Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless MSM Project 2009 a detailed look & more



In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless men in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Intersex Awareness Day October 26th

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Apologies for missing this important date been busy working and probing so many other issues and stories.


Celebrate Intersex Awareness Day!

Intersex Awareness Day is the (inter)national day of grass-roots action to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children. We intend to create a "day of action" similar to Take Back the Night, National Coming Out Day, or International Women's Day in that it will focus on grass-roots activism organized by local activists.

To learn about intersex issues/experiences in general, please see any of the following websites:

Bodies Like Ours
Intersex Initiative
Intersex Society of North America
Frequently Asked Questions

What is intersex?
Intersex refers to a series of medical conditions in which a child's genetic sex (chromosomes) and phenotypic sex (genital appearance) do not match, or are somehow different from the "standard" male or female. About one in 2,000 babies are born visibly intersexed, while some others are detected later. The current medical protocol calls for the surgical "reconstruction" of these different but healthy bodies to make them "normal," but this practice has become increasingly controversial as adults who went through the treatment report being physically, emotionally, and sexually harmed by such procedures.

Beside stopping cosmetic genital surgeries, what are inter sex activists working toward?
Surgery is just part of a larger pattern of how intersex children are treated; it is also important to stop shame, secrecy and isolation that are socially and medically imposed on children born with intersex conditions under the theory that the child is better off it they didn't hear anything about it. Therefore, it's not enough to simply stop the surgery; we need to replace it with social and psychological support as well as open and honest communication.

What's so significant about October 26?


On October 26, 1996, intersex activists from intersex society of naughty america (carrying the sign "Hermaphrodites With Attitude") and our allies from Transexual Menace held the first public intersex demonstration in Boston, where American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. The action generated a lot of press coverage, and made it difficult for the medical community to continue to neglect our growing movement. That said, events related to Intersex Awareness Day can take place throughout October and does not necessarily have to be on the 26th.

It's great! How can I help?
First,join our email discussion list (we suggest the digest format if you want to keep the number of emails you receive under control). Then, look at our Get Involved section to see if there is already any IAD events scheduled for your area. If so, go and help them; if not, find a local organization that will sponsor the event--for example, try LGBT group in your city or college campus--and help them bring IAD to your city! We have suggestions for what activities to do, but what you will do is entirely up to you and your neighbors (and please tell us if you think of any great idea!)

Please note that Intersex Awareness Day is a loosely networked national initiative, and there is no central "headquarters." The form below will send an email to the maintainer of this web site, who is not necessarily "in charge," so to speak, of any activities that we are not directly involved. That said, we try to hook up local activists together so that we can all have a wonderful Intersex Awareness Day this year.


from Queers United
What is intersex?

Intersex refers to a series of medical conditions in which a child's genetic sex (chromosomes) and phenotypic sex (genital appearance) do not match, or are somehow different from the "standard" male or female. About one in 2,000 babies are born visibly intersexed, while some others are detected later. The current medical protocol calls for the surgical "reconstruction" of these different but healthy bodies to make them "normal," but this practice has become increasingly controversial as adults who went through the treatment report being physically, emotionally, and sexually harmed by such procedures.

Beside stopping cosmetic genital surgeries, what are intersex activists working toward?


Surgery is just part of a larger pattern of how intersex children are treated; it is also important to stop shame, secrecy and isolation that are socially and medically imposed on children born with intersex conditions under the theory that the child is better off it they didn't hear anything about it. Therefore, it's not enough to simply stop the surgery; we need to replace it with social and psychological support as well as open and honest communication.

What's so significant about October 26?


On October 26, 1996, intersex activists from Intersex Society of North America (carrying the sign "Hermaphrodites With Attitude") and our allies from Transexual Menace held the first public intersex demonstration in Boston, where American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. The action generated a lot of press coverage, and made it difficult for the medical community to continue to neglect our growing movement. That said, events related to Intersex Awareness Day can take place throughout October and does not necessarily have to be on the 26th.




There are actually various types, which makes no two Intersex individuals that same.
There are a variety of types of conditions related to Intersexuality.

Here are some of the most common ones:

Klinefelter Syndrome:
occurs in “males” who inherit an extra X chromosome from either their mother or father. These individuals appear to look like boys but after puberty undergo changes, such as lack of body hair, breast development and producing ejaculate without sperm.

Turner Syndrome:
includes individuals with a karyotype of XO. In this condition, female sex characteristics are presented but undeveloped compared to that of a typical female

XXY Syndrome:
a collection of traits caused by the possession, in a male, of an extra Y chromosome

Triple-X Syndrome:
a collection of traits caused by the possession, in a female, of three X chromosomes rather than two.

Gonadal Intersexuality:
the possession of both testicular and ovarian tissue in the same individual

Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS):
the congenital absence of a functional androgen receptor, making the body unable to respond to androgens; female-looking genitals on a male-appeared body.

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH):
a congenital defect of hormonal metabolism in the adrenal gland, causing the gland to secrete excessive levels of androgen; male-looking genitals on a female-appeared body.

Some birth Statistics of various Intersex types
Klinefelter 1 in every 500 - 1,000 births
Turner 1 in every 2,500 births
Triple-X 1 in every 1,000 births
AIS 1 in every 13,000 births
CAH 1 in every 13,000 births
[These statistics are approximations]

One would note the term 'defect' only applies when referencing a medically diagnosed notion of 'normal' functioning and is not the central theme of the intersex person.



INTERSEX is not a part of transgender because intersex is not about gender. Intersex is about anatomical differences in sex.
Below are some of the differences in the experience of trans and intersex individuals 

Trans:

  • Self-identified gender does not match apparent sex at birth.
  • Some human rights protection. In NSW this is limited to “recognised transgender” or people thought to be “transgendered” – 36B Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 in Australia.
  • Can change cardinal documents, but usually requires irreversible surgeries usually involving sterilization and applicants must not be married.
  • The right to marry someone of the opposite legal gender.
  • A full and functional reproductive system.
  • Physical differences limited to brain anatomy.
  • Transsexual people have an effective medical protocol that produces a 98% effective outcome with long-term studies and follow-ups.
  • The right to choose the time of surgery with extensive peer support.
  • The ability to participate fully and in an informed manner in their surgical and hormonal options.
  • Transsexual people generally have a strongly defined sense of gender – man or woman.
  • Can compete in sport up to  and including Olympic level through established protocols.
  • Many effective and extensive organizations worldwide, with some NGOs attracting government funding (e.g. NSW Gender Centre).

Intersex:

  • Natural variation in biological sex does not match social expectations of normality.
  • No recognition in human rights or other law. No inclusion in workplace programs like Pride in Diversity.
  • If desired, can change cardinal documents in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland on evidence of intersex status, due to error on birth certificate.
  • Physical differences affect the whole of the body including brain anatomy and especially sex anatomy.
  • Apart from extremely rare circumstances, unable to reproduce because of physical differences in reproductive parts.
  • No right to marriage as intersex. The right to marry someone of the opposite legal gender.
  • A jumble of medical protocols with mixed outcomes that are poorly understood with nearly no long-term follow up.
  • Very little research, and nearly no access to well-studied and appropriate medications.
  • Insistence on inappropriate and harmful medication when individuals do not conform with diagnosis expectations.
  • Administration of harmful drugs to pregnant women in an effort to prevent intersex births with a possible outcome of brain damage to the unborn.
  • Only some medication available through PBS.
  • Enforced surgery with little information available, without peer support and with scant knowledge in respect of outcomes.
  • Often surgery is conducted without consent.
  • Protocols for competition in sport are just being established, due to the treatment of Caster Semenya.
  • Weak sense of gender – man or woman.
  • Very few intersex organizations worldwide, with none receiving any government funding. There is OII in Australia 
Peace and tolerance

H

Historic vote extends EU asylum standards to transgender people

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The European Parliament formally adopted a new set of asylum rules on October 27th for the European Union. The binding rules now include gender identity as a ground of persecution, which EU Member States must take into account. Governments have already agreed to the changes, which are final. Until now, EU asylum law foresaw that “gender related aspects might be considered” by national asylum authorities when examining the potential persecution of specific social groups in their country of origin. 


 The resolution adopted today has replaced this text, and now specifies that “gender related aspects, including gender identity, shall be given due consideration”. The text now refers to gender identity specifically, and obliges Member States to consider gender-related aspects. Before, EU countries could still choose not to consider aspects linked to the applicant’s gender in asylum claims. The text applies to all EU Member States except the United Kingdom, which opted out of EU asylum policies. The resolution was successfully drafted and negotiated by Jean Lambert a British Member of the European Parliament in the Greens/EFA group. This is the first time a binding EU Directive includes gender identity. Dennis de Jong MEP, Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup and responsible for asylum policies in the GUE/NGL group, commented: “Around the world, transgender people can be persecuted for who they are. This reviewed Directive will recognise the danger they face, and it will commit EU Member States to taking gender identity into account in asylum claims. 


I hope in a future revision it will also become mandatory to consider the sexual orientation of applicants.” Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “I am very proud that my colleagues from the centre-right EPP group supported this change, regardless of the views they hold on asylum in general. The European Union is only starting to recognise gender identity as a ground of persecution, but I hope today’s vote will help protect more lives.” The binding rules will apply after they are transposed into EU Member States’ national law, except for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark which opted out of the process. Due to access the EU in July 2013, Croatia is also expected to adapt its asylum laws.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
The proposal from the Commission for the recast of the original Directive 2004/83/EC forms part of the move towards a Common European Asylum Policy by 2012. For the original Directive, the European Parliament was only consulted: now, following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the Parliament is in a position of co-decision. The proposal now being put to Plenary is the result of six informal trilogues , hopefully resulting in a First Reading agreement.
The existing Directive has two key elements: the grounds on which someone qualifies for refugee status or subsidiary protection and the content of that protection in terms of residence, employment and social rights within the Member State responsible for protection.
The Commission brought forward the recast proposal (Directive COM (2009) 551 final 2) as a result of the required review of the earlier Directive and developing jurisprudence. It is clear that there are considerable variations in practice between Member States in their implementation of the current Directive. This leads to wide variation in recognition rates overall and risks the continuation of secondary movements of applicants. While some of the disparities can be dealt with through improved co-operation, in which the new European Asylum Support Office should play an important role, there is a need for clarification in the legislative framework - the Directive itself - in order to provide a stronger, clearer framework for the implementation process.
An important change proposed here is to approximate the two categories of protection more closely and thus to generally refer to beneficiaries of international protection. This will act to remind implementing authorities that the two categories of protection are complementary: subsidiary protection is not of less importance for individuals at risk of serious harm if they return to their country of origin. The proposal also aims to approximate the entitlements of the content of protection more closely, access to the labour market is perhaps the most significant. The majority of Member States already make little difference between the two groups. However, a difference in treatment will still remain possible in three areas: social welfare (which reflects the status quo - social security is covered in the related recital); integration measures and residence permits - although some progress was made on the latter, where a renewal after one year for those with subsidiary protection must be of at least two years duration (few Member States currently differentiate.) The EP took the view that this was important for integration and to give a sense of greater stability to the individual.
Progress has also been made on issues relating to gender and gender identity. These are now explicitly mentioned in the Articles in relation to social groups at risk of persecution. A reference has also been added in the Recitals to "customs and legal traditions" which could result in damaging outcomes, such as genital mutilation.
On the best interests of the child, it proved difficult to find a definition for the Articles, so we have agreed to a brief set of principles in Recital 17. The proposed amendment to Article 8.2 dealing specifically with the care of unaccompanied minors now appears in the related recital. Continuity of care for such children is a strand that should be pursued throughout the CEAS, hence the changes to Article 31.5. which should provide the necessary continuity in tracing family members.
The EP views on the extension of the definition of family proved unacceptable to Council, although there is some small progress concerning the addition of either parent or another relative in connection to the beneficiary when already present. It remains to be seen if the non-inclusion of married minors leaves a protection gap - hence the inclusion of Article 2 in the review clause. Despite the very explicit wording of this Article and its relation to protection needs, some Member States wish to keep a very narrow definition of family, fearing future claims for family reunification - although that Directive clearly states the rules relating to refugees. Married minors are now mentioned in recital 36a in relation to benefits.
Article 7 relates to Actors of Protection. There is a strongly held view in the EP that, in principle, only states can be viewed as actors of protection: international bodies do not have the attributes of a state and cannot be parties to international conventions. The limited change to the original Article aim to strengthen the requirements demanded of non-state actors if they are to be viewed as able to deliver effective and durable (now non-temporary) protection. Article 7 also appears in the review clause due to the continuing inclusion of non-state bodies.
Article 8 concerns internal protection within the country-of-flight. Here, Council chose to stay closer to the Commission wording, although parts of the EP amendments are taken up in recitals - especially relating to a strong position against internal protection where the state is the actor of persecution.
Correlation tables remain an area of difficulty, but your Rapporteur recommends the substance of the proposed agreement to the House as a step forward from the existing Directive, offering greater security for beneficiaries of international protection, greater clarity for Member States, and will hopefully result in a reduction of the current disparities in delivery of a fair and effective system.


VIEW FULL REPORT HERE

CHAPTER V
Qualification for subsidiary protection
Article 15
Serious harm
Serious harm consists of:
(a)       death penalty or execution; or
(b)      torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of an applicant in the country of origin, or
(c)       serious and individual threat to a civilian's life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict.
Article 16
Cessation
1.        A third country national or a stateless person shall cease to be eligible for subsidiary protection when the circumstances which led to the granting of subsidiary protection status have ceased to exist or have changed to such a degree that protection is no longer required.
2.        In applying paragraph 1, Member States shall have regard to whether the change of circumstances is of such a significant and non-temporary nature that the person eligible for subsidiary protection no longer faces a real risk of serious harm.
3.        Paragraph 1 shall not apply to a beneficiary of subsidiary protection who is able to invoke compelling reasons arising out of previous serious harm for refusing to avail himself of the protection of the country of nationality or, being a stateless person with no nationality, of the country of former habitual residence.
Article 17
Exclusion
1.        A third country national or a stateless person is excluded from being eligible for subsidiary protection where there are serious reasons for considering that:
(a)       he or she has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes;
(b)      he or she has committed a serious crime;
(c)       he or she has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations as set out in the Preamble and Articles 1 and 2 of the Charter of the United Nations;
(d)      he or she constitutes a danger to the community or to the security of the Member State in which he or she is present.
2.        Paragraph 1 applies to persons who instigate or otherwise participate in the commission of the crimes or acts mentioned therein.
3.        Member States may exclude a third country national or a stateless person from being eligible for subsidiary protection, if he or she prior to his or her admission to the Member State has committed one or more crimes, outside the scope of paragraph 1, which would be punishable by imprisonment, had they been committed in the Member State concerned, and if he or she left his or her country of origin solely in order to avoid sanctions resulting from these crimes.
CHAPTER VI
Subsidiary Protection Status
Article 18
Granting of subsidiary protection status
Member States shall grant subsidiary protection status to a third country national or a stateless person eligible for subsidiary protection in accordance with Chapters II and V.
Article 19
Revocation of, ending of or refusal to renew subsidiary protection status
1.        Concerning applications for international protection filed after the entry into force of ▌Directive 2004/83/EC, Member States shall revoke, end or refuse to renew the subsidiary protection status of a third country national or a stateless person granted by a governmental, administrative, judicial or quasi-judicial body, if he or she has ceased to be eligible for subsidiary protection in accordance with Article 16.
2.        Member States may revoke, end or refuse to renew the subsidiary protection status of a third country national or a stateless person granted by a governmental, administrative, judicial or quasi-judicial body, if after having been granted subsidiary protection status, he or she should have been excluded from being eligible for subsidiary protection in accordance with Article 17(3).
3.        Member States shall revoke, end or refuse to renew the subsidiary protection status of a third country national or a stateless person, if:
(a)       he or she, after having been granted subsidiary protection status, should have been or is excluded from being eligible for subsidiary protection in accordance with Article 17(1) and (2);
(b)      his or her misrepresentation or omission of facts, including the use of false documents, were decisive for the granting of subsidiary protection status.
4.          Without prejudice to the duty of the third country national or stateless person in accordance with Article 4(1) to disclose all relevant facts and provide all relevant documentation at his/her disposal, the Member State, which has granted the subsidiary protection status, shall on an individual basis demonstrate that the person concerned has ceased to be or is not eligible for subsidiary protection in accordance with paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article.
CHAPTER VII
Content of international protection
Article 20
General rules
1.        This Chapter shall be without prejudice to the rights laid down in the Geneva Convention.
2.        This Chapter shall apply both to refugees and persons eligible for subsidiary protection unless otherwise indicated.
3.        When implementing this Chapter, Member States shall take into account the specific situation of vulnerable persons such as minors, unaccompanied minors, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents with minor children, victims of trafficking, persons with mental disorders and persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence.
4.        Paragraph 3 shall apply only to persons found to have special needs after an individual evaluation of their situation.
5.        The best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration for Member States when implementing the provisions of this Chapter that involve minors.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In The Life: In The States; New York, 20 Years of Culture Wars

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As we continue to look at the In The Life series I am impressed that you promptly reminded me that I missed last month's entry but due to the importance of certain local happenings and the lesser relevance at that time of last month's entry from them I had foregone posting it but here are both for you to watch and rewatch and thanks again readers for keeping me on my toes with this, it shows you are there with me.



 In The States; New York (00:15:25) 


 IN THE LIFE marks twenty years on public television celebrating and documenting the faces, voices and stories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. 


This season premiere opens with analysis of New York's vote for marriage equality and closes with a look back at twenty years of covering the culture wars. This installment of the ongoing series In The States takes a hard look at New York's historic vote for marriage equality: how it happened, who stood in the way and where we go from here. 


 20 Years of Culture Wars (00:09:37) 
 A look back at the show's impact since its beginnings as the focus of conservative ire through its shift to a newsmagazine countering the messaging of the radical right. Today, IN THE LIFE continues to raise awareness and engage viewers by chronicling LGBT life from all angles.


Professional athletes are models of strength and endurance, and heroes to the young athletes who look up to them. Unfortunately, the macho and homophobic world of sports doesn't breed model behavior. IN THE LIFE examines the message homophobic athletes send to young people on courts and fields across the country, and speaks with allies in professional sports who are standing up to put an end to it. Then, we follow a gay teenager on his journey from homelessness to college and meet the mentors who provide support on his way.



Changing The Game (00:12:53)

Meet pro athletes and leaders standing up against homophobia in sports. Featuring "Bam Bam" Meulens of the SF Giants, former NY Giants running back Tiki Barber, rugby star Ben Cohen, college wrestling champ Hudson Taylor, and more



College Bound (00:11:37)

Kadeem Swenson was kicked out of the house after coming out to his parents in high school. With hard work and help from organizations and mentors, Swenson escaped homelessness and is now the first in his family to attend college


Peace and tolerance


H

The First-Ever Legal Challenge to Jamaica's Anti-Gay Laws

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The First-Ever Legal Challenge to Jamaica's Anti-Gay Laws

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, Oct. 26 — At a press conference in Kingston today, Jamaican attorney Maurice Tomlinson announced that his organization, AIDS-Free World, has presented a first-ever legal challenge to the country’s anti-gay laws. AIDS-Free World has filed a petition at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of two gay men whose names are being withheld to protect their safety. A legal team assembled by AIDS-Free World argues that by criminalizing homosexuality under its constitution, Jamaica is in violation of international human rights law. (See details about the legal case and Commission procedure in the attached Q&A.)
The so-called “anti-sodomy law” in Jamaica has cast a destructive pall over the lives of gay Jamaicans. It has fed a homophobic society in which gays and lesbians are harassed, mocked, vilified, beaten and killed simply because of their sexual orientation. Driven underground, many fear that seeking an HIV test will brand them as homosexual, and therefore criminal. The national prevalence of HIV is over 30 percent among men who have sex with men, compared to a rate of 1.6 percent in the general population. The petition establishes clear ties between the country’s active promotion of discrimination and its AIDS epidemic.
Tragically and unconscionably, the Government of Jamaica is determined to sustain its discriminatory legislation. The petition brought by AIDS-Free World makes clear that this law tramples on the American Convention on Human Rights, to which Jamaica is a party, and violates numerous guarantees contained in other international treaties that the country has signed and ratified. Jamaica’s law legitimizes abuses against homosexuals by state actors, including the police. It also encourages vigilante justice by private citizens, most of whom believe that the “anti-sodomy” law grants them permission to commit acts of violence against sexual minorities. Because the Government and its highest officials support and enable homophobia, the only possible way to end the persistent violation of the human rights of gay Jamaicans is to strike down the law as soon as possible and usher in an era of tolerance.
Because measures to reverse the homophobic legislation are unavailable within Jamaica, AIDS-Free World is bringing its challenge at the regional level, to the Inter-American Commission. If the Commission decides favorably, other countries in the region with similar anti-homosexuality legislation will be forced to take notice. In fact, it is the conviction of AIDS-Free World that a favorable outcome will have a dramatic impact on all countries that persist in the medieval persecution of their citizens on the grounds of sexual orientation.
There is great irony to the fact that the Jamaican legislation derives directly from the days of the British Empire. Despite being an independent country, Jamaica has not rid itself of the discriminatory shackles of colonialism. This is also true of some 40 other members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of countries once ruled by Great Britain. Hence, the issue of decriminalizing homosexuality is on the agenda of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting that begins in Australia in two days’ time.
Mr. Tomlinson is joined in representing the petitioners by Lord Anthony Gifford, noted counsel on a similar and successful case before the European Court of Human Rights, and a formidable legal team assembled by AIDS-Free World Legal Director Betsy Apple that includes pro bono attorneys from the US firm Thompson Hine and the Law Center at Nova Southeastern University.
###
Media Contact:
Christina Magill
TEL: +1-416-657-4458
clm@aidsfreeworld.org

Why isn’t AIDS-Free World challenging this Jamaican law in Jamaican courts?
The Jamaican constitution has a relatively unusual clause in it called the “savings law clause,” which protects Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law from being contested in Jamaican courts. When the new Jamaican Charter of Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was passed in April 2011, it contained a provision stating that any pre-existing laws relating to sexual offenses (such as the anti-sodomy law), pornography, or abortion were “saved” from constitutional review. This legal protection immunizes the anti-sodomy law from challenge in Jamaican courts, and made it impossible for AIDS-Free World to assist Jamaican lawyers to bring a case in Jamaica. Consequently, our only recourse for challenging the law was to go to the IACHR.
Where is AIDS-Free World challenging this law?
AIDS-Free World is challenging the anti-sodomy law before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), one of two institutions in the 35-country Americas region that exist to promote and protect human rights. (The other is the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.) The regional umbrella organization that brings together these 35 countries to discuss a wide range of issues, including democracy, human rights, security, and development, is called the Organization of American States (OAS). The IACHR and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights fall under the authority of the OAS. Their activities are focused on the human rights situation in the 35 countries that make up the Americas region. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

UN Human Rights Committee unsatisfied by the human rights situation in Jamaica

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PDF Version

Geneva, 20 October 2011 – The United Nations Human Rights Committee today concluded its review of the third periodic report of Jamaica on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
The review allowed the Human Rights Committee to raise questions with the Jamaica delegation on several subjects of concern related to civil and political rights. Unfortunately, the Jamaican delegation did not include any representatives from the capital, which had a very negative impact on the quality of the dialogue.  “The absence of a strong representation from the country is extremely rare and is an alarming signal sent to the United Nations on the little attention and priority paid to human rights by Jamaica”, said Patrick Mutzenberg, Director of the Centre of Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), a NGO that monitors the implementation of the ICCPR worldwide.
On this occasion, a civil society coalition led by Jamaican for Justice (JFJ) provided a full report on the implementation of the ICCPR at the national level.  “Our report shows thatdiscrimination is at the root of many human rights violations in Jamaica and needs to be urgently addressed by the Government.   We contend that the new Charter of Rights, rather than improving protection of human rights actually weakens the protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, and discrimination against persons with disabilities or HIV / AIDS, among others”, said Dr. Carolyn Gomes, Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice.
The very high numbers of extra-judicial killings by security forces was another subject of concern for the Human Rights Committee.  This issue was discussed at length by the UN experts who were worried that the majority of these killings remain inadequately investigated and that there have only been four convictions of police out of more than 3500 incidences in the past 20 years.  In her concluding remarks, the Chair of the Committee, Ms Zonke Majodina, said that “the lack of investigations reinforced the climate of impunity in Jamaica”.
On 4th November 2011, the Human Rights Committee will make its recommendations public and the State will be requested to widely disseminate them at the national level. It is hoped that the State will initiate a genuine dialogue with all sectors of the society that will lead to the implementation of the recommendations.
The report can be found on the Centre for Civil and Political RIghts website .
For more information contact:
Jamaican For Justice: Susan Goffe, suegoffe@yahoo.com
Meanwhile the Gleaner carried this:

UN Committee Criticises Jamaica's Human Rights



Debbie-Ann Wright, Assistant News Editor
The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre

Jamaica’s human rights track record has again come under scrutiny with the country being cited as lacking in its compliance with international treaties to which it has signed.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee reviewed Jamaica’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

While the Jamaican Government’s representative at the review, Ambassador Wayne McCook, sought to outline the gains Jamaica has made in complying with the treaty, commissioners said the country was lacking in several areas.

Commissioner Krister Thelin called for the Government to reconsider repealing laws banning buggery, which he said was discriminatory.

Another commissioner, Gerald Neuman, criticised the Government for leaving out sexual orientation from the exclusion clause in the Charter of Rights, which was passed earlier this year.

The commissioners also articulated a concern regarding the availability of remedies for persons whose rights are violated.

Meanwhile, the Committee has expressed its disappointment with the Jamaican Government that it did not send a more qualified delegation to the review.

It said it felt Jamaica’s ambassador in Geneva, Wayne McCook, did not have the expertise or knowledge of all the subjects to be able to provide satisfactory answers to the committee.

In addition to the report from the Government, a submission was made by a group of non-government organisations (NGOs), which included Jamaicans for Justice, the Independent Jamaican Council of Human Rights and the Women's Outreach and Resource Centre.

debbie-ann.wright@gleanerjm.com
also see




REVIEW OF JAMAICA (PART I) 19 OCT 2011








and from Gay Jamaica Watch more on the issues

Peace and tolerance

H



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cross dressing drama again in St. Catherine ....

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The Star news has been becoming very circumspect these days in its publications regarding related matters towards LGBT issues cheif among them transvestitism or cross dressing. It was only on October 20 that they published this: COPS RESCUE MAN IN WIG, HEELS - Tricked motorists into thinking he was a woman, by the usual writer of such stories Rasbert Turner. Cross dressing in public has been growing since the seventies from memory and has certainly exploded since some of the persons who wear female attire are anatomically male but transgender in a pre-operative sense and express themselves through passing as females in public, with some doing so with the greatest of ease. Another case of effeomophobia? fear of the feminine in men.
It was also May of this year that a set of cross dressers were chased and beaten in some instances in New Kingston:

Also See: Drag queens double jeopardy and Men rushed and beaten in New Kingston

 Here is the Star news piece:

 Rasbert Turner, STAR Writer

 A man dressed in wig and spike heels was chased by angry men who had stopped to assist him after his car broke down in Lennonville, St Catherine, on Monday. The cross-dresser had to be rescued by the Old Harbour police after the men who were fooled into thinking he was a sexy damsel in distress discovered the truth behind the heels and wigs. THE STAR was informed that the male was in Lennonville about two miles from Old Harbour about 11:30 p.m., when the incident happened. He was said to have been driving a Lexus SUV which got a flat tyre along the roadway. The man reportedly stopped passersby in an effort to get help. It was said that there was some sexual chemistry between the passersby and the cross-dresser. However, the police source said; "After a keen observation it was revealed that the browning was indeed a man. The 'good samaritans' became angry and decided to give him a sound beating."


 The man who showed he was quite quick on his feet, left his attackers in his dust and fled to the Old Harbour Police Station. "Yes, he threw away the wig and spike heel he was wearing and ran more than a mile to the station. The persons were shouting to send out di bwoy, mek wi deal wid him," a policeman confirmed when contacted by THE STAR. The police further said that when the man was asked to change his clothes at the station they were in for a bigger surprise. "It was really a shock when he was changing to see him wearing panties and brassiere," the police source said.
ENDS

It was only in July 2010 there was another incident with a cross dresser who picked up a gentleman and all hell nearly broke loose as carried on my sister blog GLBTQJA Wordpress


Cross dressing drama in Portmore

Another tale of male crossdressing activities causing trouble this time in the ever increasing and vibrant commercial sex trade in the vicinity of the hip strip on Port Henderson Road. Commercial sex workers and small motels dot the landscape and not to be outdone are bars, clubs interspersed with churches, what a mix?
Reports suggests that on Saturday July 10 around 2am in the morning a man who was coming from an event on the strip was on his way home according to him. He reportedly saw a motorvehicle parked on the strip with a female allegedly in the passenger side of the car, the man knowing that in that vicinity the commercial sex is done he approached the “woman” to conduct business.
They negotiated the deal for sexual favours in exchange for an agreed price, he was seen entering the vehicle by eyewitnesses where the apparent agreed sexual favours were performed by the CSW on the man in the form of oral sex. It was after the act was completed and he requested additional services that he discovered she was in fact a “he” as the services he requested require penetrative sex which the cross dresser could not fulfill.
An argument ensued where upon hearing the crossdressers voice it was clear she was a man in drag, by which time stones were hurled into the vehicle damaging it. The drag queen also defended herself by hurling stones as well and chasing him away. The man subsequently tried reporting the matter to the cops but was himself held and maybe charged for malicious destruction of property resulting from the incident.
According to sources he may also be charged for gross indecency for performing lewd acts in a public place. The cross dresser had decided to pursue the matter but “she” too may also be charged for performing said acts as well. She may not go through after all with the charges for safety reasons given the sensitivity of the situation and Jamaica’s bitterness towards anything remotely close to male homosexuality which may result in a public trial on the matter.
The police officers who got wind of the incident were allegedly in stitches when they got the complete details of what actually occured.
As news spread of the happening in that side of Portmore many persons are once again calling for the disbanding of the hip strip all together and arresting all prostitutes and those who harbour them. The debate has resumed about the morals and attitudes in Portmore with the mayor and parish council coming under pressure from civic groups and neighborhood associations demanding the changes suggested by a previous mayor to change the look of the hip strip. Many persons feel it has become an eyesore for the entire Portmore.
This is the third such incident overall in less than a year involving alleged male cross dressers involved in commercial sex the most infamous of them was “Barbie” in Clarendon which was seen on television after she was held at a police station before making bail. This demands some word from Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, JFLAG.
Something needs to be done regarding these persons getting involved in risky behaviour to earn an income. Then again will they engage such a population seeing they seemed pre-occupied with tackling CARICOM and other programmatic issues while ignoring or overlooking on the ground interventions that require urgent attention also given their mandate as offering social support services?
The lower groups of LGBT people are just not getting the attention.
Let’s continue to watch this and other events.


And that infamous Barbie case as mentioned in the older post excerpted above was one of those that made the issue fully mainstream in 2009 who by the way can present as both male and female aesthetically very well, she passes easily as both. In fact she is the envy of many a drag personality locally because of that "gift"

Read more on that XNews Story on Gay Jamaica Watch

Disturbed by Xnews Story on Drag Queen and Gay Cop

Also see: Chu Chu on cross dressing …………….

Peace and tolerance

H
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Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

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.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com




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

Thanks again
Mr. H

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Information & Disclaimer

lgbtevent@gmail.com

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 lgbtevent@gmail.com

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.

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.

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.

Emergency numbers
The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311


Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

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

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

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