Thursday, December 27, 2012

Santa's List Delivers once again ..... 4 times in a row


Once again the Sankofa Team delivered on a brand going on some four years as expressed in the annual Christmas day stapler Santa's List. After it's major debut some four years ago, then closing of their group's official club home the Loft in Kingston, the revitalization of outdoor gay events especially water themed parties and beach events they two man team have struck gold while using a venue that has come to have some negative aura surrounding it but they managed to pull out a capacity crowd on that faithful night. 

Additional patrons also arrived from an event miles down the road from a rival competitor who had to close down his party as unruly members of the homeless msm community who were not allowed to enter took matters into their own hands and literally stoned the event as it was in session, so serious the matter became that the police had to be called in to rectify the situation leaving the promoter in the red both in anger and in the numbers. The feeling of anger and rejection by the homeless msm community seems to be taking its toll as some seem to see others even those who just show some firmness as enemy number one or as against their plight so outbursts have been quite frequent as of late, this was something I had warned about some months ago as it may tend to affect how we socialise, seeing the men will find ways to get to events especially those close to their hangout spots.

The Sankofa team benefited from this move over by that intended audience but there was a feeling in the air of despondency following the news as it spread but that was soon dispelled with the music selection, the meeting and greeting of old and new faces, the simply yet fierce decor and some good drinks. The all white theme for the event as per usual was not followed by some patrons as dark colours dotted the mass of persons on the floor but others non the less followed suit and dress appropriately and as the hours passed the cooler temperatures on the outside has most persons remaining on the dancefloor as a centrally located and creatively conceived fireplace provided some warm air although not too hot as it was just enough to let persons still shake a leg around it as if it were an altar of worship with voguers and dancehall fans alike taking their turns as the music selections came, the queens served one with a broom in had as if to brush out the trash while others gallivanted with the featured head-top shenanigans with a pregnant drag queen grabbing some attention. 

Decor:


A white stalactite themed draped canopy with greeted patrons similar to last year's as they arrived dotted with red flannel Santa hats and blue with red and white Christmas stockings on each side. Strobe, lazer and flasher lights arranged in a falling positions pierced the occasional darkness noted for clubbing and the bass line from the speakers caused the intelligent lighting to respond thus feeding the rising charge in the atmosphere. The fog machine this time was placed most appropriately away from the main spaces so as not to overcompensate for the misty effect, annoy persons with respiratory issues and to block the view which worked well interacting with the lighting thus enhancing the backdrop and dancefloor a plus for the overall theme, there have been complaints before of the overwhelming thick smog at one place at events.

The fireplace I had mentioned was the highlight for some as well as persons took turns seating themselves around it in the loveseats provided and they got a chance to see all around the floor and DJ booths as it centrally located.

The bar was well stocked and arranged professionally, a feature commented on by many of the bar-flies as they made their trips to the watering hole, in fact it was the topic of discussion on the outside by a longtimer. The venue's outlay itself or its improvement thereof has come in for some sharp criticisms and some persons claimed that if it weren't the Sankofa team hosting they would not have come out to play. Something someone should suggest to the property's manager I hope.

Music/logistics:


Vybz master DJ David, Ravers and myself provided the beats and although I was beat from two sleepless nights in a row we did well enough, I had some challenges with my earlier set but all soon came together as the night progressed. Probably the drawback was the missing party animals who would have "vibed" the environment a little more but by 1:30am the club floor was packed, unusual these days for events as persons come out later and later, some had made their way to other end of the island for events there, the bar picked up steam as persons made repeated trips to refill their glasses and the vigilant security team checked arriving patrons, any indication that the event was not a small one was the car park. Of course organization is always a plus for this team one was never privy to seeing behind the scenes last minute shuffling as is a feature of some other events with mistakes made along the way, all was in place long before the patrons arrived and even one half of the team took up duties at the entrance making sure all was in place for their paying guests.

A who's who of patrons including members of the Pink Report team, noted fashion designers, entertainment managers from resorts who apparently took time off to attend, bloggers, older disc jocks from back in the day, other party promoters who came in support, the property's manager who darted about the venue inspecting the proceedings, longtimers and more. Noticeably absent were some of our same gender loving women party goers as in years gone by and other usual party goers seemed quite frugal this year in spending as economic times dictate the curving of that ever diminishing disposal income. 

The Scissor Sisters' summer dance hit "Let's Have a KiKi" was the song for the night as no matter how many times it was played and whatever version it came as it was well received  Santa's List made it to one of the good ones for 2012 and another feather in the cap for the Sankofa Team, upcoming events as advertised on the event's closure include more outdoor gigs and teaming with other brands for newer offerings in the coming year.


They did say they are raising the bar and they have been doing so if ever so steadily. The after party event at the home of one of the team members was another matter, fun was to be had by all there with the popo showing up lol, so much for fun.

Happy Holidays

Peace and tolerance 

H

Gleaner's Associate Editor on the Church & Sexual Minorities

Church Must Champion Justice For Sexual Minorities


By Byron Buckley

"AND THE Scribes and the Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery. They asked him, 'Do you agree with the law of Moses that she should be stoned to death?' And Jesus, looking at the promiscuous woman, was full of contempt and scorn for her. Full with righteous indignation, he commanded the crowd to stone the trembling woman to death, himself casting the first stone."

This is, of course, a corruption of the incident recorded in the eighth chapter of the gospel of St John. But that could have been the outcome if Jesus had reacted differently to the taunting and entrapment of the religious leaders of his time. And based on the utterances of some contemporary religious leaders about homosexuals, that is how they would expect Jesus to react!

RESORTING TO VIOLENCE

Indeed, one of the society's low points in 2012 was the mob-incited beating of a suspected gay student by security guards at an institution of higher learning. It's not the first and only incident of violent attack on persons suspected to be other than heterosexual in Jamaica. In fact, this year a mob in Trelawny killed and maimed relatives of a person alleged to have buggered two boys found dead. These are all sad and tragic incidents that point to the urgent need for the disparate elements of the Jamaican society to come together to address our general tendency to resort to violence and, in particular, against sexual minorities.

My prayer and wish for the new year is that the heterosexual majority - especially members of the faith-based community - and members of sexual minority groups will embrace, rather tolerate, each other going forward. Each side will have to respect each other's sensibilities and coexist. It's not a zero-sum game: it's not practical for straight people to cleanse the society of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT). We can't kill off all the 'b-man dem'. Likewise, the LGBT community should not expect people to abandon their deeply held values about sexual correctness, for example, the non-public display of sexuality. The gay lobby must not make the tactical error of equating the legal/values system in the United States with what obtains in Jamaica.

In the coming year, we have to begin the conversation about ending discrimination of sexual minorities and produce a home-grown solution - one that reflects Jamaica's proud international record of championing the fight against racial discrimination in Apartheid South Africa, one that underscores the spirit of our national motto: Out of Many, One People. In the 1970s, we ended discrimination against children born out of wedlock -'no bastard no deh again'. Forty years later, we should be able to end discrimination and stigmatisation of sexual minorities.

The stance and role of the Christian community is critical in finding a solution to the straight-gay conundrum. The Jamaican church community, it appears, doesn't want to be seen as being soft on homosexuality, so it frequently preaches vehemently against the practice. Some clerics utter hateful sentiments against gays as DJs of spurious moral standing do. The Church has been largely reactive, rather than proactive, in the gay-rights debate.

There are some lessons from how Jesus dealt with the case of the woman caught in adultery.

Firstly, he pointed out that her sin of adultery WAS NOT more reprehensible than the sins of persons accusing her. 'If any of you are sinless, cast the first stone', Jesus challenged the religious leaders and congregants in the temple. Many Christians, using flawed theology, make homosexuality a special sin - one that deserves special condemnation as evidenced by the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Except for references to anal sex and bestiality, which it prohibits, the scriptures classify homosexuality as fornication or sexual promiscuity. As grotesque as the act of anal sex is, morally it is no worse than other sins to God. The prophet Ezekiel explains that it was a slew of sins that triggered God's fiery judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah, including pride and not taking care of the poor and needy. In fact, an overarching Judaeo-Christian value, as the prophet Isaiah pointed out, was to "rebuke the oppressor, relieve the oppressed, defend orphans and provide for widows". These have high weighting on God's moral scale.

CHRISTIANS GUILTY

By proclaiming homosexuality as a special sin, Christians are guilty of feeding stigma and discrimination. The Church must stop this now, as a first step towards finding a national solution to the peaceful coexistence of the heterosexual and LGBT community.

The second lesson from Jesus' handling of the accusation against the woman caught in adultery is that he did not condone her behaviour ('go and sin no more'), but neither did he condemn her to a lost, irredeemable fate. An important point to note is that if Jesus had agreed to her death, he would be supporting injustice and a kangaroo trial, because the law requires her and the husband she was caught with to be both stoned. By not bringing the offending husband to book, the religious leaders were guilty of gender discrimination.

It is these principles of fairness, justice and nondiscrimination that I expect the Church to champion as the society seeks to work out a solution for the harmonious coexistence of the sexual majority with sexual minorities.

Byron Buckley is associate editor at The Gleaner. Send comments to columns@gleanerjm.com

ENDS

In the same publication comes a letter from one of those religious ignoramuses, Yes I used the word as the series of pieces he has been penning to the papers clearly reflects such ignorance and self righteous crap:


Preserving Normal Family Values

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sizzla Rejects J-FLAG Olive Branch .......... oh really?

The so called "Olive Branch" as extended by JFLAG towards "reformed" dancehall acts who call for the deaths of gay persons predominantly gay men was not intended for persons like Sizzla from day one as far as I understood it so to even suggest he qualified or for him to nuff up himself by answering is so narcissistic as he always was and still seem to be based on the article below and his response. I for one never expected him to be included in that group of reformed artists that the J says it wants to reach out to, he has always been defiant even while not performing some of his anti gay selections in a while.

Bearing in mind also he had a show cancelled in Belgium: 

Sizzla cancelled yet again in Belgium from GLBTQJA on Wordpress


Other antigay acts such as Beenieman and Buju Banton now incarcerated on drug charges in the US have used to "long time ago" excuse to say they have moved on years after recording the offensive materials and supposedly signing the symbolic Reggae Compassionate Act but still the songs are available on platforms for sale such as Itunes, played on minibuses exposing them to a younger generation who for the most part use these alternative modes of transport for the hype they bring with the loud music and the lucrative bootleg music industry still thrives in some instances on marketing such materials on cheap $100 per copy CDs everywhere.

See: J-FLAG Stands Behind Dancehall, bats For Reformed dancehall artists 


And with the troubles Sizzla has found himself in lately with the Rastafarian order chief among them the twelve tribes and his supposed seizing of power of leaders of one of the tribes of Israel using seals and all to appoint power to himself at the anger of the elders, threats being issued to administrators and elders alike in alleged rival groups of the order and even passed alleged transgressions of gun crimes at his camp in August Town he would never qualify in my book as a reformed Rastafarian when he seems so full of himself and having a god like status accorded to him. 


Others are said to be in fear of him and his followers in the Nyabingi order that he descries in the Gleaner article below as a theocracy. One can recall his legal woes some years ago when guns were found alleged in his infamous "Judgement Yard" spot where he had a recording studio at the time along with a sound system.



Here is the article that speaks to the "Olive branch" rejection by him:


Thanks, But No Thanks - Sizzla Rejects J-FLAG Olive Branch


Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

While Sizzla Kalonji may not be one of the artistes gay lobby groups have called 'reformed', the reggae crooner has strongly rejected the olive branch from the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), offered to support Jamaican entertainers, who despite toning down their anti-gay rhetoric, have continued to come under attack from gay lobby groups abroad.

J-FLAG recently came out in support of entertainers, who in their judgement, were reformed dancehall artistes who they believe have demonstrated greater levels of tolerance to the homosexual community.

However, Sizzla has no intention of accepting any support from the local gay lobbyists.

"I, personally, as Sizzla and president of the Nyabinghi theocracy, I don't want no sponsor from no homosexual," he declared.

"We are a people of the Almighty God. We are a biblical people. Jamaica is a Bible island. We live by the principle of the Almighty and in our Bible that we read, in the Hebrew Bible, we totally abandon homosexuals. We are against it. So we don't need no support from them. Fire bun!"

Dane Lewis, J-FLAG executive director, in a story published in last week's Sunday Gleaner, said the organisation was concerned about the recent spate of protests and the stance taken by many of the groups who mobilise these actions.

"The truth is we aren't even involved in these anti-murder-music campaigns today and, in most cases, we are alerted of these protests through our local media," Lewis was quoted as saying.

"Every now and again, some protesters might email asking for clarifications on songs and the general situation regarding LGBT Jamaicans. But, to our knowledge, far less hate music is being produced, and even sponsors have been responsive in the effort to make this type of music a thing of the past."

However, J-FLAG's position means very little to Sizzla Kalonji, whose position is one of 'thanks, but no thanks.' In the title track of his 1997 album Praise Ye Jah, a then 21-year-old Sizzla sang:

I see how yuh constantly building churches but while you church defend di slackness as usual rasta no mix up with homo ...

Fifteen years after that song was released Sizzla's stance, clearly, has not changed.



ENDS

Indeed there are some good songs in his repertoire that have gained popularity across the board even in gay parties as a DJ here for some 17 years I have heard other DJs spin them and I too when I used to spin everything before making my decision to discontinue playing murder music acts in my sets also used to spin some of his materials as floor fillers or pull-ups such as 

Gimme a Try
Black Woman and Child
Just One of Those Days
That's Fine With Me (a popular track even today as a floor filler)
I'm With the Girls (a popular track used as an anthemic ode by butch identified lesbians)

Now I only do house and vogue femme indeed house music was founded by gay DJs back in the day so the connection I guess is inevitable.



Older anti gay tracks like this however still get a full fawud (rewind request from patrons via loud shouts or applause) and the artists as Sizzla and Beenieman (All Battyman fi Dead) refuse to separate themselves from the materials although their supposedly non performance of the tracks live they still have a life of their own. The Stop Murder Music campaign overall has to be careful it is not viewed as a censoring mechanism or stifling free speech but there is free speech and then there is responsibility for such made, as I said in a previous post and elsewhere I won't be satisfied however until the artists remove the songs from their repertoire and completely disassociate themselves from such materials then and only then I will accept that they are serious.

This requires a conviction far more than just the symbolism of non performances of the damning tunes when the songs are still pulling in royalties (no matter how large or small) in the artists and producers coffers and shows that the artist/original performer sanctions the work and the evil actions the tunes prescribe, for the most part sanctioning violence, mobbings and executions of homosexuals.

To say one is a Rastafarian and to promote execution of persons just because of difference when the teachings of Rastafari are supposed to espouse purity of heart, livity and other "clean" aspects of life and most of all love and tolerance also bearing in mind Rastas at one point faced extreme prejudice in this country (an older Reggae track says "dreadlocks can't live in a tennament yard") now to see them turn on a minority.



The oppressed has become the oppressor it seems.

Here is a 2009 podcast I had done on the matter:




Where is the love?
Where is the unity?
Out of Many One People ........... where????

In one breath they preach love and on the same tone prescriptive death is directed at homosexuals.


The paradox that is Jamaica, homosocial yet homophobic.


HOMOSEXUALITY - A biological reality

HOMOPHOBIA - A lifestyle choice

UPDATE December 26 a vox pop showed:

The controversial Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is offering to help dancehall and reggae artistes respond to efforts by gay-rights groups overseas to boycott their performances and music. The Gleaner asked a number of dancehall acts how they feel about the offer.

Ninja Man:

J-FLAG has been working with artistes for years, a just because dem never public with it 'til now. Some artistes are saying dem a bad man and bun out certain things, etc, but I can tell you that 25 per cent of them are gay and 95 per cent of them perform oral sex. I do not want J-FLAG to represent me. Mi nah walk round and look no representation. Throughout the years when me did a look fi people fi represent me, nobody never a help me, so a now dem waan come? Mi nuh want dem sorry fi me. If they want to represent people, they can do so, but do not bring homosexuality into this business. I do not have the right to say who gives a helping hand in the industry, I am not a dictator or politician, so I will not choose no side.

Tony Rebel:

I think it is a good gesture. It is J-FLAG and these other organisations that put it out there to the public that dancehall was simply about hate songs. A lot of those assertions were made by J-FLAG so they know the truth, so now they can clear it up. Is dem start it, so make them continue and clear the air where our music is concerned. The hate songs were sporadic in reggae and dancehall, so when they use those few drops to tarnish the entire industry, that is unfair! But I welcome this initiative.

Freddie McGregor:

J-FLAG put them in that problem and now want to solve it. If people are making murder music, then target those people because now it has affected the entire industry. Artistes sell zero in Jamaica and in other parts of the world now. They created this problem. I never made a song like that because that lifestyle does not concern me. I would not teach my kids about that because that lifestyle does not affect me. What these lobbyists are doing should not affect me, but it does. I have been saying to these artistes that they don't need to be doing these songs, but dem feel like dem bigger than life and now the entire industry is suffering.

Patrick 'Curly Lox' Gaynor of Twin of Twins, LEAD (Leadership for Empowerment of Artistes and Dancehall)

I must say at this time, this sudden change of heart on the part of J-FLAG will, quite understandably, be met by not only us with scepticism, but by a good majority of the dancehall fraternity, as it relates to what J-FLAG's motive or agenda is. Largely due to the fact this is one of the groups responsible for the present state of disrepair that dancehall is experiencing. While we welcome this initiative from any group or individual whose sole objective is the preservation of dancehall and its slowly fading, once-vibrant culture, I must say that the biggest threat we face as dancehall is a severe lack of unity in dancehall based on pettiness and ignorance. We are yet to establish a united body. The gays united against dancehall, a disorganised bunch of convenient scapegoats and dancehall remains blind to the urgent need to unify against all foreign or domestic threats against its survival. No one can help someone who doesn't want to help themself.

Peace and tolerance

H

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

International Intersex Forum demands respect of rights

The second International Intersex Forum took place from 09 – 11 December, bringing together 37 activists representing 33 intersex organisations and supportive institutions from around the world.

Express Online

The Forum agreed to affirm the principles of the first International Intersex Forum and extended the demands aiming to end discrimination against intersex people and to ensure the right of bodily integrity and self-determination. Demands included, asking for an end to mutilating and ‘normalising’ practices such as genital surgeries, psychological and other medical treatments, including infanticide and selective abortion (on the grounds of intersex), ensuring the provision of all human rights and citizenship rights to intersex people and creating and facilitating supportive, safe and celebratory environments for intersex people, their families and surroundings.

The group are an international cooperation of intersex leaders, advocates, academics and GLBTI allies who have been involved in research, discussion, and publication regarding intersex human rights. In addition, they have been working with various government bodies in South Africa, Australia, Canada, the United States and the European Union.

This years forum took place in Stockholm, Sweden and saw the gathering compose an open letter addressed to Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. They urge the United Nations to take on board intersex rights in its human rights work and call on human rights organisations and GLBTI specific organisations to give visibility and inclusion to intersex people and their human rights concerns.

In the letter, the group say they are writing to “discuss the grave situation of human rights abuses of intersex people worldwide. We are concerned about the specific uses of prenatal Dexamethasone (DEX), nonconsensual medically unnecessary surgeries on infants and minors, the gross mistreatment of Pinki Pramanik, and the recent addition of intersex people under the language of ‘DSD’ (Disorders of Sex Development) to the DSM-V.”

Open Letter: A Call for the Inclusion of Human Rights for Intersex People


Authored by Hida Viloria, Chairperson, Organisation Intersex International, Director, OII USA, 415-374-1255

Presented at the 2nd International Intersex Forum of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and it’s European Region (ILGA-Europe), December 10, 2012

***
H.E. Navanethem Pillay
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations
New York, NY 10017

December 10, 2012

Her Excellency Ms. Pillay,

We are writing to discuss the grave situation of human rights abuses of intersex people worldwide. We are concerned about the specific uses of prenatal Dexamethasone (DEX), nonconsensual medically unnecessary surgeries on infants and minors, the gross mistreatment of Pinki Pramanik, and the recent addition of intersex people under the language of “DSD” (Disorders of Sex Development) to the DSM-V.

Ms. Pramanik is the Indian gold medal winning athlete who was arrested on June 14th and forced to undergo invasive gender verification testing after being accused of rape and of “being male” by her live-in partner. Following the accusations, she was suspended from her job, detained in a male ward despite her lifetime status as a woman, and an MMS (picture message) of one of her gender-verification tests, in which she is nude, went viral.

Ranjit Sur, of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, shared on a CNN IBN Live broadcast that the “Human Rights Commission of West Bengal have already agreed that Pinki’s rights have been violated.” He went on to elaborate on her abuses: “Internationally, nationally, in school, in college, everywhere, she is treated as a woman, so so long as it is decided defensively that Pinki is male, she should be treated as a woman;” adding that, “(F)or the last twenty-one days, Pinki has been in government custody…. How did this MMS come out? The government has to answer…. These are totally naked pictures.”(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OZgdbEXVBU&feature=relmfu)

Ms. Pramanik was released on bail on July 10th, after initial gender tests proved inconclusive, but was officially charged with rape and fraud on November 12th, after additional tests revealed that she has XY chromosomes. Intersex people are born with, or develop in their secondary stage of pubertal development, chromosomes, gonads, and/or genitals that are considered both male and female or atypical for either. We, and many others, are asking: why are the rape allegations against Pramanik only valid upon her being shown to be an intersex woman?

As an editorial in The Hindu observed, “Ms Pramanik has been put on public trial not for her alleged crime, but her intersex condition.” Dr Samir Parikh, Director or the Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, also stated, “"Sexual violation is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. But it needs to be regarded separately from questions of gender, rather than making it the determinant factor as in this case." We agree, and make no statement regarding the question of whether violence has occurred, but merely argue that Pinki's "sex" should be irrelevant to the investigation. It is not that we call for the investigation of the complaint to cease, but that we call for the body of the defendant not to be made a public spectacle, or otherwise mistreated because of her supposed embodied state.

Like South African track star Caster Semenya, who was put on suicide watch following her testing in 2009, and Indian track star Santhi Soundarajan, who was stripped of a silver medal won at the 2006 Asian Games after failing a gender verification test, the humiliating treatment has caused extreme psychological duress. In an emotional November 15th interview, Pramanik said, “I have not done anything wrong, I know what I am. Why am I being tortured? I feel like committing suicide.”

Common sense dictates that it is not a crime to be born and live with a body considered different from the norm, yet this is exactly how Pramanik is being treated. Authorities in her case continue to label her “male”, seemingly as a reason to press criminal charges (Indian law allows only men to be charged with rape), despite having been made aware by one of the very members of the medical panel investigating the case, Kaushik Mondol, that she is intersex. As Mondol stated, "Even though the report says Pinki is chromosomally a male, it doesn't conclude that Pinki is a man... it says the athlete suffers from DSD.” DSD, or Disorders of Sex Development, is the medical term for intersex, although we point to the fact that it adds to discriminatory attitudes by portraying intersex traits as illnesses in need of correction.

Pramanik’s treatment is a glaring example of how intersex people are subjected to human rights abuses simply because we are born different. People with intersex variations, like all people, often grow up to be heterosexual. However, like members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community, we are targets of discrimination based on our non-adherence to sex and gender norms. However, in addition, we are subjected, in utero and as infants, to nonconsensual medical treatments proven to be harmful, in efforts to avoid LGBT outcomes.

For example, the drug DEX, banned for pre-natal use in Sweden after studies found it dangerous, is still administered to pregnant mothers in the United States who are predisposed to giving birth to girls with the intersex variation Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). A study published this May in the American medical journal Pediatrics concluded that exposure to the drug “in preterm infants is associated with increased aortic arch stiffness and altered glucose metabolism in early adulthood,” i.e., increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. In addition, a more recent article in The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology concluded that, “In human studies, first-trimester dexamethasone is associated with orofacial clefts, decreased birthweight, poorer verbal working memory, and poorer self-perception of scholastic and social competence.”

Despite these adverse effects, DEX is still recommended specifically to avoid LGBTI outcomes. As a recent paper in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry “The intervention has been aimed at preventing development of ambiguous genitalia, the urogenital sinus, tomboyism, and lesbianism. We map out ethical problems in this history, including… the use of medicine and public monies to attempt prevention of benign behavioral sex variations."

In addition, although intersex traits are naturally occurring variations of human sex, they have recently been included in the American Psychiatric Association’s statistical manual, the DSM-V, as a psychological disorder. The inclusion is of concern because it presumes our differences lead to psychological pathology, which has not been demonstrated, and is in fact contested by existing psychological research.

Given these human rights violations against us, it does not stand to reason that intersex people are not recognized as equally in need of anti-discrimination protection. While we applaud the adoption of the United Nations resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity (A/HRC/RES/17/19), and your office’s report on the resolution last year (A/HRC/19/41), we note that the language of “sexual orientation and gender identity” is not inclusive of intersex people because we are defined by our atypical “sex traits,” rather than atypical “sexual orientation or gender identity.” In addition, the use of the acronym “LGBT,” rather than “LGBTI”, which has already been adopted by numerous organizations such as ILGA, excludes the intersex population, despite the fact that we are more vulnerable to homophobia and discrimination against gender-variance due to the fact that our differences can be detected at, or prior to, birth. This exclusion from human rights rhetoric deems us invisible and thus even more vulnerable. As Dr. Payoshmi Mitra, an independent researcher on sex and gender issues, stated about Pramanik’s case, “There is no understanding of difference.” In order to promote such understanding, “intersex” must be fully included in anti-discrimination rhetoric and policies extended to the LGBT community.

We thank and commend you for acknowledging us in your 2011 statement, "I also urge other states around the world to review their own laws, policies, and practices to ensure that discrimination against transgender and intersex individuals is addressed in a systematic and effective way." We now call on you, as the United Nation’s High Commissioner of Human Rights, to include us in the struggle for equality by adopting inclusive language and policy.

We are an international cooperation of intersex leaders, advocates, academics, and LGBT allies who have been involved in research, discussion, and publication regarding intersex human rights. In addition, some of us have been working with various government bodies in South Africa, Australia, Canada, the United States, the European Union, and others. For example, Tony Briffa, Mayor of Hobson’s Bay, Australia, is the world’s first openly intersex elected official. In June, intersex ally Silvan Agius, ILGA-Europe’s Policy Director, co-authored and published the European Commission report “Trans and Intersex People: Discrimination against trans and intersex people on the grounds of sex, gender identity and gender expression” In addition, in September, Dr. Dan Christian Ghattas, of OII’s German affiliate OII Deutschland, presented to the European Parliament at the seminar “Trans and Intersex people: Challenges for EU law.”

We gladly offer our assistance in drafting language to facilitate the inclusion of intersex people, such as that which follows:

Intersex people, those born with chromosomes, gonads, and/or genitals that are considered both male and female or atypical for either, are routinely subjected to human rights abuses based on their non-adherence to sex and gender norms. This discrimination includes but is not limited to: non-consensual medically unnecessary surgeries and drug treatment which has been demonstrated to be harmful, loss of employment, loss of marriage and/or inheritance rights, exclusion from social institutions, and invasive, psychologically harmful gender-verification testing.

Intersex people are subjected to non-consensual medical treatments in utero and as infants in an effort to eliminate atypical sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as atypical sex anatomy. We recognize that because intersex traits are detectable at or before birth, intersex people are more at-risk for homophobia and discrimination against gender-variance than other members of the population.

c. Due to human rights violations perpetrated against intersex people based on their non-adherence to sex and gender norms, we amend policies to accurately define this discrimination as “discrimination based on sex traits, sexual orientation and gender identity”. In addition, we recognize and include intersex people in the struggle for human rights and equality by adopting the intersex-inclusive “LGBTI” acronym.

Thank you for your time, and for all the work you do to secure human rights protections. We recognize that these issues may be more effectively conveyed if presented in person, and wish to discuss the possibility of doing so. Today, on Human Rights Day, we call on the UN to recognize that Ms. Pramanik’s human rights are being violated, as the Human Rights Commission of West Bengal has done. We also look forward to hearing from you regarding a meeting with your office regarding the inclusion of the intersex population in the United Nation’s efforts to achieve human rights for all.

Respectfully,

Hida Viloria Chairperson, Organisation Intersex International Director, OII USA

Gloria Careaga Co-Secretary General, ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)

Gabi Calleja Co-Chair, ILGA-Europe (European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)

Councillor Tony Briffa JP PO Box 51, Altona VIC 3018 Australia Website

Silvan Agius Policy Director, ILGA- Europe (European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association)

Ruth Baldacchino Executive Board Member, Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM)

Mauro Cabral
Outreach and Networking Officer, OII Argentina
Co-Director, GATE - Global Action for Trans* Equality
+ 54 (9) 11 65806999
skype: mauro.cabral

Janik Bastien Charlebois, Ph.D. Professeore, Departement du Sociologie
Universite du Quebec a Montreal Ditte Dyreborg Affiliated with Pangea International
Copenhagen, Denmark

Michaela Katzer Urologist Anton-Russy-Str 20, 06112 Halle, Germany

Hiker Chui Founder and Director, OII Taiwan

Dr. Dan Christian Ghattas Outreach and Networking Officer, OII-Germany

Holly Greenberry Project Coordinator, Intersex UK

Sally Gross Founder and Director, Intersex South Africa P.O. Box 246, Woodstock, Cape Town 7915

Vincent Guillot Spokesperson, OII Francophonie

Mayssa Hamza
OII Spokesperson for the Arabic Speaking Islamic Community

Morgan Holmes, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University

Adnan Hossain Bangladesh Initiatives on Pleasure, Power and Praxis

Dr. Juan Carlos Jorge Department de Anatomia y Neurobiologia Escuela de Medicina, Universidad de Puert Rico

Julius .K. Kaggwa Executive Director, SIPD Uganda P.O. Box 31762, Namirembe Rd, Kampala. Uganda.

Ins A Kromminga Spokesperson, OII Deutschland (OII Germany)

Prof. Dr. Konstanze Plett, LL.M. Professor of Law, Universitat Bremen FB 6 Rechtswissenschaft D-28353 Bremen, Germany

Natasha Jimenez Mata Coordinator General, Mulabi (Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos) 290-2100. Guadalupe, San Jose, Costa Rica

Ev Blaine Matthigack Founder, OII Deutschland (OII Germany)

Support Group Coordinator, TransInterQueer (TrIQ) E.V.

Athabiseng Mokoena Advocacy Coordinator, Transgender and Intersex Africa South Africa

Thoralf Mosel Project Manager, TransInterQueer (TrIQ) E.V.

Pol Naydenov
Board Member, Bilitis Resource Center Bulgaria

Jen (Pidgeon) Pagonis DePaul University, Women’s & Gender Studies Chicago, USA

Peter Trinkle
Executive Director, Bodies Like Ours

Daniela Truffer Co-Founder, Human Rights Group Zwischengeschlecht
Personal capacity; affiliation for identification purposes only.

J. Vreer Verkerke
Vreerwerk Gender Education Trans Rights, TGEU

Del La Grace Volcano Director, OII Scandinavia (Sweden)

Gina Wilson President, OII Australia Ltd
P.O. Box 1553, Auburn NSW 1835

Monday, December 17, 2012

Epigenetics May Be a Critical Factor Contributing to Homosexuality, Study Suggests


Epigenetics -- how gene expression is regulated by temporary switches, called epi-marks -- appears to be a critical and overlooked factor contributing to the long-standing puzzle of why homosexuality occurs.

According to the study, published online December 11 in The Quarterly Review of Biology, sex-specific epi-marks, which normally do not pass between generations and are thus "erased," can lead to homosexuality when they escape erasure and are transmitted from father to daughter or mother to son.

From an evolutionary standpoint, homosexuality is a trait that would not be expected to develop and persist in the face of Darwinian natural selection. Homosexuality is nevertheless common for men and women in most cultures. Previous studies have shown that homosexuality runs in families, leading most researchers to presume a genetic underpinning of sexual preference. However, no major gene for homosexuality has been found despite numerous studies searching for a genetic connection.

In the current study, researchers from the Working Group on Intragenomic Conflict at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) integrated evolutionary theory with recent advances in the molecular regulation of gene expression and androgen-dependent sexual development to produce a biological and mathematical model that delineates the role of epigenetics in homosexuality.


Epi-marks constitute an extra layer of information attached to our genes' backbones that regulates their expression. While genes hold the instructions, epi-marks direct how those instructions are carried out -- when, where and how much a gene is expressed during development. Epi-marks are usually produced anew each generation, but recent evidence demonstrates that they sometimes carry over between generations and thus can contribute to similarity among relatives, resembling the effect of shared genes.

Sex-specific epi-marks produced in early fetal development protect each sex from the substantial natural variation in testosterone that occurs during later fetal development. Sex-specific epi-marks stop girl fetuses from being masculinized when they experience atypically high testosterone, and vice versa for boy fetuses. Different epi-marks protect different sex-specific traits from being masculinized or feminized -- some affect the genitals, others sexual identity, and yet others affect sexual partner preference. However, when these epi-marks are transmitted across generations from fathers to daughters or mothers to sons, they may cause reversed effects, such as the feminization of some traits in sons, such as sexual preference, and similarly a partial masculinization of daughters.

The study solves the evolutionary riddle of homosexuality, finding that "sexually antagonistic" epi-marks, which normally protect parents from natural variation in sex hormone levels during fetal development, sometimes carry over across generations and cause homosexuality in opposite-sex offspring. The mathematical modeling demonstrates that genes coding for these epi-marks can easily spread in the population because they always increase the fitness of the parent but only rarely escape erasure and reduce fitness in offspring.

"Transmission of sexually antagonistic epi-marks between generations is the most plausible evolutionary mechanism of the phenomenon of human homosexuality," said the study's co-author Sergey Gavrilets, NIMBioS' associate director for scientific activities and a professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

The paper's other authors are William Rice, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Urban Friberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden.

ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news  and science breakthroughs -- updated daily


Meanwhile .........

Writing in The Quarterly Review of Biology, researchers William Rice, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Urban Friberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, believe that homosexuality can be explained by the presence of epi-marks — temporary switches that control how our genes are expressed during gestation and after we’re born.

Specifically, the researchers discovered sex-specific epi-marks which, unlike most genetic switches, get passed down from father to daughter or mother to son. Most epi-marks don’t normally pass between generations and are essentially “erased.” Rice and Friberg say this explains why homosexuality appears to run in families, yet has no real genetic underpinning…

To reach this conclusion, Rice and Friberg created a biological and mathematical model that charted the role of epigenetics in homosexuality. They did so by applying evolutionary theory to recent advances in the molecular regulation of gene expression and androgen-dependent sexual development…

Normally, sex-specific marks that are triggered during early fetal development work to protect boys and girls in the womb from undergoing too much natural variation in testosterone, which should normally happen later in a pregnancy. Epigenetic processes prevent female fetuses from becoming masculinized when testosterone exposure gets too high, and vice versa for males.

Moreover, epi-marks also protect different sex-specific traits from swinging in the opposite direction; some affect the genitals, and others may affect sexual orientation. 

These epi-marks can be transmitted across generations from fathers to daughters, or mothers to sons.

Additional reading or subscription on Chicago University Press: Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development

Sunday, December 16, 2012

J-FLAG Stands Behind Dancehall, bats For Reformed Dancehall Artistes ........

Good to see some good news on this front, I was beginning to believe we have all but dropped this part of the advocacy that had myself as a DJ and music collector, a former JFLAG Programs Manager, local entertainment links, artist managers and overseas promoters etc. Good to see that the J is waking up as I have been critical of their seeming limp-wristedness on several former matters that were on the agenda. I know that the repetitious changes staff and objectives may have caused them to go off the beaten track and also the burnout some persons feel plus the demise of some while others seek asylum overseas due to threats on their lives.

photo from my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress

Here is the Gleaner article related to the post's title:

J-FLAG Stands Behind Dancehall - Gay-Rights Group Bats For Reformed Dancehall Artistes


Davina Henry, Staff Reporter

The controversial Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is offering to help dancehall and reggae artistes respond to efforts by gay-rights groups overseas to boycott their performances and music.

Some Jamaican artistes who have divorced themselves from 'murder music' have, in recent time, come under renewed attacks from gay-rights activists. The sanctions have resulted in recent mass protests and cancellations.

But J-FLAG Executive Director Dane Lewis said the organisation is concerned about the recent spate of protests and the stance taken by many of the groups who mobilise these actions.

Although J-FLAG was, in the past, involved with anti-murder-music campaigns, Lewis said the landscape has changed significantly.

"The truth is we aren't even involved in these anti-murder-music campaigns today and, in most cases, we are alerted of these protests through our local media. Every now and again, some protesters might email asking for clarifications on songs and the general situation regarding LGBT Jamaicans. But, to our knowledge, far less hate music is being produced, and even sponsors have been responsive in the effort to make this type of music a thing of the past," Lewis said.

Lewis said many protesters are concerned about songs containing lyrics that either directly or indirectly call for violence against gays and lesbians, which have been recorded and performed by Jamaican artistes.

OFFICIAL STANCE

He contends that J-FLAG's official stance is that the continued demonising of some of these artistes is unfair.

He also said that although groups are aware that many of the contentious songs were recorded in the past, with some artistes no longer performing them, cancellations are still a possibility.

Beenie Man suffered a cancellation as recently as last month for the same reason.

According to Lewis, J-FLAG has made representations on its own initiative to groups overseas after learning about plans to stage, what he called in his interview with The Sunday Gleaner, "anti-dancehall protests".

He said those representations have gone well, but that the groups usually respond with "unreasonable initial requests".

Lewis went on to say that at least two dancehall megastars have benefitted from J-FLAG's discussions with these groups.

At least one group has suggested to the local lobby organisation that artistes such as Beenie Man "gather up all the money that he has made from these kill-the-gays songs and then publicly donate it to Jamaican LGBT groups like J-FLAG, and pledge to never perform or circulate recordings of the offending songs, then that might makes things right".

Efforts by The Sunday Gleaner to contact Beenie Man for a comment were unsuccessful. However, Lewis quipped that "requests like that are the stuff of fairytales".

"We don't support 'kill-the-gays' music, and our stance on this issue is not to be seen as a compromise on our abject rejection of homophobia, hate music, hate speech and other forms of discrimination against LGBT Jamaicans. But the idea that artistes provide all earnings over the years from 'murder music' is an unreasonable expectation, and it's unlikely that our artistes would be able to do this, so we have to find some other way to end the constant conflict," Lewis explained.

COULD REPRESENT ARTISTES

He said that in the end, the group responded favourably and changed their stance on the issue, but believes that the representations would be more effective if they were being presented officially on behalf of the artistes being affected.

Copeland Forbes, one of the foremost members of Jamaica's entertainment fraternity, does not believe artistes will be willing to work with J-FLAG as they have contributed to the problems they are currently facing."I do not see where J-FLAG can help these artistes. The artistes have to help themselves. J-FLAG was the same one who was sending translations of our songs to these people overseas. I would, personally, not want to align myself with them when they represent the same group. J-FLAG contributed to what is happening now, so I, personally, would not want them lobbying on my behalf. I believe that if anyone should represent these artistes, it should come through the culture ministry or a government agency."

Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer says that while there needs to be increased conversation with the groups overseas, he doesn't believe that J-FLAG should be lobbying on behalf of dancehall.

"I am not open for them to lobby on my behalf. Both J-FLAG and their international counterparts need to have a discussion for an understanding of what's happening in dancehall. How would it look for them to solely lobby on dancehall's behalf? If any group should lobby for dancehall, it should be a group that is directly affiliated with our music. I am open for a discussion as it relates to lobbying with their counterparts to understand us, but I am not in agreement with them lobbying on my behalf," he said.

While artiste Tanya Stephens believes that this initiative by J-FLAG is a good move, she told The Sunday Gleaner that it would be met with resistance.

"I can speak from experience. I tried to speak with several artistes about this new initiative of J-FLAG and it was met with resistance. While I personally have not been affected by these lobbyists, I have been on shows with other artistes who were not allowed to perform, but that doesn't mean that it's still not my fight. From a humanitarian perspective, the fight is to get us all on the same page," she said.

Lewis said his organisation has decided to put this issue on its agenda because "while we have had significant issues in the past with the lyrical content of much of the music, dancehall and reggae are an inalienable part of being Jamaican".

CONCERNED

He mentioned that J-FLAG was concerned about the "livelihood of artistes and the many people, and I am sure this includes LGBT people, that depend on these artistes for their daily survival".

When asked if this was a divisive issue in the gay community, the J-FLAG boss said, "I wouldn't want to look at the issue through such a myopic lens."

He continued, saying that J-FLAG is not interested in easing any pressure off artistes who continue to be antagonistic to the gay community, but believes all Jamaicans should be concerned at what seems to be some sort of punishment for artistes who have actively committed to the cessation of murder music.

However, the artistes that want help must ask for it.

"J-FLAG has no hero complex, and we are not saying that we will be taking up this mantle on behalf of Jamaican music. What we are saying is that, for those artistes who continue to face the kind of punitive measures used by our international counterparts and are interested in coordinating responses to their concerns, we are willing to help. No strings attached," he said.

Stephens agrees, adding that the only solution to the problem is through dialogue.

"Dialogue is what we need and I, personally, have to commend J-FLAG for pioneering steps to a peaceful solution and I am extremely happy that they are going in this direction."

Lewis said he hopes these efforts "will, not only result in international lobby groups easing pressure on those artistes who no longer produce the kind of hateful music that started the anti-murder music campaign, but also encourage those artistes who still produce this kind of music to stop, knowing that our organisation will go to bat for them in the international arena."

"Our music is an important part of our being and it is all our duty - government and citizens - to promote our culture to the fullest. We cannot allow our music to be typecast by a few artistes and their personal beliefs. Reggae and dancehall music is much more than hate and we are willing to work with artistes who are so desirous of portraying this image," said Lewis.
ENDS

To address Mr Lewis comment on the LGBT groups overseas who seem to act on their own without consulting other here, they do in fact have kept in touch with individual influentials and persons in the know of the latest releases and "riddims" packages from the various recording studios and production houses. The network has been quietly doing the work outside of the J. Groups in Paris such as Tjenbe Red and in the US as the Gay Liberation Network, GLN do call or link on a timely basis. This is one section of the agitation where the collaboration seems workable other times we see over exuberant groups who while supporting us in a sense also do act outside of any consultations.

Only today I blogged about one such perceived action by a New Jersey group with alleged instances of harassment of the Minister of Education Reverend Ronnie Thwaites following the controversial Home and Family Life, HFLE's withdrawal from schools due to questions therein on homosexuality, anal sex and HIV with a guided imagery exercise that was to increase awareness of stigma leading to more tolerance, while overlooking the urgent need to discuss and teach sex and sexuality.


The only satisfaction for me on this matter is the artistes guilty over the years of this practice of songs advocating the demise of LGBT persons and promoting hate and intolerance MUST pull the songs from the marketplace altogether, disassociate themselves from such utterances seeing that they say they have matured (who are they fooling) to simply say the songs were done years ago and that they have moved on is not enough as they continue to earn from them via royalties from some outlets such as ITunes etc where songs like Buju Banton's - Boom Bye Bye is still available and the songs get played non-the-less despite a report in 2008 that himself and tracks by Elephant Man, TOK and others were removed by the site. 

The story read in part: 
American company Apple Inc has removed songs from dancehall artistes Buju Banton, T.O.K. and Elephant Man from their iTunes site citing that the songs incite violence against homosexuals.In response to letters written by the pro-homosexual Canadian-based organ-isations Egale and SMM (Stop Murder Music) to iTunes in January, iTunes has removed controversial murder music from Jamaican artistes in its North American markets. Boom Bye Bye from Buju Banton, Chi-Chi Man from T.O.K. and Log On by Elephant Man have all been pulled from iTunes stores and the iTunes website.

Apple's iTunes is the leading on line distributor of music in North America through their websites and iTunes stores. Since 2008 over four billion songs have been downloaded since the service first launched on April 28, 2003. 

MORE HERE
meanwhile 



Boom Bye Bye appears on an double CD entitled "The Early Years 1990 - 1995) as track 8 on CD, so his defense is he does not perform it anymore yet the song lives and earns for him.
Beenieman's old song such as No Phobia (di urge riddim) an old anti gay anti oral sex track is still up as well on the site too, SEE HERE you decide.

Peace and tolerance

H

Additional archive:

Beenieman says he DIDN'T Apologise to Gays July 2012 on Jamaican TV



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Betty Ann Blaine & foreign religious zealots continue their paranoia & misrepresentations of male homosexuality

While today is the fourteenth anniversary of JFLAG's founding and Human Rights Day the quiet from them and the other local rights groups is disturbing to myself and a few others while the religious zealots as certainly they are not Christian in the true sense are on a major campaign to now paint homosexuality as enemy number one while dishonestly linking the orientation on a whole to paedophilia yet again. 

The bigger issue ought to be how to live in a pluralistic society as it is inevitable than launching a Jamaicanised version of the Ugandan anti gay strategies. They have been getting increased foreign support in cash and otherwise with a British lawyer urging them to fight to keep buggery on the books, a Singaporean anti gay activist last year who gave a lecture on so called real rights and how to watch the "gay agenda," a Jamaican couple who supposedly lost a bid to foster children in the UK after becoming complacent and not following the change in the law their while refusing to teach tolerance overall which includes that for same gender loving teens and childrenLawyers'  Christian Fellowship President Shirley Richards continued anti gay thrust and paranoia over future gay marriage rights agitation from local LGBT groups when no such rights were asked for, she also seems to support tacitly support the controversial Ugandan "Kill Gays Bill" see more here:

Shirley Richards support Uganda “Kill Gays Bill?”


It was only on November 25th that the now very active Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS via a radio show confused homosexuality deliberately so it seems to push their anti gay agenda and the week prior to that, it was only in yesterday's Observer we saw another Jamaican this time a male teacher clearly showing his inability to adapt to rules in the UK education system complaining he was fired because he was a Christian and supposedly opposing homosexuality. See the story HERE, let us also not forget the Home and Family Life Curriculum Fiasco and the Reverend gentleman and Minister of Education's Pandering to the religious right sentiments more so than looking at the Urgent Need for Sex & Sexuality in our schools as I fear it is this lack of the subjects properly taught for generations why we have the levels of homophobia and homo-negativity. The gay lobby has been caught fiddling after all these years of struggle with the unexpected rise in power and presence by these groups of which I have been warning about for years, they became too complacent. Now comes another story this time in today's Gleaner: 'Shun Gay Lifestyle' - South African Pastor Warns Ja About Homosexual Lobby - 

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer ..............

A SOUTH African pastor on the weekend urged Jamaicans to become militant against acts of homosexuality, saying condoning such behaviours could lead to consequences of enormous proportions.Pearl Kupe, who is also an attorney-at-law, was speaking at an international conference on human rights, international law and the family, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston on Saturday.

"The LGBT group in South Africa doesn't only enjoy rights that every ordinary citizen has, but they have special rights and privileges," Kupe said.

South Africa's post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. In December 2006, the country became the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage. The country is considered a haven for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

"What we are seeing here is a nation that is hungry for power and will do anything to gain such power, even if it means isolating themselves from moral standards," Kupe told the conference.She added: "They are willing to trade ethics, morality and values in exchange for global power and we cannot allow these things to infiltrate your country."

Jamaica's justice minister, Mark Golding, was guarded in his response when asked by The Gleaner to comment on Kupe's presentation.

"It's a very delicate issue because we don't want to endorse lifestyles that are not grounded in Christian values, but there are very compelling arguments on both sides," Golding said.

"On the table right now is the repeal of the buggery law which we have to carefully analyse, so I really don't want to say to much right now," he added. Kupe had used her presentation to appeal to members of the Church and civil society to help counter the spread of the homosexual lifestyle.

"We are not here by coincidence, this was ordained by God," Kupe said."We have to come together and get the stakeholders involved and mobilise the media because we can't leave here without coming up with a response plan because we are heading in a deadly direction."

Kupe said a LGBT charter, which is being considered in South Africa, is seeking to promote the universal acceptance of the gay lifestyle. She also claimed it is seeking to discredit anything or organisations that condemn homosexuality.

"What is happening now is that there is a strategy to get homosexuals in the schools and to also perpetuate homosexual propaganda at every opportunity," Kupe said.

"The LGBT is actually advocating for the teaching of homosexual behaviours in the schools, so I'm not just talking about education of homosexuals but making it an option in our schools," Kupe added.

The reverend lawyer also claims that homosexual behaviours are prevalent within places of worship.

"It is unlawful to discriminate against lesbian and gay men in church, mosque, temple, synagogues or other places of worship. This includes the right to worship at a place of their choice, right to be a member or a minister of religion regardless of sexual orientation," she said.

"But I want to make it clear that God is not a God of equality but a God of justice and, as Christians here in Jamaica, you have to make it known that Jamaica belongs to Jesus," she said.


photo not in original article ... added to make the point as it says

Children at risk

In the meantime, Betty Ann Blaine, convenor of Hear the Children's Cry, urged Jamaicans to say no to homosexuality.

"One of the threats to Jamaica is the argument to repeal of our buggery law, which is a challenge to all of us, not just Christians," Blaine said.

She added: "We can't possibly repeal the buggery law precisely at the same time when more and more of our children are being buggered."

During the run-up to last year's general election, Portia Simpson Miller, now prime minister, said she would support a conscience vote in Parliament on whether the buggery law should be repealed. Blaine said she is not prepared to sit back and allow Parliament alone to decide on the matter.

"I'm prepared to take this to the streets because the Parliament will not decide this. Any repeal to the buggery law must be be taken as a referendum and it's the people who must decide this," she said.

Jamaican gay activist Maurice Tomlinson yesterday described Kupe's address as "typical of the fear mongering that fundamentalists engage in to deny the human rights of homosexuals".

"Few, if any of their assertions, are supported by logic or evidence," Tomlinson said in an emailed response to The Gleaner.

According to Tomlinson, "Jamaica will continue to drive this vulnerable group underground with deadly consequences for public order and public health" if the human rights of homosexuals are ignored.

"Most tragically, homophobia forces some gay men to form relationships with women. This exposes the women, men, and any children of these unions, to untold physical and psychological harm. It is high time the Government showed leadership and put an end to this fanatical intolerance by reading down the anti-buggery law to decriminalise the private acts of consenting adults," Tomlinson said.

- jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com

ENDS

So we continue to see the paranoia and the unfortunate and downright dishonest linkage between adult male homosexuality, privacy and paedohpilia but why can't we repeal or decriminalize buggery and also have protections that already on the books strengthened similar to how the Irish did by having a Child Defilement Clause added to their Sexual Offences Bill?

Was Mr Tomlinson's response adequate enough or did the paper just edit what they thought was needed?

What are Betty and these other foreigners afraid of?

As for Kupe's remark about special rights, aren't there special rights for persons with disabilities or other groups, even children who ought to be and are protected have specific rights and legislation that offer protection, so what is different for specifically worded codes for LGBT people given the sensitivities involved? The aforementioned Child Defilement Clause as suggested would be one such special right/protection in one.

Does anyone notice the constant use of the term "homosexual lifestyle" by these persons, what a bigoted strategy but I am not surprised as the mantra for the JCHS blatantly espouses theocracy where it says: "Working for a Jamaican society in which Judeo-Christian values nourish and enrich the social, spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health of all citizens." One of its founders Dr Wayne West operates a blog where he continuously says tolerance is equated to Jamaica accepting felching and fisting, another set of dishonest and unethical strategies to demonize male homosexuals via sexual practices when the contradiction sat right there on his blog where the overseas study's abstract he republished (he has posted many including very old ones) stated that it was a sub-group of msms who actually carry out such practices overseas more so in European cultures such as the biker and leather communities but apparently the attempt is being made to link those practices as normative in our gay culture, the depths these anti gay advocates will go to is disturbing.

Funny how years ago these same religious persons complained that the LGBT lobby had overseas aid and money and were importing a foreign lifestyle now it seems the religious right is actually using its own criticism as a strategy to push their gay agenda and all of a sudden these foreigners are not importing bigotry aided and abetted by so called Christians and a government who seems willing to roll over and have its stomach rubbed by these persons with tongue gleefully hung out like a happy dog.

Interesting also the hundreds of thousands spent on this campaign including expensive full paged ads in print media whilst the least amongst us just remains that, the least amongst us, what about our homeless and children, the boys who wipe car windows, the kids in lockups, do we see these so called religious zealots in the name of Christianity really helping those groups in a bid as they say for a healthy society? It is the things that are infront of us that must be addressed but if they have their way they'd be at our keyholes peeking to see who is pushing what in where. Sad for a country with a motto that says "Out of Many One People, rubbish, we are aeons away from such.

What would Jesus do?

HOMOSEXUALITY - A Biological Reality
HOMOPHOBIA - A Lifestyle Choice

Think on these things people, peace and tolerance.

H


additional reading: 

Rev Clinton Chisholm accused of pushing “bad science” in regards to ex-gay therapy

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