Tuesday, March 23, 2010
He was keen to say that he expected the negative comments, he agreed with me however that Jamaica is not at the same place it used to be on GLBTQ issues. He noted his most recent letter to the Jamaica Observer’s editor where the comments where negative and he doesn’t mind using his real name and not a pseudonym as he wants to stand up for something and has sufficiently prepared himself although not explaining how for any eventualities. He doesn’t think he is irresponsible in what he is doing as well and he feels he is at a point where he is not scared about repercussions as he has sons and he wants to make a difference for them.
He is presently organizing a “Walk for Tolerance” public event to be held somewhere in Western Jamaica on April 7th 2010, 11am, email him at email@example.com. He says he has the support of JFLAG and other international GLBTQ rights groups who will be present with banners to promote and ask for tolerance. I quizzed him about the safety issues regarding this event given the sensitivities and outright intolerance that exists here he said if members of the public asked what was afoot he would explain what is actually occurring. He did explain he took the necessary steps in securing the appropriate police permits event though said permits conveniently went missing twice before he finally got the relevant approvals from the police hierarchy. The event should last for an hour or so.
“This is history in the making, I don’t know how many people appreciate that” …………………….. “For all that we have suffered and all that we have been through we need to come together to recognize the move in this psychological moment in time,”
“Cowards don’t rule the world, I am not going to be a coward anymore, I hope we have some persons who are willing to be like me, it’s not for everybody but definitely it’s going to happen that’s the bottom line”
“Its not like I am out there gallivanting in front of peoples faces, I am addressing them on what I consider academic and intellectual points.” He said
He says he is angry at how the media presents the “stupidness being passed as rational discourse” he agreed that it’s all done to sell papers and he continued that it feeds into the country’s intolerance.
He continued to say that persons should be stand up and be counted, he said he didn’t understand how hiding works and we should recognize the change happening in Jamaica. He made reference to the UN AIDS representatives comments that he doesn’t understand what the issues are here in Jamaica as in Africa gays are being killed suggesting the situation there is rather worse than here. I hope that the walk goes well as I will try to attend as well although I am all the way on the other end of the island. This is refreshing however to see advocacy at this personal level outside the skewed system we have here.
He hinted to my case of some 13 years ago before a JFLAG existed and questioned whether if many persons would go through that, my case of course of my being arrested on a main road by police and charged for buggery although no sexual activity took place. The case was subsequently adjourned sine die as the prosecution couldn’t’ prove their point and stopped coming to court event though myself and my other three co-accused made sure we were present at every court mention date.
He never mentioned if there would be any media campaign to support the walk but lets watch this one folks to see how it turns out, I do hope something positive emerges out of this move by a one man advocate, sometime it takes only one to start the thrust.
Peace and tolerance
From all indications, it is clear that the Jamaican Parliament wants gays dead.
Recently, the executive director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe, reminded the world that in Jamaica - a country with anti-sodomy laws - there is a 32 per cent HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) versus 1.6 per cent in the general population.
While in Cuba, Suriname, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, countries without such legislation, the HIV prevalence in MSM ranges from one to eight per cent.
In the face of such damning evidence, this government, with the full complicity of the Opposition, entrenched the nation's anti-sodomy laws through the 2009 Sexual Offences Act which maintained the ban against private consensual adult male sex.
The short-sighted members of parliament who voted in favour of this shameful piece of legislation failed to realise that while they were busy playing word games about what constitutes private consensual adult sex (none of their business), they were simultaneously trampling on the privacy rights of citizens and sowing the seeds of a public health disaster.
Thanks to the anti-sodomy laws present in 11 Caribbean countries, the region now has the world's second highest HIV prevalence rate after sub-Saharan Africa, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic is now rapidly spreading to the heterosexual community, affecting many women and children.
As the saying goes, when you dig a hole for someone, dig two. With the legendary and celebrated promiscuity of some of our male politicians, I suspect it is only a matter of time before we hear that a few of them have been caught by this trap they set to catch gays.
Monday, March 22, 2010
The Prime Minister Bruce Golding on his feet in parliament on Wednesday March 17th said that the Charter of Rights Bill that was debated on and the respected recommendations accepted may be delayed by six months. The Charter which is to replace section 3 of the constitution has been on and off the roster for over twenty years, Mr. Golding says he is disappointed the legislation has not been passed. The conscience vote taken on the death penalty has further delayed its passage.
Parliament is to be parouged shortly, the legislation and further amendments may be necessary the Prime Minister said and may require a further six months for debate between the houses and sides before final passage so it may not pass during this legislative year. The sticky issue of the death penalty is said to be the main issue that’s holding up the passage.
Let’s not forget that the GLTBQ issues were brushed over via an invented discussion on gay marriage and the government’s refusal to accede to such marriage request although no such requests were made. Of course as it turned out it was nothing more than a front by the administration to sure up their new small majority at the time as they had just came into office just over a year at the time of the debate. Also using the strength of the “Not in my Cabinet” comment made on The BBC Hard talk interview plus the outburst by the renegade Member of Parliament Ernie Smith making negative comments about gays who by the way he has now found himself being satirically questioned by public commentators as to his own sexuality.
You may find other related posts and selected parliamentary presentations on this blog and on Gay Jamaica Watch under the tabs Charter of Rights. Meanwhile the Sexual Offences Bill is also at a standstill (see tabs as well on Sexual Offences Bill) after it was debated in the upper house. In retrospect one wonders if the fast tracking of both pieces of legislation at the time were done to present an image of a government doing something about the “gay problem” chiefly the misconceptions about paedophilia as we know we have heard utterances to the effect that suggests that gay men in particular are interested in getting into boys pants. We now therefore have a Charter that doesn’t recognize GLTBQ people as worthwhile citizens of Jamaica and doesn’t see discrimination in relation to sexual orientation were wiped out from the original draft document at the behest of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship lead by Shirley Richards (Atty-At-Law) and a key religious homophobe Reverend Al Miller who in recent times has found himself embroiled in all kinds of political platforms the most recent being the United States request for Dudus Coke extradition issue where he became tongue tied in a war of words between those for and against honoring the request.
Readers please we must follow these issues closely as they relate to our rights as citizens and personal freedoms. Of note the Abortion Bill was mentioned in Parliament a week ago where it was stuck at the point of whether to allow abortion for rape victims who become pregnant and are at over twenty two weeks of gestation. This to me has implications for rape victims in general but lesbian, bisexual and those of other orientations rape victims in particular of which we have seen a dramatic increase since 2008 with one known case of “Corrective Rape” that went to trial where the culprit was found guilty and will serve a total of 29 years as he has previous charges he was on bail when he was apprehended. Notice the silence from JFLAG on these issues anyone?
The sensitivities involved here should be of concern as the police has not fully adjusted its customer service stance towards GLTBQ people. However the woman who testified in the above mentioned matter said she was treated fairly by the staff at the rape unit now named CISOCA Center for Investigation for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse. So there is hope yet as some improvements are evident. Maybe I am the only gay male blogger who really considers this issue towards our lesbian sisters an important one as we are all one despite our gender, where is the tolerance even amongst ourselves?
Think on these things.
Peace and tolerance
Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II
Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14
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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.
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.
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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