Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Uganda President ratifies Anti-Homosexuality Bill; MEPs: ‘Suspend political agreement with Uganda!’


Edited by H

Of course well thinking persons despite sexual orientation or religious background sees the recent signing of the much touted anti homosexual bill in Uganda as plain madness, the EU has acted and other countries have withdrawn aid as posted in the entry immediate to this one. The EU LGBT Intergroup has released a release regarding this gravest of acts on the African continent in recent times and is a cause for concern as the rhetoric being used to justify the plain hate is preposterous.

I stand in solidarity with our counterparts in Uganda not because they are LGBT people but simply because they are HUMAN and deserve to exist especially in a world where knowledge while increased and accessible is deliberately being manipulated by political directorates in order to stay in power.

Yesterday the President of Uganda signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law. The new law vastly expands the criminalisation of LGBTI individuals, and now forces parents, teachers and doctors to report LGBTI persons to authorities.


Under the Penal Code Act 1950, consensual sexual activity between same sex adults was already punishable by life imprisonment.

Apart from bolstering older anti-sodomy laws, the new law punishes persons keeping a house or rooms for the ‘purpose of homosexuality’ (i.e. landlords or parents of LGBTI persons) with a maximum of 7 years’ imprisonment.

The ‘promotion of homosexuality’ also becomes punishable by up to 7 years’ imprisonment. This will have severe consequences for human rights defenders, including heterosexual individuals.

Previous drafts of the bill included the death penalty for HIV-positive individuals, or ‘repeat offenders’. These ‘offences’ are now punishable with life imprisonment.

UNAIDS has warned that the criminalisation of homosexuality has severe negative consequences for HIV programmes, and public health generally.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup reacted: “I am appalled by the adoption of this bill which breaches the most fundamental right of all: the right to life.”

“I call upon EU Member States and the European Commission to start, as a matter of urgency, the procedure to suspend Uganda from the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement on the grounds of grave human rights violations.”

Olle Schmidt MEP, Member of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly and Member of the LGBT intergroup added: “This development is extremely dangerous and literally threatens the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. LGBT people should be able to live their lives without fear of arbitrary arrests and violence against them, simply for being who they are.”

“The EU and its Member States should use all their powers to push for decriminalisation, and should assure that all LGBT people have the right of asylum in the EU because of the discrimination they face at in their home countries.”

Denmark, Netherlands cut aid to Uganda over anti-gay bill .............. others pending

first remarks in 2012

Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway have become the first countries to cut aid to Uganda following the signing of their controversial anti-gay bill.

Yesterday (February 24), President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill, which could see gay people facing life imprisonment, with those who assist gays also facing custodial sentences.

The Netherlands have frozen approximately $9.6 million (£5.8m) in aid to Uganda’s legal system, saying that they did not want to assist the African nation in the criminalisation of homosexuality.

Denmark and Norway have both announced that they plan to redirect aid away from the government in Uganda. Instead, they will provide aid totalling $17 million (£10m) to human rights groups and other organisations in the country.

Meanwhile, both the US and Canada have stated that their relationships with Uganda would have to be reviewed following the introduction of new anti-gay laws.

President Museveni described gay people as “disgusting” shortly after signing the bill on live television.

The former Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu, has condemned Uganda’s anti-gay law, saying that it is as evil as Nazism and Apartheid.


The law calls for first-time offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

Lesbians are covered by the bill for the first time.

On signing the bill, the president questioned why gay men “failed” to be attracted to women, described them as “mercenaries” who have sex for money, expressed displeasure at the idea of oral sex and claimed that he had “listened to scientists” as a basis for his claims.

Going on, he also said that there was something “really wrong” with gay people, and that he is “prepared” to be on a collision course with the west over the law.

He said: ”I have failed to understand that you can fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women and be attracted to a man.”

“That is a really serious matter. There is something really wrong with you,” he said.

“Homosexuals are actually mercenaries. They are heterosexual people but because of money they say they are homosexuals. These are prostitutes because of money,” he said, asserting that he had taken the time to get scientific advice before signing off on the law.

“No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature. That man can choose to love a man… is a matter of choice. After listening to the scientists, I got the facts. Can somebody be homosexual simply by nature? The answer is no.”

Describing oral sex as a “culture”, and the mouth as an “address”, he went on to say that it was “engineered for kissing”, and that the mouth was not meant for oral sex.

He said: “One of the cultures that we detest is oral sex. The mouth is for picking food, not for sex. We know the address for sex. That address is not for sex,” he said. “The mouth is for eating not for sex. The mouth is engineered for kissing.

“It is not healthy. You can contract STDs. You push the mouth there, you can come back with worms and they enter your stomach because that is a wrong address. You can also contract Hepatitis B.”

Blaming the West for the presence of gay people in Uganda, he said “arrogant and careless Western groups” had been “coming in our schools and recruiting homosexuals into homosexuality and lesbianism”.

“Initially I have not paid attention to it because I was busy with the immediate issues of defence, security, electricity, the roads.”

“When finally, when I concentrated my mind on it, I distilled three problems: number one, those who are promoting homosexuality and recruiting normal people to it. Secondly, as a consequence of number one, many of those recruited, are doing so for mercenary reasons. To get money. In effect, homosexual prostitutes. These mercenary homosexual prostitutes have to be punished. Just like those who are recruiting them.”

“Number three, homosexuals exhibiting themselves. Exhibition of homosexuals, advertising yourself that you are homosexual.”

Concluding, he addressed criticism from the West for the law. Critics include Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Foreign Secretary William Hague, EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton and US President Barack Obama.

“I advise friends from the West not to make this an issue because if they make it an issue the more they will lose,” he said. “This is social imperialism. To impose social values of one group on our society.

“I would advise Western countries, this is a no-go area… I don’t mind being in a collision course with the West. I am prepared.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

GLBTQ Jamaica's 6th Blogoversary

Today February 20th is the sixth year of this blog's life. Thank you so much for your continued support and advice and criticisms over these years of life for this publication. As you may now know I started out blogging on behalf of JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays (SCJ came first) when I was a part of that family but apparently the revolution was too fast for them to fully embrace and with my strong views on where we were going a name/direction changes were in order so then came GLBTQ Jamaica of course redone to reflect my views alongside a few of theirs (others were deleted) with my sister blogs GLBTQJA on Wordpress and the ever controversial Gay Jamaica Watch (formerly Sunshine Cathedral Jamaica, SCJ). A new Xrated all male blog was added recently to diversify the offerings on this kind of platform based on demand from some of my male readers. Other support pages came such as:

Google Plus
Twitter
Facebook
Youtube
Dailymotion 
LinkedIN

I still intend to launch a full site soon provided the right funds can be put together and the timing is right as I do this activity alone for now with networking/funding assistance from other persons on the ground and loyal readers internationally, thank you so much for your support.



Nothing much has changed in terms of goals from then except the new posts and features added that judging by your feedback have been enjoying. Some previous ones have been achieved such as:

1) The formalizing of GLBTQ Jamaica (to be made a charitable organization still)
2) Crisis Interventions where possible (subject to funding availability) 
3) Networking with other LGBTQ organizations via front-line work and workshop facilitation
4) Impacting the discourse here in Jamaica and abroad on our issues surrounding LGBTQIQ2S life
5) Brother blog Gay Jamaica Watch reached its million plus hits milestone in 2013 finally
Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to make donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com or telephone: 1-876-813-4942 or CLICK HERE 



Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Continue to work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implementing suggestions and ideas from you the viewing and listening public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL
Thanks again

lgbtevent@gmail.com

glbtqjamaica@live.com
Tel: 1-876-813-4942
http://gayjamaicawatch.blogspot.com/

http://glbtqja.wordpress.com/
http://glbtqja.blogspot.com/ (the newest addition to the family with more international focus)

INFORMATION & DISCLAIMER


Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. I have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alleged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names maybe withheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practitioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

Recent Homophobic Incidents
CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact lgbtevent@gmail.com

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.

Howie



Friday, February 14, 2014

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica is four years old today

Logo Designed by Co-Chair Laura Garcia 

Founded February 14th 2010 by a group of lesbian and transgender individuals and straight allies with some thirty years experience combined to address the then invisibility of said groups in the general sphere of representation on community issues and TBL advocacy.

the aims included in its original outlook:

About Us

We are Aphrodite’s PRIDE. We operate as a Non-Profit Organization in Jamaica focusing on issues as they relate to the Jamaican Lesbian, Transgender (M→F & F→M) and Female Bisexual (LTB) Communities.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to create an environment conducive to positive intra and inter-community relations, encourage personal development (AGENCY) and improve self-esteem and create behavior change. We hope to achieve this by utilizing various methods of engagement and interventions.

Our Core Values

We are guided by our core values of Ethics & Integrity, Accountability, Mutual Respect, Compassion, Social Responsibility, Empowerment, Team Work and Balance

Our Priorities

Our priorities include but are not limited to issues as they relate to Outreach, Personal Development, Enterprise Training, limited Crisis Intervention & limited Healthcare within the Lesbian, Transgender & Female Bisexual Communities.

Our Core Competencies

We seek to address intra and inter-community relationship issues by trying to find creative realistic solutions while promoting the celebration of our diversities.

Our Impact

We acknowledge the importance of thinking ‘Outside the Box’ in terms of achieving our goals; so through programs and community education we hope to set important precedents which will help our efforts in creating an environment conducive to such. Also, by encouraging involvement in sporting & cultural activities we hope to promote healthier lifestyles and encourage more social responsibility. In creating a Safe Zone it is our hope that we will positively influence the lives of all in our community; particularly survivors of isolation, marginalization, discrimination, victimization or silenced by society’s restrictive gender norms and socialization. 


ENDS

Since then I was approached by both Co-Chairs to be part of the movement as an ally with limited scope to include some MSM issues and cross cultural matters and have since taken up the Outreach Co-oordinator post since 2012.

Major Activities thus far


Mentorship program with fifteen same gender loving women to identify leaders for community development with some funding assistance from Maynov Productions/Selena Blake; producer of Taboo Yardies Documentary presently being screened in Jamaica. See MORE HERE and from other private donors.

Whitney Reid, transgender voice from the We are Jamaicans Campaign(JFLAG) as a participant in the Entrepreneurship Training in 2013
Entrepreneurship Training/Personal Development:

ongoing Entrepreneurship Training Sessions August 2013 to end in April 2014
with a wide cross section of experts as facilitators 
Issues covered include:
Coming Out
Self Esteem
Business Plan writing
Telling Our Stories

Sankofa Arts Facilitation's Fabian Thomas presenting on the captioned subject matter

Project title:
Seismic. A social engagement programme for LGBT youth; Providing psycho social and enterprise development skills training services for vulnerable LGBT youth
Engaging forty Transgender, Bisexual and Lesbian Jamaicans with some MSM focus on personal development and micro and small business management.

Transgender Awareness Week 2013

Taboo Yardies Screening in Kingston with after discussion; SEE MORE HERE

~*~ Making a positive impact on our Community through Empowerment, Mutual Respect & Camaraderie~*~

Happy anniversary APJ, there is more to come. Thanks for your support and donations can be made to GLBTQJA on their behalf via Paypal (buttons situated on the top left side of this and other blogs in the family)

Peace and tolerance

H

On a sad note one of our participants passed away from a heart condition but we were happy to have had an impact in his life during his final days, rest in peace Jermaine James (24).

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Taboo Yardies Screenings & a stupid letter to the editor

Screening from the United Theological College courtesy of Taboo Yardies Twitter handle
The pro-gay Documentary Taboo Yardies has been making the rounds on the island again and the reactions have been mixed thus far, while I support the film for what it represents I am just flabbergasted at the continued ignorance out there and the preoccupation with "the how of gay sex" more than the orientation of persons but Miss Selena Blake the film's producer has shown some difficulty navigating that ever present question or pointer I fear which leave certain misconceptions un-addressed, that aside over the responses seem better than expected especially at the United Theological College screenings as photos shared by the producer reveal

Reverend Dr Majore Lewis (right) from the Interfaith Group and Lecturer from the UTC

University of the West Indies screening
The Edna Manley College as well also hosted a screening where the students reactions were said to be mixed however radio interview reactions were not so balanced as callers were hostile for the most part especially on HOT 102FM on January 30, 2014 hosted by two leading anti gay voices Betty-Ann Blaine and Dicky Crawford, only Dicky however spoke to Selena Blake but it gave clear insight that there is still much work to change the deeply held homo-negative beliefs, who would imagine in modern day Jamaica with all the information available persons still attribute HIV as a gay disease as the letter below in today's Gleaner attest below:

Edna Manley College students had mixed reactions including very emotional ones
Taboo: the truth?

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I recently had occasion to view the film Taboo: Yardies which is self-described as giving 'a voice to those Jamaicans who are pro, con and everywhere in-between' on homosexuality and transgenderism. I found the film emotionally driven, thematically skewed, and very sadly lacking in love.

Why no love? Because it hides, suppresses and avoids the truth about the homosexual lifestyle.
It says nothing about the destructive outcomes of homosexual conduct. That men who have anal sex with men are the only group in any society with increasing rates of HIV/AIDS infection (in Jamaica, 32 per cent compared to 1.6 per cent of the non-homosexual group), as well as other sexually transmitted infections; that male and female homosexuals have higher rates of drug abuse and domestic violence and are more susceptible to depression and suicide; that lesbians have higher risks for breast cancer and for certain types of gynaecological cancers compared to heterosexual women.

Nor was there any mention of the primary environmental incident that numerous studies have shown as leading to homosexuality - a dysfunctional home life. This includes sexual abuse, molestation, absent or detached fathers, overbearing and controlling mothers, peer rejection and gender insecurity, among other factors.
Unfortunately, the director gave no hope to her viewers; the factual and truthful hope that science has shown no one is born gay; that help, healing, and true freedom from the homosexual lifestyle are possible and available.

Love and compassion look out for the best of the other. Love speaks the truth fearlessly. If someone's life is taking a direction that spells danger, but you remain silent, or worse, encourage the harmful behaviour, you mean that hurting person no good. I suspect the filmmaker's true motivations, but I nevertheless encourage her from now on to act in love.

REECE BRISCO
reecebriscoe@gmail.com
Kingston 6


ENDS

Obviously this letter is one from a viewer from the religious community (we should bombard that email lol) but I am not surprised as sections of the theological community have been strident in pushing these beliefs and the "search for proof" ambit to the discourse but the question is why would I rationally and naturally choose something that could bring me harm when it feels right to me?
also see:
Anti Gay Religious group launches pro buggery law DVD

Transgender Awareness Week: Taboo Yardies Screening in Kingston

Transgender Awareness Week 2013 



Let us hope the series of screenings will in some way help to soften the anti gay sentiments out there.

CVM TV Interview Feb 6, 2014


Peace and tolerance

H

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Zimbabwean Transwoman freed after arrest for using a female bathroom


When transwoman Ricky Nathanson woke that Thursday morning, she probably would have never suspected her name would become recognized worldwide.

And Ricky almost certainly wouldn't have guessed she was to become the next target for extortion by the corrupt ZANU PF party.

Ms. Nathanson exiting the women's room at the Palace Hotel was was stopped from leaving by ZANU PF party youth leader Farai Mteliso and crew who then demanded money from her in lieu of calling the police. However, she wouldn't give him any, but it didn't get better for Ricky after the police arrived. They took her into custody and forced her to strip, purportedly to ascertain her gender robbing her a again, this time of her dignity.

But Ricky had her day in court and proved without a shadow of doubt she was legally entitled to use the women room. What remains to be seen is if the court acts on the charges against ZANU PF party youth leader Farai Mteliso and thugs or the police that made her strip and humiliated her.


SW Radio Africa reports the Magistrate Abednico Ndebele told Ms. Nathanson:

“It appears the State is still yet to make a decision on the charge, and according to what’s in court, there’s no offence in anyone entering a female or male toilet… For now you can go and the State will call you if it needs you,” Ndebele told Nathanson.

However Zanu PF thug, Farai Mteliso, who effected a "citizen’s arrest" on Nathanson at the Hotel was not impressed.

Mteliso told reporters “The magistrate presides on a case of a man who comes into court wearing a dress, which obviously shows that he is practicing homosexuality,” despite knowing Ricky has been presenting in her correct gender, as a woman for years

Mteliso continues “Do you think that if President (Robert) Mugabe was in this court that man would have come out of court?

“Just imagine how many women this man has seen naked by entering ladies toilets.

“I think he has even seen my wife’s nakedness since I usually go with her to drink at the Hotel.”

An arrest warrant has been issued for the ZANU PF party members who accosted Ms. Nathenson who has since had to flee her home in fear of her life.

Ian Maseko, director at lobby group Sexual Rights Centre, said Ricky’s court case shows how the legal system is being used to harass those perceived to be different.

“The way Ricky has been treated is inhumane. The constitution guarantees equal rights and respect for the dignity of all citizens and we should all be affirming that,” Maseko told SW Radio Africa Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Petitioning Mrs Portia Simpson Miller REPEAL DISCRIMINATORY LAWS AND CONSTITUTIONAL CLAUSES AGAINST JAMAICAN WOMEN

A local Women's Group named Caribbean Dawn launched this petition some months ago .................. Take a stand! Jamaican Women Deserve more! For further information: cbn.dawn@gmail.com or 876 407 0300


Jamaican women’s health and rights are compromised or denied because of restrictive legislation and prohibitive costs. This includes stigma, and the personal pain borne by women across class, ethnicity and religious affiliation coming terms with their exercise of choice to terminate a pregnancy.

To:
Mrs Portia Simpson Miller, Most Honourable Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister
Mr Mark Golding, Honourable Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice
Dr Fenton Ferguson, Honourable Minister of Health
Ms Lisa Hanna, Honourable Minister of Youth, Culture & Sports
Ms Sandrea Falconer, Senator, the Honourable Minister, Information and Gender Affairs

• The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 22,000 abortions are performed in Jamaica each year.
• Complications arising from unsafe abortion are among the top 10 causes of maternal death in the island, especially among teenagers.
• Review of legislation governing abortion has been 30 years in the making. Efforts by various governments to address these concerns have been halted by conservative religious groups not sensitive to the reproductive rights and realities of women, girls, their families and partners.

In Jamaica, Sections 72 and 73 of the Offences Against the Persons Act (1864):
- Criminalise women who chose to terminate a pregnancy, who, if convicted “shall be liable to be imprisoned for life with or without hard labour.”
- Criminalise medical professionals who facilitate a woman’s exercise of choice to have her pregnancy terminated, and the parents and guardians who facilitate termination of pregnancies of girls under the age of 18. If convicted they “shall be liable to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 3 years with or without hard labour.” 

The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (2011) states in Section 12 ( c ) that Laws predating the Charter which relate to, among other things, “offenses regarding the life of the unborn” are not in contravention of the Charter. This provision entrenches discrimination against women by making it extraordinarily difficult to challenge the Offences Against the Person Act (1864). The criminalisation of abortion creates a clandestine environment in which women risk their lives to pursue a private decision. One option is availed by a vibrant but dangerous trade in unregulated abortifacients. 

We call on the Government of Jamaica to:
• repeal the sections 72 and 73 of the Offences Against the Persons Act (1864) and Section 12 (c ) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights (2011) which contravenes the human rights of many Jamaican citizens, including women and which are not as described in the Charter, “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”
• complete the review process started by the Parliamentary Sub Committee on the draft Termination of Pregnancy Bill in 2009, to enact this vital piece of legislation.
All Jamaican women, particularly women and girls who are highly vulnerable (the poor, rural women, adolescents, and victims of sexual violence) deserve access to legal, safe and affordable abortion services.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

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