Thursday, July 3, 2008
Cuban government shuts down Gay Pride parade Demonstration raises questions about Cuba’s new tolerance policy
By JUAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ Thursday, July 03, 2008
Click the Post Title or HERE for more
Cuban Gay Pride March Organizers, Beaten, Arrested by Cuban Police
Troubling reports in a release just sent out by Ambiente: "Today, June 25th, starting at ten o'clock, the first ever Cuban Gay Pride march under the slogan 'You are not alone' attempted to take place in Havana for the liberation and respect of sexual diversity in Cuba, but as organizers arrived at the scheduled starting point, several of them were met by Cuban police, who beat & arrested several of them." According to Ambiente, The Cuban Commission on Human Rights for people with HIV and Sexual Races, the Cuban League against AIDS, Elena Mederos Foundation, The Foundation LGTB Reinaldo Arenas
Wow just when the news of transgender breakthroughs in Cuba were coming through....one wonders, we ought to keep on eye on this and support em where possible, what you think??
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
A medical doctor and another man who are both charged with buggery were granted bail when they appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday.
It took great effort from the defence to secure bail for the doctor as the crown opposed his bail saying he is charged with a another sexual offence currently before the Corporate Area RM Court.
The RM told the accused man's lawyer that sections of the Bail Act would be applied as the doctor has been charged with a crime while on bail for a similar offence.
The lawyer, however, while conceding that the RM was right, told the court that his client has always turned up for his cases and will continue to do so. Following this, he was granted $250,000 bail. The co-accused was granted $150,000 bail. Both men will return to court on July 18.
Allegations are that on June 26, a 23-year-old man was lured to an apartment occupied by the doctor and four others. There, the court heard, he was held at gunpoint and all four took turns, sexually molesting him. He was also attacked the following day and had to run.
Police had originally held four men but two were later released. The police say they are searching for two other men in connection with the incident.
He is already under suspicion for being gay but because his family is highly respected he is basically left alone, so to speak.
He is at a neighbour's home playing video games on this day in question and a male teenager burrows his phone to make a call, the call is made without monitoring or supervision of this unpassworded phone and the teenager browses the folders on the phone only to find the pictures etc in plain view.
Next thing you know the young man (phone owner) gets threatening phone calls from unknown callers/numbers accusing him of being gay and that he should leave the community or risk being beaten or killed. To add insult to injury the teenager's mother calls and adds more salt to the wound by accusing him of showing her son his genitalia and co hearsing him to have sex.
The essence of this is people need be careful what you do with sensitive files on any storage device be it a computer, a cellphone or a flash drive you just never know where it may lead.
His innocence in this matter led to unfounded accusations of pedophilia. It's a kind of madness that lurks just waiting to burst open.
I write in response to a letter written by Lorna Walker in the Observer of June 24. She states that no other animals in the animal kingdom practise homosexuality. That is untrue. There have been documented cases of various mammals, birds and even fish exhibiting this behaviour.
I had chosen to keep out of this debate because I cannot comprehend why Jamaica and conservative America find being homosexual so perverse, but I now want to add my two cents.
It is my belief that no one chooses to be homosexual: because who would really choose to live a life where you can get killed because of the partner you have? Added to that is the fact that homosexuality is not a recent development. It predates Christianity.
Of course, since most people use Leviticus 18, which also predates Christianity, as their justification for the persecution of homosexuals, let me ask this: Shouldn't adulterers be treated in the same way since they are also mentioned in this chapter?
Then, in Leviticus 19, it speaks about liars, thieves, slanderers and cheats, yet they do not receive anything close to the same censure.
Psychologists have often theorised that those who persecute homosexuals do so because they are insecure in their own sexuality, so it makes me wonder if the reason there is so much violence against homosexuals and endless discussion of their rights or lack thereof, is that it is coming from a place of insecurity.
Some proponents have taken to comparing the current situation to that of the civil rights movement. However, I prefer to compare it to Nazi Germany. As with homosexuals, Jews were not easily identified and some could actually "pass" for non-Jews which many did to try to save their lives and those of their families, although some chose to and were allowed to convert to other religions. Not that homosexuals weren't persecuted by the Nazis as well. In fact, Nazi Germany shared many of the same views about homosexuality as conservative America today, but the number persecuted or killed, or both, wasn't as great as with the Jews.
It seems that we're making up for that lack now.
But remember Galatians 5:14 (NIV): "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'."
Click the post title or HERE for the complete article
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Blake, 45, said she decided to take on the sensitive subject of Jamaican aggression toward gays last year. At a fund-raising event in New York City for Taboo last week, she said patrons were concerned that violence against homosexuals was still rampant in Jamaica.
"I was speaking to someone who told me that Elton John has completely boycotted Jamaica because of this, and it's not just him. Several prominent folks have decided not to do stuff in Jamaica," Blake told The Gleaner.
Blake plans to gather an eclectic 'cast' for Taboo which she says will cost US$250,000 to produce. She is planning to interview persons from 'across the board' in Miami, Canada, England and Jamaica.
To date, Blake has spoken to members of the Caribbean gay community in New York City including Jamaican activist Staceyann Chin and Christine Quinn, the openly gay speaker of the New York City Council.
"This documentary is not just about gays, it's about Jamaica," Blake pointed out. "I want to show that we are not monsters, we are not all homophobic."
Taboo follows on the heels of Queensbridge: The Other Side, Blake's revealing documentary about the Long Island housing project, which got strong reviews from noted publications like the New York Times. She went public with Taboo at a time when Jamaican indifference to gays is once again on the radar. documentary.
Information Minister Burchell Whiteman said in a statement issued to the media yesterday. (Wednesday November 17, 2004)
Read FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE and others
He added: "To link the homophobia issue to the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is inappropriate. The Government of Jamaica, through various ministries and agencies, has taken measures to arrest the HIV/AIDS epidemic."
Government yesterday dismissed claims by the international body, Human Rights Watch, that the authorities have been soft on police abuses on homosexual males and persons affected by HIV/AIDS. "We find the approach of this organisation unacceptably insensitive," Information Minister Burchell Whiteman said in a statement issued to the media yesterday. "We also as the duly elected representatives of the people feel that it is the people who must set our agenda in respect of the legislation which we pass or the repeal of any existing laws. We are certainly not about to respond to any organisation, external to this country, which may want to dictate to us how and when to deal with the laws of our land," said Senator Whiteman. He added: "To link the homophobia issue to the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is inappropriate.
The Government of Jamaica, through various ministries and agencies, has taken measures to arrest the HIV/AIDS epidemic." The findings of the Human Rights Watch Report were released to the public during a launch at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday. The report accused both the Government and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) of turning a blind eye to what they claim is a "rampant abuse of homosexual males and persons living with HIV/AIDS." The international body also criticised the Government's stance on legislation (the buggery law) on homosexuality, which they say is a 'discriminatory legislation'. Speaking in support of the sentiments expressed by the human rights group, Delroy Chuck, Opposition spokesman on Justice said, "I find homosexual behaviour quite reprehensible but I believe it is a moral issue and not one that should be prohibited by the legislature." Some clergymen, however, fiercely defended the law and insisted that it should be upheld. Rev. Courtney Richards, of the Missionary Church Association, pointed out that Human Rights Watch was mixing up the issues. "It is not the law itself that is the problem.
They are making a leap here. I see no reason to change the law, it is to be upheld," he said. DISCRIMINATION Turning to the charge of discrimination against persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the church, Rev. Phillip Robinson, president of the Jamaica Council of Churches, said, "they need to substantiate it. They have not given us the facts and the grounds in which they have made the allegations." In a quick response to allegations made against members of the police force that they were derelict in their duties and turning a blind eye to documented cases of physical and verbal abuse of HIV positive persons, Superintendent Ionie Ramsey, head of the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), said that the police High Command had ordered a probe into the allegations.
Let us retrace our steps people - Admin
The proposal to legalise or decriminalise prostitution was a scientific and pragmatic one. It was meant to protect everyone in society. People involved in renting themselves out for sex would be free to come under proper medical supervision and monitoring in their capacity as commercial sex workers. As things stand, such people operate outside the law and therefore go underground. This situation lends itself to abuse, human trafficking and the propagation of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) - some of which are potentially deadly.
Read FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE
A fairy balanced article
Monday, June 30, 2008
The downtown core was choked with men and women in wildly elaborate costumes, and in some cases, nothing but body paint, the Toronto Sun reported.
The parade wound through the city for three hours. There were no police reports of major problems, the newspaper said. For that matter, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and four other police forces had recruiting booths set up, the Sun said.
A first for this year was the inclusion of the Canadian armed forces, with about 18 soldiers, who has said they are gay, marching in the parade.
Politicians from the local up to federal level also marched, with the exception of anyone from the federal Conservative party, the Sun said.
The parade's international grand marshal was Gareth Henry of Jamaica, who is seeking refugee status in Canada. He has told various local media he fled Jamaica because of police intimidation and says 13 of his friends have been killed there since 2004.
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure 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.
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 and otherwise
- Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Information & Disclaimer
Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to 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.
This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.
If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.
Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.
This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner
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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 email@example.com
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
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