Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The Sexual Offences Act 2009 has been passed in the House of Representatives.
The Act is an amalgamation of various laws relating to rape, incest and other sexual offences.
It will repeal the Incest (Punishment) Act and several provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act.
The Bill also provides for the establishment of a Sex Offenders Registry, which will maintain a register of sex offenders.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding told Parliamentarians yesterday that the Bill will be introduced in the Senate on Friday by Justice Minister and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne.
The prime minister had previously sought leave of Parliament to withdraw the Bill, because of the significant number of amendments that had to be made.
However, he said after discussions with Opposition Leader, Portia Simpson Miller, he decided to have it debated in the House yesterday.
The introduction of the bill in the senate on Friday will allow for it to be debated immediately after the new session of Parliament convenes next week.
Teen accused of molesting 11-y-o
Police have confirmed that a woman and her son have moved out of a community after the boy was alleged molested by a teen.
Police have also confirmed that they have taken the teen into custody for molesting the woman's 11 year-old son. The incident reportedly occurred in St Catherine recently.
The 15-year-old boy was set upon by residents before he was taken into custody. He was accused of sexually molesting the boy.
Police reports are that about 2 p.m., they responded to a call and was just in time to rescue the teenager from an angry mob.
He was placed into custody as a juvenile in need of care and protection.
The Old Harbour police said that the juvenile is scheduled to face the Children's Court in St Catherine on April 24.
There was no word about the whereabouts of the mother and her 11-year-old son.
The police told the Star that acts of sexual impropriety among teenagers in the parish is uncomfortably high among juveniles.
To this end, they said that more intervention from support groups is needed at this time to address the issue.
published: Tuesday June 17, 2008
The Editor, Sir:
After only nine months in office, the Jamaica Labour Party government, led by the self-righteous paragon of virtue Bruce Golding, is trailing the People's National Party in the latest polls. This, after a narrow victory in the 2007 elections.
There are many reasons put forward for this short-lived popularity, including the failure to show the Jamaican people that it has got things under control. And his Cabinet of 'straight' men can't seem to find solutions for the myriad of problems that are racking this country of 'Christians'. Not that a PNP administration would do better, and I don't think they can. So, Sister P, I am not in your corner, either. Gay men needed What Bruce Golding needs in his Cabinet to make it effective are a few gay men. We are brilliant, industrious, creative in our thoughts, dedicated to our craft, result-oriented, and very important, sensitive to people's needs. And we don't go around being proud for being a bigot.
Look around, Bruce, and see the organisations and institutions that are run by gays in this country and you will see what I am talking about. But you prefer to let hatred blind your eyes to people who have the potential to take this country out of the doldrums in which we are.
You are the driver, but you don't seem to know where you are going in your vortex of discrimination, failure and confusion. But while the country suffers, gays are prospering, so exclude us at your own peril.
Mr Prime Minister, your Cabinet is full of old and impotent 'straight' men. You need a few good men, gay men, to spruce it up, and put the country on a path of prosperity, and not depravity.
And what about GAP? The Gay Action Party? I think it's a brilliant idea!
I am, etc.,
Even at our bi weekly Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Community (GLABCOM) meetings in Kingston and reportedly at the other three chapters it is evident that the ladies are not interested or so it seems, as the meetings are predominantly attended by men.
Gay men here have been accused of being too overbearing and intolerant of lesbian views and issues and that we (men) don't listen, many lesbians have expressed displeasure at these meetings where the males tend to out speak the them while they are trying to make a point, even at the local level socially, at regular parties the difference is clear, save and except for some gatherings.
My lesbian counterpart in the discussion said many lesbians are expressing their displeasure at the behaviour of some of our brothas and rightly so, but to then criticise the effeminacy or "realness" is just too much for me as some gay men are just that, REAL and cannot express themselves no other way.
However on the matter of my brothas being overbearing, in all fairness that's true to a certain extent and I have heard gay men also expressing their dislike for associating with lesbians.
What is this? Lesbophobia, we nuh like dem, dem nuh like we? eh eh,
(english: we don't like them, they don't like us? wow).
Is it a lack of understanding of each other's lifestyles or are we so busy being "Gay" in our own gender box that everything else seems irrelevant?
Another strange observation I have found is that many gay men like myself seem to have more "straight" female friends than lesbian ones and the reverse is true of lesbians in the Jamaican context.
For example a so called thug/shotta (male) will hang with a "butch" female and take her as one of the boys as opposed to socializing with an effeminate male, we see it publicly, lesbian females dressed in men's baggy jeans and smoking weed and being all "thuggy" on the corner and very few oppose it.
Strange bed-fellows in our so called homophobic environment. Personally I have many lesbian friends and in fact many of my gay brothas wonder how come I get along so easily with lesbians.
How can we begin to build the bridge between us and how can we sustain it?.
What do you think?
Peace and tolerance
however there are some masculine men who like their cream with a little "sugar" on top.
Most Jamaican GB men including those who publicly "bun out chi chi" (pretend to be homophobic) will tell you behind closed doors that an effeminate man can be who they are ("real") in a private setting but when in public they must be masculine acting.
This unwritten rule applies to most African descented gay cultures especially African American where gay, bisexual and progressive men feel that somehow their manhood would be threatened or depleted when seen with a "queen", in Jamaica their person may be threatened by others and they may loose respect from the thugs or other males.
To be even identified as "Gay" is a problem as many attach the stereo typical "queen acting" male who has on tight fitting designer outfits, outrages drag and wigs and carrying a designer handbag image, hence shy away or refute the description/word being applied to them.
We just seem to be hooked on this idea of a hyper macsuline homo thug image somehow.
Jamaica is a unique place as far gay culture is concerned, if we are to really examine the underground scene right here on the rock it would be amazing as Bob Marley says "if night turns to day" then we would really see the other side of things. While we have rampant homophobia, we also have rampant homosexuality and bisexuality too, of course this is based on my experiences. Lots are men especially from the inner city will get down for the right price, if there is a reward to be had and if you really look good too. I think though we have more bisexuals than any other Caribbean territory as the common thread in justifying gay sex is that they are just stealing it on the side.
While the stigmatization of "queens" publicly occurs by masculine bisexuals gays, for sexual purposes some of these same masculine men don't have a problem having an effeminate man as a substitute for his absent or predisposed girlfriend for a night yet this is the same man who when attending a dance party, stage show or club event and the DJ plays an anti gay tune and asked for audience support, will have his hand/rag or cigarette lighter (as is customary) in the air in solidarity.
Interesting how we can switch personalities and attitudes with the greatest of ease to match the environment we are in.
Personally, I have had my run-ins with this "thug type" or heaviots as we call them here derived from the word "heavy" to mean deeply masculine or a gangsta, they are very protective of their identity and image and would do anything including vilify and bash another gay man so as not to be identified.
I have seen it oh too many times,they pass you on the street and if you should say hi that could lead to problems, worse if you are effeminate looking or acting.
The stigmatization is also used by the homophobic mainstream to justify attacks on alleged gay persons and the regular outcry after an attack would be "Is because he act funny/like a girl, serves him/them right, is him/them cause it on themselves."
I can appreciate the "buy in" by gay and bisexual men using as a form of protection when you play the masculine part in order not to be identified, verbally or physically abused in public.
Don't be fooled by the dancehall industry's seemingly homophobic stance, well at least I am not, I think they do it for two main reasons
1). to make money off the homophobic sentiments the public carries in the majority - one of the easiest ways for a struggling artist to make a come-back or a current artist to stay current is to voice an anti gay track
2). To cover their tracks left from behind the scenes liaisons and affairs - it is alleged and known that many in the fraternity engage in homosexual activities but try to put a str8 face to it.
A gay-rights lobby last week launched a Boycott Jamaica campaign in the United States city of San Francisco, discouraging patronage of the island's exports - particularly Red Stripe - to put pressure on government and private-sector interests to rein in a perceived rise in attacks on sex minorities.
The move was launched in the Harvey Milk Plaza - named after a gay-rights activist whose characterisation won Sean Penn the Best Actor Oscar in February.
Michael Petrelis, campaign organiser, told The Gleaner Monday that the catalyst for the campaign was a US State Department report, published in February, citing an escalation of violent attacks against homosexuals in Jamaica.
Petrelis said neither the Govern-ment of Jamaica nor the police had exhibited a commitment to protect gays or encourage tolerance of sex minorities.
Aims to spread message Though not providing specific figures on the size of its movement, Petrelis said the group aimed to spread its message in other US cities such as New York and Chicago.
The boycott has targeted Red Stripe beer, mainly because of the product's international prominence, Petrelis said. The group is bidding to cut sales of Red Stripe beer in gay bars and restaurants in San Francisco within 30 days. Twelve such establishments have assented to the boycott, Petrelis said. The Gleaner could not immediately verify if Red Stripe products had indeed been pulled.
Petrelis said his group would also dissuade Americans from holidaying in Jamaica. Tourism is one of the island's foreign-exchange gold mines.
A meeting between the lobbyists and Dr Newton Gordon, honorary consul of Jamaica for San Francisco, has been scheduled for next Tuesday.
J-flag deplores boycott
However, Jason McFarlane, programmes manager at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG), said it deplored the boycott, particularly because Red Stripe had withdrawn support from entertainers - particularly of the dancehall genre - who promoted violence against gays.
"We had spoken to them not to go ahead with the boycott when they first contacted us last week, but they went ahead despite our response," McFarlane told The Gleaner.
Meanwhile, Maxine Whittingham- Osborne, head of corporate relations at Red Stripe, said the company was surprised by the gay advocates' apparent random targeting.
"Over the years, by our actions and our policies, we have demonstrated that we do not advocate any bias or prejudice against any individual or group(s)," she said yesterday.
Whittingham-Osborne said Red Stripe had not had any consultations with the group, but did not rule out engaging them in discussions. She declined comment on whether the company was considering legal proceedings against the boycotters.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding earlier this year said his government would not repeal its buggery laws. Attempts yesterday to contact local police about whether attacks on gays had increased were unsuccessful.
Monday, March 30, 2009
boycottjamaica's site and http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/
Members of the public and by extension select public opinion shapers will consider this as interference by foreigners and hence push for more hatred and opposition towards gays. Not to mention the increase in violence that occurs when a situation like this becomes public knowledge. As we have seen before during the planned Canadian group EGALE's boycott early last year many persons including lesbians suffered attacks, we saw a spike in the numbers that was never so for lesbians especially before. The stories told to us by many victims included hints that we (gays) were getting foreigners to force their nasty lifestyle on Jamaica and other derogatory remarks so the attackers felt justified in their actions.
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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
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- 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
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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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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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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