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, June 22, 2012

SGL community members attacked in Kingston ..........

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Three men who are accused of being homosexuals were attacked and beaten in Craig Town, Kingston earlier yesterday by an angry crowd. According to CVM TV News, a crowd descended upon a house where three men and two women were caught in compromising positions. 

The men were attacked and beaten however the women were not touched. Two of the men managed to escape and the Police who arrived on the scene rescued the injured man from the clutches of the angry mob. One resident blasted the Police for rescuing the men stating if this is what tax payers were paying for the rescue of homosexuals.

Read more HERE

Coincidentally three of the persons involved in this episode were previously members of the dubiously closed Safe House Pilot project that was closed and the residents then displaced yet no help was really extended to them via the agencies that represent LGBT persons in Jamaica. Lest we forget these same agencies had an issue with the so called issue of the behaviour of the men at the time so all the residents were basically made to suffer the consequences without any agitations from the agencies opposing the closure of the all important and needed shelter services at the time.
Interesting the comments though from what seems to be members of the LGBT community, sadly this comes just as the same gender loving community is healing from the recent murders of 4 homeless msms in total and a popular community socialite whose throat was cut on June 13 plus other unconfirmed problems to do with homeless and displaced persons as well as other homophobic and lesbophobic incident reports, I guess it's the silly season early this year.

the comments from the Jones Town story read as follows:

"compromising positions'? the conducter them wah have the likkle school gyal dem a feel up pon the bus and a battery dem inna bus back.....that nuh compromising? Tax dollars? you worried bout tax dollars? u and ur ignorant self wah probably not working to get ur salary taxed, who have man a buy u things, wah tax nah come outta ur pocket a complain how tax dollars a spend? The ppl dem inna dem yard, wah unu a fass inna d ppl dem business for...u hear seh pickney or animal involve? nuh 5 adult of sound mind a do whatever...mine unu own business and leff di ppl dem.

This is outrageous...this is an epidemic especially in the west Indian community...if more of these men concentrated on building a more wholesome image of Caribbean culture,.and take care of their families and children,.we would be further ahead. Instead they maintain violence against homosexuals and women in some cases,.as well as uplifting a culture all about sex...like..isn't there anything more to talk about. If u hate gays, keep.it to yourself...that's someone's child they were beating..smh. Thank you Garnett for standing up and saying this is wrong, as well as being a good example to your son.
How much stupid our society will get? if your str8, gay or whatever in the world you want to be, every person in this country is paying tax and deserved the same rights, freedom and justice. People think with your head! those gays/bi/lesbians could have been your blood brother or sisters/extended family. 
For all the gay HATERS, just for one minute think.....if those persons that were beaten and attacked by mobs or citizens from the community, how would you truly feel about it knowing that this person you have grown up with and loved, is been killed for who they are? 

Its time we stop hurting each other. 
You know what is so interesting our str8 society? little did you know that Gays/BI/Lesbians are all over this country working for you, in the Hospitals, Lawyer, Doctors, Restaurants, Banks, Schools, Bus Drivers, Taxi Drivers, Gun man, Police, Government Ministers, Pastors, Church members....and the list goes on and on........Don't be quick to judge, yes the bible speaks about it.....its not your right to take judgement or anyone persons life. Let God judge each man for his actions.

So you're saying Jamaica doesn't have curry prion and all the negative aspect if the US? This isn't about politics it's about human rights. I'm not telling a man how to live. I know that if that crime was done here in the US someone would be arrested. You can't hate or hurt someone based on their sexual preference. And to show you how blind Jamaicans are: every song is about guns, "homosexuality" and murder. The only three artist that never did are Bob Marley, Berris Hammond and Garnet Silk. So if you want a homo free country why is ever artist talking about it. Don't you see they are forcing it upon you? No one have to accept anything but death and as human being we are entitled to live how we want. How different from Hitler are we if we kill segregate and hurt people because of their lifestyle? Time people start thinking for themselves.

Hating people for being Gay doesn't make me Jamaican....What people do in their damn bedroom is their own business and no one else's. Stop falling into this trap of associating hatred with being Jamaican. We are a people known for our loving nature and loving hearts..leave people alone....god alone can judge!

Why not get rid of the Don's and the GUN MEN that are going out at nites murdering people and taking home the blood money and goods for your nites belly and leaving one family in hurt and continuously pain......why not tell/call the police about that? NO you will never do that! Why? because your minds are corrupt and evil at humanity.

So the question is, Who did the Gays/BI sexuals/Lesbians troubled or killed? YOUR answer is "NOBODY".....

ENDS

video

Sadly this comes so soon after the awful aforementioned murders but something strikes me about this episode, Jones Town is a relatively small inner city community and almost everyone knows everyone else, the persons are relatively long time residents according to reports yet this now has come? knowing how prying eyes in communities such as this make it their business to know what going on, I get the feeling something else triggered this attack. There is also an element of remnants of homeless issues cross cutting here as some of the persons involved have been identified as recently displaced persons who were given some space at the house where the attack took place.

Above is the actual newscast and bearing in mind the cynicism of the residents that LGBT people are being protected more so than local residents are that may just add another layer to the already troublesome homo-negativity that pervades Jamaican society. Meanwhile the seemingly hypocritical expression by some activists via a Gleaner letter who now reside overseas that Gays Being Attacked Left, Right And Centre when these same activist's negligence towards displaced and homeless MSMs has caused this particular incident, the two main persons involved here were displaced msms who have been moving from friend to friend just to have a roof over their heads yet these groups and organizations use incidents like this to push themselves as concerned when they do no give a hoot about the really marginalized populations. As a former board member of one of the NGOs that closed a homeless shelter in 2010 why hasn't there been any serious moves to rectify the out of control MSM homelessness problems?

also see: 

The recent murders in the New Kingston area has once again brought the matter or homelessness squarely.

Here is an audio commentary on the incidents of recent:
(June 25th Update fixed)


Peace and tolerance

H

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The impact of Living out Loud as a Gay Jamaican

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By Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn




Courtesy of Kweisi Abbensetts Photos


It has been a week since the first story broke about my marriage to my beautiful wife, Emma Benn, at Silver Sands Villa in Duncans Trelawney, a parish in Jamaica.  In one week, our lives have changed.  It started with an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, “Lesbian Nuptials at Silver Sands.”  When and how this information was leaked, we are still uncertain.  But this article immediately garnered attention, enough to overwhelm the comments section of the online article:  “Could it be true?  Did two women really get married on the island known to refute same-sex unions?  What an ungodly occurrence! They should be charged! The Villa should be fined!”  The questions and admonishments stirred like a typhoon in the middle of the ocean.  What was meant to be a private, intimate ceremony with family and friends, as a re-enactment of our legal marriage a month before in New York where same-sex marriage was recently legalized, became an overnight sensation in Jamaica.  We made history.


“It is illegal … in Jamaica,” a pastor was quoted saying.  “Marriage is not a union between any two people; it must be between a man and a woman.  This kind of thing is not the norm and is not something you would expect to see in a Christian country.”


But in the midst of the reactions following the breaking news, there was something bigger; something my wife and I happened to be caught in the middle of by chance.  It wasn’t our wedding, it was the timing.  For in recent months Jamaica had been engaged in dialogue about homosexuality when Portia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica’s current Prime Minister, shocked the nation by saying she will hire a competent person to serve in her cabinet regardless of their sexual orientation.  For a Jamaican Prime Minister to make such a statement in a public debate is an anomaly in a culture so rigid about same-sex unions.  After this statement, Simpson-Miller won the election by a landslide.  This was followed by President Obama on May 9, 2012, when he publicly expressed that he supports same sex marriage.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a very prominent civil rights organization in the US, followed suit when they too expressed their support of same-sex marriage.


By the comments I’ve received in response to the Jamaica Gleaner article and the article in Ebony Magazine, I realize that our wedding has encouraged positive discourse about homosexuality and same sex marriages throughout the African Diaspora.   I’ve gotten messages from people all over the world—people living in West Africa, South Africa, Singapore, Quebec, Jamaica, and the United States.   What my wife and I did was spark the flame.   The gasoline was already there.  And so was the match.    All we did was express our love before family and friends in a place I still call home.   A place known for its homophobia, yet still embracing us.  If we did not have the support of the venue, many of its staff and villa owners, and the local community, our wedding would have been impossible.  We may not have been the first to do this, but the attention resonated from the social movement that was already in effect.   A social movement that was already orchestrated by the higher-ups that eventually trickled down to two women having their wedding in Jamaica—one Jamaican and the other one African American.   Two women.   Two women of the African Diaspora.   From two countries in active dialogue about the issue of same-sex unions.  Two women.   One love.   And an act of courage.


Jamaica was ready.  America was ready.  The world was already poised, watching, waiting.


But what touched me most were the messages of support from gay and lesbian individuals living in Jamaica.   Many have expressed how inspired they were by our courage to do such a thing.  A nineteen year old girl wrote that she was on the verge of giving up on life after a long internal battle with her sexuality.  But after reading the article about us in the Jamaica Gleaner, she was able to see for the first time that there is a bright side at the end of the tunnel.   After reflecting on comments like these, Emma and I realized that we were now held in high regard by those who saw us as revolutionaries.  We realize that our story is bigger than us.


I recalled how alone I felt during my coming out process in high school and how important it was for me to see other lesbians as role models or even to see representations of us.  Like that nineteen year old girl, I used to be under the dark and desolate impression that I was the only lesbian in Jamaica; that I was the only person walking around with supposedly “unnatural” feelings for other women.  But during my freshman year of college I met another Jamaican woman, a Jamaican-born poet by the name of Staceyann Chin who captivated me by her fearlessness as an out lesbian.


Now, Emma and I are proud that our courage could give a voice to so many who truly love their culture and homeland, but who, marginalized, ostracized, and often living in fear, never feel that love reciprocated. Our story is not a lesbian story or a Jamaican story, but a story of love between two people that is so amazing, we just could not keep it hidden from the world. We know that we have not started this movement, but we are determined to give it the extra push it so desperately needs.


________________________________


Meanwhile Today's Star News carried this story:



The activities of two female teachers at a high school in St Catherine have become a source of concern for other tutors, students and the general community.

"The two educators went to the U.S, and got married. Now they are back at school and it is a burden to many of us who are affiliated with the institution," a disgruntled teacher told THE STAR.

Information reaching THE STAR is that the women's story came to the fore after one of the newly weds started to boast to a man how her marriage status has changed. The Star was informed that both parties have posted the information about their marriage on social networking website Facebook.

"After that was revealed the school got full knowledge of it. They are lesbians and should keep it to themselves. It is not fair to the rest of us," a concerned staffer at the school said.

Efforts to speak with a school official on the matter proved futile yesterday.

Meanwhile, The Star was informed that some female students are being targeted by these misguided lesbian teachers.

While those who are concerned said they are trying to tolerate the sexual preference of everyone, they say the latest episode has placed them under undue pressure. "There are other isolated cases, how ever, this one is really affecting us to the extent that a teacher fainted upon hearing it," another staffer said.

When contacted, the police revealed that same sex marriage is illegal in Jamaica, however, since the alleged marriage occurred overseas, nothing can be done.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UN rights body hits out against violence based on sexual orientation

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The United Nations Human Rights Council on June 17th 2011expressed grave concern at the violence and discrimination experienced by people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and called for a global study to document the suffering they face.




In a resolution adopted narrowly in Geneva, the Council asked the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to carry out a study by December that details “discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world.”


The resolution calls on the study to also consider “how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”


Twenty-three countries voted in favour of the resolution, 19 countries voted against, and three others abstained.


A month ago UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that hate crimes against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people were on the rise around the world.


Ms. Pillay stressed that homophobia and transphobia were no different to sexism, racism or xenophobia.


“But whereas these last forms of prejudice are universally condemned by governments, homophobia and transphobia are too often overlooked,” she said.


Today’s resolution notes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that everyone is equal and entitled to the same rights and freedoms, regardless of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.


The text said the Council will convene a future panel discussion based on the facts contained in the study and have “constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”



bly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in which the Assembly stated that the Human Rights Council should be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in fair and equal manner,


Expressing grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity


1. Requests the High Commissioner to commission a study to be finalized by December 2011, to document discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, in all regions of the world, and how international human rights law can be used to end violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity;


2. Decides to convene a panel discussion during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, informed by the facts contained in the study commissioned by the High Commissioner and to have constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity;


3. Decides also that the panel will also discuss the appropriate follow-up to the recommendations of the study commissioned by the High Commissioner;


4. Decides to remain seized of this priority issue.

PrEP: time to rethink prevention, effectiveness and ethics?

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By Marsha Rosengarten


PrEP: time to rethink prevention, effectiveness and ethics?


One of the more controversial interventions proposed for HIV prevention in those who test HIV antibody negative and perceived to be at risk is pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) – a daily pill comprising one or two antiretroviral drugs manufactured by Gilead Inc.  Besides the mixed results from multi-site randomised controlled trials (RCTs) seeking to establish the efficacy of PrEP (see iPrEX versus Fem-PrEP), concerns have been raised about PrEP’s potential to undermine condom use, its cost implications in locales where treatment provision is still lacking and elsewhere, its potential to cause unwanted drug side-effects as well as possible drug resistance in those it fails to protect.


Nevertheless, continuing new infections and evidence that high adherence produces a strong protective effect are mobilising many public health authorities to devise feasible implementation models.


Most remarkable about the growing interest in PrEP is the exclusion of the social sciences from major forums where this work is taking place.  One such example is a two-day forum held in the UK by IAPAC on the dual topics of treatment as prevention (TasP) and PrEP.  The only non-biomedical speakers listed on the programme were a psychologist (speaking on adherence), a bioethicist, activists and public health officials linked to various national epidemics.


Indeed it won’t come as a surprise to many to know that despite the millions of dollars to support RCTs for PrEP, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have so far declined to support a substantial programme of social research on PrEP.  In fact if we consider the bioethical requirements imposed on the conduct of RCTs for PrEP and other biomedical interventions, there is no ethical requirement for research on the social dimensions of the intervention during or post RCTs. This applies even when RCTs demonstrate candidate efficacy.


The multiple ways in which PrEP will unfold across the epidemic and the absence of social scientific approaches to grapple with this multiplicity is worrying. Without doubt it underscores the need for this particular blog and other forums designed to enliven the social science contribution and increase its visibility. But the absence of social science also raises the question of what sort of social research should be called upon in response to the biomedicalisation of the epidemic.


Although not wanting to diminish what has already been achieved to date by the social and biomedical sciences, it is worth pointing out that much of this work has relied on the presupposition of an ‘HIV prevention user’ who exists prior to and remains largely distinct from the means of prevention or RCT technology.  Always already conceived as independent of the means of prevention, ‘she’ or ‘he’ is assessed according to whether ‘she’ or ‘he’ does or does not utilize prevention. If not, it is because:


i)      She/he is deficient in knowledge or understanding necessary for adopting safe practices.


ii)    She/he is deficient due to asymmetries in power and situated in such a way to be without services that help mitigate against unsafe practices, for example: housing, food, education, safe forms of employment without discrimination.


iii)  She/he is deficient in responsibility causing her or him to be unable to act safely.


Leaving aside any preferences we may have for one or even two of these accounts of ‘the user’, all can be said to assume and, indeed, enact HIV risk as if consisting of ‘stand-alone entities.’ These entities— for example, users, bodies, knowledge, rights, HIV, condoms, drugs, routes of transmission and so on—are imagined as present in a stable form prior to the risk event and ontologically distinct. 


This thinking is especially prevalent in RCT design, sometimes even the explanation for failure. The MIRA trial (Methods for Improving Reproductive Health in Africa) found that women in the candidate arm who were asked to use a diaphragm with a condom in sexual intercourse were less likely to sustain condom use than women in the placebo arm who were recommended to use only condoms.  In other words, the combining of presumed distinct prevention technologies gave rise to women in the candidate arm being more at risk of HIV infection than those in the placebo arm. 


Here the ‘additional’ object (the diaphragm) did not enhance but, instead, diminished the capacity of the more protective object (the condom).[1] In sum, a logic of ‘stand-alone’ entities undermined prevention in the candidate arm, rendered ineffectual the statistical calculations necessary to a worthwhile trial and, it can be argued, raises the question of whether the logic of ‘stand-alone’ entities leads to a practice devoid of satisfactory ethics.


Importantly, the women in the MIRA trial, like many others negotiating the demands of HIV in the midst of complex and sometimes competing social relations, remind us that ‘objects’ such as condoms, diaphragms, pills etc. are not stable and distinct but emerge with heterogeneous effects in their relations with other phenomena.


Ironically, biomedicine also offers a reminder of the dynamic co-affective nature of the epidemic, even if those practicing it fail to fully comprehend their objects in this way: the virus is of consequence when it is with the human body or in a laboratory study, not when it is independent of other phenomena. Similarly antiretroviral drugs are made effective in their use; or through the monitoring of adherence; or through their capacity to induce ‘side effects’ and so on.  They, too, acquire their effect only in relation to other phenomena and, moreover, it is their effect that we are concerned with.


As a guide to how we might extend the social science of prevention, I want to propose a rethinking of prevention as that which is effective because it is ethical.  By hinging effectiveness to ethics, the relational aspects of intervention come into view.  Put simply, if prevention is to take place—in this instance through the uptake of PrEP—it must perform an aligning with the varying interests of those it is intended for and, at the same time, affecting. More specifically, it must weigh in on some affects—most likely those of pleasure although this is complex territory in itself —well over others—such as coercion and homophobia —and do so by appealing in such a way that the effective user is able to emerge as such.[2]


By anticipating ethics as immanent in the affective work of practice it also becomes possible to become sensitized to dynamics that work against prevention. Particularly pertinent here is the manner in which PrEP has emerged. Its controversial nature cannot be disentangled from the technology of the ‘efficacy’ testing RCT and the legitimation of this process by bioethics. The legitimizing of RCTs in their current form where only a delimited set of effects are of concern—those that may incur more risks than benefits within the parameters of the RCT—excludes precisely that which the more everyday use of the candidate may generate.  Here I am thinking in particular of concerns that PrEP may give rise to what is termed ‘risk compensation’ or may alter gender relations in such a way that women take responsibility for prevention as has happened with the contraceptive pill.[3] Crudely put, how has it come to be ethically legitimate to spend millions of dollars on the efficacy testing of a biomedical agent[4] without providing research into how it will affect the epidemic? Or, to turn the gaze on those who would otherwise neglect us and, at the same time, open for consideration the achievement of biomedical prevention more generally:  has bioethics usurped the role of social science as such by granting biomedicine greater license for its activities but less viability for its products?  


These questions and a host of others could become part of a different approach to prevention, effectiveness and ethics. To reiterate, by conceiving of effectiveness as an achievement of ethical design it may be possible to shift the logic of the stand alone as evident in the deficit individual and as exemplified in the MIRA trial   and begin to work with PrEP as a highly relational entity. Working with PrEP means attending to how it emerges, including how it does so through the design of RCTs and, possibly, as part of the everyday relations involved in its uptake.




[1] Rosengarten M, Michael M, Mykhalovskiy E & Imrie J (2008)‘The Challenges of Technological Innovation in HIV’ Lancet Aug 2;372 (9636):357-8.


[2] See for example: Race, K (2009) Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs, Duke University Press, Durham & London; Gomart, E. (2004) ‘Surprised by Methadone: In Praise of Drug Substitution Treatment in a French Clinic’, Body & Society, 10 (2–3): 85–110.


[3] Rosengarten, M. & Michael, M. (2009) ‘The performative function of expectations in translating treatment to prevention: the case of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP’ Social Science & Medicine, Volume 69, Issue 7, October: 1049-1055.


[4] Peters A JTP, Micevska-Scharf M, Van Driel FTM, Jansen WHM (2010) ‘Where does public funding for HIV prevention go to? The case of condoms versus microbicides and vaccines’ Globalization and Health 6, 23:1-10



Monday, June 18, 2012

Caribbean States called upon to adopt OAS Resolution

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The Coalition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite, Transsexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTTTI) Latin American and Caribbean organizations (The Coalition) is calling on all Caribbean states to implement the Organisation of American States (OAS) Resolutions on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.
During the 42nd General Assembly of the OAS which took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia from 3 - 5 June, 2012 a fifth resolution “Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” was adopted. 

A result of long term advocacy of the Coalition, the resolution includes all the issues contained in the previous resolutions which call on Member States to introduce measures against discrimination and human rights violations and to implement public policies.

Additionally, the resolution requests that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) “prepare a study on legislation and provisions in force in the OAS Members States restricting the human rights of individuals by reason of their sexual orientation or gender identity and to prepare based on that study, guidelines aimed at promoting the decriminalization of homosexuality.” 

According to the Coalition “indifference, omission and complicity by many states in cases of discrimination and violence against the LGBTTTI community make those more severe and limit the enjoyment of the basic needs of our communities.” 

The Coalition noted that this situation is even more serious in the case of legislation in 11 Anglophone countries. 

It contends that in the Caribbean:

• 11 countries still criminalise consenting adult same-gender intimacy;

• two countries ban entry of homosexuals;

• one country imposes life sentences for consenting adult same-gender intimacy;

• homophobia contributes to the region having the second highest HIV and AIDS prevalence and incidence rates;

• there are no protections for domestic violence committed against LGBTTTI persons by their intimate partners or their families; and,

• Lesbian and bisexual women and invisible from any government data produced in the Caribbean.

With this in mind the Coalition states that Caribbean countries must adopt the fifth resolution of the 42nd General Assembly of the OAS and condemn all forms of hum rights violations against the LGBTTTI community, as well as take immediate steps to end all forms of discrimination against this vulnerable group.

USAID to launch LGBT Global Development Partnership Initiative

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The event seems to have been rescheduled for the fall according to sources.

Few details are publicly available but this is something big.

On Monday, the United States Agency for International Development(USAID) was to hold a gathering at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, to celebrate LGBT pride month and to launch their Global LGBT Equality Partnership.

USAID was launched by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to handle civilian foreign aid. It operates based on guidelines from the U.S. President, the U.S. Secretary of State and the National Security Council and its goal is to provide "economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States."

The Partnership would make it current USAID policy to make federal foreign aid available to agencies working to strengthen LGBT rights throughout the world although I assume it would limit it to a number of nations that meet certain diplomatic standards and to organizations that have the infrastructure to handle federal grants from the United States.



From the event press announcement:

Eighty-five countries and territories criminalize LGBT behavior, seven countries have a death penalty for same-sex sexual activity, and fewer than 50 countries punish anti-gay discrimination in full or in part. The partnership will enhance LGBT equality through providing a greater voice in civil society and political processes, increased access to services including police and justice systems and improved economic security.



The Partnership will cast a worldwide net but, speaking specifically about Latin America, a lot of the limited funding that LGBT-rights organizations get comes from local and European sources. One of the few exceptions when it comes to U.S. foundations has been the work of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice which has long recognized the benefit of supporting international LGBT work.

I know from sources that USAID has been laying the groundwork and already granted some awards. Details will have to wait another day.

The initiative follows a presidential directive last year to use U.S. foreign aid money to secure and protect LGBT rights throughout the world and the exemplary work done by the State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on these same issues.

On a related matter, today the U.S. Department of State released the following pride month message from Hillary in which she addresses several of the Department of State's international achievements.



Non Discrimination

Foreign assistance agencies will work toward a goal of ensuring that USG implementing partners mirror USG non-discrimination practices for both employees and beneficiaries in the implementation of their programs. We issued a hortatory policy on October 11 for non-discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, political affiliation. USAID’s policy supports the human rights of all individuals. USAID’s inclusive policy simultaneously ensuring that faith-based implementing partners retain an exemption from the Federal prohibition on employment discrimination on the basis of religion when the organization receives financial assistance from USAID.

Protection

USAID/OFDA promotes non-discrimination among disaster-affected populations as a core component of protection by recognizing LGBT individuals for their distinct needs among vulnerable groups within an affected population. USAID/OFDA has issued an Annual Program Statement (APS) for sexual and gender based violence, in humanitarian assistance settings, that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, in the areas for which organizations may submit proposals.

USAID has included LGBT concerns in our discussions regarding our programs in the following regions:
LAC (Colombia, Honduras, Jamaica)
AFR (Uganda, Mali, Malawi)
Asia (Pakistan through the film “Bol”)
E&E (Macedonia)


Through email conversations, meetings with civil society activists, and reading cable traffic, we are aware of LGBT concerns in the following USAID-presence countries:
Africa (Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Namibia, Malawi)
Asia (India, Nepal)
E&E (Russia)
LAC (Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua, regionally through a conference in St. Lucia through ARC International)

Give Gays Minimum Human Rights Now, Urges US

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Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer.

Andrew Wildes, Gleaner Writer

WASHINGTON:

A NEWLY established United States foreign policy is demanding that lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals in countries such as Jamaica be afforded a certain minimum standard of human rights.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer, who has responsibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights, told The Gleaner that the policy is intended to ensure people are not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

Baer said the US Department of State will not leave it up to the Jamaican society to decide at its own pace if and when it will acknowledge the basic human rights of homosexuals.

"No! They shouldn't," the deputy assistant secretary of state responded when asked whether individual nations should be left to decide for themselves on LGBT rights.

NEED TO ACT NOW

"They shouldn't be left to decide on their own, the same way they shouldn't be left to decide on their own whether women should be beaten up or imprisoned for being women or whether somebody of a particular religious group ought to be beaten up or imprisoned for being part of that religious group."

The US is, in effect, advocating a global minimum standard. Baer expects that the nitty-gritty issues "will be determined ideally through democratic governance and through citizenship participation".

"There are certain minimum standards that all societies are meant to protect for each person and people shouldn't be thrown in jail or killed for who they are," he added.

At the same time, the deputy assistant secretary of state says LGBT rights are no longer a bottom draw, back door issue for the Department of State.

"There was some engagement before Secretary Clinton, but certainly Secretary Clinton has made it institutionally front and centre," said Baer.

MISUNDERSTOOD COMMENTS

Two years ago, Clinton sent a cable to all US ambassadors across the world saying, in Baer's words, "I want you to engage on these issues the same way you do on the rights of people with disabilities, or women, or religious or ethnic minorities - this is part of our human-rights policy."

Baer took pains to note that Clinton's speech on the subject seven months ago was misunderstood. On International Human Rights Day, Clinton argued that the human rights of LGBT people are no different from the human rights of any other individual.

"There has been a misunderstanding ... that in that speech she also articulated that there was some sort of new conditionally possibility with US assistance based on this," Baer said.

He continued: "What she said was that we would use our assistance policies to help further these human-rights objectives ... . What she was getting at was an affirmative ticking ... . That means paying attention when you are designing a programme and making sure you are being fully inclusive, that populations that are at risk, that are marginalised in societies are included and are at the table. That's an affirmative policy goal that is part of our assistance."
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Urgent Need to discuss sex & sexuality II

Following a cowardly decision by the Minister(try) of Education to withdraw an all important Health Family Life, HFLE Manual on sex and sexuality I examine the possible reasons why we have the homo-negative challenges on the backdrop of a missing multi-generational understanding of sexuality and the focus on sexual reproductive activity in the curriculum.

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



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.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

Some Popular Posts

Are you ready to fight for gay rights and freedoms?? (multiple answers are allowed)

Do you think effeminate men put themselves at risk by being "real" in public?

Did U Find This Blog Informative???

Blog Roll

What do you think is the most important area of HIV treatment research today?

Do you think Lesbians could use their tolerance advantage to help push for gay rights in Jamaica??

Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide

Violence and venom force gay Jamaicans to hide a 2009 Word focus report where the history of the major explosion of homeless MSM occurred and references to the party DVD that was leaked to the bootleg market which exposed many unsuspecting patrons to the public (3:59), also the caustic remarks made by former member of Parliament in the then JLP administration. The agencies at the time were also highlighted and the homo negative and homophobic violence met by ordinary Jamaican same gender loving men. The late founder of the CVC, former ED of JASL and JFLAG Dr. Robert Carr was also interviewed. At 4:42 that MSM was still homeless to 2012 but has managed to eek out a living but being ever so cautious as his face is recognizable from the exposed party DVD, he has been slowly making his way to recovery despite the very slow pace

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

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

This Day in History