Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tolerance Ad case the Final Day – Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM and PBCJ

On the final day of the historic trial otherwise known as the tolerance ad trial a packed courtroom in downtown Kingston at the Justice Square grounds of the Supreme Court saw arguments from the lawyers representing CVM TV finalizing their submissions, the court indicated that a ruling will not be handed down before the end of this term by the end of July.

All parties accept that the claimant Maurice Tomlinson has a constitutional right to freedom of expression freedom to disseminate information that’s what the charter of rights provides where they differ is on whether that right prevails in this case Mr Tomlinson’s lawyer Lord Anthony Gifford has been arguing that his client should prevail given the power and reach of the free to air television station making them the only viable channel to reach a large chunk of the television audience but the media houses have been maintaining that Mr Tomlinson’s rights cannot trump their rights to control the materials they broadcast.
Nicole Foster- Pusey

Solicitor General Nicole Foster Pusey (linked allegedly to the anti gay group Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, LCF) while acknowledging that there are competing rights on both sides said the court would have to carry out a balancing exercise in deciding whose right should prevail this is because the case against TVJ, Television Jamaica and CVM TV involves Mr Tomlinson a private individual suing two private entities that is the so called horizontal application of the charter of rights which the Solicitor General said the charter clearly allows.

PBCJ – Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica is a government entity however its restriction of Mr Tomlninson’s rights by not carrying the ad has to meet the constitutional test of what is “demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society” it is clear the Solicitor General believes that the PBCJ has met that test since by law the station cannot carry paid ads such as that that has been offered by Mr Tomlinson, Mrs Foster Pusey said in light of this it is hard to see how the station could be said to have breached Mr Tomlinson’s rights.

Earlier today Javed Jaghai Education Officer of JFLAG spoke to platforms and constitutional challenges for minority groups on Nationwide radio's George Davis Live:

the ad in question

We wait as the learned judges Leighton Pusey, Brian Sykes go into deliberations to arrive at a decision.

Mr Tomlinson however being able to speak since the case has ended as comments are not allowed during a trial said "I can't say that I am hundred percent confident that the court will rule in my favour because they're such novel rights being contested and deliberated upon, I also think that the presentations were of such high quality on all sides that it would be impossible to say that one side will prevail based on what was presented and how the judges responded was such a well argued case.

Lawyers had argued that the station should not carry the ad as it may be against their editorial policy he responded:

"They have to get a special license that gives you a particular level of control over access to media it isn't granted to everybody those who have it have a particular level of power and as Justice Pusey commented with great power comes great responsibility." 

"They certainly have a right not to have that done to them" in response to anti gay voices opposing the airing of the ad "what is being portrayed if they were to actually see the ad has nothing of that calibre, it's an ad promoting respect and love for a particular Jamaican who just happens to be gay." 

Meanwhile anti gay and reparative therapy advocate Reverend Al Miller (the driver in the cartoon above) who despite his own court battle of assisting a known criminal that being now imprisoned Christopher "Dudus" Coke and harbouring a fugitive who was found cross dressed in the Reverend's company to evade local authorities to a foreign state that being the US embassy and his dubious missing gun case the appeal of which he lost in February of this year  has jumped on the bashing bandwaggon claiming if the ad was aired then he and other pastors would strongly object. 

Strange that since the awful murders of four children in less than forty eight hours not a sound of remorse has come from these anti gay and homophobic voices but they are loud when it comes to rights and recognition towards same gender loving people. What moral authority does he have?

previous sentiments some months ago:

Rev Al Miller says gay lobby is using the guise of tolerance to get the nation to accept the “gay lifestyle

Peace and tolerance

UPDATE JUNE 3, 2013 the lawyer is contemplating taking the another matter originating in Trinidad and their refusal to allow him entry recently to the Caribbean Court of Justice the CCJ:

Tolerance Ad case Day 3 – Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM and PBCJ

In day three of the tolerance ad trial in the Supreme Court lawyers representing CVM TV said they have no obligation or duty to air an ad promoting tolerance towards homosexuals they also maintain that their refusal to air an ad did not breach the constitutional rights of gay rights advocate and lawyer Maurice Tomlinson the claimant in this matter. He is suing Television Jamaica, TVJ, CVM TV and PBCJ Public Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica. 

Hugh Small Queen's Council continued his point on the balancing exercise that of the rights of Mr Tomlinson versus those of his client CVM TV to which CMV has a right to freedom of expression, to editorial control to decide what it does and does not air and in what forms. He also referred to the report from the Joint Select Committee on the constitutional reform process that led to the enactment of the Charter of Rights. He noted that in several cases the Committee had used very clear language in indicating the changes that should be made to the constitution, and said this clear language was not used in the legislation. If so, he said, the arguments now being made (over issues like whether the Charter has horizontal application – that is, can be used by one private citizen to sue another for a breach of constitutional rights) would not be necessary.

He referred to a section of the report in which the South African constitution was discussed, as that constitution specifically provides for the role of the courts in developing the common law (law laid down in cases decided by the courts) and noted that the Joint Select Committee expressed the view that it is the prerogative of the legislature to develop the law. This attitude he linked with the outrage from regional governments over the Privy Council’s Pratt and Morgan decision, which held that after five years on death row, death sentences should be commuted to life in prison.

“So in effect we have two constitutional rights brought into competition under the same section of the Charter …if there are competing rights, can this Court make an order that explicitly (abrogates) CVM’s rights?” he asked adding that he could find no precedent for a Court making an order that would infringe the rights of one party.

Mr. Small also submitted that the use of the word “media” in the provision regarding the “right to seek, receive distribute, or disseminate information, opinions or ideas through any media” is not a reference to mass media. The word, he said, is being used as the plural of the word medium meaning any channel which an individual chooses to use, such as the internet.

He continued that the orders Mr Tomlinson is seeking by way of this trial cannot be granted if said orders may infringe on the rights of CVM TV, some concerns pinged to his posture were:

1) The ad could not have been aired as a public service announcement as it did not fit that criteria

2) Concerns about how the public might react based on what the station has since in terms of negative reactions to previously aired materials involving homosexual themes

3) It cannot be said that CVM TV is adverse to or a pre-existing prejudice in airing programs with homosexual themes or discussing similar issues when Mr Tomlinson himself has appeared in some of those programs

4) Ensuring that loss of revenue does not occur due to any backlash from airing materials that may be considered offensive by the public and or airing of content that might impact on said revenue

5) The station satisfies itself that the content to be aired is in keeping with values it holds

6) CVM TV has experiences adverse reactions to previous content aired that had homosexual themes

7) The video could be considered a covert attempt to promote homosexuality and related illegal acts namely buggery

8) The board had a concern that CVM TV maybe viewed as supporting or promoting certain illegal activities which was taken into account in making the decision not to air the video footage

One theme of the day’s proceedings was attorney’s explaining why their respective media houses refuse to carry the controversial ad, Queen Council, QC Donald Smith representing PBCJ said the PBCJ act did not create a right of freedom of expression his junior counsel Daverna Chambers submitted that PBCJ has a duty to disseminate not just ideas and information but ideas and information on matters of general public interest she said the video submitted by Mr Tomlinson is not one of general public interest then she went on to say that a matter of public interest would be a matter in which the public is interested such as the budget debate laughter broke out in the court room.

Justice Pusey suggest she stick with his previous example of boys and girls champs instead, Miss Chambers also pointed out the Public Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, PBCJ does not have a commercial license, does not take paid advertising and will have no place for a thirty second video earlier CVM TV’s lead counsel Hugh Small had told the court the station was concerned about negative public reaction and also the video could be seen as promoting homosexual practices some of which are illegal in Jamaica. He also noted that CVM TV’s license requires them to operate in the state’s interest and this video could have disturbed the public his junior Jerome Spencer differed from Television Jamaica’s lawyers that the charter of rights does allow private individuals to sue private entities.

“I don’t know how the case for the Claimant proceeds after that, since it is an acknowledgement that PBCJ does not air paid advertisements,” he noted.

His submission was that the PBCJ Act which created the entity did not create any freedom of expression rights.

She referred to the functions of the PBCJ as mandated in the Act, namely that:

4 (2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (I), the Corporation shall provide public broadcasting services designed to promote

(a) the encouragement and propagation of positive values and attitudes within the society;

(b) the development of education and training;

(c) the dissemination of news, information and ideas on matters of general public interest;

(d) the vitality of democratic institutions;

(e) the protection of the environment;

V) the development of literary and artistic expression;

(g) the development of culture, human resources and sports;

(h) respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and the responsibilities of the individual to society;

She said that section 4 (2) (c ) has to be read in its entirety, emphasising the requirement that the material must be of general public interest.

She argued that the video did not fall into this category, which she said should be interpreted to mean matters that would interest the public “such as the budget debate.” Laughter broke out in the courtroom, which intensified when Justice Pusey suggested that she stick with his previous example of Champs as a matter in which the public is interested.

Justice Pusey also suggested to Miss Chambers that she re-phrase her submission, although he was actually suggesting a different position from that which she had taken.

“A better formulation of that might be to say that PBCJ has determined that its role is to deal with non-controversial issues” and that the station was “not the place for advocacy,” he said.

Miss Chambers said the video does not fall within the category of a Public Service Announcement, that it does not fall within any of the types of programmes that PBCJ is mandated to air.

“The Claimant concedes that this is not an ad, but it is 30 seconds (long). We don’t do fillers at PBCJ, so where would it fall?” she asked.

Solicitor General Nicole Foster Pusey started her submission and will continue tomorrow her presence is to assist the court via any research information and the legal positions on various issues, she plays no role in siding with any of the parties involved in the trial.

here is the video:

parts taken from Dionne Jackson Miller's blog report (who is employed to the RJR group, owners of TVJ a party in the suit)

more in a discussion on Nationwide radio on private citizens, platforms and constitutional challenges with Education Officer for JFLAG:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tolerance Ad case - Day 2 - Maurice Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM and PBCJ

Day two in the Supreme Court saw the lawyers representing the stations sought to dismiss the merits of the arguments by the claimant Mr Maurice Tomlinson, the stations have been accused of breaching the constitutional rights of the activist attorney over the refusal to air a commercial promoting tolerance for homosexuals. (see ad below) 

What is being sought:
1) A declaration that in refusing to air the ad the stations had breached Mr Tomlinson's constitutional rights to freedom of speech as well as freedom to disseminate information, opinions or ideas through any media.

2) An order for Television Jamaica TVJ, PBCJ and CVM TV to air the ad in exchange for the standard fee and also damages.

Lord Anthony Gifford wrapped up his submissions that he started yesterday which included precedence set elsewhere in similar cases, he also asked the court to recognise that private media houses do not have total editorial freedom, he said the US supreme court made that clear in their context and he is asking the court to make such a finding on behalf of his claimant in this context, that broadcasters have to operate in the public interest and entities do not have absolute rights. Justice Leighton Pusey asked if that application of that principle in the US is coloured by their doctrine whereby they have had freedom of the press as a specific constitutional right and that the broadcasting industry was developed after that, in our context it is not so. Lord Gifford responded that freedom of expression had always been protected. Broadcasting houses are mandated via their licenses to operate in the public interest as they do so in a particular space i. e. the airwaves. It would be useful therefore for the court to issue guidance as to what principles TV stations should use in deciding to air materials submitted to it.

Are stations obliged to give reasons and so on are to be considered? Justice Pusey had a difficulty with PBCJ component in particular as it is a public entity and how someone is able to get a video aired there. He asked if this ad is allowed to be aired will others also be allowed and the screening processes for same, Lord Gifford suggested that one should look at the terms of reference. 

Television Jamaica's, TVJ attorney Georgia Gibson Henlin addressed the court where she spent more time on two main arguments one of which was that the claimant Maurice Tomlinson has no standing in the matter that is he is not entitled to bring this case before the court she also argued that in any event the Charter of Rights does not allow Mr Tomlinson to sue TVJ a private entity the issue of whether or not a law suit can be brought under the charter of rights without any government involvement is one of the important issues in this case. The vertical application of a challenge was mentioned as usual reason for a constitutional challenge such as this however this action by Tomlinson et al is considered a horizontal application (excluding government) suing another private entity. 

She also claimed that previous tolerance typed programs resulted in acts of violence to persons involved so that form of expression would not be justified. She continued that Mr Tomlinson does not have the right to use TVJ's property to carry his message as the charter does not give him the right to say he can use their facilities, she used a freedom of expression example that persons have a right to freedom of speech but that the individual does not have a right to make a speech in someone's front yard. 

Mrs Gibson Henlin says that case law from other countries with similar constitutions support her contention that the charter of rights does not permit a private citizen to sue another private entity as is being done in this case.

She faced intense questions on this issue from Justice Brian Sykes stating that the charter does not compel the conclusion that some kind of government action is needed before one private citizen can sue another. 

On the issue of Mr Tomlinson's standing Mrs Henlin told the court that Mr Tomlinson is known as a "poser" or "tool" as he does not live here and is being used as a tool by his employer the international organization called AIDSFREEWORLD, she says the ad in question was part of the campaign to target homophobic laws since he himself has suffered no harm because of the ad not being played and because AIDSFREEWORLD is not based in Jamaica the case should not go forward. Mrs Gibson Henlin concluded her submission subsequently that in the case of the right to freedom of expression in particular that of a private citizen cannot sue another private entity, there is no general right of one private person to sue another and must seen on a case by case basis and in this particular case involving freedom of expression there is no such right as under the charter.

They day concluded with lead counsel for CVM TV Mr Hugh Small commencing his arguments. His short introduction dealt with Mr Tomlinson's rights but that the court cannot offer Mr Tomlinson relief as if in doing so not also breach CVM TV's rights as well. Mr Tomlinson therefore cannot assert his rights to the extent that it infringes on his client CVM.

there was a small outdoor stand by the Emancipation Park statue yesterday and TVJ carried the story

below is the original video that was aired for a time and discontinued by the agencies who sponsored it:

here is Mr Tomlinson's ad specific to this case:

Tolerance Ad case - Day 1 - Maurice Tomlinson v TVJ, CVM and PBCJ

The case started in Jamaica’s constitutional court yesterday. Mr. Tomlinson is seeking a declaration that refusing to air an ad promoting tolerance for homosexuals breached his constitution rights to freedom of expression and freedom to distribute or disseminate information, opinions, or ideas through any media; order for TVJ and CVM to air the ad in exchange for the standard fees;

Here’s a summary of the major issues and proceedings from the first day courtesy of RJR's Dionne JAckson Miller to whom I am grateful:

The 30-second spot, dubbed the “Love and Respect video” by the claimant, and which can be seen here, was shown to the court at the start of the proceedings.

Lord Anthony Gifford, lead counsel for Mr. Tomlinson, instructed by Anika Gray, submitted that the video was dignified and restrained. He said that only a very intolerant person would take exception to it.

He said the language of the new Charter of Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which only came into effect in 2011, indicated that parliament intended for the rights outlined therein to prevail unless there were limits that could be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. NB That issue of what can be "demonstrably justified” is a key element of the Claimant’s arguments, the argument being that the refusal to play the ad was not be demonstrably justified.

Not only were Mr. Tomlinson’s rights limited by the TV stations, Lord Gifford argued, but the limits imposed did not meet the test of that which could be demonstrably justified in a democratic society.

Another important issue is whether the television stations TVJ and CVM, as private entities, are bound by the Charter in this situation. That argument of course does not arise with PBCJ, which is a government entity. This relates to the argument that charter extends horizontally (citizen to citizen) to bind private citizens as well as vertically (government to citizen), that is, binding government.In relation to PBCJ, the claimant is arguing that as a public authority, PBCJ had a duty to uphold the constitution, and that furthermore, the PCJJ Act mandates the agency to broadcast information on matters of general public interest, and to promote respect for human rights.

But it was the status of TVJ and CVM as private entities that attracted a lot of attention from the judges. Here’s a sampling of their questions on the issue.

Justice Sykes: It makes no difference if it is a religious or non-religious broadcaster? Such a broadcaster would be bound to broadcast a message contrary to his principles, that broadcaster can’t object?

Lord Gifford: (He can object) only with good and sufficient reason. The balancing exercise involves balancing of rights, both sides have rights.

Justice Sykes: Are you saying that they (the TV stations) have to contract (with people who want to place ads)?

Lord Gifford: I am saying they may have to contract.

Justice Sykes: Are you saying that private broadcasters have to provide reasons (for their decision not to enter into a contract with someone to place an ad)?

Lord Gifford: This is a constitutional right. If you are going to cut it off, you have to explain why.

Justice Pusey: Then, the right to free speech means that another person doesn't have the right not to speak?

Lord Gifford: Yes, they do.

Justice Pusey: You are using the right as a sword, so an individual becomes an advocate for whatever someone else wants to say.

Lord Gifford: This is a paid advertisement. You are not adopting what they want to say.

Justice Pusey: If I have a radio station to play reggae music, and you have an ad contrary to that, I don’t have the right to say I don’t want your country and western ad?

Gifford: You might have the right to refuse, the balancing exercise might come out differently.

Justice Williams: So freedom to disseminate is also freedom to disseminate it to as many people as possible, for example in prime time (television)?

Lord Gifford: Yes, television is a powerful medium, dissemination in the constitution has a meaning, it turns what might have been a passive right into a positive right.

Lord Gifford argues that CVM and TVJ do have a duty under the Charter of Rights to air the ad. He maintains that in this case the position of TVJ and CVM is virtually indistinguishable from that of state entities, as they command the majority of the free-to-air TV audience, they are operating under a government licenses, and they have been given control over what is a public resource, that is the airwaves.

He argues that in the case of mainstream media, they wield significant power, and raised concerns about them excluding certain areas of public debate.

Justice Pusey: In an open market, the market will punish them.

Lord Gifford.: Not necessarily. Minority views, unpopular views also have to be heard.

Justice Sykes: You are proposing that every refusal (to air an ad) is a restriction (on constitutional rights) and then you have to go through the steps to see if the restriction is permissible?

Lord Gifford: That’s what the constitution says.

There was also quite a bit of discussion about whether the size of the media houses involved mattered or whether the principle as elucidated by Lord Gifford would bind all media houses. He began by arguing that size was important but later conceded that it was not.

One other area of Lord Gifford’s submissions was directed at countering the reasons given by the stations for not airing the ad. (NB - reasons were given at a later date, after discussions with the stations about airing the ad had ceased. The reasons were given in affidavit evidence to the court).

For example, in relation to CVM’s position that the station was concerned that airing the ad would be viewed as an attempt to promote homosexuality, he stated that the ad did not promote homosexuality.

In response to the concern that the ad could be seen as promoting a criminal act (buggery), Lord Gifford submitted that it is not illegal to be a homosexual and also stated that the ad showed an auntie showing love for her nephew, and could not be seen as promoting a criminal act.

He also said that it was “hard to swallow” the argument that the video would cause so much offence that advertising revenue would be affected, especially since the station had aired other programmes about homosexuals.

Today: Lord Gifford will have another half an hour to wrap up his submissions and then the defendants will begin to make their submissions.

Dominican govt says no to changes to buggery laws .......... local homophobes reject "Homophobia"

The Dominica government says it has no intention of changing the present buggery laws even as the advocacy group, Minority Rights Dominica (MiriDom) said it was seeking talks with the authorities on the matter of equal rights.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio Monday, said his administration’s position on the matter is stated in law “and this matter is still on our books and will remain there for the foreseeable future.”

He added: “I respect the views of this new group. I understand from persons they intend to write to the government. We welcome their writing to government. We welcome meeting them as as a matter of fact. They are citizens of this country and they would like to express their views.

“But one has to look at the broader context of this request and it will be dangerous for the country to move in the direction of repealing laws against buggery,” Skerrit said.

He said that “as it is now anybody who wants to engage in whatever activities can do so in the privacy of his home. But one should not believe that the government is prepared or thinking of wanting to make this a public affair.”

Skerrit said he has not heard “any compelling arguments for it to be repealed and I don’t think any compelling arguments can be made for it to be repealed.”

Spokesman for the group, Daryl Phillip told radio listeners that Dominica’s laws making homosexual acts a criminal offence have fuelled negative perceptions about people engaged in the practice.

“Over the last 20 years, there began to be .... a developing hatred and some physical abuses targeted towards those people and that’s our concern,” Phillip said.

“It is targeting homosexuals,” he said. “It is not about telling people it is okay to go in public and make out. All we want is for that law to be removed and then we can go on an educational drive.”

Earlier this month the group, in a statement, said it was also calling on the Roman Catholic Church to make its position clear on the issue, saying that the buggery laws fuel homophobia in countries where they are still on the law books.

“MiriDom believes that homophobia in Dominica and the rest of the Anglophone Caribbean is fuelled by the existence of laws that make gay sex between consenting adults a criminal act,” it said. It noted that in 2008, the Holy See urged a repeal of anti-buggery laws throughout the world and the position has been ignored by the church in Dominica.


Meanwhile in Jamaica the anti gay HOMOPHOBIC group the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society continues to use the trope of the word "Homophobia" in describing their rhetoric as meaning mentally ill when we know the word has long left its clinical origin to come to mean an irrational fear or loathing of homosexual(ity)s, yet if we are to follow the JCHS head Dr Wayne with his intellectual dishonesties with support from soiciologist crack pot Peter Espeut the word originally meant a fear of sameness as they use the etymological ambit to justify their fear and hence hardened positions on homosexuality.

The word has since come to mean the following:

WIKIPEDIA: Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, and may be based on irrational fear.

Although sexual attitudes tracing back to Ancient Greece (8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (ca. 600 AD)) have been termed homophobia by scholars, the term itself is relatively new.Coined by George Weinberg, a psychologist, in the 1960s, the term homophobia is a blend of (1) the word homosexual, itself a mix of neo-classical morphemes, and (2) phobia from the Greek φόβος, Phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear". Weinberg is credited as the first person to have used the term in speech.The word homophobia first appeared in print in an article written for the May 23, 1969, edition of the American tabloid Screw, in which the word was used to refer to heterosexual men's fear that others might think they are gay.

Conceptualizing anti-LGBT prejudice as a social problem worthy of scholarly attention was not new. In 1971, Kenneth Smith was the first person to use homophobia as a personality profile to describe the psychological aversion to homosexuality.Weinberg also used it this way in his 1972 book Society and the Healthy Homosexual, published one year before the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.Weinberg's term became an important tool for gay and lesbian activists, advocates, and their allies. He describes the concept as a medical phobia:
[A] phobia about homosexuals.... It was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for — home and family. It was a religious fear and it had led to great brutality as fear always does.

In 1982, homophobia was used for the first time in The New York Times to report that the General Synod of the Church of England voted to refuse to condemn homosexuality.

the latest JCHS campaign where the HIV is a gay disease ploy is used to justify their HOMOPHOBIA with foreign studies usually with oversease evangelical support.

Homophobia manifests in different forms, and a number of different types have been postulated, among which are internalized homophobia, social homophobia, emotional homophobia, rationalized homophobia, and others. There were also ideas to classify homophobia, racism, and sexism as an intolerant personality disorder.

Homophobia has never been listed as part of a clinical taxonomy of phobias, neither in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD); homophobia is usually used in a non-clinical sense.

In 1992, the American Psychiatric Association, recognizing the power of the stigma against homosexuality, issued the following statement, reaffirmed by the Board of Trustees, July 2011: "Whereas homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgement  stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) calls on all international health organizations, psychiatric organizations, and individual psychiatrists in other countries to urge the repeal in their own countries of legislation that penalizes homosexual acts by consenting adults in private. Further, APA calls on these organizations and individuals to do all that is possible to decrease the stigma related to homosexuality wherever and whenever it may occur."

Others in criticizing the etymological issue surrounding the word suggest homosexophobia but it is clear the that modern Pharisees and Sadducees are at work and are getting large financial support from somewhere yet children are hungry, missing and in lock ups with adults and these same voices are silent in that department. Who were Jesus' opponents I ask?

More HERE from Gay Jamaica Watch

Here is a discussion (edited) with Dr Wayne West and Carol Narcisse (public commentator) on the issue


Monday, May 27, 2013

Kenyan Lawsuit Filed Over Intersex Legal Recognition and Protection from Cosmetic "Treatment"

Kenya's second-ever lawsuit concerning intersex issues has been filed. An intersex individual referred to as Baby A is suing Kenyan authorities for 

1) legal recognition of intersex individuals, and 

2) the right of intersex children to not have cosmetic, "corrective" surgery unless it is court-ordered.

Because Baby A is intersex, this individual doesn't have one of the most basic forms of legal recognition: a birth certificate. At the Kenya National Hospital where Baby A was born, records denote the child's sex with a question mark, instead of an M or an F. As a result of authorities not recording M or F, a birth certificate was never created for Baby A.

Baby A's lawyer, John Chigli notes the damage of never being issued a birth certificate: “The birth certificate is of great legal importance to the life and development of a child given that it is ticket to school admission, issuance of passport, national identity card and employment."

Baby A will be legally denied these opportunities until KNH hospital administrators issue A a birth certificate.

The lawsuit is also seeking to prevent "corrective" surgeries on intersex children unless it is court-ordered. The wording of this portion of the lawsuit is worrisome, in that not all non-consensual "treatments" for intersex children are surgical. Some procedures, like vaginal dilation, are not surgical, but are still cosmetic in nature, and can serve to physically and psychoemotionally harm children that undergo them. I also hope that the lawsuit denotes that corrective surgeries do not just include altering the external genitals, but also the removal of internal sex organs. I think that intersex surgery is still largely equated with external genitals only in popular understanding, but protections against removal of internal sex organs should not be done without the intersex persons's consent, either.

Finally, I am wondering about the phrase "unless it is court-ordered." It seems like this could be a convenient legal loophole, where it could become common practice to just court-order surgery/"treatment" for every intersex person born in Kenya, or actually create new legislation making it legal to perform these treatments, and side-stepping the need to court-order treatment for each individual case. By what standards would one determine whether surgery/"treatment" should be court-ordered? What cases should be court-ordered, and which shouldn't?

I think that more legislation fighting for intersex rights and protection is necessary. I would encourage those filing this lawsuit, however, to consider whether allowing for the possibility of governing bodies to court-order intersex surgery will really be solving the problem, or simply creating more legislation and legal ways to actively change the bodies of intersex individuals without our consent.

I don't want a court system to have any say in what is done to my body. I applaud Baby A's efforts in filing a lawsuit, but hope that in court, what is fought for is intersex individuals' right alone in deciding which of our own body parts we are allowed to keep, and not other authorities who can legally court-order our body parts away without our consent.

We deserve better than that.

Thanks to Full Frontal Activism and Georgiann Davis for alerting me to this case!

The baby was born at KNH on May 3, 2009 with both male and female genitalia.

The hospital officials could not record the sex of the child in question as female or male and ended up putting a question mark as Baby A’s sex.

This entry on the child’s medical record offends the right to legal recognition and erodes dignity and the child’s rights, the court was told.

Baby A has never been issued with a birth certificate, a document that gives legal recognition to an individual.

“The birth certificate is of great legal importance to the life and development of a child given that it is ticket to school admission, issuance of passport, national identity card and employment,” the suit papers filed through lawyer John Chigiti read in part.

And as a result of lack of legal recognition intersexual children live in fear of assault, abuse, inequality, exclusion and without dignity in a legal regime that has nothing for them making it impossible to collate data around them.

Baby A also says intersex children are unable to enjoy all the rights accruing to them as citizens.

Baby A says for intersex children to enjoy rights guaranteed under the constitution to all Kenyans there is need to come up with code or regulations that directly or indirectly govern corrective surgery for intersex children.

The court was told that corrective surgery is intrusive in nature and hence the need for the child’s meaningful participation in decision on what sex should be assigned.

“This calls for child’s meaningful participation in the decision making process and the child’s consent whenever the surgery is not informed by a medical emergency.”

The baby wants the court to allow use of pseudo name in the case and hear it in camera.

Baby A’s case is the second to be filed in the country seeking legal recognition for intersex. The first one was filed by Richard Muasya, whose case was dismissed by a constitutional court.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Proceed with caution, there is extortion

Proceed with caution, there is extortion

In recent times we have heard of reports in the media of organized crime groups targeting certain agencies, wholesalers and business in geographical zones for weekly monthly and even special holiday extortion payments under pain of threats of arson, kidnapping or even death by the gun. Downtown Kingston comes readily to mind as over the decades western region crime lords have developed an awful reputation of carrying out this practice and there is proof to this effect with one major kingpin serving time, these crime bosses also have legitimate business/assets as well under the guise of conducting legal trade while they profit largely from the practice. So pronounced this cancer had become that we were furnished with reports through media again of it spreading to unexpected parts of the business district in the up-scale New Kingston a surprising revelation. It was only recently that a certain West Kingston personality had his eighteen million dollars returned to him after much legal ramblings over its legality; of course loop holes were found to make it happen following his other asset forfeiture court battles linked to crime.

We also know of this practice in Spanish Town as well as politically aligned gangs do so to finance their survival and operations and supposed schooling of community kids, holiday and special children’s treats alongside so called community assistance by dons is used to normalize the practice in the eyes of their followers, apologists and even residents who do not support the practice in principle are forced sometimes to keep it quiet as the “informer will die” (informa fi dead) or the snitch ethos takes effect. The face of extortion has been changing as criminal groups and individuals seem to have adopted a Trinidadianized practice where more individuals especially their children at schools or day care are now being targeted especially from upper middle income to high income brackets, Central Jamaica seems a prime target with places like Mandeville since many returning residents reside there, an infamous case comes to mind. The evidence shows of the fear caused by the racket as several shops in a recently built plaza in St Catherine remain empty as persons refuse to rent them fearing a visit from thugs armed with receipt books in some instances (guns hidden or threats made) demanding wads of cash weekly or monthly, in downtown Kingston and indeed other vending/market areas it is a known secret that the practice abounds with higglers and vendors(mobile or stationary) having to set aside money for the collectors who come openly with books as well while their “protection” lurk in the shadows. Even hand cart men I am told cannot escape the “tax” as it were as the hand carts are owned by persons who rent them out and the storage areas have instituted a pound fee for overnight housing. Now comes the city regulation as well compounding the rates that must be charges by these operators to eke out a living.

A recent case with persons were hiding and living in my very housing scheme made news and shocked residents as well myself as the men who were arrested after a very public and massive police raid revealed that the “decent looking” individuals were actually criminals in an intricate kidnap for ransom network and a car stealing ring spanning some three parishes. No one can be trusted these days as one just never knows who your neighbour might be and with individualism becoming a major construct of Jamaican society socialization I am expecting more surprises such as this. The individual targeting kidnap and extortion practice is more so heard of as a problem in Trinidad hence my connection to it previously but what brings me to the reason for creating this entry is that there is a lesbian twist to it that was brought to my attention by two such cases separately but very similar in nature over a five month span. Also there is the business of alleged gay lotto scammers who are also being targeted in Kingston & St Andrew as a practice that has migrated from Western Jamaica where it once thrived prior to the intervention of the state agencies of course under severe diplomatic pressure from the United States as recent activities brought to bear though the authorities refuse to admit it. The recently highly publicised concluded sex tape and blogger case where digital files such as video clips and photos were illegally lifted from the devices of the female owners or computers that were hacked into and the possession of the items used as the bartering tool in exchange for thousands of dollars proved that the practice is on the rise and is getting more complicated with a cyber crimes twist. As I have warned in a precious entry on Gay Jamaica Watch one needs to be careful about Facebook pages, use of smart phones devices and what materials you store and share even privately without the necessary password and other security protection, one just never knows.

Lesbophobic twists

Three same gender loving females in total were victims of a kidnap, armed robbery and stalking, with two being a couple who went shopping in the upper St Andrew area they were held for several hours, they were pounced upon as they almost neared their apartment on foot, the other woman was trailed as she walked to her flat as well where she was attacked and dragged in a car, several calls were made to her phone contacts demanding some three hundred thousand dollars in ransom. The three men in the latter case also allegedly fondled the woman for several hours threatening to rape her as they suspected she was a lesbian. In the couple’s case however one was shot sustaining a bullet to the left leg and laid up several days in the hospital for same. Their bank cards and other items were stolen and a price tag of three hundred thousand was also demanded by a series of phone calls for several days by the men or persons believed to be linked to the robbers the case is said to be still under investigation as the women contemplate their next move, relocation and asylum included.

A lesbian in her late twenties is said to have been missing since September 22, 2012 and to date no positive word on her whereabouts, many are now worried she may be already deceased or at least captured in some sick twisted ring or extortion or racketeering. Not to be divorced from all this is the forced prostitution ring and sex trade overseas where unsuspecting women are drawn into the web on behalf of pimps who employ all kinds of methods to sell or barter the victims in a worldwide trade.

Other reports

Unconfirmed reports suggest that gay men of a certain lotto scamming group have been targeted by thugs who make regular visits to rotating meeting spots to collect part proceeds as the cash rich illegal activity continues despite the new legislation and clamp downs as the National Security Minister was forced to act as United States authorities stepped up the pressure diplomatically and other wise. One popular diva in the Western region of St James said to have been made to part with just under some five thousand United States currency recently as a spat between themselves and a thug (non homosexual issue) led to a raid by his friends on the diva’s home while she was away. Heterosexual thugs also involved in the activity do not seem to mind working with cross dressers or drag queens or homosexuals for that matter and in fact it has become practice to target gay men for the active part of the activity as it is said we speak far better than the average person on the phone so recruitment is targeted for oratorical skills. The relationship is so good that hardly any "homophobicly" based incidents occur reportedly between the groups but more so issues to do with jealousy, payments and as this entry highlights, extortion. Let us not forget the car chasing case I carried on one of my blogs some time ago and another blog post on kidnap for ransom some years ago.

A particular member of parliament is also rumoured (yes I am going there) to be paying a significant amount of money to contain certain damning photographs of himself and other men in a most compromising position making their way to the public domain, allegations are his phone was taken by thugs who he has been friendly with and they decided to capitalise upon the discovery of the raunchy shots. So it seems even with the MSM umbrella we have this phenomenon creeping up.

Disturbing homeless MSM twist

Now that the New Kingston homeless MSM have been scattered as the two major agencies they have come to have a dependency syndrome challenge with due to those agencies dithering on developing and operationalizing the requisite programs to address the exploding problem the men are now targeting other MSM who have to traverse the streets and even in populated areas especially at nights, so pronounced is this extortion cancer growing as some within the population try to justify their action that they need food that outside LGBT parties in Kingston or within them certain weaker personalities are bum-rushed for money with aggressive tactics employed such as physical threats. This is not new I might add as years ago there were some characters who for the most part have either died or moved on who also did this and it never really went away altogether but it is certainly on the rise. An unconfirmed report in recent days suggest a community person who allegedly tried to engage some of the homeless men was given a fine thrashing as he could not cough up the money the men were demanding and the rage they exhibited after having to relocate from the aforementioned agencies former offices since they were given eviction notices. The community person sustained injuries of a fractured arm, cuts and bruises. I too have met with some hostility from some of the men to a certain extent especially the younger group but they tend to tread carefully with me as my temper is not that nice and I can assure you I am not afraid to block it publicly if I have to, besides one has to time the engagement periods, now is not a proper time to do so even if to extend some olive branch of some sort.

Not all the men were being reached by the limited paltry feeding program one agency was offering them albeit without the urgently needed supporting psycho social interventions and agencies simply expect the men to suddenly change their anti social dispositions on the mere delivery of a Styrofoam box of cooked food and a promise of a phantom shelter that is yet to be seen? Then it is no wonder why the men now angered by their forced re-displacement by the new property owners despite the illegality of occupying the vacated offices of the aforementioned agencies. In this case the monster has been self made and fed in part, created by the failure of leadership and the needed systems to address a long standing MSM problem, one of the most visible forms of fallout from profiling due to homophobia. Now comes extortion of and by our own.

A more entrenched form of extortion that has transcended homeless generations is the proverbial pimp tax practice linked to commercial sex work and intimidation by hyper-masculine types with robbery in some cases the June 13, 2012 double murder in the Trafalgar area was indeed as a consequence of this internal rivalry and cross fertilization if you will since gay for pay/down-low men occasionally clash with the street men for varying reasons.

I offer a word of caution to those out there be on the lookout where ever you go even LGBT entertainment events as they are not immune to this problem bearing in mind that an increasing number of non gay personnel are now working in the arena of providing services to party promoters and some coming in under this guise as well.

Social media these days is also a concern as ones general media presence must be monitored with regards electronic tattoos and footprints left on line (outside of the epidermal electronic systems), activities on sites as Facebook, NING, SocialGo, Blogger and Instagram can leave one open to being stalked or monitored by persons with ulterior motives. The seemingly popular practice of updating statuses with geographical location and typed status messages of where one is and actually doing may not only been seen by friends on ones acquaintance list but if the correct privacy settings are not activated can leave one very exposed. These inadvertent notices while cute or socially acceptable maybe pieces to make up a CSI crime investigation scene after the fact. Photos and other data can be manipulated if done proper to implicate you or someone else with all kinds of scenarios and only a highly trained expert can extirpate one from such an matter.

Tracking by persons of a potential victim is made far too easy by these actions on social media, one has to literally behave as if you are being watched and anonymity is basically dead in the water these days. Not even the best codes written for software on social media sites such as Facebook can protect one as a simple bug or glitch can lead to disastrous consequences but seeing Facebook has been forced for example to tighten security features for profiles following series of breaches and lawsuits, they may be the safest site just now but do not take it for granted. BlackBerry and other devices with associated software also MUST be monitored as hinted before. A segway of sorts here is that what one also puts on social media or on-line can affect how one even gets a job, many employers now check potential applicants’ on-line footprints or tattoos for any infraction which may lead to someone becoming ineligible for an interview or being shortlisted.

Updates to come where available as you may know by now follow up is a bit difficult and investigations tend to fade into obscurity of several cases in the formal systems. 

also see: Kidnap for Ransom ring thwarted from 2011

Peace and tolerance


Friday, May 17, 2013

Minister of Education says no to condoms in schools & grooming of children to see homosexuality as accepted

The last time I looked at this was via two podcasts entered on October 28, 2012 and September 18, 2012 and written entries as well on the withdrawal of a teachers’ manual on sex and sexuality. As today is also Children’s Day I decided to release this entry today although it was ready from the moment the story broke. On his feet in parliament on May 15, 2013 the Minister of Education Reverend Ronald Thwaites said that condoms will not be distributed in schools neither will children be “groomed” into seeing homosexuality as accepted in Jamaica. Coming just days before the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, IDAHOT to be observed on May 17th his exact words were:

“This government led by this Prime Minister lifts up to our children the ideal of faithful love and marriage between a man and a woman as the basis of a family even as we insist on tolerance and love for those who are exposed to homosexuality but let it be clear Mr Speaker we will not be grooming children towards same sex unions and we will not be distributing condoms in schools. Guidance counsellors and their counterparts in the school and community health care systems they must know what to do when a student is in danger of sexual abuse but school is not a ramping shop, restraint must be taught by example and precepts, sex education yes, condoms no” 

He continued regarding the withdrawn yet forward thinking Home and Family Life Education manual that in part spoke to homosexuality, anal sex and a guided imagery exercise of role reversal which was to be conducted in a supervised environment by specially trained counsellors/teachers he said “ .... A positive value laidened age appropriate health and family life curriculum has been revised by a broad based working group for required use in all schools by September.”

Some lunacy here from the goodly minister or playing to the gallery seeing the party/administration has lost some major political capital post the IMF negotiations and confidence in the economy. It is not the first time of course we have seen the issue of homosexuality being made a platform for great pontificating and moral material while playing to the religious right’s imperative. What was also interesting is that the withdrawn HFLE manual is a voluminous document that spoke to several other wholesome developmental issues yet for one section it was removed out of fear.

Lasmay cartoonist from the Gleaner captures it best
So teaching children how to think on tolerance in regards to homosexuality is seen as grooming them to accept gay marriage? It is unbelievable the fear and paranoia coming from the powers that be in the education ministry, some people are gay, bisexual or the other variants we all have to come to that realization sooner or later. I am not surprised regarding the gay marriage bit and lumping all of that as a drive to homosexualize the nation as it were, it was in 2009 when the Bruce Golding administration rode the invented gay marriage discussion as a ploy to cloud the then Charter of Rights debate when the powerful religious lobby Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, LCF also took part in seeing to it that certain key words were removed from the language in fear of any supposed loop holes for any rights or recognition of homosexuality in their eyes. Also at that time the then opposition leader who is now the Prime Minister referred to by Minister Thwaites sided with the Bruce Golding administration on not to gay marriage On October 20, 2009 where she said “Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the committee that looked at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and liked relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity (applause) yes! One man one woman and if you are Jamaican and you go overseas the same applies.” (applause) she continued that on highly sensitive matters such as these overseas supporters and governments must recognise the voice of the majority, she also continued that if same sex marriage was legalized it will lead to chaos in the country. The same charter also spoke to non-discrimination in terms of class, moving about and association but apparently certain things must not apply to some minorities;

The tyranny of the majority?

Red herrings here as per usual? ...... Of course to get everyone worked up

Scared or coward politicians who can’t make the bold decisions needed?

Where is the real tolerance in all of this?

We seem to have a different sense for human rights as it is not universal as is espoused prior to that as well during the P. J. Patterson administration in 2006 the then Minister of Justice A. J Nicholson prepared a statement on No To Gay Marriage at the time and given the recent dodge by the present administration now on the suggested buggery review by Mrs Simpson Miller during the last leadership debate prior to the December 2011 election it is clear that the issues of homosexuality and condoms are being lumped to make it into a political football for mileage. Let us also not forget that at no time was there any agitation for gay marriage rights or state benefits for same sex couples in Jamaica when we can’t even get passed just privacy, consensual sex and more progressive legislation alongside the deep seated cultural rejection so engrained in our psyche. I was not fooled from the start as was some advocates who hailed Mrs Simpson Miller’s suggestion as a promise only to have their hopes dashed, we must get used to Jamaican politicians by now and how they operate and with a powerful religious group and churches right behind them they will feel justified to take the so called higher ground yet look at the hypocrisy where children in lockups, the indigent and other afflicted groups are treated and silence from those same churches not to mention the politically skewed Jamaica Council of Churches who only seem to be very vocal when the Jamaica Labour Party is in power. Besides the law as in the marriage act in Jamaica presently will not allow gay marriages in the first place as it clearly states it is between a man and a woman and will take major amendments to include same gender loving persons. In 2001 there was a presentation made to the committee deliberating the Charter at the time with regards to discrimination but it was avoided via intellectual gymnastics as per usual. The avenue of challenging the marriage act has not been used even though the avenue exists and the reason why the discrimination clause was overlooked was due to a fear that such a challenge would come in the future counter to the charter. In other words no loopholes must be left for gays to get any rights now and in the future, a principle that was used also in the Sexual Offences Bill debate and the parliamentary submission regarding the buggery law in 1998.

Teenage pregnancies are up as much as 18%; HIV/AIDS rates are of concern with teenage girls in particular as the trends suggest older men are having sexual contact quite regularly. Initiation is also a challenge and withholding information and instilling an abstinence only messaging is not practical in today’s world. I will admit I was not pleased with the way the discourse on the suggestion of condom distribution in schools was handled properly by the press, the church (who owns and runs several high schools) the respective stake holders including the Ministry of Health’s and related national HIV programs and the public, what should have been made clear is distribution from a certain age upwards with the relevant information and skill sets provided and shared. Schools would not just become a condom slot machine where teens can simply get condoms as they please, there will have to be monitoring, counselling, information dissemination and other alternative activities presented as options for sexually active teens.

If we were to follow the authorities one would walk away thinking that the present set of adults were not young once with urges and desires, attractions and indeed initiation and experimentation and as the austerity measures take effect of sorts all kinds of methods are now being found to cut where possible and this cop out from handling sex and sexuality matters even as the minister himself recognises initiation and despite the finding that 60% girls of one class at a Kingston school were mothers, he also said in his presentation, “The education system in Jamaica recognizes that many children are initiated into sexual activity during their classroom years, some of the mass media, the carnival culture and confused family values are among forces who weaken the truth that premature sex is seat if true love”

As he imputes motive in the line with the word “forces” his continued belief that some invisible hand somewhere is trying to force homosexuality on the nation’s children during the preparation of the previous version of the HFLE manual that he now says is revised and now our kids will get a sanitized version and yet again we hide the real truth from them when they themselves know more about sex than the adults who teach them. He however encouraged school administrators to re-engage pregnant teens and not to shun them. The occasional preachy scripture related lines must be noted as well in his presentation.

And what about prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infection in the face of the fact that many teens are not going to remain sexless or virgins by thirteen years of age? Many students during the waiting period of the review of the withdrawn HFLE manual were not attending related classes according a small check I did. My neighbour’s grand daughter who attends Alpha Academy has the textbook equivalent to the manual at level 3 and when I quizzed her about the classes she said that no classes has happened and the students welcomed the free period on that given day on the time table. So valuable time has been lost, God knows what mistakes have been made or what could have been avoided.

Fear is a hell of a thing why is there the conflation with same gender sex and abuse or homo-paedophilia so pronounced and how can it be addressed? The teaching of same sex couples as a form of the newer family unit is not precluding the traditional heterosexual unit or taking away rights from such persons. Of course the gay lobby predominantly JFLAG whose stewardship by now you my readers realise am not pleased with will be relying on the law suit coming up in May and June by two persons on the ad rejection by both television stations and the challenge to the buggery law in a sense by activist/blogger Javed Jaghai. Very little came from the aforementioned persons/groups when the HFLE manual was withdrawn earlier this year possible showing how out of touch they are with how connected all of this is to the homophobia we have faced over the decades. I have long concluded that it is because of the lack of the proper curriculum on sex and sexuality over generations why we are at the chronic homophobic position. If we were taught not to fear sex, see homosexuality as orientation and not to hate but seek to understand the issues, abstinence as well as sexual negotiations with safer sex, self esteem and sexuality we would not have the psyche of fear and hate of the feminine and the unknown.

The latter mentioned fears has made homophobia well grounded in our nation and is going to take generations to change the thinking despite persons well travelled or exposed to other cultures. The so called family values that are used as reasons to avoid discussing difference and sexualities but the pathologies of said family life issues in a Christian sense are hidden or driven from a pulpit without any room for engagement for persons who have issues in their lives, marriage for example a discussion on Love 101FM on May 16, 2013 openly spoke to this in a very rare occasion marriage is pushed forward as if once one gets married in the church with God as its centre then all is well when this could not be further from the truth as the same issues of discovered incompatibilities show up after the ring is on, domestic violence, cheating, high rates of divorces within the church itself and down low issues as well where persons struggling with homosexual or bisexual urges marry to avoid, try to change or suppress such feelings and orientation.

Even as May is observed as Family month in certain church denominations it is clear that the very family values that more and more seem to be adopting very exclusionary ideologies is going against the very word of God and he sent his son to embrace the outcast yet homosexuals are supposedly viewed as poisoned individuals where even some anti gay voices have gone as far as creating “others” by using very degrading description to make scapegoats for their hate, what about the basic premise of judge not and not be judged or do unto others? Misplaced aggression hidden under a platform of religiosity here is at work I think and it reminds me of the fact that it was the Scribes (similar to modern day theologians) and Pharisees who were Jesus’ strongest opponents simply because he reached the poor and the ordinary yet it was Rome’s intellectual, political and legal systems that were made as weapons to crucify him with deception becoming a major tool for this new type of theocracy in other words enemies and fraudsters within who pontificate on virtuous platforms. The theology is in the sociology basically, if the church or religiosity is not willing to step into the present reality or become accommodative to difference then how long can it survive being insular and holding fast to some older ideologies that do not make sense in today’s world?

And if winning souls for the kingdom is supposed to be the work involved here for the church on earth then using derogatory terms, separatists ideology hidden in theological mumbo jumbo and hypocrisy in the name of Christ to create “others” so they can be made infectious, then where is the witness component here, is it only preaching to the converted and keeping themselves to themselves the ultimate goal here is that what Christian witness has come to or where is the leadership by example?

So we remain at a standstill as the education ministry decides to remain in the old ages regarding sex and sexuality at the expense of our young.

In a follow up press briefing the minister made it clear he was not afraid of a backlash from the gay lobby, “Fear is not an issue in this it’s a question of what is right” he continued that advocating the homosexual lifestyle is not in line with the mood of the Jamaican people or what is right and moral, “We must be very careful that in the interest of tolerance we do not allow minority groups to defeat majority sentiments.” In other words I interpret that as stay in your place as minority voices and protection are unimportant in his eyes.

Peace and tolerance

from the earlier HFLE Fiasco in 2012

Flashback to 2012
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