Saturday, October 11, 2008
There is no real need to bring out a passage showing approval of homosexuality. After all, the Bible condemns only those actions it actually condemns, and homosexuality is not one of those things.
However, even though they are not strictly necessary, there *are* several passages that show approval of gay relationships.
To mention just one, there is the love affair between David and Jonathan.
1 Samuel 18:1,3
"And it came to pass, when he [David] had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul . . . And Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul."
And immediately afterward, Jonathan disrobed before David:
1 Samuel 18:4
"Jonathan divested himself of the mantle he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military dress, and his sword, his bow and his belt.
Jonathan was not only disrobing, but was turning the symbols of his manhood over to David. This draws a very clear picture of what is happening here.
1 Samuel 20:30
"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse [David] to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?"
Reference to the nakedness of one's parents is one of the methods used in the Bible to refer to a sexual relationship. Jonathan had chosen David as his lover. And in the same conversations Saul says:
1 Samuel 20:31
Why, as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth you cannot make good your claim to the kingship!
This clarifies Saul's problem. One of the most important duties of being a king was producing an heir. Obviously, Jonathan had no intention of producing an heir, and therefore could not provide the final step needed to make good his claim to the kingship. He loved David and *only* David.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Unconfirmed reports however indicate that "she" had picked up two men recently from a popular night spot. The men were said to be known to her. She was and is usually dressed in partial or full drag and that night in particular she was in partial women's clothes.
She was notorious for picking up rough types and "Breaking so called str8 men into gay sexual activities," it is strongly believed that this led to her demise as she may have picked up the wrong kind this time around and was not lucky.
It is said that she has been seen in the company of the same men before so it was not expected that she would have been harmed in any way. It is believed that the car that she was in at the initial pick up point was driven to a hilly area and overturned physically by her attackers into a precipice with a view to covering up the incident
Her body was found on Tuesday October 7 with multiple stab wounds.
Another sad tale in our LGBT community, please advise your friends who are transvestites or full drag queens to be very careful in going about publicly and engaging characters that you cannot verify their orientation or choice.
According to our sources the police have not established a motive for the killing and are said to be looking into the matter.
They argued that the state's civil union law was discriminatory and unconstitutional because it established a separate and therefore inherently unequal institution for a minority group. Citing the equal protection under the law, the state Supreme Court agreed."In accordance with these state constitutional requirements, same sex couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry," says the majority opinion, which was written by Justice Richard N. Palmer.Connecticut joins California and Massachusetts, which became the first state to allow same-sex marriage 2004.
In a scathing 25-page dissenting opinion, Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote that "there is no fundamental right to same sex marriage.""The ancient definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman has its basis in biology, not bigotry," Zarella wrote. "If the state no longer has an interest in the regulation of procreation, then that is a decision for the legislature or the people of the state and not this court."
Thursday, October 9, 2008
DietHigh-fat, low-fiber diet increases the risk of Breast Cancer. The risk also increases with women who are overweight. (Nearly 30 percent of lesbians are obese, compared to 20 percent for women overall.)
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Click here for: How to reduce your risk for breast cancer:
The Black World Today, December 2, 2002
By Zadie Neufville, IPS
KINGSTON—When the United Kingdom (UK) granted asylum to three Jamaican men last month, it once again shone the international spotlight on the severe homophobia that have cost many here their homes, their jobs and even their lives.
The men were granted asylum on the grounds that “severe homophobia” in this northern Caribbean island, had endangered their lives, and that the Jamaican government failed to protect them from violence.
The three are among the first successful asylum claims for homosexuals since a 1999 House of Lords ruling that allowed “particular social groups”, including homosexuals, to qualify for refugee status.
Barry O’Leary of the London-based law firm Wesly Gryk says he was able to convince British officials that the Jamaican government “is unwilling to protect the rights of the men”.
O’Leary, also a spokesman for the Stonewall Immigration group, an organisation that lobbies for gays, says some of his Jamaican clients have suffered physical torture and have even seen their partners murdered.
Another seven Jamaican men are seeking refuge in the UK and one has been granted indefinite leave to remain there.
One of the refugees, Matthew (name withheld by request) describes being gay in Jamaica as being in “a hell house”.
“When I was walking down the streets, I didn’t know who was going to attack me. The police do nothing. I would be dead now in Jamaica,” he told reporters.
One 26-year-old, who wants to remain anonymous, told of constant verbal abuse while working as a security guard. At home, he suffered beatings that left him deaf in one ear and in one particularly brutal attack his throat was slashed and he was left to die.
“I was always looking over my shoulder, thinking someone was going to attack me or shoot me,” he said. “It is just not possible to live a normal life in Jamaica if you are gay,” the man said on British radio.
The success of the asylum seekers is welcome news in the Jamaican gay community. The Jamaica Federation of Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) reports that 30 men are currently homeless after being forced out of their communities, while some have been driven to insanity.
Since 1980, about 40 gay men have been killed and hundreds of alleged homosexuals viciously beaten and driven from their homes. The threat of violence is so prevalent that the only known names and faces behind J-FLAG live overseas, the group’s telephone number is unlisted and its office location a secret.
In Jamaica, sympathising or associating with gays can be deadly, J-FLAG says.
The organisation has recorded dozens of incidents of violence against gay men, but says that many of those who suffer beatings or threats are simply too scared to report them to authorities.
O’Leary says many of his clients also report abuse from police, and in a 2001 report the international human rights group Amnesty International (AI) outlines police beatings, beatings supported by the police, arrests and malicious detention of gay men.
But Miguel Wynter, head of the Jamaican Constabulary’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which investigates allegations of police misconduct, says he has had no complaints from gay men claiming to have been abused by police.
Wynter does admit that the Buggery Act could deter homosexuals from making complaints.
Gay women are verbally harassed but violence against them is reportedly rare.
AI and local activists blame a 135-year-old Jamaican law—the Offences of the Person Act, which includes the Buggery Act—for promoting discrimination against gay men. Under the act, homosexual intercourse is a criminal offence punishable by up to 10 years hard labour.
“Laws that treat homosexuals as criminals lend support to a climate of prejudice,” Amnesty said in its report.
“Although not all gay men engage in anal intercourse,” says J-FLAG spokesperson and attorney Donna Smith, “it is so much a part of the essence of the intimate interaction between gay men that a law against it is, in essence, a law against male homosexuality”.
Activists say local recording stars are also to be blamed for the violence because their lyrics often call for violence, including the murder of gays. One of the most popular recordings in recent years advocated “burning and shooting ‘Chi Chi Men’” (a local term for homosexuals), while others have called for battering them to death.
According to O’Leary, “I am representing one client who has lost his last two partners to fatal homophobic attacks, one of which took place in church”.
Smith believes that constitutional protection for homosexuals could provide a buffer against some violence and discrimination. Last year, J-FLAG lobbied the Constitutional Commission to include sexual preference in the law as a protected right.
Government refused to consider the proposition saying, “homosexuality was not on its agenda”.
Public Defender Howard Hamilton is now investigating whether the constitutional rights of 16 men killed and 40 others injured in 1997 prison riots were breached.
In what is said to be the country’s worst case of homophobic violence, prisoners attacked and killed or injured alleged homosexuals after prison officials announced they would distribute condoms to counter the spread of HIV.
A Jamaican government spokesperson denies any support for homophobia, but many like O’Leary continue to point to remarks made by Jamaica’s head of state and chief scout, Governor-General Howard Cooke, when he sanctioned the exclusion of gays from the Boys Scouts.
“Those are not the type of persons we wish to be part of the scout movement,” he told a newspaper nearly two years ago.
Gay rights activists say that the failure of government to address the situation is putting even non-homosexuals at risk. Bobby (name withheld by request) says he was targeted because he “was not living with a woman”.
He told reporters that community leaders ordered him to leave his home.
And while gays living in middle and upper-class communities may escape the vicious beatings that their less fortunate counterparts in the inner cities are exposed to, they still face discrimination. Many complain of having police smash into their homes on false reports and of searches designed to catch them in compromising situations.
So the abuse continues and those who can, seek refuge abroad. Those with enough money and power, protect themselves behind security fences. According to J-FLAG, those with no recourse end up dead, others wander the streets and some lose their minds.
The first UK ID cards have been unveiled, and come into force from 25th November. The card will hold the holder’s photograph, name, date of birth, nationality, immigration status and an electronic chip with biometric details, including fingerprints and digital facial image. All indefinitely held on the UK Identity and Passport Service database.
Initially the ID cards will be issued to non-EU students and marriage visa holders then, foreign nationals wanting to enter the UK. From next year other foreign nationals living in the UK will begin to be issued with ID cards. These groups will be forced to enrol on the scheme and use the card, rather than their passport, for identification,
Once migrants have been used to test the scheme, in 2009 anyone, regardless of nationality, who works in an area the government deems “sensitive” such as airports will be required to have an ID card. From 2010, students will need ID cards to get a student loan and they will be available to the rest of us on a “voluntary” basis, with them being paired with passports in 2011.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Steve Harvey's killing has resulted in a far-reaching public outcry against the government of Jamaica, which has been accused of ignoring violence against homosexuals. Several organizations, including the United Nations have demanded a thorough investigation of the homicide.
THIS MUCH is true: the brave, loving gay man who was murdered in Kingston last week will not be forgotten. His name was Brian R.B. Williamson. None of us who are gay, lesbian or bisexual will forget him, and neither will many others.
He was a founding member of J-FLAG. I remember him from that time. That was where I first met him where I first had the privilege of getting to know him. We all were meeting in great trust, scarcely knowing at that time, in the latter months of 1998, how daunting and ultimately vital our mission would be. But in 2004, six years later, J-FLAG still exists proof of the importance and utter correctness of our work. Jamaica's viciousness and hatred, no matter how brutal, could not destroy us then, and will not destroy us now.
I remember Brian as a laughing man: a man with 'a head of silver coins'," as I described his head of curly silver-gray hair. He loved laughing and laughter. Though it is often said of the dead even when untrue, he truly did love life, and exemplified that love in his formidable bravery where sexuality matters were concerned. He was not afraid to open, and operate from the late 1990s until only a few years ago, the gay and lesbian dance club Entourage, right in his home at 3A Haughton Avenue.
A SAFE PLACE
Entourage, a place where so many of us gays, lesbians, and bisexuals could go and dance, laugh, flirt, party, and hang out with friends and loved ones a place where we could breathe freely and openly, delivered for a few hours from Jamaica's otherwise repressive, hateful anti-gay environment. At Entourage and in other places, Brian was not afraid to challenge the police, fiercely, when they attempted to harass him. He was not afraid to represent J-FLAG on the radio, using his own name, and to appear on television, representing the organisation, showing his face. He did it all with great humour and generosity, and lived, until a few weeks ago, to tell about it. In that regard, he was truly an example to all of us who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual an example of just what bravery and risk can accomplish.
It remains to be seen whether Brian was murdered specifically because he was gay, although given the extremely violent nature of the crime and his being so widely known as an outspoken gay man, one would be a bit naive not to wonder. These are hard times for all Jamaicans living on the island, but they're especially hard for gay men, and for men who have sexual/romantic involvements with other men, and with women, and don't call themselves 'gay'.
SHROUD OF FEAR
Many men who desire other men in Jamaica continue to live with an enormous amount of anxiety, shame and fear. Such is also the case for women who love other women. Those of us who are men, particularly after an incident such as which took Brian's life, return to that gnawing fear: will someone strike us down anytime soon because we are 'b-men'? How will it happen? With fire, machetes, pickaxes, hammers, guns, knives or simple strangling? Or will it be 'just' a beating? Or a good old-fashioned stoning? Will our father do it to us, or a neighbour? A boyfriend of ours, or a co-worker?
Will everyone in our community turn on us? Will it happen in the cool, quieter hours of the night, or beneath the sun's blazing afternoon? Will people laugh after our death, as they did after Brian's or will some cry for us, as many did for Brian? Will people tell each other after our murder that we 'deserved' it, or were 'asking for' it? Will people in our families be so ashamed of us, and so embarrassed, that they'll refuse to speak about us to anyone, especially when it comes to the men we loved? Will self-hating gay men say vicious things about us - that we were nothing more than a 'sketel', nothing more than a 'butu', so what could we expect?
We all have faced discrimination and bigotry from friends, family members, church members, and others; yet many of us somehow have managed to survive that bigotry, and even triumph. In that regard, we, male and female homosexuals, are truly testaments to survival and the human spirit. Jamaica would be much poorer without our talent, hard work, skills, and intelligence, and Jamaica knows it. Jamaica will be much poorer without the light of Brian Williamson, but the gay/lesbian community, and J-FLAG, will continue, and prevail, as Brian himself would have wanted us to.
EQUAL TO NAZI TYRANNY
Make no mistake years from now, the world will look at Jamaica the way we do at Nazis today. Jamaica's hatred of homosexuals is the equal of Nazis' hatred of Jews. It is the equal of racist whites' hatred of blacks, is the equal of all hatred everywhere just as ugly, just as destructive and self-destructive, just as ignorant and narrow. Just as evil.
We are Nazis toward lesbians and gay men, but Hitler's fury didn't wipe out all the Jews, and Jamaica's rage won't kill all of us - it won't even kill those of us who hate ourselves so much because Jamaica has taught us to hate ourselves and other gay people.
In our private spaces we still love and make love to each other, we still tell jokes and drink, play cards and watch T.V, nyam our curry goat and brown stew chicken, go on bad and tek bad tings mek laugh. We still dream of love, like everyone else, and, when necessary, we take care of each other. If anything, Brian's death should teach us all to do all these things even better.
But it should teach us something else, even more important: it should teach us that we, and no one else, will have to make the kind of world we want our children to live in. If one of our children turns out to be gay and I mean the children of any Jamaican, any person, heterosexual or homosexual, since we, too, produce children are we prepared to send them out into a world that might chop them up, burn them, dash acid on them, or burn down their house? Or stone them? Or cause them to flee Jamaica in fear? Or cause them to grow up lying about themselves, lying to their parents, to spouses, children, friends, family to everyone?
What are we all doing right now, nearly one week after a brave man's death, to protect our children from that world? From this world?
Brian featured on the bottom of his outgoing e-mails a quote from Gandhi: "We must become the change we wish to see in the world." It's useful, but to achieve what it says requires a tremendous amount of human bravery: brave heart, brave mind, brave soul, and the courage to expand the mind beyond the prejudices that make us happy and comfortable. Are we prepared to try and live this way, if only to keep other people from being killed as Brian was killed, and to save ourselves from such a death as well?
Light a candle, then, for this man who was loved. Light many candles, and remember his name. Remember his laughter.
Remember how much he loved other men, and how very much he wanted them to love him in return. Remember how much he loved his cat Jonathan and his dog Tessa - poor Tessa, who was there, at home, on the morning of his death.
Remember how Brian loved his garden, especially the trailing yellow allamanda flowers on his front lawn's overhead trellis. Say a prayer for him, and say another for those terrible lost people who killed him.
Remember how much power, love, and life he brought us in Jamaica. Remember, how much braver he made so many of us. Remember how he expanded our entire country. Remember, and know that he will not be forgotten.
Monday, October 6, 2008
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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