Friday, March 27, 2009
Prime Minister Bruce Golding seems determined to lead by following. In particular, he seems in tune with public sentiment that favours discrimination based on private acts between consenting adults. Golding has said in Parliament that Jamaica will retain the buggery law, even though there will be no peeping into bedrooms - the prime way of determining whether buggery is taking place.
On the other hand, US President Barack Obama seems determined to lead by leading. Obama's administration is about to endorse a UN declaration that calls for worldwide decriminalisation of homosexuality.
Corrupt police are the main ones to benefit from a buggery law that cannot be enforced. Here is a scenario based on a recent incident. Two men are travelling on a very quiet road when they have a flat tyre. The tyre is fixed, and the driver and passenger are inside the car while the driver completes a call on his cellphone.
A police car stops, and two policemen get out with guns pointed at the men in the car. The men protest when the police accuse them of being homosexuals, and the police say they are charging them with using "threatening, abusive, and calumnious language". As the exchange becomes heated, the charges escalate to include "obstructing an officer in the pursuit of his duty" as well as buggery. One man tries to remain calm, but the other panics.
Neither is gay, but their careers, reputations, and family lives could be wrecked if they are brought to court on buggery charges.
Then the tone of the policemen changes with the question, "So what you can do for yourselves?" The two men have just $700 between them. The policemen then instruct them to hand over their cellphones for "safekeeping" while they drive in front of the police car to an ATM. Each man hands over $5,000 and the deal is sealed.
Members of the gay community in Jamaica report numerous incidents like this one. The buggery law enables corrupt policemen to engage in extortion and robbery. Worse still, it causes some fathers to avoid the company of their grown sons, just in case corrupt police or a hate brigade make an issue of their being together in a car, on the beach, on the street, or in a bus.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding might want to think again about his position on buggery as a constitutional issue. He might consider adopting the direction in which President Barack Obama is evidently leading Americans, even the conservative right and the fundamentalist Christians. Golding might find that a buggery law has no place in a world that increasingly considers all - irrespective of sexual orientation - as having rights and freedoms that the state is obliged to protect.
Yvonne McCalla Sobers
The joint select committee reviewing the draft policy agreed that it would also seek advice on the possible implications of the definition of discrimination on the "ground of sexual orientation".
At the committee's final meeting for the legislative year on Wednesday, government Senator Hyacinth Bennett described the issues as potentially explosive.
Change normal meaning
The proposed policy described sexual intercourse as sexual activity that involves vaginal, anal or oral penetration. However, the Lawyers Christian Fellowship group had raised concern about this definition, arguing that it would change the normal meaning of sexual intercourse. The group, in its earlier submission, had suggested that sexual activity and not "sexual intercourse" should be defined in the document.
Commenting on the Lawyers Christian Fellowship's recommendation, Senator Bennett said the group wanted to ensure that the concept of sexual intercourse was not degraded.
Opposition Senator Sandrea Falconer suggested that advice be sought from the Government's chief legal counsel on what were the implications of the broad definition of sexual intercourse in the document.
Charles' take on policy
Committee chairman Pearnel Charles made it clear that he wanted a policy framed in such a way that no group could argue that certain "types of sex" had been legalised.
He said the final policy should not leave a loophole for exploitation by any group.
The definition of sexual intercourse in the green paper was inconsistent with what was set out in the Offences Against the Person Act and Incest Punishment Act.
Another government senator, Dennis Meadows, said he did not have a problem with the definition. "We must become progressive in our thinking," he asserted.
Continuing, Meadows argued that the controversial definition of sexual intercourse was accepted by the United Nations. "Therefore if we are a part of the global community, our policy must reflect that of the global community, we are not an isolated country in the world," Meadows insisted.
Disagreeing with her colleague's liberal views, Senator Bennett indicated that the country should not be influenced by UN-based values or dictates.
The issue of discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation also stirred lively debate among committee members.
It was highlighted that the Charter of Rights bill now before Parliament, did not include discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation since it could be interpreted to permit same-sex marriage.
Charles concluded that it should not form part of the HIV/AIDS workplace policy document.
The green paper was developed out of growing concern about the stigma and discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS faced at the workplace.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
S. Richards' letter in the Gleaner of Tuesday, March 24, is a stark reminder of what drives antigay behaviour in Jamaica: the absence of solid, consistent and coherent reflection on the premises upon which all social exclusion rests. In her letter, Ms. Richards defended the maintenance of the legal provisions against buggery since, as she believes, they exist “to keep what is unnatural from becoming accepted”.
This appeal to ‘nature’ to buttress a legal provision that gives the government the right to peep into the bedrooms of consenting adults is very flawed. Taken to its logical conclusion, governments would be required to ban the cutting of fingernails and hair, the wearing of tattoos and of clothes, and the piercing of body parts because these practices are ‘unnatural’ and what is unnatural should be kept from becoming accepted.
Like the argument that justifies the proscription against sexual activities between men because these acts are ostensibly morally reprehensible, the appeal to nature ignores the fact that for an argument to be valid, it must be applicable to every situation that meets the criteria in its premise. So, if we understand S. Richards correctly, her argument is akin to that of those who treat homosexuality as an exceptional sexual sin. She now claims homosexuality (and alas, only homosexuality between men: the laws say nothing about lesbian sexual activities) to be so exceptional an unnatural act that it warrants criminalisation! So, no one is proposing the criminalisation of fornication and adultery, a logical necessity if we maintain that the anti-buggery provisions are moral in nature, but the criminalisation of sex between men is accepted and promoted as a Christian duty to nation and a dead queen. Further, no one is proposing that we ban unnatural acts such as the placing of dyes under the epidermis or the piercing of muscles such as the tongue, but we are to accept that what two consenting adult men do with their body parts in the privacy of their homes or a hotel room is outrageous that is requires interdiction.
It is time that as a people we begin to examine our prejudices and the assumptions on which they are based and name them for what they are: bigotry of the highest order. Government has no duty to criminalise subjectively defined morality or to legislate against ‘unnatural’ acts, whether they be shaving or wearing of jewellery. In a democratic society, that is left to individuals and their conscience and whichever imams, priests, rabbis or shepherds they choose to listen to. It is time that S. Richards and all who believe like her learn to distinguish their Caesars from their Gods. Jamaica is a democracy, not, as they imply, a theocracy.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The term pedophilia, however, has also been used colloquially to refer broadly to sexual interest in minors, regardless of their level of physical development.Ephebophilia is not listed as a paraphilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), unlike pedophilia, which is categorized as a disorder in the manual.Pedophilia or paedophilia has a range of definitions as found in psychology, law enforcement, and the popular vernacular.
As a medical diagnosis, it is defined as a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children.According to the DSM, pedophilia is specified as a form of paraphilia in which a person either has acted on intense sexual urges towards children, or experiences recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about children that cause distress or interpersonal difficulty.
The disorder is frequently a feature of persons who commit child sexual abuse. 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.
Let's hear your views.
Please follow up on this on Homosexuality versus Pedophilia article.
More reading PAEDOPHILIA AND HOMOSEXUALITY, Child Molestation by homosexuals and heterosexuals HOMILETIC & PASTORAL REVIEW
The Debate Link's Blog(some excerpts taken from Andrew Sullivan's post on The Debate Link)
Where is the thinking?
Why not wait until the investigations are finished?
What about Innocent until proven guilty?
Doesn't this writer understands the clear differences between a paedophile and a gay or bisexual person?
Take Action!: flood the email below with your concerns and comments on this awful letter, do so however with love.
There is a stench in this country surrounding homosexual and bisexual men who constantly sodomise young boys and girls. It was with disgust that I read about the nine-year-old boy whose life was so brutally snuffed out by someone who news reports said was of "unsound mind".
Are we kidding ourselves, or are we in denial? What is the government doing to protect innocent children from these obvious scumbags of society? Why is homosexuality not a crime, but yet we still have the Buggery Act? And why is it that when these men are "caught in the act" they are not imprisoned? It is appalling to know that some of these men are merely sent off with a pat on the back! What is going on in this country?
Mr Prime Minister, this is a suggestion to you and the people whom you appoint to protect us. Start hanging the bastards! To all the human rights watchdogs: whose rights are more important? The criminals' or the victims'? This foolishness needs to stop! Murder, traffic violations, illegal taxis, are not the only crimes in this country. Sex crimes are infesting this country like maggots on a dead carcass and we need to come together and put a stop to it!
Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II
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Thanks for your Donations
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.
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
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.
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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.
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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
What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)
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.
The police 119
Crime Stop 311
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