Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless LGBTQ Project 2009 a detailed look & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ youth in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

J-FLAG outraged by Smith's broadside against gay and lesbian Jamaicans

Kingston --- February 12, 2009

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is outraged by the
statement made by Member of Parliament for South West St Ann, Ernest Smith, in his
contribution to the parliamentary debate on the Sex Offenders Act on Wednesday,
February 11, 2009. In his statement, Mr. Smith expressed concern that “homosexuals in
Jamaica have become so brazen, they've formed themselves into organizations”. He also
claimed that ‘homosexuals’ were “abusive [and] violent” and called on the Minister of
National Security to account for why so many of them were licensed firearm holders. He
further claimed that the security forces have “been overrun by homosexuals”. To complete
his broadside, Mr. Smith called for a tightening of the anti-buggery law.

J-FLAG finds Mr. Smith’s statement offensive on several levels. First, he has made a
sweeping statement about thousands of Jamaicans about whom he knows very little. What
evidence does he have to suggest that gays and lesbians as a group are more violent and
abusive than other Jamaicans? This kind of stereotyping from a parliamentarian is
inflammatory and highly irresponsible. We are concerned that in a climate characterised by
extreme violence, Mr. Smith’s statement could provide another justification for mindless
mobs to attack gays and lesbians on suspicion that they contribute to the country's high
level of crime and violence. Mr. Smith has also exposed the security forces to the spectre
of public ridicule and hostility in a society where the slightest hint of homosexuality is a
trigger for suspicion and scorn. This is stress that no member of security needs or
deserves, particularly at this time.

What is even more dangerous in Mr. Smith’s statement is his beef with the formation of
specifically gay and lesbian associations. J-FLAG is indeed proud that despite the bigotry
and opposition it faces in Jamaica, its existence and legal operation for the past decade
are possible due to constitutional provisions that protect the rights to free association and
to hold views different from those of the majority. That Mr. Smith, a Member of Parliament
in this democratic society, would take issue with this fact sends a very dangerous message
about how committed some of our politicians are to protecting our rights. We believe Mr.
Smith’s pronouncement to be a threat to our democracy.

J-FLAG also fears that Mr. Smith’s unsubstantiated assertions about the number of gays in
the armed forces might trigger a witch hunt that could destabilise the security forces in
general but the constabulary force in particular. This would be an extremely unfortunate
situation, especially at a time when the police need to focus their energies on law
enforcement in defence of the hundreds of victims and potential victims of crime. Among
them are those whose families are brutally slain each year. In this context, J-FLAG is
baffled by Mr. Smith’s call for Parliament to place more of the state’s limited resources into
further criminalising acts between consenting adults; acts that have no victims.

Mr. Smith needs no reminder that despite his wish that punishment for buggery be more
severe, homosexuals in Jamaica have the same rights as other citizens, including those to
bear arms and to employment in the security forces. J-FLAG denounces his statement as
being not only an amazing display of backwardness and unmitigated bigotry but also as
anti-democratic and sinister. We urge Mr. Smith’s party as well as his fellow
parliamentarians to examine his statement, acknowledge the danger it contains, and call
him to account for what was populist but wanton and reckless behaviour in the nation’s
parliament.
~30~

Contact: Jason McFarlane
Tel: (876)754-8704
Email: jflagoffice@gmail.com or admin@jflag.org

1 comment:

Fiyu Pikni said...

While I am equally concerned about those statements made by the MP, I am not surprised. So your "outrage" confounds me. Such is the general view of us my friend, and it wont change any time soon. At least we know well where we stand, in terms of the opposition, (however mired in ignorance) that we have to contend with.

Earnest Smith, like may other Jamaicans, has no qualms about stereotyping people he has no clue about- and it makes very little sense. You kill people for being gay, so gays are afraid to "come out" (...which is a nonfunctional term in Jamaica). As a result you have very few openly gay individuals... very effeminate guys escape mob beatings and mutilations only because they don't profess their homosexuality- they day they do so, they're dead. Yet, Jamaicans swear they know all there is to know about homosexuals. Maybe of you gave us a chance to live and to love those we want to, you would realize that we really are no different for heterosexuals...it's not as if their heterosexuality has anything to do with me.

One day they will learn, for we will not remain so silent... so out sight, forever.

Till then, we need to maintain great blogs like these, in which we can voice our opinions, and germinate the seeds of the revolution that must come.

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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.

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

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.


Recent Homophobic 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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