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 13, 2012

Dealing with the gay rights issue (Observer Editorial) ........

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People's National Party (PNP) strategists must still be sighing with relief that there was no obvious backlash to Mrs Portia Simpson Miller's affirmation in the pre-election debate that Jamaica's buggery law needs to be reviewed.

We say 'no obvious backlash' because as we all know the PNP won the election by a 2-1 seat majority.

Like ourselves, sociologists and others with an interest in such matters must be extremely curious as to whether the election result means there is a significant softening in attitudes towards homosexuality among the Jamaican population.

It's not as if elements in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) did not seek to profit from Mrs Simpson Miller's remarks. We recall the Observer story of Saturday, December 24 reporting on how the JLP candidate for West Central St James and former Cabinet Minister Clive Mullings "armed with a Bible" lashed Mrs Simpson Miller's comments from a political platform in Montego Bay.

As it turned out, Mr Mullings' action was of no profit to him since he lost his seat.

Yet more reason, perhaps, to suggest a softening towards the gay community? We really do not know for sure.

Perhaps the promised "conscience vote" in Parliament, whenever it occurs — following suggested consultations with constituents — will provide scope for a proper exploration of how people really feel regarding this issue.

What we do believe is that Mrs Simpson Miller deserves commendation for her courage. Not only did she speak to the need to review the centuries-old law bequeathed to us by British colonialists, but insisted that she would not "pry" into people's private lives and would appoint "anyone" to her Cabinet based on "ability" regardless of suspected sexual orientation.

In one stroke, she departed from the line taken by former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who had declared "...Not in my Cabinet" when asked by British television three years ago if he would consider accommodating homosexuals in the Jamaican executive.

We sensed at the time, that the cautious, middling response of the then Prime Minister Andrew Holness to the gay rights question reflected a recognition, perhaps unconscious, of the possibility of a 'softening' in Jamaican public attitudes over recent years.

Of course, any Jamaican Government must also take into consideration the realities in the outside world. For in Europe and North America and many other places, gay rights are routinely considered fundamental human rights. And as Mr Golding once pointed out, the gay lobby is "perhaps the most organised" in the world. Our anti-gay entertainers have discovered that fact at great cost.

More to the point, the rich and powerful are increasingly insisting that countries like Jamaica abide by their code.

The European Union has long used aid and diplomacy as a fulcrum in its quest to influence countries like Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbours, as well as nations across Africa and the Third World to liberalise laws relating to homosexuality.

Late last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that his Government will be linking aid to recognition of gay rights.

And since that time, the US Government publicly declared its intention to use foreign aid and diplomacy to encourage reform of gay laws.

Some among our church leaders who contend that homosexual behaviour is in breach of "God's Laws" have urged Mrs Simpson Miller and her Government to resist external pressures relating to homosexuality. But it seems to this newspaper that it would be naïve for anyone to expect that Jamaica can continue to ignore such pressures indefinitely.
ENDS

Meanwhile JFLAG tries to clear up the ultimatum versus request mess on the 100 day issue with the PM and the buggery review via yet another press release:

J-FLAG

J-FLAG DID NOT GIVE ULTIMATUM

Kingston — January 12, 2012
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) wishes to clarify that the organisation has NOTgiven the government an ultimatum.

On January 3, 2012, CVM TV contacted the organisation for a comment on its expectations of the new administration following the Peoples National Party’s (PNP) win in the General Elections. This was in the context of the bold pronouncements the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller had made during the leadership debate. NewsWatch reported, J-FLAG’s Executive Director, Dane Lewis as saying “To be realistic, I imagine within the first hundred days at least the issue could be raised, with a look at how to proceed.”

However, many have misinterpreted this statement of expectation as an ultimatum. Mr Lewis also highlighted that Jamaica is required by the end of 2012 to report to the UN Human Rights Committee reviewing Jamaica’s status under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights “on what concrete steps it’s [Jamaica] making towards removal of discriminatory laws”. It is within this context that the comment was made. J-FLAG wishes to reiterate that it has not issued an ultimatum but offered a comment on what could be done by the Government within the first hundred (100) days to demonstrate its recognition of the broad human rights concerns that affect all Jamaicans. This is a common strategy which has been used by many other organisations in civil society and private sector.

Like all Jamaicans, J-FLAG remains committed to the human social and economic development of Jamaica. In so doing, J-FLAG will continue to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jamaicans from discrimination, harassment and violence.
ENDS

As I hinted in a previous post on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress mistakes such as granting a telephone interview (sans any consultations with the community I might add) to the media in a "hot environment" when homosexuality or related matters are in the public domain is a no no, all the J should have done was waited and not mention anything at all to do with any time line in any way, shape or form now for it to be misrepresented as an ultimatum. We have had previous misconceptions before of JFLAG's position by media and one would have thought that as a former media participant himself the Executive Director of JFLAG Mr. Lewis would have known the ins and outs of local media with regards to hot button issues such as this. The San Francisco boycott some years ago and the suggested EGALE tourism boycott as well are prime examples of learning curves for the group and speaking just a little too much but when it's time to speak there is silence. How many mistakes are there to be made before it is perfected? one never knows/

Peace and tolerance

H

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Betty Ann Blaine on Poverty, children and the Buggery Law .... and that awful confusion of homosexuality with paedophilia

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It is one thing to oppose homosexuality because of religious and so called moral reasons but to repeatedly include in ones reasoning same sex paedophilia when we know that most adult consenting same gender loving folks are NOT attracted to pre-pubescent children is just plain intellectual dishonesty or sheer ignorance, you decide readers and listeners as you read this letter penned by Miss Blaine.

Why does all the anti gay rhetoric has to be centered around paedophilia or some fear that repealing buggery will unleash butt hungry men on children? I think the notion is preposterous yes we may love other men and find them sexually interesting but certainly NOT children for those reasons.

Why include the long closed Peter King case and supposed rumoured sex tapes with other prominent male entertainers, is this so called Christian woman now subscribing to rumour, innuendo and conjecture now to bolster her position? I was not expecting that from her.

Where are the moral and ethical zones in this piece?

The letter read as follows:

 

Dear Reader,

It is now very clear that the issue regarding the repeal of Jamaica's Buggery Law has found some space in the country's dialectic, so much so that interest groups have already begun to pounce.

The Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP's) youth arm, G2K, sensed that an opportunity presented itself, given the country's anti-homosexual environment, and attempted to use the buggery debate to benefit the outcome of the recent election. It failed, and that is because God doesn't like "ugly" even when the principle of the matter might be correct in His eyes.

Of course, there is vested interest in certain quarters, both inside and outside of Jamaica, and already certain constituencies have made it very clear what they would like the new administration to do. To my mind, the matter is not so simplistic, neither is it urgent.

First of all, the need to repeal the Buggery Law cannot be the most important item on the national agenda at this time and should be recognised as such. When one considers the deep and entrenched problems of poverty, dispossession, joblessness, the abominable atrocities against children, the plight of the elderly, among other day-to-day abuses, the revocation of Jamaica's Buggery Law could by no means be considered to be high on the list of priorities. If Jamaicans had to choose among the raft of pressing issues, including the 'bread and butter' ones, I suspect that the issue of buggery would be low on the list.

Secondly, and more importantly, there can be no discussion about buggery outside of a broader discourse concerning poverty and the vulnerability of the poor, especially poor children, to the risk of homosexual abuse. Let me hasten to say that I am aware that the risk of abuse by heterosexuals is equally as great.

Until the problem of poverty in general, and child poverty in particular, are adequately addressed and alleviated, the repeal of the Buggery Law cannot be considered, and anybody who is concerned about the most vulnerable groups in the society should agree.

As the founder of two major children's organisations and as a children's advocate for over 30 years, I have had to deal with many cases involving the sodomy of children. The tragedy is that they are almost exclusively children of the poor, and as a consequence, they have had little or no access to justice, let alone restitution.

It is impossible for my colleagues and I to forget the case of the nine-month-old baby boy who died after being buggered and otherwise physically abused. The tiny casket stood starkly in the front of the near-empty church on the day of the funeral. As far as I recall, no public statement was ever made by any of those groups now clamouring for the repeal of our Buggery Law.

It is common knowledge that one of the most accessible sources for those in the society who prefer to have sex with children, are the country's street boys. In my work I have come to know several of them who are now young adults who have been irreparably damaged as victims of child sodomy while living on the streets.

It is also common knowledge that there is a conspiracy of silence and secrecy surrounding a certain set of tapes involving a certain influential man in the society who was brutally murdered six years ago. It is rumoured that young boys are among those captured on the tapes. Of course, in a country dominated by class supremacy and the abuse of power by influential individuals, it is no surprise that to this day no information has been forthcoming regarding the allegations of sexual violence against the children who may have been victims of that particular circumstance.

Any discussion about repealing the Buggery Law must be preceded by a full and thorough study of buggery in the society and how those cases have, and are being been dealt with in the justice system. It is critical that the country should understand the nature and extent of the problem in order to arrive at any informed position.

That sentiment must be clearly articulated to any foreign government which thinks that it has a right to dictate the repeal of any of the laws of a sovereign state like ours, however dependent we may be. Instead of threatening sanctions, those countries concerned about our Buggery Law should instead help us to strengthen critical institutions and to eradicate poverty so that the rights of those Jamaicans who are vulnerable to the ravages of abuse from both homosexuals and heterosexuals will be protected and advanced.

At the moment, Jamaican children are at risk, both outside in the general society and behind closed doors, everywhere across the country. With an average of 200 children being reported missing each month, and with the increase in rape and other sexual offences, strengthening our laws and not weakening or repealing them must be the highest priority.

Until Jamaica begins to see a levelling of the social and economic playing field, I don't see that we can pursue any worthwhile debate about the repeal of any law that may involve the sexual abuse of the poor and of minors, whatever the sexual orientation.

With love,
bab2609@yahoo.com


ENDS

She obviously continues to conflate same gender sex with abuse without understanding that the real issue when it comes to paedphilia is that the perpetrator is sexually attracted to children that is a diagnosable disorder but homosexuality is not the same.

Peace and tolerance

H

Monday, January 9, 2012

Integrity Commission's Chairman hit at the buggery review proposal

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In an article this morning in the Gleaner another clear wipe from the Reverend Dr Wellesley Blair at the recent push by the lobby group JFLAG on the promised buggery review and subsequent conscience vote by then opposition leader voted in Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. Clearly this is a swipe on the strength of the belief that the newly installed PNP administration received money from supposed gay groups who are using their influence and also on the perception that the recent debt cut turned debt redirection to or from commonwealth countries namely from the UK is placing or foisting the homosexual agenda on the nation, have a read and see what you make of it.

Also see: Of Commonwealth, Buggery Law And Ditching The Queen (Gleaner 02.11.11)

Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer wrote:

Members of the new Portia Simpson Miller administration were yesterday urged not to give in to pressure from foreign countries and local groups, as they take over the reins of government following the People's National Party's (PNP) recent general-election victory.

"We are a sovereign nation. No one from outside must tell us what to do," urged the Reverend Dr Wellesley Blair.

"In executing your duties, please do not feel threatened by anyone, (neither in) foreign or inna the yard. No outside government or any local group, no matter what they wave in front of you. Let no man or any woman look at you and say, 'Do this or else','' the reverend warned.
Blair, who also serves as chairman of the PNP integrity commission, was addressing members of the Simpson Miller Cabinet during his sermon at the Portmore New Testament Church of God in St Catherine yesterday, where the new government ministers were in attendance.


(Photo: Garfield Robinson) 

Buggery law review

The prime minister, in the leadership debate ahead of the December 29 general election, had suggested it was time for a review of the country's buggery law and a conscience vote among parliamentarians. Simpson Miller's comment led to concerns among some elements across the island, including within the Church, that the PNP administration was considering amending the law to legalise the act.
Such a potential move has been seen as bowing to pressure from the United States and United Kingdom which have long called for tolerance of homosexuality.

Simpson Miller, during the leadership debate, also challenged a previous pronouncement by former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in a BBC interview, where he said no gays would be allowed in his Cabinet.
Simpson Miller said she would take a more even-handed approach, adding that persons should be selected for Cabinet duties on the basis of their abilities to execute duties assigned.

In the meantime, while calling for the prime minister and her Cabinet to put God first in all decision-making, Blair said: "Loyalty to God over loyalty to foreign rulers may cause personal and even national persecution. There are some things that we are going to have to bear as a nation and we are depending on those that God has chosen (to lead)."

Blair when contacted yesterday to clarify whether his comments were in reference to the country's buggery law declined to say.
"Take it how you want to take it," he said.
The pastor also used yesterday's sermon to caution the Portia Simpson Miller administration to withhold nothing from the Jamaican people.

"I would encourage you, hide nothing from the populace. They want to know the facts ... . Tell us the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God," Blair said.

Great expectations

He said the people of Jamaica already have great expectations.

"People are looking to you to fill their pots, to fill their pockets, to send their children to school, to give better health, to do everything," he said. "Many of us don't realise it cannot work that way."

He added: "With the circumstances surrounding you, depend upon your God."

Blair also urged the prime minister to ensure that her ascendancy to office signalled a turning point in the operations of government in the country.
In the meantime, the prime minister in her greetings to members of the congregation called for them to pray for her team.
"At this time, our country Jamaica is at a crossroads, but the same way our Holy Master moved his son from the pit to the palace, and he was able to use his position to lift his brothers that plotted against him ... ; He raised up kings, and He put down kings," Simpson Miller said.

"This morning, my team ... we placed ourselves in the hands of God," she added following resounding applause from the congregation.

nedburn.thaffe@gleanerjm.com
ENDS
More...........

The Wrath of a Bishop 


Let us not forget this is the same Pastor some years ago was reported as: "A homosexual only has one of two rights. It is either he changes his life or accepts the just punishment of God, as He did in Sodom and Gomorra,"

Bishop Blair also made it clear that God did not make any homosexuals or “create any Sodomites,” as they (Sodomites) made themselves that way, at least according to his interpretation of the Book of Romans chapter one.
He added that those who are talking about the setting up of a gay church in Jamaica that time, must remember that there are a few God-fearing, Holy Ghost, holiness preachers who are still around and who are very adamant that they will do everything legally and spiritually in their power to bar that.

What he really was saying is that if you set up a church that accepts gays and lesbians, watch your back.

Bishop Blair said that “Sodomites who are caught should be beaten. I believe that when the court orders lashing, some of those Sodomites who are caught and some of the criminals, should be brought in the square of Half-Way Tree and be lashed and send them home.”

Blair said he will be monitoring what goes on inside Gordon House, Jamaica’s Legislature, to see who would dare to vote for the passing of gay-friendly legislation. He said he will try to influence the Christian community to target politicians in the next election.

"If the legislation to legalize sodomy and lesbianism passes in Jamaica and it is signed into law, and God does not do something about it, God would have to wake up Sodom and Gomorra and beg them pardon," said Blair.
Three gay men at that period were beaten in the streets of Jamaica by a mob for being gay. Last year two lesbians were found murdered in an apparent hate crime. In recent years, gay hate crimes in Jamaica have skyrocketed to all time high numbers proving that Jamaica could quite possibly be the most homophobic place on Earth.


ENDS

also see Dr Blair's other Reverend brother Bishop Herro Blair as well who also happens to be the political Ombudsman now here in 2007:
Blair warns politicians - Hits at campaigns, abortion, gay marriage - August 6, 2007

Jamaicans for Justice calls for Ombudsman Bishop Hero Blair's resignation

Buggery law backlash – Blair: The church has been sleeping – Blair warns review could lead to same-sex marriages


Attack of the Blair's on the gay lobby?

Why was the party at this church in the face of expected strong religious opposition against the proposed buggery law review?
Why does the present cabinet looks the way it does when clearly the core support expected for any review on buggery is clearly not present?

Will she shuffle this cabinet in the long run to get the needed positive votes if and when the review/conscience vote is held?


also see the Observer's take on the story: DON'T BOW! Pastor urges Portia to avoid foreign influence - God’s great eyes are upon you — Blair

here is TVJ's coverage of the service highlights: 
PM PLUS EXECUTIVE MEMBERS WORSHIP IN PORTMORE

Interesting times lie ahead

Peace and tolerance

H
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debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

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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.

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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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