Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's The Church That Needs Salvation - Attack on Gays ..........

Attorney at law Gordon Robinson has been very vocal lately and I am inclined to agree with him on most things in as far as his tolerant approach to homosexuality, some weeks ago he had penned "Why Gay Rights" where he said among other things "I’m repeatedly asked why I so vociferously support gay rights, especially in the face of Jamaica’s deep-rooted fear of homosexuality (homophobia)."

Now comes his latest opinion piece that I caught on to a little late but worth sharing in as far as the church is concerned as some of their representatives misinterpret or deliberately miscontrue the word of God to suit their anti gay agenda thus denying supposed rights being sought. Maybe he may want to consider the use of the word "Gays" as these days it has a negative connotation  a suggestion I will make to him via email also this short 2009 post I did: What is the church really about? and Is there a greater sin?

Here is a section of Mr Robinson's piece taken from last Sundays paper


Gordon Robinson


ATTACK ON GAYS

But the most depraved demonisation is saved for homosexuals, against whom its most violent language is used.

As a direct result of churches preaching hatred towards homosexuals, incidents like the recent UTech atrocity regularly occur. Educated elite, brainwashed by the Church's violent rhetoric, chased a suspected homosexual with malevolent intent. Imagine the poor fox, hounds baying at his heels, finally spotting sanctuary in a security guard post. But there was no sanctuary. Instead, he was viciously beaten while the degenerate mob shrieked for blood and begged to participate in the 'fun'.

photo not included in the original article see Gay Jamaica Watch for the running entry 

Even more revealing than the attack was the subsequently ambivalent condemnation by some. A cautious response by shadowy group Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) couldn't muster an unconditional denunciation. It began: "All persons, whether heterosexual or otherwise, should be circumspect in their sexual conduct." What's that about? If, as mealy-mouthed JCSC follows up, "Indiscretion cannot, however, be justification for the violence which was captured on video," why the gratuitous lecture on discretion?

Who among us always has control of sexual urges? 

Those among you always discreet with your sexual attentions may deliver the first lecture on 'discretion'. We're assailed daily, on movie/TV screens; in music videos; on the beaches, streets and parks with explicit images and actions heterosexual from the innocent holding of hands or kiss, to simulation of the sex act itself. What's JCSC warbling on about? If a female rape victim wore a miniskirt, was she complicit? Should she 'be more circumspect'? If two boys kiss (or whatever) in a bathroom and are violently beaten, are they to blame?

HYPOCRISY

We're insensitive, hypocritical and narcissistic when it comes to sex. If a boy and girl are caught having sex on a car back seat, apart from a firm 'tsk tsk', no harm will befall them. But, let it be two boys!

Churches will say they don't preach hate, only disagreement with homosexual practice. Churches complain gays interfere with their freedom of speech by protesting church condemnation of homosexuality.

Seriously? Does freedom of speech include preaching violence against others? If not, let's dissect exactly what churches preach. No pastor in a pulpit simply says, "I disagree with homosexuality." No siree. It's "an abomination unto the Lord". Without more, what'd you expect a largely uneducated, homophobic congregation to consider doing with 'abominations'?

But, if they're uncertain, the Church regularly reminds them God killed the 'abominable' in Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:4-5; 24-25). Then, there's Leviticus 20:13? "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death."

Don't obfuscate. It's plain, unadulterated hatred, which indoctrinates mindless sheep (churchgoers) to violence. Is the UTech incident really a surprise or aberration? Beware any man who asserts he's God's messenger. He's more likely to be God's mess.

They're always throwin' goodness at you.

But, with a little bit of luck, a man can duck!"

Lyrics quoted are from songwriters Alan Jay Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) as performed in 'My Fair Lady' by legendary British comic Stanley Holloway.

Peace and love.

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. 

Meanwhile the same day this article was published a discussion with an anti gay, anti-buggery and anti abortionist group The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS through a representative on a religious discussion program went all out to paint homosexual families as dangerous and gay men are about predatory behaviours and are incapable of raising families thus they should not be allowed gay marriage rights.

The typical HIV is a gay disease ambit was also implied several times during the program On the matter of gay marriage the guest on the show said “I think it is completely dysfunctional and I say so without reservation, gender roles are important, gender is not socially constructed and I think that one of the biggest arguments that the LGBT proponents try to push that gender is just about how you feel like acting, it’s not how you feel like acting we are men and women are physiologically different and it’s important to acknowledge those differences and to appreciate them and to allow children to be raised in a home where their gender differences from their siblings where the gender differences between two parents are appreciated and acknowledged and better understood ………….. I don’t believe in two men raising a child or two women raising a child ……………. speaking as a young woman there are a lot of things about what I expect to learn from men like how I should expect men to treat me based on how I grew up seeing my father treating my mother.”

“I wouldn’t have learnt that if I had two mothers ……………… “
She referred to Massachusetts as one of the first states to legalize gay marriage and some study she was unable to name and place which claimed to have looked at children who are in same gender parented homes versus heterosexual households and from memory (“if my memory serves me correct") she said girls raised by two mothers were 50 – 70 times more likely to turn out lesbian when they grew up. She claimed children in those same gender loving relation households are naturalised to believing so they act out on this later.

See more here: 


Not to mention the feared gay marriage agitation (if buggery is decriminalized) as expressed here in this video sequence I put together by none other than Miss Shirley from a documentary:



also see: The US Supreme Court's Four Most Likely Moves On Gay marriage 

and here she is again with her trusted aid Dr Wayne West


Homosexuality And Abortion In The Society (Jamaica)



Peace and tolerance

H

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gay Jamaican activist to sue Trinidad & Tobago entry ban on gays sans consulting local LGBT groups there .............

As per usual Mr. Maurice Tomlinson has landed himself in the hot water (yet again) with LGBT activists in carrying out an action without consulting the relevant persons or at least getting their knowledge of the intended actions known. This is a typical problem for us here locally for years by not only him but also local rights group Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, JFLAG and others. The last time he irked many locals and community influentials was that infamous comment he made on CVM TV's Live @ 7 in September after the eviction of the homeless men from Cargill Avenue where he used an old programmatic addage that gay men do not have access to condoms while professing knowledge of the plight of the men when in fact in the very newsclip in August had the movers holding the very condoms the men received from the NON LGBT agencies of all places who saw the men more frequently than the responsible ones should via street based interventions. Narcissism? he has been accused before of infusing himself in things while benefiting from the silence from a gullible LGBT community. 

To effect change I think you must be able to seek common ground and honest, frank and thoughtful dialogue with those on the ground not a high horse mentality. 

Mr Tomlinson has repeatedly taken on issues that he is not familiar with and "ran with them" as a self appointed spokesperson without the full facts at hand, the homeless msm issue is one such matter despite his claim of not residing here as he says he had to controversially leave Jamaica via asylum (at first) due to death threats against his life yet he has been here since live on television granting interviews, a marriage to a Canadian man and other matters which has had several questions beings asked about his actual motives. He has been getting a lot of "friendly" coverage from an online publication named GayStarNews who have repeatedly used unconventional tactics to sensationalise and embellish stories on Jamaican LGBT matters. The series of meetings for example of local stakeholders that led up to the involvement of the police with homeless msms in New Kingston was reported by the GayStarNews as - 

Anti-gay hate forces closure of Jamaica gay homeless center

when in fact that was NOT the case as the comments below the article shows as persons involved in the defunct Safe House Pilot project spoke out but the article remains the same as the publications administrators/editors see it fit to continue their intellectual deception and Mr Tomlinson was a board member of the agency responsible at the time Jamaica AIDS Support for Life(JASL). Yet when he was challenged by myself, other readers and the very founder of the previous Jamaica AIDS Support safe house pilot shelter he did not find it fit and or ethically responsible to have the article edited or pulled as he was quoted in it instead he referred us to the editor whom we have contacted but yet no change in the piece which clearly suggests an agenda to all concerned that is less than ethically sound. He brushed off our concerns as cynicism and that he knows all that is best for LGBT advocacy, this self absorbed way of doing business is problematic for all involved. There have been other instances of this "pressing ahead no matter what others think" by Mr Tomlinson without clear the proper consultation with the relevant constituents.

Now the local group in Trinidad THE Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation, CAISO has come out expressing some concerns post Mr Tomlinson's action with support from AIDSFREEWORLD of which he is the Legal Advisor, an official of the group expressed the following (READ CAREFULLY):


After we learned by e-mail, along with others, about AIDS Free World's plans to challenge our immigration law, when they invited us to join in a media announcement, CAISO's board issued the following communiqué on 1 November. We learned of their media release today elsewhere.

Further to initial engagements by our Executive Director, Colin Robinson, which took place in light of the sudden urgency imposed by AIDS Free World's notification, there has been an opportunity for the Board of CAISO to consult more broadly and come to some agreement on this matter.

CAISO wishes to communicate the following in response to the indication by AIDS Free World that Maurice Tomlinson intends to challenge the immigration law before the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ and to launch an attendant media campaign.

At 4pm on October 30, AIDS Free World (AFW) Legal Adviser, Maurice Tomlinson, emailed our Executive Director and a number of Caribbean stakeholders a similar letter from the co-directors of his employer, Stephen Lewis and Paula Donovan. The letter indicated that the North American organization would be supporting a legal challenge by its employee Tomlinson, a Jamaican citizen and gay man, who had already written to the Jamaican Government with a view to initiating a challenge under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas of the provision in Trinidad and Tobago's Immigration law that allows, amongst other people, the exclusion of homosexuals. Further, it indicated that he intended to pursue the matter to the Caribbean Court of Justice. CAISO like others, was invited to join AFW in a public statement on the action to be released to the media two days later.

We have always been concerned with and done advocacy around the Immigration Act, as with all discriminatory laws, policies and attitudes. The archaic provisions of the Act that have caught AFW's attention regarding people with disabilities, gays and lesbians and others are reprehensible and ought to have no place in modern law. We wish to make it clear that we do not intend to oppose Maurice taking advantage of the legal recourse to which he is entitled as a CARICOM citizen.

Presuming, based on Caribbean Governments' track records on these issues and Maurice's intimations, that this does end up being a legal challenge, we would like to have a very clear idea of what the role of AFW will be both in the challenge and any proposed press campaign. We are concerned about the negative effects we have already experienced in the region as a result of international organizations publicly and deliberately or otherwise appearing to be leading challenges to domestic legislation.

Furthermore, a letter from AIDS Free World dated October 30th informing us that a course of action has been chosen and that a press release is intended to be issued 2 days later is unsatisfactory, appears high handed and stands in stark contrast to notions of Caribbean collegiality which Maurice has drawn on in further communication by him to suggest that this plan of action should enjoy our wholehearted support . Expressions of an interest in "building consensus" do not ring true in the face of that timeframe and those conditions.

The social and political effects (particularly the negative ones) of this challenge will be felt most strongly in Trinidad and Tobago and it would seem that as such, local stakeholders should have been consulted in a meaningful way.

Consultation would have allowed us to consider the strategy with other legal minds and make suggestions; consider how this can fit into the strategy we have been implementing domestically over the past few years; consider with local groups how we manage and move forward; participate in the mobilization of regional stakeholders; and mobilize the local community so that they can understand the implications of Maurice's actions and strategize around how we can support.

We also have difficulty understanding the necessity for a press campaign at such an early stage and are concerned that it may do more harm than good. The mere prospect of this challenge can suddenly and significantly change the context in which Trinbagonian GLBT persons find themselves living.

In all the circumstances we are suggesting that the strategy with respect to a number of matters, but particularly around media, be discussed if it is planned to move forward. We trust that while claiming his own rights, Maurice is ultimately concerned with improving the lives of LGBT citizens in the region and that that objective will not be sacrificed at the altar of personal or institutional imperatives with respect to publicity. Indeed, some of Maurice's own experiences demonstrate both the unpredictability and potential force of media backlash.

Along those lines, we also wish to encourage Maurice and his employers to be very mindful that while Maurice may be the litigant, the outcomes, foreseeable and unforeseeable, do not only affect him but rather affect an entire community and to be guided accordingly.

We do hope that moving forward, engagements can be more in a spirit of collaboration.

ENDS

The CAISO official also expressed the following:

AFW's respectful and flexible engagement beforehand with local stakeholders would have been the right way to address mitigation and to be true to their words in GayStarNews about "uniting, indigenous groups and international groups". 
CAISO hasn't seen Maurice's letter, nor has AFW included us and our lawyers in strategy. And they've ignored our request to re-examine the value of going to the media. It's what I was referencing earlier about one-man, know-what's-best activism. It's a profound lesson for us about how groups like AFW operate in the region and about our own work at regional collaboration and movement building. There's no winning on the principles at this point. But it does call for a hard examination of our geopolitics in the region.

To be fair, though, it is an immigration law, so it affects non-nationals, and probably only they have standing to sue. So Maurice is suing for his own rights. We'd have preferred that domestic folks have a critical role in decisions about the best strategy for litigating LGBT issues here since this suit will affect other political and legal opportunities for T&T citizens that AFW hasn't considered. The lawsuit doesn't offend us so much as the process, in particular the rush to media, and none of the questions we raised on Nov. 1 AFW has taken care to respond to. The sovereignty of T&T as a state isn't the issue; respect for and collaboration with local LGBT communities is. Citing the "well established best practice of 'nothing for us without us'", AFW wrote us and other local groups to tell us that Maurice had already initiated the challenge.

Those here in Jamaica who are used to Mr Tomlinson's style are not surprised by this latest saga but what is troubling to me is that the very folks who defended him from criticisms before of this ongoing concern are now the ones feeling the pinch of his actions, hope they learn from all this.

The subsequent interview on November 28th on RJR's Beyond The Headlines with host Dionne Jackson Miller revealed to me that something was off as Mr. Tomlinson seemed to struggle at points to answer the questions asked of him, he used UNAIDS regional location in Trinidad and his access to the regional AIDS response activities there but at carnival time year in year out several LGBT Jamaicans make the trip without problems, makes one wonder what it really going on here? As for the suit against the very sister station (TVJ) to RJR 94FM where he was being interviewed and whether he has an agenda to challenge every law that seem hostile to homosexuals? he said "The fact is these challenges coincidentally occurred within short order of each other the objective is clear on the part of AIDSFREEWORLD we exist as an organization to remove any structural barriers which impede the response to HIV and AIDS within the region, the TV challenge happened because the television stations would not allow us to air a tolerance ad which we had submitted to them some time in March (an action by the way the local LGBT community was not aware of until the news of the suit came via a press release and GSN story, evidence yet again of the "run with it" attitude) this challenge arose because I got the invitation to attend meetings in December, so the timing is coincidental we certainly wish to remove not only laws but any policies which will restrict the HIV response within the region........" ironically he continued with the driving underground bit and persons not getting HIV treatment this is despite the recent report suggesting more persons are getting such ARVs and the infections rates nationally are going down with the free meds now available, then came this " ...... there are many countries in the region that have had discriminatory laws and policies and working with groups on the ground we will identify which ones we should challenge either legislatively .........." but this very expression by CAISO of the lack of consultation by himself and AFW indicates otherwise, so the interview was a dress up or damage control method then we can conclude.

Let us be mindful and we also here need to follow CAISO's lead, pity it took a foreign ally to show our lack of vigilance up on those who ought to be vigilant for rights and fairness and to reign in these seeming out of control and drunk with power advocates we MUST demand that no action be taken supposedly on our behalf before full consultation as are the two buggery law challenges that now lay before us and word has it that both parties did not consult each other and that the previous litigant (AFW et al) through IACHR found out about the second challenge by Gareth Henry (former JFLAG head) in the media. Everyone's doing there own thing it seems in a first past the post race. 

The debate continues as Mr Tomlinson had responded by saying that "This is a blatant and deliberate misrepresentation and that CAISO has been aware of the filing of this matter for at least 2 weeks before we went to press. We have also received indication that other LGBT groups in Trinidad support this action, even though CAISO does not. Finally, this is properly an AIDS-Free World matter that I suggested to the organization. This does not only concern my access to Trinidad, but also the location of a UN agency in a country where its major constituents have no legal right to enter. AFW did not know about this law until I researched and brought it to their attention. As an international NGO they were concerned about seeming to be interfering in a regional issue, and only agreed that this was necessary after a phone call with UNAIDS. I would have preferred local support (and that was the nature of the first press release which CAISO rejected in early November). However, I decided to proceed with the challenge in this form because of the international implications of the Immigration Law. I will close by pointing out that only an aggrieved party can bring a legal action of this sort. I became such a party after UNFPA issued the invitation to me. I therefore initiated the action (as I had expressed to Colin earlier this year that I was planning to do) but did not issue a press release before seeking local support. When I received another invitation (this time from CARICOM) I again advised regional partners of the action and then issued my press release. I would hope that those regional partners who have privately expressed support for this action will now be bold enough to issue their own supportive press statements."

You decide readers.

Peace and tolerance

H

Monday, November 26, 2012

Continued Trans erasure/invisibility by Jamaican advocates ..............

As Transgender Awareness Week and indeed Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov 20) passed not a peep came from local LGBT rights based group The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, JFLAG (and their allies) albeit that its hands are supposedly full in securing the long awaited controversial homeless shelter idea space that was to deal with the out of control problem of msms/pre-op trans homelessness. In a town hall meeting arranged by the Global Fund's Country Control Mechanism CCM representative of Jamaica on November 7th and which had present JFLAG, JASL and others it was poorly attended (only 18 persons) giving us clear evidence yet again of how cynical and disinterested the general LGBT population has become of their stewardship. The Executive Director of the agency Mr. Dane Lewis after fielding questions from myself and others present regarding the makeup of the shelter and the programs therein promised to provide more information on the shelter which was slated to have been opened on December 1, World AIDS Day now word has come that that may not happen after all as talks seemed to have stalled with the managers of the intended sight thus leaving the displaced and homeless to remain out there a little while yet. 
Assessments regarding the population were to have been done and were to be readied by November 14 for persons who were in the meeting to peruse and to share elsewhere but still no word to date has come regarding the follow up which makes one wonder why even bother when follow up was never one of the agency's strong suits yet they desire community support. 

It works both ways please!!!!!!!!!!



As the awareness week itself passed I was out of town for some time and was involved in a gay men's health workshop but was hoping that someone would have at least remembered the recognition and even as JFLAG tries to clean its image locally with the community nothing came from them regarding this feat not even the worldwide November 25th violence against women call as well in the face of rising challenges in the same gender loving and cisgender women communities locally, we certainly do not expect the J to be all things to all people but if it says it wants to be the leader on the ground while engendering cohesiveness it cannot do so in a vacuum and aloof from the very populations it serves while not following up on promised action items from a simple forumatic activity. I am tired of the limp wristed approach to doing business for and behalf of the community, while apologists would curse anyone out if they try to express any frustration on their failure to be more strident and proactive and the buggery review/repeal/decrim is the ultimate prize or carrot before the eager donkey. I needn't remind us of how long it took for them to finally respond to homelessness after repeated public spectacles as highlighted by the press, the Cargill Avenue eviction comes to mind, go HERE to see it on YOUTUBE

Home
This transphobia by default as I call it is coming on the heels of our counterparts in the United States examining their own visibility via the recent GLAAD study that looked at images in media over the last ten years.

GLAAD among other things found:

Transgender characters were cast in a "victim" role at least 40% of the time.
Transgender characters were cast as killers or villains in at least 21% of the catalogued episodes and storylines.
The most common profession transgender characters were depicted as having was that of sex workers, which a fifth of all characters were depicted as (20%).
Anti-transgender slurs, language and dialogue was present in at least 61% of the catalogued episodes and storylines.

Some of the exploitive and negative representatives included:
CSI (CBS), which not only featured a transgender serial killer who murdered his own mother, but scenes in which transgender murder victims were openly mocked by the show's lead characters while examining their bodies and crime scenes.
The Cleveland Show (Fox), in which a man vomits on screen for a lengthy period of time after discovering he had slept with a transgender character. The episode also contained anti-trans language and defamatory characterizations.
Nip/Tuck (FX), which featured a storyline about a transgender woman who regretted her transition, a transgender sex worker being beaten, and an entire season about a psychopathic trans woman depicted as a baby-stealing sexual predator who sleeps with her own son.


Meanwhile a criticism I have of the flag agency (even while serving) over the years regarding their engaging the trans community through media is that their website in this case still has gone unchecked and rectified as it only speaks to a wikipedia definition of what transgenderism is and not what ongoing programs are being carried out with, for and by the T community. 

As part of its five year strategic plan the J says that one of its main objectives is to make themselves into an umbrella group to improve service to the LGBT community but L B & T issues are often times left out of the conversations and activities and when members of such groups try to raise their own profiles even by branching off they are told Jamaica does not need another LGBT group and that we MUST work with JFLAG. The definitive strategy to achieve this umbrella status is to in their words - strong proactive leadership while becoming national in scope (while all revolves around Kingston) with a majority of the community agreeing that they are generally experiencing an acceptable level of cohesion. But JFLAG seems still not to realise that by not speaking about, of or to the groups under the LBT categories it is in effect committing one of the most egregious of infractions LBT-invisibility!!!!!!!!!! while gay men's issues are full front and centre (not to mention buggery an act which I enjoy), however the UTECH physical abuse comes to mind, a terrible episode indeed although it was a non penetrative same sex act that was alleged to have occurred yet a full length press release came from the J yet we lost a lesbian by murder just a month before in the Dunoon Road area and not a word yet plus the murder of popular trans socialite Dolly Minaj(photo immediately below) last year but still no word or recognition, if it were a gay man well we know what would have happened to include the usual press release ............ and the media rounds.


while
Let us also not forget the murder of this rising star (photo immediately above) last year as well but no word came from the J either, although the brother of the deceased reportedly tried to get assistance from the J but to no avail, was it because she is a woman and the J is mostly a male dominated structure insensitive to the issues it ought to properly represent? Her memorial is slated for December 1, 2012 at a private function of which I hope to attend and to see at least one J representative there.

The recent Miss World LGBT competition which I thought the agency would have aligned themselves far more than they did than just the Office Admin being a judge and the almost mendicant requests the planners had to do to get use of the office space for the pre judging spoke volumes to me, a few of the contestants are transgender persons but no formal assistance came or even financial help to have the entrants who needed such to prepare themselves for the tasks at the time or for basic things such as makeup, the finals were held last Saturday much to disappointing numbers of patrons than in previous years. 

A smaller group that faced some unexpected opposition from key persons in advocacy has been working for some time with some connected persons but of course the lack of funding is their major setback but notwithstanding several workshops have been conducted and a mentorship series is ongoing. Another group as founded by a leading trans voice has been working as well named Aphrodite's Pride but as with most new entities they get very little support from agencies such as JFLAG as they, the J, feel threatened by each new voice that decides to go independent.



The photos above shows one of my first direct cases I handled back in the day when one of our trans sisters who was displaced at the time was viciously attacked in New Kingston and mistaken to be a cisgender woman and where the two hoodlums who committed the act tried to also rape her. It was also one of those turning points in terms of the police handling matters of this nature as they were the ones who took her to the Kingston Public hospital and also investigated the matter for weeks on end but to no avail as she could not recount the physical attributes of the men. We engaged the officers (mostly by phone) for weeks but what was refreshing in the end were the questions and curiosity that followed about the difference between a cross dresser as a drag queen versus a pre-operative transgender woman, it was learning curve/teaching moment for all involved. There are still some concerns with the looping of transgender issues with msm issues particularly aesthetical matters regarding cross dressing presentations versus gender or body dysmorphia in individuals.

About

Allies like myself do try to raise the issues but that is not nearly enough to begin tor raise the overall profile of Transgenderism in Jamaica overall. Some concerns also exist as to the confusion surrounding gender or body dismorphia or dysmorpic disorder versus cross dressing/drag aesthetics for entertainment, something that needs to be cleared properly as there has been some tension with the two populations involved i.e. drag queens versus pre-operative trans women who present a female aesthetic permanently.

Some things for us to reflect on. Inclusivity seems to be only a word for the relevant groups but it must be achieved for any meaningful growth to take place or for us to ask for tolerance elsewhere.

Our neighbours 90 miles away have made history in recent days as they elected their first transgender official there:

image
Adela Hernandez, born genetically male, was incarcerated in the 1980s for “dangerousness” a rather backward sounding charge these days but with a national sensitization from CENESEX via television Cuba has been exposed to sex and sexuality education and reproductive education at the same time while our Ministry of Education officials run to the hills after just the mention of anal sex and homosexuality in a guided imagery activity via a home and family life curriculum. More on the HFLE fiasco HERE The landmark appointment of Adela Hernandez as Cuba’s first transgender elected officer has made history in the Caribbean communist country. Forty-eight-year-old Hernandez was elected delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien, in the central province of Villa Clara, earlier this month.

Adela Hernandez, who was born genetically male, has travelled a rocky road to reach her destination, bearing the brunt of discrimination and harsh punitive measures along the way.
She has lived as a transgender woman since childhood, with her openness drawing familial and legal repercussions. In the 1980s she endured incarceration for “dangerousness.”

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights have come a long way in Cuba, where openly gay individuals were punished for their homosexuality following the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

Gays were fired from their jobs, jailed and sent to “re-education camps” until homosexuality was technically decriminalized in 1979.

The country’s perceptions of homosexuality appear to have gradually evolved over the past 30 years, and in 2010 former Cuban president Fidel Castro publicly took responsibility for the persecution of the nation’s gays.



While in Europe an EU broad based study to include Croatia was released today on discrimination with a slant on sexual orientation and gender identity, a first of its kind there where it has revealed that 45% across the EU think transgender people face discrimination, and 42% disagree. More HERE


Peace and tolerance

H

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gay Liberation Network Protests Beenieman's Chicago performance ...

Firstly here is the so called apology earlier this year despite today being the International Day of Tolerance take into consideration his unease in doing it, while trying to mask it clearly he was only doing it to appease the community here and abroad to ease the pressure off his back as artistes have been feeling the stop murder music campaign's repercussions from our years of agitation.



I am in total support of this move against Beenieman as he has not been genuine with regards to his less than conciliatory apology obviously to get in on a show in Amsterdam and subsequently other gigs thinking the apology would simply appease the gay community and stop the vigilance. Here is the arrogant Beenie in July of this year on television Jamaica's program Entertainment Prime in clear defiance saying he never apologized at all as public pressure grew on him after the sorry to gays video so in a bid to save his face he responded tersely proving his hypocrisy.


I suspected he was less than honest just by mere observance of the original apology video, his body language tells all. Many are complaining why he is being targeted again when he apologized without seeing the follow up video as posted above.

Here is the Jamaica Observer article on the issue firstly then see the GLN's statement from their Facebook event page on the matter.

Gays turn up heat on Beenie Man

Gays target Beenie ...AGAIN

DAYS after a scheduled performance in northern California was scrutinised by a gay rights group deejay Beenie Man is facing more pressure from the gay community in the United States.

The Gay Liberation Network (GLN) is protesting his November 22 performance at The Shrine in Chicago, citing Beenie Man's past criticism of homosexuals.
In a letter posted on the windycitymediagroup.com website, the GLN demands that Beenie Man's show be cancelled.

"I wish it were possible to say that this artist performs music that is simply engaging entertainment with a great beat and sometimes gritty lyrics. Sadly, this is not the case due to Beenie Man's history of frequent calls for violence against gays and lesbians. Such calls are anything but 'entertainment' when directed against a vulnerable and oppressed minority," read the letter.

The Shrine event is promoted by Ephraim Martin, head of the annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).

Beenie Man has made attempts to mend fences with the enraged gays. He was one of several dancehall performers who signed the Reggae Compassionate Act in 2007, and recently issued a video apology to gay activists prior to his performance at the Rototom Festival in Spain.

But the GLN is not buying the gestures, claiming they are not genuine.

"Because of his advocacy of violence toward our people and his chequered and inconsistent relationship to the global LGBT community, we respectfully request that management of The Shrine show its respect for our community and rescind its offer to have Beenie Man perform at its venue. We would be happy to sit down with you to discuss this matter further," the GLN stated in its letter.

Beenie Man's show in Trinidad, California, at the Ocean Grove Lodge attracted mild opposition from the Queer Humboldt group.

Dancehall artistes Buju Banton, Capleton, Elephant Man and Sizzla have also had run-ins with gay activists in Europe and North America.

Sustained pressure from groups in both continents forced promoters to cancel several of their shows.
Gay Liberation Network

According to the GLN .........

Free speech is one thing, inciting MURDER is another. The notorious "kill the gays" performer Beenie Man is being given the stage at a near South Side venue called "The Shrine" at 2109 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago.

Call / email / facebook "The Shrine" and demand that they cancel!

312.753.5700 / info@theshrinechicago.com

We wish it were possible to say that Beenie Man performs music that is simply engaging entertainment with a great beat and sometimes gritty lyrics. Sadly, he has a long history of frequent calls for violence against gays and lesbians.

Such calls are anything but "entertainment" when directed against a vulnerable and oppressed minority. Two of Beenie Man's songs call for "hanging lesbians with a long piece of rope," and "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays."

Despite years of appeals to change course, he has not repudiated these lyrics, and continues to sing them. In 2009 he performed a "kill the gays" song in the capital of Uganda, a country that has seen a wave of anti-LGBT violence stoked by local politicians and Western evangelists.

Under pressure, in recent years Beenie Man has at times sounded a conciliatory note. He even signed the anti-violence statement, The Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA), in 2007. However, he later denied signing the RCA.

As for any apology to gays, in a May 23rd video statement Beenie Man said, “I Never Apologize To Gays.” (http://urbanislandz.com/2012/05/23/beenie-man-i-never-apologize-to-gays/) . This summer, in what was billed as an "apology," he granted an interview to the national gay magazine, The Advocate. However, in the same interview he said that the only homosexual activity in his native Jamaica involved older, wealthy men preying on heterosexual youth. This narrative is not only directly contradicted by LGBT Jamaicans, but also uses the pretext of protecting youth from sexual predators as an excuse for the country's endemic anti-LGBT violence.

The Shrine has so far ignored the Gay Liberation Network's offer to meet with them to discuss these issues.

We urge you therefore to call and email them today to express your disgust with their giving a venue to a performer who repeatedly calls for lynching LGBTs or any minority. Please demand that they cancel the November 22nd performance of Beenie Man.

312.753.5700
info@theshrinechicago.com

For more information on Beenie Man, his lyrics, and the twists and turns of his often hateful relationship with the global gay community, go here:

http://my.firedoglake.com/heathen07/2012/07/06/who-is-beenie-man-and-what-is-he-doing-now/

Here is my audio commentary and the defiant Beenie.



a cartoon supposedly making fun of the issue

Meanwhile the venue had responded to GLN: go HERE

Another cartoon has come this time from The Observer's Clovis

Thursday, November 15, 2012

LGBT leisure travel market set to spike .................... LGBT "friendly" resorts are here


Janet Silvera, Hospitality Jamaica Coordinator

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) leisure travel market is set to reach a record US$181 billion in 2013, says a report from the recently concluded World Travel Market (WTM) in London, England.

The findings are based on the LGBT2020 research programme from leading global LGBT marketing specialist Out Now Global -http://www.outnowconsulting.com - which measures consumer spend, purchasing habits and brand preferences across 22 countries.

The new data shows a 9.7 per cent year on year growth in the LGBT travel market, up from US$165 billion in 2012. The findings come at a time when a few Jamaican resorts have become more accepting of same-sex couples.

The country is also labelled an 'adamantly homophobic nation', but research shows that there are a number of LGBT-friendly resorts in Negril, Port Antonio, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and the south coast, which have been getting complimentary reviews from same-sex couples, jetting in and out of the island.



a couple who got married here in Jamaica even though the state does not recognize it 

Tolerant industry

"Our hotels have always welcomed. We don't necessarily place ads advertising that we accept the LGBT, but we would never turn back persons because of their sexual preferences," said a Negril hotelier, who added that there is really no difference from how the LGBT market was treated by the average hotel 20 years ago.

"The industry has always been more tolerant than the rest of the society," said the hotelier, adding that there are many gays working in the tourism sector, so it's no big news.

Another hotelier says Jamaica is not ready for this market, which is a big mistake. "I have tried to target them in the past, but I have given up, because it's a hard sell, particularly because of our homophobic reputation," said the hotelier.

She said if members of the LGBT community were to turn up at her property they wouldn't be turned back. She admits that the market has huge potential of pumping foreign exchange into the island's coffers.

In the meantime, the Out Now reports list the USA market at the top of the league at US$52.3 billion, followed by Brazil (US$22.9 billion) and Japan (US$18.5 billion). Europe, it says, is a more important LGBT market than the USA with the total value of the eight most important markets in Europe being significantly larger than the US market (US$58.3 billion) and Latin America's most important three markets account for an additional US$36.0 billion).

Announcing the figures at WTM, Out Now Global CEO Ian Johnson said: "A number of different factors continue to drive growth in this sector. Many LGBT people have grown up experiencing things a bit tougher than most, so a difficult economy, and working to keep things moving in tough times, including our travel plans, is part of the modus operandi for many of us."

Johnson is quoted as stating that like many people, LGBT consumers are finding the cost of living tough and some are working two or more jobs to keep things together, but with dramatically fewer households with children, travel remains a viable option for more LGBT travellers and one that is still within their household budget.


"The LGBT community's resilience is matched by an expansion of product options which are tailored to meet LGBT needs. Today, there are more and more destinations, hotels and tour operators, all catering to the particular needs of our market, and that makes travel a very desirable leisure pursuit for all those who can afford it."

For the first time this year, Turkey and Israel were added to the LGBT 2020 survey, says Out for the first time this year. The new Turkey research data shows that this new market accounts for more than US$5.1 billion in annual tourism spending. Israel adds another US$1.1 billion to the annual value of LGBT tourism spending globally.

"Having identified a remarkably resilient potential customer base for 2013, now is the time for industry operators to really step up a gear and work to strengthen their market position," says Johnson.

To facilitate this process, he says, in a cost effective and genuine way, Out Now has developed a suite of new services to help the industry make that important change.

Email: hospitalityjamaica@ gleanerjm.com

Time To Respect Gay Rights (Gleaner Letter) .............

Here comes another letter dealing with gay rights but I would much prefer a title that says respect people as people despite sexual orientation, we probably as a whole have to decide what we really want to push for rights only first or general respect and tolerance and when I say push I do not mean only demand it as is being portrayed by some LGBT activists but live it as well with each other and our fellow man, after all our motto says out of many one people. As the International Day of Tolerance also approaches (tomorrow in fact) this letter is timely.

Below is the letter shared from the Gleaner and a comment as well.


Jamaica Gleaner Company

THE EDITOR, Sir:

IF THE people in the video demanding the lynching of an individual on the University of Technology campus, who they alleged was involved in sexual act, represent the future of Jamaica then we are in a desolate place. Higher education imparts advanced knowledge and skills, develops your character and also enhances your self-esteem. You would be in a better position to make more informed decisions and bring about a great difference in your life. Watching these people at an institution reminds me of the lynch mob during Jim Crow.

My disgust is with the political directorate who remained silent on the lynching of members of the gay community, in particular the Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister of Jamaica. Mrs Simpson Miller, you are leader of the party of Michael Manley; this icon is best remembered for his relentless effort to address social justice.

The right to life, liberty and equal protection under the law is enshrined in the Constitution of Jamaica. Furthermore, Jamaica is a signatory to the United Nations Charter of Human Rights. If you cannot stand up for the most vulnerable in the society then Jamaica should remove its name from that document. Mrs Simpson Miller, if you are too timid or lack the political will to tackle big issues then you must resign because you have compromised the values and principles of the People's National Party.

The most homophobic country in the Western Hemisphere is not a label that Jamaica should be wearing as a badge of honour; it brings shame on the good name of the country. The Church is one of the organisations that are bringing shame on the country. Its silence is deafening when the most vulnerable is attacked, but it is vocal on issues of gambling. The Church has lost it moral compass; this silence is the antithesis of the values and principles espoused by the man the Church preached about.

We are living in a global village and the world is watching, and the image out there does not speak volumes of this nation. We need to grow and respect the rights of all people; we are living in a multicultural and diverse world.

Editor's note: An alliance of local church groups denounced the attack on the UTech student.

Clive George Mortley

Evilc25@gmail.com

ENDS

Here is the comment that got my attention, see what you maker of it:



The right of all individuals to live in peace and security is the basis of any civilized society.

To say the Church did not speak out on the Utech matter is not correct ! Yes the church will never be good enough until it embrace the lifestyle of certain people. Is that what the Church was commissioned to do ,or the Church is supposed to teach people God's ways ?
The Christian Churches will come under increased pressure in years to come . Will other religions be pressures in like fashion to bend likewise ?

The incident at Utech was unacceptable,but Jamaica is what it is today .

We know that outside,people are not keen when ordinary Jamaicans are mobbed or murdered,but just say the word '' Gay bashing .''and the whole world is down the throat of Jamaica,denouncing it as this and that !

We should hope that the world cares about the thousands of ordinary Jamaicans that are murdered and the many other female and children who are raped and molested as much as the immediate attention,once you hear the word '' Gay .''

The safety of all Jamaicans should be the concern of enforcement in Jamaica. Bad as Jamaica many seem,being a poor black nation,there are wealthy nations where you can't approach them with any such thing !
Right in the middle east ,some countries won't even permit the discussion of some life styles.

Yes Jamaica is bad but,we are trying and we want everyone to live in peace.

I can bet when the prime minister goes abroad ,before they ask her about the suffering and poor living conditions of many ordinary Jamaicans they will greet her with some question about Gay life style as they did with Mr Golding on BBC.

and we really don't want anyone to be harmed .

Yes the University needs to train the students to be tolerant,but what more can they do ?

Some equal outrage at the rape and murder of ordinary Jamaicans would be in order too.

here is another one this time opposing:

The Gays need to respect themselves too. Stop flaunting their unaccepted lifestyle, keep what they do in privacy because no matter how much human rights attention they get, their lifestyle will never be accepted by majority of Jamaicans.

In a previous audio post/podcast I had done I had hinted that the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship did not respond to the UTECH abuse matter I checked their website and found a short press release they placed there but one wonders if it is genuine given their recent posturings on homosexuality and maintaining the buggery law and if this so called concern and condemnation is just to appease the irritated gay lobby/community?

What do you think?



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