an example of a typical Coaster bus with aisle seats up, these are kept up during peak hour traffic on some routes in Jamaica to accommodate more standing passengers hence more fares collected. Here one can "ride ass or dry hump/rub while being driven
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Civil Society Statement of Action on the Decriminalisation of Adult Same Sex Conduct in the Commonwealth
Out of the 54 states that make up the Commonwealth of Nations, 41 continue to criminalize consensual adult same-sex sexual activity. Laws that criminalise same-sex sexual conductdiscriminate against and oppress lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.The majority of the laws that criminalise same-sex sexual conduct originate in British Colonial lawscriminalising ‘sodomy’.On the 15th of August 2011 at a conference facilitated by the Commonwealth Human Rights InitiativeLondon, LGBTI Rights Activists working across the Commonwealth devised the following statementof action on the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct across the Commonwealth. This is astatement of action that relates both to the Commonwealth Secretariat and to Commonwealthmember states.
1. The incompatibility of the criminalisation of same–sex sexual conduct with Commonwealth values
1.1 Treating individuals in a discriminatory manner as a result of their sexual orientation isincompatible with Commonwealth values. Equality and non-discrimination on any groundshas been repeatedly affirmed as a core Commonwealth value, most recently by theSecretary General in his speech to the 2011 Law Ministers Meeting. The 2009 Port of SpainAffirmation of Commonwealth Values and Principles states in section 5 that a coreCommonwealth value is the “promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rightsfor all without discrimination on any grounds” and that “rights are universal...and cannot beimplemented selectively.” This reaffirms the commitments to formal equality, found in the1979 Lusaka Declaration, and equality before the law, in the 1991 Harare Declaration.
1.2 The universal equal application of human rights to all without discrimination on anygrounds is reinforced in the 2007 Yogyakarta Principles on the application of internationalhuman rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2008 seventeenCommonwealth States signed up to the European Union backed Statement on HumanRights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the United Nations General Assembly which affirmed the ‘principle of non-discrimination which requires that human rights applyequally to every human being regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity’.
1.3 At the Port of Spain Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)reaffirmed the agreement that states had made at the 2007 Kampala CHOGM that allCommonwealth members should ratify core international human rights treaties, includingthe International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). In Toonen v Australia (1994)CCPR/C/50/D/488/1992 the Human Rights Committee held that the criminalisation of same -sex sexual conduct was incompatible with the right to privacy and the right to equality before the law, as guaranteed under the ICCPR. The implementation and ratification of the ICCPR by the vast majority of Commonwealth Countries means that states should take stepsto ensure that laws criminalising same–sex sexual conduct are repealed and amended.Further states that have not yet signed up to international human rights agreements should be mindful of the commitments made at successive CHOGMs and implement international human rights agreements so that all citizens of Commonwealth states enjoy human rights without discrimination on any grounds. The few states that have not yet ratified the ICCPR are reminded that it accords with the fundamental principles of the Commonwealth andthey are bound to bring their laws into line with these instruments.
1.4 Whilst it is acknowledged that the laws that criminalise same–sex sexual conductcurrently are part of a state’s domestic criminal law and individual sovereign states are generally granted a margin of appreciation in respect to their own domestic criminal jurisdiction, the laws that criminalise same-sex sexual conduct constitute a systemic andongoing human rights abuse and cannot in any meaningful sense be applicable within aframework of individual rights protection. The 1979 Lusaka Declaration commits the Commonwealth to the abolition of discriminatory laws and makes it a condition of membership that states should repeal discriminatory domestic laws. The laws thatcriminalise same-sex sexual conduct are akin to the laws used to segregate racial groups andexclude persons from the full benefit of citizenship in a manner that is directly analogous topractices that underpinned apartheid and white minority rule.1.5 The Commonwealth prides itself on being a values based organisation. These valueshave an enforcement mechanism within the 1995 Millbrook Action programme and there avariety of different enforcement measures available. The Commonwealth, in order toenforce and realise its values, has taken action in the past. This is an issue where theCommonwealth now needs to take a clear lead.
2.The responsibility of individual member states of the commonwealth
2.1 All states must decriminalise private, same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults. Decriminalisation means the removal of any criminal or civil penalties that may beimposed on an adult who engages in private same-sex sexual activity. There should be nolegal powers available to the authorities to arrest or investigate private, consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults. A commitment not to enforce laws that criminalise same-sex sexual conduct is too uncertain and still constitutes a human rights violation as the merefact of ‘black letter’ criminalisation means that LGBTI individuals are marginalised in society.Decriminalisation can be achieved progressively, via either a constitutional reform or testcases that allow the courts to ‘read down’ criminal laws in line with international anddomestic human rights provisions.
2.2 Legislation must be implemented to protect LGBTI individuals from directdiscrimination and discriminatory practices. Decriminalization does not in and of itself prevent private parties acting in a discriminatory manner towards LGBTI individuals andtreating them in a discriminatory manner when it comes to matters of employment,inheritance of property and access to health care. This does not mean giving LGBTI individuals a special status but rather involves the creation of legal mechanisms that can give redress to LGBTI individuals who are the victim of discriminatory treatment of the sort that would be not be afforded to an individual who was not lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.
2.3 States must enforce existing laws to protect LGBTI individuals against threats,harassment and violence. Laws that criminalize assault and harassment apply to all citizensbut frequently they are not adequately enforced in the case of hate crimes against LGBTI individuals. Moreover, LGBTI individuals often feel unable to come forward and report these crimes, and often an enforcement gap emerges between hate crimes directed against LGBTI individuals and groups, and hate crimes that are directed at other individuals or groups.Again this does not mean giving LGBTI individuals and groups a special status but ratherinvolves enforcing existing laws.
Consultation and dialogue must be arranged with local LGBTI groups and humanrights organisations on the implementation of all of the above steps. Other groups includingCivil Society Organisations and Non Governmental Organisations should also be consultedand the process should be as wide ranging as possible.
3.Steps the Secretariat and the Secretary General should take to facilitate decriminalisation
3.1 The Secretary General should follow up on his remarks to the 2011 Law Ministersmeeting and issue a formal statement on the incompatibility of the criminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct with Commonwealth values. It should be noted that the criminalisationof same–sex sexual conduct is incompatible not only with the provisions of equality underthe 2009 Port of Spain Declaration but also is incompatible with the respect for humanrights, as guaranteed under the 1991 Harare Declaration, and the principle of equality before the law as protected under the 1979 Lusaka declaration.
3.2 The Secretariat should facilitate the creation of an official independent workinggroup tasked with making official biennial reports into the status of decriminalisation in theCommonwealth. This working group should be formulated in a manner similar to that of election observation groups. The group should be comprised of representatives of NGOs,CSOs and other experts, and have a broad remit to investigate the progress towardsdecriminalisation in Commonwealth countries. The group should be completely independentof the Secretariat and National Governments and should publish a report every two years inline with the CHOGM cycle.3.3
Resources should be made available to the Human Rights Unit (HRU) at theSecretariat to engage in promotional and monitoring activities in this area. Research shouldalso be carried out by the HRU in this area in conjunction with the ongoing projects of CSOsand NGOs. The Secretariat should also make resources available for the promotion of thesocial, political and economic benefits of decriminalisation from the thirteen Commonwealthstates that have decriminalised same-sex sexual conduct.
4.Steps states that have decriminalised same-sex sexual conduct should take to facilitate decriminalisation
4.1 States that have decriminalised same-sex sexual conduct should provide effectiveinternational protection for LGBTI refugees from countries that criminalise same-sex sexualconduct. States that are signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention have a duty to providerefuge to individuals that have a well-founded fear of persecution. States should ensure thattheir law enforcement and border agencies are equipped to handle asylum claims made byLGBTI individuals.
4.2 States that have decriminalised same–sex sexual conduct should be vocal inadvocating for decriminalisation in Commonwealth and other international forums andshould spearhead initiatives aimed at forging inter-state consensus on decriminalization.
4.3 This also requires states to be active in monitoring the recommendations of international and regional organisations and being willing to scrutinise the human rightsperformance of other Commonwealth states both in Commonwealth forums and at otherinternational forums, such as the UN Human Rights Council. States should also make aneffort to showcase the economic, social and health benefits of decriminalisation from theirown jurisdictions in international forums and this should form part of the case in favour of decriminalisation.The Commonwealth’s future as a values based organisation is dependent upon action on this issueand the different actors mentioned in this statement need, as a matter of urgency to implementthese reforms. Since the declaration of the Commonwealth Principles adopted by Heads of Government in 1971, the organisation has defined itself by its values. The continued criminalisationof a minority for no other reason than their immutable characteristics is a form of discrimination andpersecution that cannot continue amongst a community of nations that has committed itself toprotecting human rights and equality before the law.
Civil Society Statement of Action on the Decriminalisation of Adult Same Sex Conduct in the Commonwealth
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
This former favourite sitcom of many Jamaicans in the seventies through to the eighties The Jeffersons with some re-runs on local TV containing its catchy ode "We're Movin On Up" in an episode entitled 'Just A Friend from the fourth season was groundbreaking in many respects. It's the first time that an African descended transwoman character was shown on TV who didn't fit the stereotypes we all know and loathe in the world on record as is expected by some transwomen or sex reassignment patients are to have remaining features of their previous gender to point out and or critique that something was wrong with their look.
African-American transgender characters are not a new phenomenon. They've been on television for a while and you can probably consider Flip Wilson's Geraldine Jones as the first one. On Thursday nights from 1970 to 1974 I would tune in to The Flip Wilson Show si that I could see the latest antics of the sassy wise-cracking Geraldine. I loved to see her utter her famous line 'what you see is what you get' and professing her love for her boyfriend 'Killer'.
Interestingly enough one of the shows that was on opposite Flip was All In The Family, which had the Beverly LaSalle character on for three episodes. That episode was groundbreaking at the time in terms of the accurately depiction of some of the emotions that transpeople deal with when Edie was explaining her transition. It shouldn't have been a surprise to me since it was a Norman Lear produced show and a spinoff from All In the Family. They were aware of the issues thanks to the Beverly LaSalle episodes. It was just the first time it was done with an African-American character.
This was another enlightened step in American entertainment if one were to look at it as this was before the Cosby takeover where very few shows in Prime Time had all out African descented characters who were upwardly moving and not stupid looking or acting like previous dispensations. Also most transwoman or sex changed subject matter could have been found in the Caucasian mainstream shows.
It was also broadcast in 1977.
Here are some scenes:
Louise realizes it is George's best friend as Edit reveals the specific way she (Louise) ends her letters to George while they were in the army. Edie was played by Young and the Restless actress Veronica Redd.
Leading Transgender blogger Monica Roberts from the United States commented on her blog TransGriot that "While I didn't care for the part where he tried to pass off Leroy as Edie, for the most part the episode is on point. You also have to remember at the time 'The Jeffersons' was a Top 10 rated show that many African-American homes watched. So if they weren't aware of the trans issue affecting African descended people, they were after that broadcast."
Did you know that Sheryl Lee Ralph has been credited for also portraying a more realistic trans character where she played a post-operative woman named Claire in the short lived Amercian television series Barbershop.
Peace and tolerance
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
I decided to post this as a comment on the turbulent times of the Charter of Rights Bill Debate in the 2006 period with the varying positions mostly anti gay as it related to including sexual orientation as a form of discrimination.
Senator at the time Trevor Munroe was one of the more sensible voices in the mix who spoke frankly about the stupidity of this old colonial law still on our books. Given also the furore in Antigua and Barbuda on the Buggery Law there on the strength of the challenge in Belize by advocates there.
also see: Anti-Buggery Law Here To Stay
This article however appeared in the Gleaner on July 9, 2006
Buggery law backward - Munroe
Dionne Rose, Parliamentary Reporter
THE JOINT Select Committee of Parliament considering the proposed Charter of Rights Bill failed to conclude its deliberations last week as the committee was unable to find common ground on certain issues.
One such contentious issue was whether the committee should accept the recommendations of the 2001 Joint Select Committee, which had recommended that the Government should consider repealing the buggery law.
Committee member, Professor Trevor Munroe, had insisted that recommendation should be carried forward by the current committee so that the matter could be debated in Parliament.
"... I regard that (the law) as a backward and retrogressive step consistent with when the law was passed in the middle of 19th century," he said.
However, committee members Senator Anthony Johnson, Delroy Chuck and others, had a different view and said that the discussion was not for the consideration of the committee.
"... People in this country don't want to see homosexuality decriminalised. We have agreed on that. We are dealing with serious matters and the committee has decided that we (are) not into that!" said Senator Johnson.
NOT A COMMITTEE MATTER
Meanwhile, Mr. Chuck said that this matter was not for the committee.
"In any event, Mr. Chairman, I don't think we could deal with that here because it is on the statue books ... If anything has to be done about it, is it the statute that will have to deal with it," contended Senator Dorothy Lightbourne.
There was also dissension on whether the Charter of Rights Bill should have a special provision to protect the rights of the disabled person with committee member, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange insisting that this should be included.
But Senator A.J. Nicholson, chairman of the committee, explained that the body had already discussed and agreed that it would be impractical to place these matters in the Constitution.
The committee, however, covered some ground as they signed off on a recommendation brought by the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, which wanted the right to freedom of religion in Section 13 (b) of the document to be separated.
But Nicholson said the committee would go beyond that.
"We are doing better for them. We are moving religion totally out of that and putting it by itself so that the citizens of the country can know the importance we place on these things, for example religion," he said.
The committee also accepted a submission from the group to prevent same-sex marriages by defining the word 'marriage' in the bill.
The committee will again meet on July 19 when it is expected that it will finalise its deliberations.
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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
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Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
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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