Thursday, April 1, 2010
Paedophilia is behavior that is learnt sometimes he said and there are some hormonal and physiologically driven factotrs. The mythical part was also included as he related to the myths men have of having sex with a virgin or a young person will cure HIV/AIDS or sexual transmitted infections. The discussion was in light of the uproar on the allegations of sexual misconduct levied at priest in the catholic faith in Europe and the pope being embroiled ad he was a cardinal at the time where one priest was accused of molesting several boys. The alleged turning of a blind eye to the matter has earned the anger of many groups and persons worldwide and the local scenario is being looked at by several talk shows and commentators.
The usual actions of sending offending priests on a long spiritual hiatus as a way to deal with the sexual impropriety was now ineffective says the Archbishop Donald Reece Head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jamaica he echoed his stance as from a previous radio interview where he believes the church now has sufficient information from studies and understanding sex and sexuality to deal with the problem. The origin of the behavior must be deciphered and looked into. “It is only recently we have come to understand the development of sexuality in a person.” He said
The lack of reported cases ought to be red flag rather something to be comforted in as it may very well indicate hidden instances and taboos that cause victims not to come forward. The Archbishop said that when young girls get pregnant it is paedophilia and no one brings these cases to any attention, priests are summoned by convention to help to protect the family and the young. If paedophilia is irreversible how do we care for the victims and the perpetrators as well? He reiterated his position that if a matter was brought to his attention that a priest violated a child he would bring the matter to the police, he went on to explain that the church’s regulation does not preclude such matters being reported to the authorities. Two things must happen he said, a report to the civil authority and the internal church disciplinary mechanisms that go into effect.
The enactment of the Child Care and Protection Act last year was hinted to so as to deal with the problem in general society in as far as the abuse of power relationships, a co host questioned why was the church waiting until cases come before it and this could be viewed as a cop out to avoid directly dealing with the problem, proactive action is needed.
“How can Jamaica be this one last bastion of holiness in the whole world?” asked co-host Marie Smith. In response Archbishop Donald Reece agreed with the proactive stance, he mentioned a three hour course originating out of the United States conducted here with all priests, deacons and bishops that outlined the dos and don’ts about human relationships especially with children.
Also there is a directive from the three catholic bishops in Jamaica that has been issued to priests and rectories as to not entertaining and holding children in rectories at night. A review board is being compiled comprising of lay persons, nurses, psychologists and other children advocates whenever a case comes to it the necessary investigations should occur and the sanctions or actions will be taken. Archbishop Reece was at pains to point out that the Catholic Church came in far down the list of paedophilia after all the cases are assessed based on a book he referred to by a non Roman Catholic Professor named Phillip Jenkins of Penn State University “The Myth of Paedophilia” the archbishop was rebutting the comment made about the church being the perceived leading place for paedophilia. He defended the church by saying that the very pope now being vilified is responsible for the new regulations included the screening process for new priests.
Dr. Aggrey Irons commented on the worldwide view of the Catholic Church has hiding in its midst persons with personality issues use religious places to hide in. He asked that he church take action due to perceived inaction over the years. The far more rigorous scrutiny now being levied at new candidates to the priesthood has caused the numbers of the personnel for applications of the priesthood to be significantly reduced. The scrutiny involves psycho-sexual development and behaviours, he noted the preventative approach now being taken by the church worldwide. Personality tests of present priests are ongoing Dr. Irons continued.
Let’s watch this folks.
Peace and tolerance
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
47 European countries unanimously agree on historic human rights recommendations for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people
of the Committee of Ministers to member states
on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 31 March 2010
at the 1081st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members, and that this aim may be pursued, in particular, through common action in the field of human rights;
Recalling that human rights are universal and shall apply to all individuals, and stressing therefore its commitment to guarantee the equal dignity of all human beings and the enjoyment of rights and freedoms of all individuals without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status, in accordance with the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms(ETS No. 5) (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”) and its protocols;
Recognising that non-discriminatory treatment by state actors, as well as, where appropriate, positive state measures for protection against discriminatory treatment, including by non-state actors, are fundamental components of the international system protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms;
Recognising that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons have been for centuries and are still subjected to homophobia, transphobia and other forms of intolerance and discrimination even within their family – including criminalisation, marginalisation, social exclusion and violence – on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, and that specific action is required in order to ensure the full enjoyment of the human rights of these persons;
Considering the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (“hereinafter referred to as “the Court”) and of other international jurisdictions, which consider sexual orientation a prohibited ground for discrimination and have contributed to the advancement of the protection of the rights of transgender persons;
Recalling that, in accordance with the case law of the Court, any difference in treatment, in order not to be discriminatory, must have an objective and reasonable justification, that is, pursue a legitimate aim and employ means which are reasonably proportionate to the aim pursued;
Bearing in mind the principle that neither cultural, traditional nor religious values, nor the rules of a “dominant culture” can be invoked to justify hate speech or any other form of discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;
Having regard to the message from the Committee of Ministers to steering committees and other committees involved in intergovernmental co-operation at the Council of Europe on equal rights and dignity of all human beings, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, adopted on 2 July 2008, and its relevant recommendations;
Bearing in mind the recommendations adopted since 1981 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe regarding discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as Recommendation 211 (2007) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe on “Freedom of assembly and expression for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered persons”;
Appreciating the role of the Commissioner for Human Rights in monitoring the situation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the member states with respect to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;
Taking note of the joint statement, made on 18 December 2008 by 66 states at the United Nations General Assembly, which condemned human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, such as killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and “deprivation of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health”;
Stressing that discrimination and social exclusion on account of sexual orientation or gender identity may best be overcome by measures targeted both at those who experience such discrimination or exclusion, and the population at large,
Recommends that member states:
1. examine existing legislative and other measures, keep them under review, and collect and analyse relevant data, in order to monitor and redress any direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;
2. ensure that legislative and other measures are adopted and effectively implemented to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, to ensure respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and to promote tolerance towards them;
3. ensure that victims of discrimination are aware of and have access to effective legal remedies before a national authority, and that measures to combat discrimination include, where appropriate, sanctions for infringements and the provision of adequate reparation for victims of discrimination;
4. be guided in their legislation, policies and practices by the principles and measures contained in the appendix to this recommendation;
5. ensure by appropriate means and action that this recommendation, including its appendix, is translated and disseminated as widely as possible.
Appendix to Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)5
I. Right to life, security and protection from violence
A. “Hate crimes” and other hate-motivated incidents
1. Member states should ensure effective, prompt and impartial investigations into alleged cases of crimes and other incidents, where the sexual orientation or gender identity of the victim is reasonably suspected to have constituted a motive for the perpetrator; they should further ensure that particular attention is paid to the investigation of such crimes and incidents when allegedly committed by law-enforcement officials or by other persons acting in an official capacity, and that those responsible for such acts are effectively brought to justice and, where appropriate, punished in order to avoid impunity.
2. Member states should ensure that when determining sanctions, a bias motive related to sexual orientation or gender identity may be taken into account as an aggravating circumstance.
3. Member states should take appropriate measures to ensure that victims and witnesses of sexual orientation or gender identity related “hate crimes” and other hate-motivated incidents are encouraged to report these crimes and incidents; for this purpose, member states should take all necessary steps to ensure that law-enforcement structures, including the judiciary, have the necessary knowledge and skills to identify such crimes and incidents and provide adequate assistance and support to victims and witnesses.
4. Member states should take appropriate measures to ensure the safety and dignity of all persons in prison or in other ways deprived of their liberty, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and in particular take protective measures against physical assault, rape and other forms of sexual abuse, whether committed by other inmates or staff; measures should be taken so as to adequately protect and respect the gender identity of transgender persons.
5. Member states should ensure that relevant data are gathered and analysed on the prevalence and nature of discrimination and intolerance on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, and in particular on “hate crimes” and hate-motivated incidents related to sexual orientation or gender identity.
B. “Hate speech”
6. Member states should take appropriate measures to combat all forms of expression, including in the media and on the Internet, which may be reasonably understood as likely to produce the effect of inciting, spreading or promoting hatred or other forms of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Such “hate speech” should be prohibited and publicly disavowed whenever it occurs. All measures should respect the fundamental right to freedom of expression in accordance with Article 10 of the Convention and the case law of the Court.
7. Member states should raise awareness among public authorities and public institutions at all levels of their responsibility to refrain from statements, in particular to the media, which may reasonably be understood as legitimising such hatred or discrimination.
8. Public officials and other state representatives should be encouraged to promote tolerance and respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons whenever they engage in a dialogue with key representatives of the civil society, including media and sports organisations, political organisations and religious communities.
II. Freedom of association
9. Member states should take appropriate measures to ensure, in accordance with Article 11 of the Convention, that the right to freedom of association can be effectively enjoyed without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; in particular, discriminatory administrative procedures, including excessive formalities for the registration and practical functioning of associations, should be prevented and removed; measures should also be taken to prevent the abuse of legal and administrative provisions, such as those related to restrictions based on public health, public morality and public order.
10. Access to public funding available for non-governmental organisations should be secured without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
11. Member states should take appropriate measures to effectively protect defenders of human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons against hostility and aggression to which they may be exposed, including when allegedly committed by state agents, in order to enable them to freely carry out their activities in accordance with the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on Council of Europe action to improve the protection of human rights defenders and promote their activities.
12. Member states should ensure that non-governmental organisations defending the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons are appropriately consulted on the adoption and implementation of measures that may have an impact on the human rights of these persons.
III. Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly
13. Member states should take appropriate measures to ensure, in accordance with Article 10 of the Convention, that the right to freedom of expression can be effectively enjoyed, without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, including with respect to the freedom to receive and impart information on subjects dealing with sexual orientation or gender identity.
14. Member states should take appropriate measures at national, regional and local levels to ensure that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, as enshrined in Article 11 of the Convention, can be effectively enjoyed, without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
15. Member states should ensure that law-enforcement authorities take appropriate measures to protect participants in peaceful demonstrations in favour of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons from any attempts to unlawfully disrupt or inhibit the effective enjoyment of their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
16. Member states should take appropriate measures to prevent restrictions on the effective enjoyment of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly resulting from the abuse of legal or administrative provisions, for example on grounds of public health, public morality and public order.
17. Public authorities at all levels should be encouraged to publicly condemn, notably in the media, any unlawful interferences with the right of individuals and groups of individuals to exercise their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, notably when related to the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
IV. Right to respect for private and family life
18. Member states should ensure that any discriminatory legislation criminalising same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults, including any differences with respect to the age of consent for same-sex sexual acts and heterosexual acts, are repealed; they should also take appropriate measures to ensure that criminal law provisions which, because of their wording, may lead to a discriminatory application are either repealed, amended or applied in a manner which is compatible with the principle of non-discrimination.
19. Member states should ensure that personal data referring to a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are not collected, stored or otherwise used by public institutions including in particular within law-enforcement structures, except where this is necessary for the performance of specific, lawful and legitimate purposes; existing records which do not comply with these principles should be destroyed.
20. Prior requirements, including changes of a physical nature, for legal recognition of a gender reassignment, should be regularly reviewed in order to remove abusive requirements.
21. Member states should take appropriate measures to guarantee the full legal recognition of a person’s gender reassignment in all areas of life, in particular by making possible the change of name and gender in official documents in a quick, transparent and accessible way; member states should also ensure, where appropriate, the corresponding recognition and changes by non-state actors with respect to key documents, such as educational or work certificates.
22. Member states should take all necessary measures to ensure that, once gender reassignment has been completed and legally recognised in accordance with paragraphs 20 and 21 above, the right of transgender persons to marry a person of the sex opposite to their reassigned sex is effectively guaranteed.
23. Where national legislation confers rights and obligations on unmarried couples, member states should ensure that it applies in a non-discriminatory way to both same-sex and different-sex couples, including with respect to survivor’s pension benefits and tenancy rights.
24. Where national legislation recognises registered same-sex partnerships, member states should seek to ensure that their legal status and their rights and obligations are equivalent to those of heterosexual couples in a comparable situation.
25. Where national legislation does not recognise nor confer rights or obligations on registered same-sex partnerships and unmarried couples, member states are invited to consider the possibility of providing, without discrimination of any kind, including against different sex couples, same-sex couples with legal or other means to address the practical problems related to the social reality in which they live.
26. Taking into account that the child’s best interests should be the primary consideration in decisions regarding the parental responsibility for, or guardianship of a child, member states should ensure that such decisions are taken without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
27. Taking into account that the child’s best interests should be the primary consideration in decisions regarding adoption of a child, member states whose national legislation permits single individuals to adopt children should ensure that the law is applied without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
28. Where national law permits assisted reproductive treatment for single women, member states should seek to ensure access to such treatment without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
29. Member states should ensure the establishment and implementation of appropriate measures which provide effective protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment and occupation in the public as well as in the private sector. These measures should cover conditions for access to employment and promotion, dismissals, pay and other working conditions, including the prevention, combating and punishment of harassment and other forms of victimisation.
30. Particular attention should be paid to providing effective protection of the right to privacy of transgender individuals in the context of employment, in particular regarding employment applications, to avoid any irrelevant disclosure of their gender history or their former name to the employer and other employees.
31. Taking into due account the over-riding interests of the child, member states should take appropriate legislative and other measures, addressed to educational staff and pupils, to ensure that the right to education can be effectively enjoyed without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; this includes, in particular, safeguarding the right of children and youth to education in a safe environment, free from violence, bullying, social exclusion or other forms of discriminatory and degrading treatment related to sexual orientation or gender identity.
32. Taking into due account the over-riding interests of the child, appropriate measures should be taken to this effect at all levels to promote mutual tolerance and respect in schools, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This should include providing objective information with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity, for instance in school curricula and educational materials, and providing pupils and students with the necessary information, protection and support to enable them to live in accordance with their sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, member states may design and implement school equality and safety policies and action plans and may ensure access to adequate anti-discrimination training or support and teaching aids. Such measures should take into account the rights of parents regarding education of their children.
33. Member states should take appropriate legislative and other measures to ensure that the highest attainable standard of health can be effectively enjoyed without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; in particular, they should take into account the specific needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the development of national health plans including suicide prevention measures, health surveys, medical curricula, training courses and materials, and when monitoring and evaluating the quality of health-care services.
34. Appropriate measures should be taken in order to avoid the classification of homosexuality as an illness, in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organisation.
35. Member states should take appropriate measures to ensure that transgender persons have effective access to appropriate gender reassignment services, including psychological, endocrinological and surgical expertise in the field of transgender health care, without being subject to unreasonable requirements; no person should be subjected to gender reassignment procedures without his or her consent.
36. Member states should take appropriate legislative and other measures to ensure that any decisions limiting the costs covered by health insurance for gender reassignment procedures should be lawful, objective and proportionate.
37. Measures should be taken to ensure that access to adequate housing can be effectively and equally enjoyed by all persons, without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; such measures should in particular seek to provide protection against discriminatory evictions, and to guarantee equal rights to acquire and retain ownership of land and other property.
38. Appropriate attention should be paid to the risks of homelessness faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, including young persons and children who may be particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, including from their own families; in this respect, the relevant social services should be provided on the basis of an objective assessment of the needs of every individual, without discrimination.
39. Homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in sports are, like racism and other forms of discrimination, unacceptable and should be combated.
40. Sport activities and facilities should be open to all without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; in particular, effective measures should be taken to prevent, counteract and punish the use of discriminatory insults with reference to sexual orientation or gender identity during and in connection with sports events.
41. Member states should encourage dialogue with and support sports associations and fan clubs in developing awareness-raising activities regarding discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in sport and in condemning manifestations of intolerance towards them.
X. Right to seek asylum
42. In cases where member states have international obligations in this respect, they should recognise that a well-founded fear of persecution based on sexual orientation or gender identity may be a valid ground for the granting of refugee status and asylum under national law.
43. Member states should ensure particularly that asylum seekers are not sent to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened or they face the risk of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
44. Asylum seekers should be protected from any discriminatory policies or practices on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; in particular, appropriate measures should be taken to prevent risks of physical violence, including sexual abuse, verbal aggression or other forms of harassment against asylum seekers deprived of their liberty, and to ensure their access to information relevant to their particular situation.
XI. National human rights structures
45. Member states should ensure that national human rights structures are clearly mandated to address discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; in particular, they should be able to make recommendations on legislation and policies, raise awareness amongst the general public, as well as – as far as national law so provides – examine individual complaints regarding both the private and public sector and initiate or participate in court proceedings.
XII. Discrimination on multiple grounds
46. Member states are encouraged to take measures to ensure that legal provisions in national law prohibiting or preventing discrimination also protect against discrimination on multiple grounds, including on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity; national human rights structures should have a broad mandate to enable them to tackle such issues.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The men, who reportedly lived together before the incident and even after the accused man was granted bail, were recently kicked out by their landlord.
It is believed that the men's eviction is directly related to the incident and the subsequent investigations by the police.
A correspondence sent to residents of the apartment complex, explained that the landlord had evicted the men and was sorry for any disturbances they might have caused the neighbours. The circular also asked neighbours to be on the lookout for any suspicious persons hanging around the complex and revealed that the men are not to be allowed on the property.
The allegations are that on November 22 last year, the men got into a fight after the accused man challenged the complainant about where he had been. It is alleged that the complainant had gone to a party.
The court was told that the accused attacked the complainant, and dug out his eyes, rendering him blind. It was also alleged that the accused left the complainant alone in the house and he, in his state of blindness, had to crawl to the door to seek help.
Further allegations are that the accused turned himself into the Constant Spring Police Station and admitted that during a fight, he had dug out the complainant's eyes.
When the matter was taken before the court, the complainant revealed that he did not wish to pursue the matter and had no interest in pressing charges. Before the accused was granted bail, the complainant had also sent messages to the court begging for him to be released so he could come home to care for him.
On one court date, the accused also went as far as to tell the court that he was willing to give one of his own eyes to the complainant.
go HERE to post your comments on the Gleaner's have your say blog on the sagging pants issue that is still alive.
here is an excerpt from the postings:
It might be cliché to say ‘things could be worst’, but that is truly the only thought that comes to mind when I think about passing a law against sagging pants. I think that there are much more important issues plaguing our island of Jamaica than men wearing their pants in a particular way.
While I am not a supporter of the trend, I would rather the expertise of the police be put to much more significant use. The crime rate is out of control with murder, larceny and gang related activities becoming an everyday occurrence.
Forgive me if you do not agree, but I would certainly feel better if the police were out on the streets trying to stem the increase in crime, than wasting their valuable manpower in challenging men who feel the need to dress with their pants falling to their knees.
I don’t know if I am being foolish, but I believe that a person’s way of dressing does not necessarily make them criminals. Furthermore, if we are to agree to pass a law against sagging pants, then other modes of dressing also need to be considered.
For instance, extremely short shorts and skirts on females could probably fall under the title of inappropriate or improper ways of dressing.
Therefore, I am of the opinion that passing such a law would unnecessarily open a can of worms on a subject that is not essentially an urgent issue. Do you think such a law is relevant? Do you believe that it is an important issue?
Have your say…
André Wright, Night Editor
While condemning the cover-up of child sex-abuse cases involving Roman Catholic clergy globally, Archbishop of Kingston, the Most Reverend Donald Reece, says paedophilia should be treated as an irreversible psychological problem and not necessarily a moral or spiritual failing.
Reece, who is the head of Jamaica's Roman Catholic community, acknowledges that the church's system of dealing with child sex abuse - by sending priests on 30- or 40-day therapeutic retreats - was short-sighted and wrong, leading to the development of institutional secrecy.
The church leader argued that paedophilia has a psychological imprint which can never be cured.
"It's just recently we have come to appreciate that paedophiles are incorrigible. It's in-built into their system from puberty; there is no way they can be reformed, just like an alcoholic," Reece told The Gleaner.
"It (paedophilia) is not a spiritual thing, it's a natural thing in their system. If you put a paedophile in a nursing home with adults, he performs well. But don't let a child cross his path, or he goes bananas, bonkers," he said, adding that the reassignment of clergy did more to fuel, rather than fix, the problem.
His comments come at a time when the Catholic Church has been stung by a series of paedophilia cases in Europe whose magnitude could rival revelations that rocked the denomination at the turn of the century. Criticism has come closer to the Vatican, as Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of mollycoddling paedophile priests under his purview, including in his homeland Germany, when he was archbishop of Munich. There have also been tens of thousands of cases reported in Ireland.
Reece said he empathised with victims of sexual abuse: "Hopefully, those who have been abused will get healing, ... to the point they can integrate, without being crippled." The archbishop argued that Roman Catholic clergy were no more culpable than their Protestant counterparts. He also said Catholic dioceses have come under assault by litigation lawyers who were intent on pillaging the church's purse by leading a smear campaign.
"If somebody from a (religious) parish were to be accused of molesting a child, when he is taken to court, it's not only that person's resources that are tapped, it's the entire diocese's."
Reece said the failure to rein in sexual predators under the church's umbrella had been rooted in taboo, where parents and church officials swept cases under the carpet, thus protecting priests from prosecution and preserving victims' dignity.
"Society allowed these things to happen. It was condoned, in a way," he said.
Reece said no cases have been reported in the Jamaican archdiocese under his watch - dating back to April 2008 when he succeeded the late Lawrence Burke - and that he had no knowledge of any instances before his tenure. The archbishop deflected questions about why the local church had not launched an exploratory probe in Jamaica, arguing that no investigation was needed unless cases were reported.
He was however adamant that he would take action if priests sexually abused children here.
"I can't swear for anybody, but if it comes to my attention, I will be going to the police."
Reece said the local Catholic Church has a review board, comprising about 10 people from the Montego Bay, Kingston and Mandeville dioceses, which investigates allegations of improper clerical conduct and makes recommendations to the hierarchy for action.
The Holy See, the central government of the Catholic Church, has insisted that no more than five per cent of its clergy globally has been involved in child sex abuse over the last 50 years, a number it says is comparative to, or less than, instances in other email@example.com
This is an open letter to Minister of Health and Chairman of the Joint Select Committee Reviewing the Abortion Policy Review Report, Rudyard Spencer.
We, the undersigned international organisations working to promote the human rights and health of women, are writing to express our support for you and the members of the Joint Select Committee as you continue reviewing the recommendations of the Abortion Policy Review Advisory Group. We stand firmly behind the recommendations of the advisory group. These recommendations show a strong commitment by the Government of Jamaica to improve the health, save the lives, and support the human rights of Jamaican women.
Unsafe abortion is a silent and persistent pandemic. Without access to safe services, nearly 70,000 women die annually and an estimated five million are hospitalised due to the complications of unsafe abortion. The overwhelming burden of these deaths and injuries falls on poor women living in the developing world where 97 per cent of unsafe abortions take place. Access to abortion services is particularly important for women and girls who are victims of violence. Many women who are victims of sexual violence become pregnant as a result and wish to terminate their pregnancies. Unsafe abortion is not only a public health problem. It also represents a fundamental social injustice and violation of women's human rights. Poor and otherwise marginalised women - regardless of their nationality - are more likely than wealthier women to experience an unsafe abortion and to suffer serious health consequences. The persistence of unsafe abortion is closely linked with poverty through a number of pathways at the individual health system, and societal levels. By helping women to safeguard their health and manage their fertility, safe abortion enhances women's ability to participate in educational and employment opportunities, maintain their productivity, and contribute to their families and communities. We support policies that promote access to high-quality care for women who have complications from unsafe abortion, greater access to safe abortion and the decriminalisation of the procedure. We commend the Abortion Policy Review Advisory Group and the Joint Select Committee on their important work toward improving the lives of women in Jamaica. We sincerely hope that Jamaica can join the growing group of nations who have reformed their antiquated and deadly abortion laws to promote health, protect human rights and save women's lives.
On behalf of women and girls around the world, we thank you for your leadership and commitment.
Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; ASPIRE (Trinidad and Tobago); Association for Women's Rights in Development; Catholics for Choice (USA);
Centre for Equality Advancement (Lithuania); Centre for Reproductive Rights (USA);
Comissão de Cidadania e Reprodução (Brazil); ddeser - Red por los derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (Mexico); DAWN Caribbean; Equidad de Género, Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia (Mexico); Family Care International (USA); Foro de Mujeres y Políticas de Población (Mexico);
French Family Planning Movement (France); International Planned Parenthood Federation (Western Hemisphere Region); International Women's Health Coalition (USA);
Italian Association for Women in Development AIDOS (Italy); Ipas (USA);
Margaret Sanger Centre International: Planned Parenthood of New York City;
Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Hunter College and the Graduate Centre, City University of New York (USA); Pamela D Bridgewater, Professor of Law, American University, Washington College of Law (USA); Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States; Sexuality Policy Watch; Women for Women's Human Rights - New Ways (Turkey); Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights; Women's Link Worldwide (Spain); Women on Waves (The Netherlands); World Population Foundation (The Netherlands); Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
c/o Ipas, North Carolina, USA, 27510
Podcasts You may have missed or want to re-listen
Heteronormative Role Play, Power Differentials & Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT Groups 07.11.15 by Djhowiejam on Mixcloud
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Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website
Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?
Former host of Dr Sexy Live on Nationwide radio and Sexologist tackles in a simplistic but to the point style homophobia and asks the poignant question of the age, What really are we as a nation afraid of?
Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.
Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation
Promised conscience vote was a fluke from the PNP ........
War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?
Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II
Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality
Calls for Tourism Boycotts are Nonsensical at This Time
Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14
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While I appreciate the highlighting of issues such as this that do get a lot of mainstream ventilation they have a way of misleading th...
INTERSEX , is the broad term for numerous conditions in which an individual is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t ...
So Dr Orville Taylor decided to go to town via RJR’s radio talkshow Hotline which he hosts on a Monday and Tuesday following his article...
April is observed as Sexual Assault Awareness Month on this blog and in the US and the stories and issues come flying out it is unbeli...
Politician proposes island exile for trans Bahamians - The Bahamian transgender community is in shock over a proposal from a member of parliament to send every trans Bahamian into exile on a trans-only island. ...1 hour ago
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From classrooms to bathrooms - How anti-lgbt groups pivoted transphobic propaganda - The country is heavily into this nonsense about "bathroom bills" and the false notions that allowing transgender men and women to use restrooms in accordan...8 hours ago
Downtown – The HeartBeat of Kingston: A Guest Blog Post by Darine BenAmara - Darine BenAmara is a French woman, who is currently working in the downtown Kingston area. She describes herself as “passionate about international relatio...16 hours ago
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GEF Delegation Lobbies Minister Greenidge on Human Rights Concerns - On Friday, April 8, a delegation representing the Guyana Equality Forum (GEF) met with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Carl Greenidge along with Foreign ...1 week ago
The Pedestal: Supporting Belizean Women, Diversity for it matters - 14th March, 2016 On March 11th, I had the chance to walk with the 20,000 strong women march from B.T.L Park onward. It seems I will be late fo...2 weeks ago
New Everyone Is Gay Post!: Dealing at The Doctor's - Do you have to come out as intersex at the doctor’s office? What can you do if a medical professional is asking you questions not for your medical benefit,...3 months ago
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Violence & venom force gay Jamaicans to hide
a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration.
The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed.
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.
- 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
- Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere
- Welcoming, examining and implementing 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
Recent Homophobic Cases
Peace to you and be safe out there.
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.
Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council
What to do
b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council
c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state
d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police
e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number
f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided
g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence
h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail
i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail
j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence
Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you
The following may apply:
1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries
3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.
7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.
Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today
VACANT AT LAST! SHOEMAKERGULLY: DISPLACED MSM/TRANS PERSONS WERE IS CLEARED DECEMBER 2014
Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.
also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston
GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE
THE BEST OF & Recommended Audioposts/Podcasts
Other sides to the msm homeless saga (2012)
Rowdy Gays Matter 21.08.11 more HERE
Ethical Professionlism & LGBT Advocates 01.02.12 more HERE
Portia Simpson Miller - SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11
2 SGL Women lost, corrective rape and virtual silence from the male dominated advocacy structure
Al Miller on UK Aid & The Abnormality of Homosexuality 19.11.11
Homosexuality is Not Illegal in Jamaica .... Buggery is despite the persons gender 12.11.11 MORE HERE
MSM Homelessness 2011 ...my two cents
Black Friday for Gays in Jamaica More HERE
Bi-phobia by default from supposed LGBT advocate structures?
Homeless MSMs Saga Timeline 28.08.11 (HOT!!!) see more HERE
A Response to Al Miller's Abnormality of Homosexuality statement 19.11.11
UK/commonwealth Aid Matter & The New Developments, no aid cuts but redirecting, ethical problems on our part - 22.11.11
Homophobic Killings versus Non Homophobic Killings 12.07.12
Big Lies, Crisis Archiving & More MSM Homlessness Issues 12.07.12
More MSM Challenges July 2012 more sounds HERE
GLBTQ Jamaica 2011 Summary 02.01.12 more HERE
Homosexuality Destroying the Family? .............. I Think Not!
Lesbian issues left out of the Jamaican advocacy thrust until now?
Club Heavens The Rebirth 12.02.12 and more HERE
Should gov't provide shelter for homeless msm?
National attitudes to gays survey shows 78% of J'cans say NO to buggery repeal
1st Anniversary of Homeless MSM civil disobedience (Aug 23/4) 2012 more HERE
JFLAG's rejection of rowdy homeless msms & the Sept 21st standoff .........
Atheism & Secularism may cloud the struggle for lgbt rights in Jamaica more HERE
Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II and more HERE
MSM Community Displacement Concerns October 2012
The UTECH abuse & related issues
Beenieman's hypocrisy & his fake apology in his own words and more HERE
Guarded about JFLAG's Homeless shelter
Homophobia & homelessness matters for November 2012 ................
Cabinet delays buggery review, says it's not a priority & more ...........................(November 2012) prior to the announcement of the review in parliament in June 2013 More sounds HERE
"Dutty Mind" used in Patois Bible to describe homosexuals
Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter 2012 More HERE
George Davis Live - Dr Wayne West & Carole Narcisse on JCHS' illogical fear
Homeless MSM Issues in New Kgn Jan 2013 .......
Homeless MSM challenges in Jamaica February 2013 more HERE
JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness 2013
Poor leadership & dithering are reasons for JFLAG & Jamaica AIDS Support’s temporary homelessness May 2013 more HERE
Response To Flagging a Dead Horse Free Speech & Gay Rights 10.06.13