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

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mark Wignall ....... Gay Lobby will wait in vain

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Jamaica Observer columnist Mark Wignall believes among other things the Jamaican Gay Lobby will wait in vain in his regular contribution to the paper: Supporters will give PNP government a honeymoon but... he wrote

In the month of November 2010 Washington would have already firmly decided that the JLP Government as constituted then was more than a nagging fly-in-the-ointment.

Ironically, as strained as the relationship has been between Washington and Caracas, it is more than likely that President Hugo Chavez, the most eager regionalist of our time, would have found reason to share a common objective with the US diplomats in Jamaica at just about the same time.

A Jamaican leader(Golding) had pledged to place his political future at risk by loudly standing out on a limb for a man wanted in the USA for drug and gun running and being a dangerous underworld boss - 'Dudus'.

At that stage the Americans would have singled out Dr Peter Phillips, the security minister in the PNP Government of 2004 and the point man in Jamaica whose actions led to the ultimate extradition as a man they could do business with in the near future.

On the Friday after the December 29 election there would be more than an element of 'mission accomplished' in the objectives of the Americans and President Chavez.

Golding had been slamming Chavez, an ally of the PNP, while in Opposition. The JLP Government formed after September 2007 was without ideology and a philosophy guiding its governance and grudgingly accepted the benefits of the PetroCaribe Fund only because it had no other choice.

It would indeed surprise me if the interventionist side of the regionalist President Chavez did not tangibly assist its ally, the PNP, in the last few weeks during the election. There exists no evidence that I am aware of that supports the view that a foreign government pumped significant cash into the coffers of the PNP. What is without doubt, however, is that contrary to conventional wisdom, the PNP was a cash-rich party in the last week of campaigning.

It is a slight reversal of 2007 when the JLP was overloaded with cash and the PNP was relatively broke. I use the word 'slight' because the JLP was not broke in 2011, only that the PNP became much richer than the JLP at the politically perfect time.

Many PNP supporters who I spoke with recently indicated a willingness to give the PNP a somewhat extended honeymoon to get the social and economic picture right. It is not, however, a mood that can be plotted on a straight-line graph.

The closeness of the election of 2007 had never indicated a rejection of the PNP, its policies or the style and mechanics of its governance. PNP supporters have accepted the JLP's four-year run as a minor blip on the political radar and firmly believe that a new PNP Government will 'get it right'.

"Even if di JEEP nuh run right away, wi know sey it a go work fi poor people," said a young woman to me recently.

Her young male friend, unemployed as she was said, "Money dey yah and as soon as Portia settle off, di JEEP a go start up."

Gay Lobby will wait in vain

I have yet to meet one PNP supporter who earnestly believes that the Buggery Law will be changed.

During the leadership debate, then Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller had indicated that a PNP Government led by her would review the law. The JLP had then pounced on it in an effort to gain political mileage - standard politics - by making it seem as if Simpson Miller had promised a change in the law.

"Do you believe that the PNP will review the Buggery Law?" I asked a group of young men, all unemployed and who admitted that they had voted for the PNP.

"Yeah," one said. "Review it yes, but a nuh nutten dat."

A youngster nearby took off on his friend's mood and said, "As long as she tek up di paper an put it back dung. Dat caan pass a Jamaica. It wi bun dung."

Another less vocal young man said, "A political talk dat. Maybe di man dem donate some money to di PNP party and it jus gi a talk. A politics and it nah guh no wey."

What is very obvious to me is that only Portia Simpson Miller could have made such a promise in so sensitive an area without the political backlash. Additionally, many voters accept that "a so di ting set", meaning that they accept that politicians will spout nonsense. In the case of Simpson Miller, voters were prepared to slot it in the 'not of importance' segment in the days leading up to the vote.

JLP waiting to roll over and die

A few days after the election I was in the company of a young woman and an official of G2K.

The young woman was a recent graduate of. UTech and was planning on going off to the US to study computer and film animation. Her father was a degreed teacher and her mother operated a small business.

She was discussing the G2K ads. "Those ads - they would have appealed to me, to mommy, to daddy, but, we don't vote." The G2K official seemed to sink deeper in the chair.

He just sat there, forced a smile and said nothing. The young woman was right. Assuming that a political party knows the landscape it is operating in, one would expect that the entity would have arrived at its a campaign after considerable research. If knowledge is presumed before research and the ads are made, the only conclusion that could be drawn is that those involved have been very close to our people at all levels. Or that they are stupid.

Now, fully recognising that constituency canvases (which have proven fairly accurate over the years) were either concocted because money paid for them did not reach down to those who were closest to the community or, poorly done because of the weakness of the JLP secretariat, many in the JLP have concluded that the wrong 'election ready' message was given to Andrew Holness.

Demoralised, angry with each other and already reaching for the long knives of 'intra blame' the JLP must face the fact that it is on the verge of a total wipeout at the local government elections.

In the red by anywhere between $40 million and $70 million, the party is lying in the middle of the road waiting on a truck to run it over.

observemark@gmail.com

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Portia's Profound Comments (Gleaner Letter)

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Jamaica Gleaner Company 

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The president of the People's National Party (PNP) recently said she would not exclude persons from her Cabinet on the basis of sexual orientation. Few seem to appreciate how profound the comment is. One newspaper sprang into attack mode with its bold headline, 'A idiot thing that'.

At first glance, the leader's comments seem to imply or assume that in appointing ministers, she has knowledge that the person being appointed is gay. This has inherent legal implications based on Jamaican law (The Offences Against The Person Act). Although buggery is not defined in the law, it is listed as unnatural offences, where it is described as "the abominable crime of buggery committed either with mankind or with any animal".

Additionally, the law specifically speaks to male-to-male acts of gross indecency, but is totally silent on female-to-female acts. So being a bugger and being gay or homosexual are not legally the same in Jamaican law. Being gay or homosexual is a much broader term, covering same-sex relationships. It does not appear to include "any animal".

The Jamaican law regarding unnatural offences and acts of gross indecency is, therefore, gender specific and includes animals. It does not consider or treat female same-sex relationships as unnatural offences or acts of gross indecency. So, based on the present law, appointing a female gay minister should not be an issue legally.

This, however, would not be the case if she were to appoint a male gay minister, especially if she knows that male is gay.

The reason for this is that it is a crime to know of a crime and not report it to the police. This may and ought to be considered concealment, cover-up, you name it. Although she may not have personally witnessed the act or crime, it's no different from the acts of bishops who concealed reports of priests sexually molesting youths and covered it up.

Therein rests a part of the dilemma, ie, the buggery law, as it stands, and whether or not she knows the appointee has breached the law.

Indeed, the law is gender-specific in its treatment of same-sex relationships. This ought to be deemed unconstitutional and ought to be corrected. How else does Parliament legislate a law that retains the wishes of the majority on the issue, and comply with the gender (sex) requirements of the Constitution (Section 13)? In democratic societies, it's done by review of the law.

For those males who have already concluded that "a idiot thing that", note that for a male caught committing (a) an unnatural offence, or (b), an act of gross indecency with another male, there is no fine. In the case of (a), it's prison at hard labour, for a term not exceeding 10 years.

In the case of (b), it's prison with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding seven years. However, it's no offence for females to be caught doing similar acts. Easy nuh.

WARREN SIBBLIES

warrensibbs@hotmail.com

Houston, Texas
ENDS

Some comments followed:
Mr./Ms. Moderator, could you please post?

There is no doubt that Madame Prime Minister Elect; Portia Simpson-Miller is a very savvy and seasoned politician. She knows how to appeal to all voting blocks of the electorates, not just the majority, but also to
crucial minority voting blocks such as the disenfranchised gay/lesbians/bisexual. Hereto her recent statement of forming an all-inclusive/representative cabinet of all Jamaicans, there has never been a Jamaican politician to take such a bold and courageous stand. It is in light of her all inclusive statement that has embolden the gay voting block to turn out in support of the only national leader to acknowledge their existence on the island without religious damnations.

Silently and without any fanfare under the radar, they showed up at their respective polling stations and cast their individual votesof freedom and then exhaled as they walked away with a sense of relief. For you see, they had no reason to vote before, as they were never considered citizens in the country to which they were born; Prime Minister Elect; Madame Portia Simpson-Miller has given them hope, a reason and purpose for being, but above all, she has acknowledged their human existence.

Madame Prime Minister Elect, I respectfully implore, and beseech you to make good on you statement on creating a more equitable,humanistic, and representative cabinet of all Jamaican.

Kudos! And congratulations!

and

Thank you Mr. Sibbles for explaining the arguments so lucidly. The tendency for rabid homophobia to cloud rational and logical judgments on the issue of buggery in Jamaica is amazing. The constant reduction of homosexuality to buggery (anal intercourse) is so distorting that I find whenever I explain to people that the two (homosexuality) and (anal intercourse) do not necessarily coincide, better assessments can be made.

This is the dilemma that Sister P faces. If a male member of her cabinet personally declares to her that he is a homosexual, she can assume that he engages in the sexual conduct of buggery (which is law breaking). I say assumption since not everyone who thinks the label homosexual applies to him actually engages in the practice of anal sex.
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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.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.


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

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