beaten by the angry mob. They reportedly ran to several entertainment spots along the Hip Strip for refuge.

MORE ON THE LINK BELOW.(Jamaica Observer)

Google remove Killbattyman, a blog that incite the killing of Jamaican gays and lesbians, (Flashback)

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February 26, 2007:
Google remove Killbattyman, a blog that incite the killing of Jamaican gays and lesbians(Jamaica)


Google has confirmed that they removed a homophobic blog from their blogger.com service because it was in breach of their terms and conditions. The company defended their decision last week not to remove the offending webpage. The blog, called killbattyman, featured numerous highly offensive images and comments about LGBT people and called for them all to be executed. The latest post featured a doctored image of Peter Tatchell holding a placard with a sexually explicit picture of a child on it. It is thought that this image of a child is the reason that Google decided to take the blog offline.
"We will act to remove blogs which are in clear breach of our terms and conditions," Rachel Whetstone, director of corporate communications for Google Europe, told PinkNews.co.uk She declined to say which condition had been breached. "We removed the blog today as quickly as we could," she said. Peter Tatchell, who was one of the people vilified on the site, welcomed the decision. "Thanks to PinkNews.co.uk and everyone else who lobbied Google to remove this murderous website," he said. "It is good that Google has heard our concerns but bad that it took them so long to respond. "If this website had been advocating the killing of black or Jewish people, I am certain that Google would have taken a much tougher stand and removed it much sooner. "This is not a free speech issue.
Free speech does not include the right to incite the killing of other human beings. " MORE ON THE LINK >>>> (PinkNews No.5).
Peace

Cops save three alleged homosexuals from angry crowd (Flashback)

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February 14, 2007:

Cops save three alleged homosexuals from angry crowd(St. Andrew, Jamaica) Three men branded as homosexuals were rescued by the police from an angry mob outside a pharmacy in Tropical Plaza, where they had been holed up for almost an hour.

But even after the police managed to take the young men from the Monarch Pharmacy, one of the three was hit with a stone, forcing officers to fire tear gas on the crowd which included men, women, teenagers and small children.

The approximately 2,000 people gathered outside the Kingston pharmacy hurled insults at the three men, with some calling for them to be killed. MORE ON THE LINKS ........

(Jamaica Observer 1)

(Jamaica Observer 2)

(Jamaican TV News)

Peace

Buju Banton identified in a mob that beat up gay men (Flashback)

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June 24, 2004: Buju Banton identified in a mob that beat up gay men(Kingston, Jamaica) Buju Banton was identified by witnesses as part of a gay-bashing gang who attack six men in their home on June 24. A dozen people dragged the six men out of the house and beat them up. A crowd of nearly 100 people gather and shouted "beat out the battyboys". Some of the victims were hospitalised.
The allegations that Buju Banton took part in the beating has been denied by others soon after the incident. On July 13, it was announced by Radio Jamaica's RJR News that the police was seeking to interview Buju Banton. The story only emerged on OutRage! website on July 20, 2004. In response to Banton's denial, Amnesty International produce an official statement that enough evidence were found in police and Human Right Watch reports for the accusation. Buju Banton's trial will take place in September 2005.

Harassment, violence and murder reported in the news1996 (Flashback)

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Harassment, violence and murder reported in the news1996

November 1996: Police abuses at Norman Manley International Airport(Kingston, Jamaica) The report mentions a November 1996 incident where four men were arrested near the Norman Manley International airport and charged with gross indecency.

The report further claims that the men were forced by the airport police to remove their clothes and were held naked in public view. When THE STAR contacted the Norman Manley International police post, an officer said he could not recall the eight-year-old incident, but was adamant that "Amnesty has libelled us, because none of what they said happened.

We would not do that, we might not agree with or support the behaviour but we would never do that." (Jamaica Star, June 3, 2004)

Full Article:

Leave gays alone

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS defenders Amnesty International is on Jamaica's case again.

This time, however, they are 'licking out' against the alleged mistreatment of homosexuals in Jamaica and has issued a worldwide appeal to force a change.

According to a report carried yesterday on the pro-homosexual website Gay.com UK, the appeal follows increased reports of attacks across the island.

Amnesty's UK Media Director, Lesley Warner is quoted as saying, "we have talked to people who have been forced to leave their communities after being publicly vilified, threatened or attacked on suspicion of being gay. They face homelessness, isolation or worse."

The report also mentioned an incident that took place at Dunoon Park Technical High School in February, when a father allegedly encouraged students at the school to beat his son, whom he alleged was gay. "We are concerned that these reports are just the tip of the iceberg. Many gay men and women in Jamaica are too afraid to go to the authorities to seek help," said Warner.

As a result, Amnesty has asked for people across the world to write to the Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. P.J. Patterson, in a bid to help stop the attacks and ask that he repeal legislation that criminalises buggery.

However, the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) says they have no knowledge of the alleged increase of offences against homosexuals.

They also add that on many occasions homosexual prostitutes are buggered and go to the centre for medical attention, but refuse police intervention and do not report the incident. They also add that there has been a increase in the number of gay men buggering little children.

On the human rights group's website, amnesty.org, a report entitled 'Crimes of Hate, Conspiracy of Silence', portrays Jamaica as a place where persons of homosexual orientation are unsafe, even with the police.

The report mentions a November 1996 incident where four men were arrested near the Norman Manley International airport and charged with gross indecency. The report further claims that the men were forced by the airport police to remove their clothes and were held naked in public view.

When THE STAR contacted the Norman Manley International police post, an officer said he could not recall the eight-year-old incident, but was adamant that "Amnesty has libelled us, because none of what they said happened. We would not do that, we might not agree with or support the behaviour but we would never do that."


Peace

Mob beats cross-dresser Flashback

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Melee in Falmouth; wig, form-fitting blouse ripped off
HORACE HINES
Saturday, April 28, 2007

FALMOUTH, Trelawny - A cross-dreser was set upon and severely beaten by a mob in Falmouth's Water Square yesterday morning.
Police who were called to the scene had to fire warning shots to disperse the stone-throwing, stick-wielding mob, which succeeded in tearing off the man's black-and-white form-fitting blouse and jet black wig.


According to eyewitnesses, the man was spotted at approximately 8:30 am in the town centre apparently waiting for transportation. He was wearing heavy make-up, high-heeled shoes, a long pair of shiny earrings, a black leather jacket over a snug black-and-white blouse, a tight-fitting pair of jeans, a black wig, a pair of sunglasses and a handbag slung over his broad shoulders.
It was not clear yesterday how the alarm was first raised. However, the Observer was told that the assault began as soon as someone in the busy square shouted that the person was actually a man wearing female attire.

The news of the man's presence in the community spread rapidly and in a matter of minutes scores of angry residents converged on the scene and began to rain blows all over the cross-dresser's body with sticks, stones and whatever weapon they could find."Where is the police station at?" the frightened man screamed.


During the melee, the wig the man was wearing fell off and wads of newspaper stuffed in a brasserie to lift the man's chest dislodged, while a cosmetic kit containing lipsticks of varying colours was thrown from a bag he was carrying, much to the amusement of the large crowd who stood watching.
"B***y boy fe dead," persons among the mob shouted.The sentiments were echoed by the rest of the riled-up crowd.
"Falmouth no pet no b***y boy. We no want none a them bout here," one woman yelled.After the mob dispersed, the victim was whisked off in a police service vehicle, much to the disapproval of the crowd who rushed upon the vehicle demanding the man's release. "If you ever did see him. Him dress hotter than you and me," one young girl was overheard telling her friend."Nu worry man, we gi him a proper [beating]," one man said proudly.

The man was admitted to hospital. However, a police spokesman said last night that a group of people, who wanted to beat the man on his release, were waiting outside the hospital, which, he said, could delay his release from the health facility.

Yesterday's beating was the second such in a month in western Jamaica. In the previous incident, several men alleged to be homosexuals were chased, beaten and stabbed, resulting in one of them being hospitalised, during the Supreme Ventures carnival on Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay. The men were said to have gone onto the stage and gyrated on each other, angering the patrons.

Jamaican Students Beaten at Northern Caribbean University (Flashback)

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Jamaican Students Beaten at Northern Caribbean University
February 2001

Four male students at Jamaica's Northern Caribbean University reportedly were beaten with wooden planks January 19 by other students who believed the victims were gay. Six students face expulsion -- three who carried out the attack and three who knew of the planned assault and did nothing to stop it, university officials said. "This incident only adds to the staggering number of human rights abuses meted out against persons solely on the knowledge or mere suspicion of homosexuality," commented the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG).


"While homophobic violence, including assault and murder, continues to be a source of national pride and moral satisfaction for many Jamaicans, the government and police force continue the campaign of legal exceptionalism and tacit approval of these shocking and deeply disturbing crimes against innocent citizens," the organization said. University President Herbert Thompson reportedly said the victims of the attack also are under investigation to determine if they are in fact gay. Homosexuality is not permitted at the university, J-FLAG quoted him as saying.

"Gay Panic" Alleged in Killing of Popular Jamaican Priest (Flashback)

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"Gay Panic" Alleged in Killing of Popular Jamaican Priest...Unfortunately, many people are buying the defense.

Background: In November, police found the nude body of Rev. Richard Johnson in the rectory of St. Jude's Anglican Church in Kingston. The priest was viciously stabbed and witnesses reported seeing a man flee the scene who was "known to pay frequent visits" his dwelling, detectives said. Johnson was one of the leading Anglican priests on the island. Last week, 22 year-old Prince Vale turned himself in and admitted to the murder, claiming that acted in self-defense:

"The Rector invited [Vale] into his bedroom and told him that he wanted him to try on a pair of pants he had for him. According to the attorney, Mr. Vale was trying on the pants when he was attacked by the rector in a sexual manner.

This led to a fight during which the rector was stabbed."
Stabbed 25 times, but that small detail will come out later in the trial. Already, the gay angle is playing to the island's homophobic culture—Rev. Johnson was lionized after the killing, but now some are dismissing his death. Some good news: While no one has yet confirmed that Johnson was gay, his death is also forcing others to re-examine their ideas on sexuality. 

On World AIDS Day, the editorial pages of historically anti-gay Jamaica Gleaner condemned the government for its disastrous HIV/AIDS policy and noted that "men who have sex with men are particularly at risk of HIV infection. The strong social stigma against homosexuals drives many of them into relations with women in order to disguise their sexual orientation. Granted, a small step, but headed in the right direction.

Life Sentence For Killing Of Jamaican Gay Leader (Flashback)

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Life Sentence For Killing Of Jamaican Gay Leader
Kingston, Jamaica - A 25 year old man has been sentenced to life for the 2004 killing of Brian Williamson, Jamaica's leading LGBT civil rights advocate. Dwight Hayden will have to serve 15 years behind bars before being eligible for parole. Judge Basil Reid rejected a plea for mercy from Hayden's lawyer, noting the brutality of the killing. Williamson's body was discovered in his Kingston apartment on June 7, 2004 by a roommate returning home from work. Williamson was lying facedown in a pool of blood. He had been stabbed at least 70 times in the neck.
Hayden was charged in 2004 with murder and robbery. A second man, known only as "Bombhead" is still being sought in connection with the killing.

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), which Williamson founded, branded Williamson's murder a "hate-related crime". In a statement the the group said Williamson was "one of Jamaica's most courageous human rights activists" who was killed because he is gay. Hayden denied he killed Williamson because of homophobia, admitting only to robbery.

At least 30 gay men are believed to have been murdered since 1997, according to J-FLAG.
In March four people were charged in the killing of another gay man - Lenford "Steve" Harvey who ran Jamaica AIDS Support for Life. (story)
Rap and Reggae music frequently contain lyrics calling for violence against gays and has to a call by British rights leader Peter Tatchell for hate crime prosecutions in the UK against the artists and the distributors of their music. (story)

Jamaican gay man saved from mob (Flashback)

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Jamaican gay man saved from mob
by Hassan Mirza
6 April 2006
http://www.gay.com/

A gay Jamaican pupil is in police custody after an attack at the University of West Indies campus.
The man, whose name has not yet been released, allegedly approached another student on Tuesday evening and made sexual advances.
A group of students gathered and began attacking the man, and are said to have chased and hurled rocks at him.
The Jamaican publication The Daily Gleaner claims that it was feared that the group would have killed the student if the Police had not intervened. The students outnumbered the security officers. After a melee with the angry mob, the Police apprehended the student, and escorted him away from campus. He could face charges if guilty.
In January, JFLAG, one of Jamaica’s few gay rights groups, said that another man was chased by a mob who thought he was gay to the wharf in the city of Kingston. Fearful of a beating, he apparently leapt into the water where he drowned.
The cases follow the murder of a gay AIDs activist Lenford "Steve" Harvey, who was killed on the eve of Worlds Aids Day, as well as reports of countless beatings based on a perception of sexuality

Tragic End to Attempted Gay-Bash Attack in Kingston (Flashback)

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Tragic End to Attempted Gay-Bash Attack in Kingston--
Man fleeing mob jumps into the sea and drowns

Kingston - A young Jamaican man has died, allegedly after being hounded through the streets of Kingston by a homophobic mob who believed he was gay.Nokia Cowen was chased into Kingston harbour. To escape his attackers, he jumped into the water. Unable to swim, he drowned.This latest tragic news comes from the Jamaican gay rights movement, J-FLAG (Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays).
It is calling on the police to investigate Cowen’s death and for the government of Jamaica to speak out against homophobic violence (see JFLAG’s statement below).Nokia’s death follows the murder of Jamaican gay AIDS activist, Steve Harvey, in November.“J-FLAG calls on the police to investigate the death of Nokia Cowen in downtown Kingston on 28 December 2005,” the group said in a statement today..
“Information reaching J-FLAG suggest that he was chased by an angry mob because of a perception that he was gay. In an attempt to flee this mob, the young man jumped into the Kingston harbor and perished because he could not swim.“J-FLAG condemns the prevalence of incidents such as this and calls on the police to fully investigate the matter. Most importantly, we implore the highest members of government to clearly indicate that violence based on sexual orientation, both perceived and actual, is unacceptable in Jamaica.”Speaking in London, Peter Tatchell of the British gay human rights group Outrage!, reiterates its call for tougher action by the Jamaican government and police against hate crimes.
“ We send our condolences to Nokia’s family and friends, and extend our solidarity to the heroes and heroines of J-FLAG who are campaigning for gay human rights in conditions of great danger and adversity,” said Mr. Tatchell.Outrage! is calling for:-
Comprehensive hate crimes laws to protect all Jamaicans, including women, LGBTs and people with HIV- Stronger enforcement of the existing laws against incitement to violence and murder, including incitements to assault and kill LGBTs- A ban on incitement to hatred against all vulnerable social groups, including women, the disabled, religious minorities, LGBTs and people with HIV- Police training in human rights issues, including challenging sexism and homophobia, and action to ensure police awareness of, and sensitivity to, women's, LGBT and HIV issues

Police abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity

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Police abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Verbal and physical abuse and inciting others to violence
Full Hated to DEATH Report here

On the afternoon of June 18, 2004, a mob chased and reportedly “chopped, stabbed and stoned to death” a man perceived to be gay in Montego Bay. Several witnesses reported to Human Rights Watch that police participated in the abuse that ultimately led to this mob killing, first beating the man with batons and then urging others to beat him because he was homosexual.

Fred L., thirty, described the incident as follows:
Me and another guy were sitting on the beach . . .While we were there, some little teenager was on the beach swimming, and Victor, the guy that was killed, was standing looking at the boy. The boy said, "Why are you looking me like that? You a battyman." Two rastamen said, "Every day they come on the beach to look at men, battyboy them." Two policemen and a female police officer were there. The two male officers started to beat the man with batons. I turned to the female officer and asked, “What has he done wrong?” She turned to me and said, "Everyday me have to warn people about this guy coming on the beach. I'm going to lock him up.” I said, “For what?” She didn't say. I said to her, “If he did something wrong, lock him up, don't beat him.”

[Victor] started to run from the two male officers toward the Old Fort Craft Market. The two policemen said, "Beat him because him a battyman."
The crowd followed the police officers’ lead, beating the victim and throwing bottles and stones at him.

Joseph W., twenty-six, told Human Rights Watch that he saw police hitting the victim with a baton and with their fists, and that once persons from the crowd started beating the victim:
the police officers walked off. The crowd got thicker and more persons started hitting the guy. Then I saw the guy run out of the road into the town. . . . Then I woke up the next morning to hear that Victor was killed about a mile and a half from the beach.

Police abuse is a fact of life for many men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women in all of the communities that Human Rights Watch visited in Jamaica. As in the incident described above, homophobic police violence can be a catalyst for violence and abuse by others. It is sometimes lethal. Police abuse is also profoundly destructive because it creates an atmosphere of fear sending a message to other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people that they are without any protection from violence.

Confessions of a homosexual man (Flashback)

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Confessions of a homosexual man
Says gay men are most often killed by their jealous lovers
BY KERRY MCCATTTY Sunday Observer staff reporter
Sunday, December 24, 2006

Full Story

"Our love is unusual. It's not normal .we don't even want our partner to have a best friend, to even be close to somebody, the moment we realise we start assuming........."

'Fleeing for my Life' (Flashback)

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'Fleeing for my Life'
Jamaican activist Gareth Henry seeks refuge in Canada
By Krishna Rau

Article 1 Article 2
Jamaican queer activist Gareth Henry was friends with 13 people murdered since 2004 just because they were gay. The bodies of three of them have never been found.So it's not surprising that Henry — until recently the cochair of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, Allsexuals and Gays (JFLAG) and now a refugee claimant in Canada — breaks down when talking about the death of his coworker and one-time roommate Steve Harvey in 2005. "It was a Tuesday night," he says. "We finished a meeting about 11 o'clock. We went our separate ways. I was called at about two in the night and told Steve was brought home by four men and the four men said to his housemates and his partner, 'We're going to kill Steve because he's gay.'


They left with Steve. When I heard what was said, I said, 'That's one more of my friends who's been murdered.' Honestly speaking, there was no way I had the slightest hope he would be alive. The only thing I hoped was when they kill him that they leave his body in a place where we can find it, have a funeral and remember him."In the morning, it was the day before World AIDS Day, I was working on the case of a young man who had been beaten at his school by students and some teachers for being gay. I got a call that a body was found. I went and it was Steve. I was asked to identify the body because I was a friend. I broke down, I was crying. It was real bad to see a friend like that."The police officer says, 'You must be a batty man. Why is a man crying over another man? That's why Jamaica is the way it is, because you're so nasty.'"The next day it was World AIDS Day, I was woken up in the morning. It was three police officers pointing to my window, saying 'Batty man, JFLAG man, we don't want him around here.'"Henry, 30, continued to endure threats, harassment and beatings — often from police — until November, 2007, when he received another threat near his new home, a gated community with 24-hour security."I was stopped in traffic when a man got out of his car and came over to me and said, 'Gareth, we know who you are and we're going to kill you and burn JFLAG down.'I was really devastated by that threat," he says."I went for the very first time to live with my partner. But I didn't want to get him in trouble so I was basically living in solitary confinement. I was living in fear. I was being totally crippled by fear.


If I heard someone on the outside I could not sleep. I said to myself, 'Nobody should live this way. I'm not in prison. I need to break free.' I had exhausted all possible options."I came to Canada on Jan 26, basically fleeing for my life."***Henry had already accepted an invitation to be this year's international grand marshal for Toronto Pride, although he hadn't been planning to come to the city until June. But once here he wasted little time continuing his campaign for queer rights in Jamaica.On Valentine's Day of this year, Henry — with Pride, Egale Canada and the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto — launched the Call for Love campaign. The campaign, mirrored by similar ones around the world, calls for the protection of queers in Jamaica.The launch included delivering a wreath to the Jamaican consulate in memory of the island's murdered queers. Henry also delivered a letter to the consulate asking the Jamaican government to ensure police "uphold their sworn duty to equally protect and serve all Jamaican citizens." The day was selected because it was the first anniversary of Henry nearly being beaten to death by a mob in Kingston."For the first time ever I was into doing something for Valentine's Day," Henry recalls. "My partner is into Valentine's. I went into a pharmacy. I saw three guys [from JFLAG] coming in with a woman behind them cursing and saying some really dirty things about gays and batty men, how they're dirty and must be killed."The pharmacy staff, observing a gathering crowd outside, called the police and barricaded the store with Henry and his three friends inside.


The first police unit to arrive said they couldn't help and left."The second unit arrived, saying we were nasty and the people have a right wanting to beat us," Henry says. "They said they can't help us right now, they have to call for backup. By this time there's over 200 people outside. So I got on my cell phone and called Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch. I found out later she had called the police commissioner."Finally seven police officers arrived and were very rude, saying we shouldn't be flaunting our sexuality in front of people. I said, 'Sir, this isn't the way you should be talking to us.' One police officer slapped me in the face. Another one hit me in the back of the head. They started hitting me all over, calling me batty man. They were dragging me, started hitting me again."Henry says he resisted being dragged outside because of the memory of what happened to a friend on Sept 24, 2004."I remembered immediately Victor Jarrett, who was a friend of mine. I was standing about 80 metres away from Victor when he was being beaten by three police officers and an angry mob gathered and said to the police officers, 'Hand him over, let us finish him.' The police officers did throw him to the crowd who beat Victor and chased him through the town. The following morning it was headlined in the local paper, 'Alleged homosexual chased, beaten, chopped and killed.'"So I was resisting because this picture was so vivid in my mind.


The police started hitting me more, then one of the police officers used his gun and hit me in the abdomen and I was in severe pain. Then they walked off."Henry says the staff of the pharmacy eventually helped the four men slip out of the store and into a car outside.***Mob attacks on gay men in Jamaica are common, Henry says. He almost breaks down again while remembering the death of Nokia Cowan, soon after Harvey's murder."Nokia was going about his business," Henry says. "Someone said, 'He walks like a gay man.' His only options were to be beaten by hundreds of people or jump into the harbour. He jumped. He couldn't swim. The crowd watched him gasping for breath. When he disappeared under the water, that's when the mob walked away."Most recently according to Human Rights Watch, on Jan 29, a mob broke into the home of four gay men. Three ended up in hospital, one with severe wounds from a machete. The fourth man, still missing and presumed dead, is thought to have jumped off a cliff to escape the mob.Nor are lesbians immune from attacks. Henry tells of two women he knew who were murdered in their home in 2006 and buried in a pit behind the house.Henry says none of the perpetrators in any of these cases have ever been brought to justice.Schleifer, with Human Rights Watch's HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Program, says she is convinced it would have been just a matter of time before Henry was added to the list."I've been fearful for Gareth's safety for years," she says. "I came across the condolence card I wrote to JFLAG after Steve's murder. It made me cry but it also chilled me. I was so scared I would have to write a note like that for Gareth. I was deeply relieved that he was gone. But it's also sad. Nobody should be forced to leave their home like that."Henry says that even with the danger he faced he wouldn't have left if he hadn't had a successor at JFLAG.


But given that Henry has been with JFLAG from its start 10 years ago, he knows the change won't be easy for the organization."I had just turned 20," he says of JFLAG's beginning. "I was just doing basic administrative stuff and I fell in love with JFLAG."In 2004 Brian Williamson, who was the face of JFLAG, was murdered. When I went to his house people were celebrating, saying, 'We're going to get them one by one.' When I looked at what happened to Brian, I thought JFLAG was the right thing to be doing. I was asked to be the program manager and cochair. With my involvement in JFLAG at that level I really understood the magnitude of the homophobia."The reality in Jamica, he says, is that homophobia is so deeply entrenched because the establishment — politicians, religious leaders, media, police and entertainers — all encourage it. All have fought against repealing Jamaica's antisodomy law, for example. The law can send men convicted of anal sex to jail for up to 10 years."The church in particular, its stance is we need to be healed and the law should not be removed from the books," he says. "Ministers preach hate and damnation from the pulpit and they go public with their views.


Jamaica is deemed to be a very Christian country, hence religion plays an integral part in our politics."Henry points to a proposed bill of rights that has been under discussion in Jamaica for years. The bill would take away the right of police to enter a home without a warrant."The church responds to this by saying it needs to exclude situations with gays and lesbians," Henry says. "Gays and lesbians can't be allowed to have privacy in their homes because gay men in particular are breaking the law."And yet even gay men in Jamaica yearn for religion. Schleifer says she was amazed to hear from queers in Jamaica about their need for an organized church."One of the really stunning things I heard was gay men telling me, 'I can't go to church any more. When I go, I visit. I go from church to church where nobody knows me,'" she says. "I've talked to hundreds of people around the world about the abuses they've faced and none have ever said anything like that."Henry himself founded a branch of the Metropolitan Community Church in Jamaica. Although, given conditions for queers in the country, the church has no actual building."We have created for ourselves a safe space for the community to worship," he says. "I reached out to the MCC at the end of 2005. We can't have a physical location which is public knowledge. But there are a lot of gays and lesbians who have suffered from the message from the pulpit and need a space where they can reconfirm to themselves that they are gays and some kind of spiritual beings."Henry says that the media in Jamaica further fans the fires of homophobia. When JFLAG has tried to run public campaigns against violence, the group has been unable to find a single media outlet in the country to run their ads. But he says the media continues to celebrate homophobic musicians.Music in Jamaica — particularly reggae and its offshoot, dancehall — has played a major role in stoking homophobia, says Henry.


A number of popular songs call for queers to be beaten, burned, hanged or shot. The songs are numerous enough to have earned their own name: Outside of Jamaica, they're often referred to as "murder music.""Music has played an integral part in how Jamaica responds to gays and lesbians," he says. "Jamaica celebrates reggae music. I might be the only person who hates reggae music with a passion. When these attacks are happening, when people are celebrating them, they're singing these songs."I remember in 2003 one of our friends was at this dance and this song was being played, 'Boom Bye Bye Inna Batty Bwoy Head,' by Buju Banton. When the song was finished playing our friend Kitty was lying on the ground with three shots to his head and that was the end of it. Nothing happened. Nobody knew who shot him."Henry will be working with Stop Murder Music Canada, a coalition of groups that has managed to stop several homophobic dancehall artists from performing in Canada and is trying to persuade retailers to stop selling their music.


He will also be using his position as international grand marshal at Pride to try to persuade Canadians to join the fight against Jamaican homophobia."To be at the front of the parade, to be representing the country I'm from, I feel honoured," he says. "This will give me an opportunity to share with Canadians and others the harsh realities of what happens in Jamaica."Henry says that Canadians can help to achieve change in Jamaica by pressuring their own government."Jamaica relies heavily on aid from countries like Canada," Henry says. "I would challenge all right-thinking people to think about how they want their tax dollars to be spent."But Henry says that first he — and hopefully his partner who will be coming to Canada in March — needs to be granted refugee status on the grounds that he will be killed if he returns to Jamaica."If I'm denied refugee status I'll call my mother and tell her, 'I'm coming home. I won't live long,'" he says.
For info on the Call for Love campaign go to
http://www.egale.ca/
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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




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

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Information & Disclaimer

lgbtevent@gmail.com

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 alledged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names witheld 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.

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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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

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 outmanoeuvring 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 violatedi) 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

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