I am an advocate for photographic and video evidence which often are missing from such dossiers when they are compiled.
Sadly, this is only partially true.
Human Rights Watch has written two reports on violence against LGBT Jamaicans in the last 10 years.
The first, from 2004, Hated to Death, showed that abuse by police was rife and "a fact of life" for many LGBT Jamaicans in all communities where Human Rights Watch conducted research. At the time, and despite strong evidence to the contrary, police were reluctant to acknowledge homophobic hate crimes, which they characterised as "crimes of passion". The senior superintendent at the Kingston police station told Human Rights Watch: "We never have any cases of gay men being beaten up."
In 2011, the Jamaican Constabulary Force introduced a Policy on Diversity, developed in consultation with the Jamaican advocacy group J-FLAG. The policy is designed to ensure that vulnerable groups, including LGBT people, can safely file police reports. The Ministry of National Security has also developed tools to monitor instances of crime, including provisions for disaggregated data on violence against LGBT people.
These are good initiatives, but they have not worked well in practice.
Here is the evidence: More than half of the 71 LGBT people interviewed for the 2014 report had experienced some form of violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nineteen reported the crimes to the police, who took formal statements in only eight cases. Victims were aware of arrests by police in only four of the 56 cases of violence documented by Human Rights Watch. The Government does not need to "beat up gays" to fail them.
While the Jamaican Government has shown a willingness to acknowledge the violence, more can, and should, be done.
The prime minister and other leaders should consistently condemn violence and discrimination. Police should undertake rigorous investigations into all allegations of anti-LGBT hate crimes, improve monitoring of the Policy on Diversity, and strengthen police training on LGBT rights. Jamaica's 1864 buggery law gives social sanction to hostility and discrimination and should be repealed.
Justice Minister Mark Golding has acknowledged the need for targeted anti-discrimination legislation to address violations against certain groups in society. Such legislation, inclusive of LGBT people, would be a clear signal that discrimination has no place in Jamaica. Parliament should strike down all discriminatory laws and replace them with laws that protect Jamaicans from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Yesterday, President Obama co-chaired a meeting of CARICOM heads of government in Jamaica, ahead of the Summit of the Americas in Panama. He will hold bilateral discussions on matters of mutual interest with Prime Minister Simpson Miller. The spokesperson for the National Security Council, Ned Price, has reportedly said: "We are committed to advancing human rights for all, including LGBT individuals. Indeed, we routinely raise issues of anti-LGBT discrimination and violence with foreign counterparts, including the Jamaican Government."
While the White House has declined to say whether Obama will talk about the rights of LGBT people on this visit, this will be a good opportunity to do so. Under Portia Simpson Miller's watch, this should be an entirely uncontroversial topic and one that does not need to be tiptoed around.
A recent report alongside a very short 30 second video clip suggesting the person therein was stoned because he was gay unverified, and no credible information included has only sought to ruffle feathers and the disbelief quotient rises, see: Alleged Gay Youth Stoned to Death in Jamaica (VIDEO) it has since emerged the beating was a mobbing of an alleged thief and not a homophobic matter.
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‘Idiot plan that!’ - Many Jamaicans against Buggery Law review ............... 2011
Homophobic Killing or What 2011
NO GAY RAGE - Homosexuals Are Not Targeted For Violent Crime, Say Experts
Murder, Homelessness and fallouts ..................................
Justice Minister reiterates his personal position on the Buggery Law, Anal Intercourse, Consent & Privacy
Promised (I mean suggested) Conscience vote on Buggery law not a priority right now (yet again) says PM
So Dean Moriah's murder was NOT a homophobic killing ....... ethical issues in advocacy arise yet again
Foreign Affairs Minister says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica
Promised Conscience Vote on Buggery in Jamaica was a fluke
PNP's Damion Crawford on Homosexuality's legality .
Non Governmental Organization Consultant says JLP suggested Referendum on Buggery is not a good idea
Opposition Leader sides with antigay groups on Referendum on The Buggery Law
PNP’s Bobby Pickersgill differs on Conscience Vote route to decide on Buggery Law
PNP's Damion Crawford says it's highly unlikely buggery review will happen ........ it's not important now
The PNP's first 100 days ............. buggery review looks far away
PNP Wins ................Hope for LGBT People ??
CVM TV @ Sunrise on the Buggery review & JFLAG's 100 days hope for meeting with PM
On Buggery and gays in cabinets with politics ............ some responses .
Jamaican LGBT Advocacy credibility takes another blow thanks to UK based Gay Star News
Integrity of Jamaican LGBT Advocate Questioned, named as student loan delinquent
New Imperialists in Pink
Murder Music Campaign needs local leadership and Gov’t Hush Hush On Gay Pressure …As Promoters Forced To Pull Queen Ifrica From Canada Show
Rev Al Miller’s late response to Dwayne Jones’ Murder & Respect heterosexuals demand
Stand Firm Against Gay Activists, Madam PM 2015 from veteran anti gay Christian lawyer Shirley Richards
Sizzla bats for Queen Ifrica as expected
Queen Ifrica's "Freedom of Speech" & advocacy found wanting
'I SPOKE FOR WHAT I BELIEVED IN' - Queen Ifrica defends Grand Gala performance after JFLAG backlash