Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't give up on the church, pastor tells gays (Observer)

Board member of Dwayne's House Reverend Fowler who also spoke at JFLAG IDAHOT symposium on May 16 prior to the Bain furore was reported on today in the Jamaica Observer while her points are substantive I have to say that if the lobbyists she supports were not so conflicted and directionless in certain respects in the first place we would not be in this predicament we now find ourselves at this time of the struggle. 



Actual service paraphernalia handled by Reverend Robert Griffin in 2010, church from a box if you will.

Case in point the now limp-wristed Sunshine Cathedral Jamaica, SCJ (a branch of Metropolitan Community of Churches, MCC Florida) which was formed to address the spiritual and basic welfare needs of LGBT people while also reaching out to the theological community via the Interfaith discussions yet JFLAG et al allowed a secularist ambit to dominate the conversation (whilst board members cross sit on groups missing the intersectional goals) hence the poisoning of the public perception with moral nihilistic objectives and the anti Christian push, the very homeless MSM issue to which she is now claiming to be directly involved in was sacrificed for same (the closure of the Safe House Pilot 2009) now the Bain issue, if on one hand the dialogue was going on with the Jamaica Umbrella Groups of Churches while on the other the loudest voices are saying down with Christian principles whilst pushing LGBT rights then what does one expect to happen?

Frankly such a tolerant position would be better sounding from a local individual than from a foreigner given the perception of imposed foreign values fuelling the push back from religious groups and individuals. The recent report of support growing for homeless teens in the Shoemaker Gully in New Kingston I wonder now with the ongoing furore when churches are riled up for the Bain issue but quiet on other societal ills.

flashback podcast on poor leadership in LGBT advocacy that has impaired the movement:


MINISTER of the Hope United Church in Kingston, Rev Margaret Fowler has asked the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community not to give up on the church, which she said has been selective about those to whom they give pastoral care.

"I want to just encourage you not to give up on the church. Not to give up on us because some of us are there on the front-line with you," Fowler said

According to Rev Fowler, there is the idea within the church that everybody who has a different view is the enemy. "Sometimes ministers are very selective about those they see for counselling and if you don't like what you hear you just send them to someone else," Rev Fowler said.

Rev Fowler, who was speaking at the recent Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) hosted Larry Chang Human Rights Symposium in Kingston, said the church should not be caught up in some of the technical issues.

Unlike Jesus who urge persons to come as they are, Rev Fowler said the modern day church does not allow people to come as they are because of the limitations that they have placed on them.

"We have to educate our own church community that we must be open to people. It is not easy to create that kind of space when you have a set of people who only want forgiveness for church people, so anyone outside the realm of the faith you have to join the line, you have to change your ways before you can receive forgiveness. But Jesus didn't say that, He simply said that those who are without sin cast the first stone and all of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory."

According to Rev Fowler, the church is operating in a Jamaica which wants to focus on the great British empire of yesterday.

"The church is still ministering in a modern-day Jamaica of the new empire but we are still working with old empire values, hence we have a clash of cultures," she argued.

She claimed that the church has not always taken the right path and has created mayhem in many places.

"The church has tried on several occasions to work with vulnerable groups but some think we have not done a good job because all we want the vulnerable group to do is to change and to conform and to come and be like us, gentle Jesus meek and mild," she said.

However, there are those in the church, she said, who have taken the struggle and have gone on the edge and on the margin and have tried to look at things in a slightly different way, she said.

According to Rev Fowler, throughout history the church has not been good at discussing sexuality in any way, shape or form.

"You need to understand that and forgive us as a church, as it is something we like to hide and we don't want to put it out there to talk about it," she said.

The debate about sexual orientation, she said, can be looked at from two angles -- that of the theological biblical angle "where I would come and preach and speak on various Bible text sor we can simply exercise our pastoral duty as Christians and as ministers and there are brothers and sisters out there and the gay community and non-gay community and a variety of communities that need the pastoral approach and commitment of the church".

Father Sean Major-Campbell, priest in charge of Christ Church Vineyard Town, said he not only agrees with Rev Fowler but believes the church needs to stop limiting itself to the Old Testament stories.

According to Major-Campbell, it is the cultural narrative which often informs our views and not evidence-based position such as what new research is suggesting.

"I believe there are many persons who generally have limited themselves to the Old Testament stories and interpretations and narratives which really does not help, because much of what we read for example the Levitical tradition does not necessarily apply to our context. I believe that we also need to try more to operate from a position of compassion, a position of human rights, a position of respect for all," he told the Jamaica Observer.

The easier thing to do, according to Father Major-Campbell, is to quote some Bible verses and not do the hard work which is to think and use our brains.

"We were given our brains first before we were given the Bible and to engage more the reality of people's experiences on the ground. How do people understand themselves, recognising that the Bible is neither a medical book nor a science book and many of the things we need to do to understand more about human life and living and reality is to engage the various disciplines and hear what they have to say," he said.

And given that his views on homosexuality are different from those of several other church leaders, Father Major-Campbell said he remained patient with those who have not yet come to that position of deeper understanding and deeper appreciation of the broader human family.

"Certainly our human community is not made up of heterosexuals alone or one particular race or one particular colour or one particular nationality or one particular sexuality; the human family is much bigger than we often are prepared to deal with," he insisted.

Meanwhile, Pastor Donald Stewart of the Portmore Lane Covenant Community Church questioned where the church should draw the line if it is to be totally inclusive without any restrictions. He questioned if the church is supposed to have no limitation, should it consent to marrying blood siblings. "Where do you draw the line: are you to marry everyone that comes or is there to be some principle?" he questioned.

Pointing to Bible scripture quoted by Rev Fowler, Pastor Stewart said although Jesus said whosoever has no sin let him cast the first stone He also said in the same passage: Woman, go out and sin no more.

But Rev Fowler in dismissing that argument said Jamaica is a long way from having same sex marriages and so this is not something she is concerned about.

"I am more concerned about the young men in the gully in New Kingston at this time. There are a whole lot of people sinning within our church communities which we need to root out and so we have to take the stick out of our own eye before we go to somebody else," she said.



ENDS

Sorry but the gains made though incremental have been wiped out for the most part as daggers are drawn now and I wonder how can those be repaired or reforged?

follow up radio interview:

additional listening May 27th 2014:



Peace and tolerance

H

Is Freedom Of Expression At Risk? asks JFLAG advocate

It may seems so if we are to follow the more vocal and strident anti gay voices as previously latent or dormant feelings have been reawakened in light of the Bain matter. Sometimes I wonder when I see some articles and the folks behind them, does Mr Nelson not realise the public relations nightmare the organization he is linked to JFLAG is now facing and that the work done by previous advocates to get to some real semblance of tolerance has been wiped out by the poor monitoring and subsequent late action by some of his superiors?

Does he not understand the implications of the secular humanist ambit that was added to the public advocacy and yet they expect a tolerance message to resonate with an already cynical public? There seems to be hypocrisy on all sides with the JCHS head complaining of name calling by gay advocates yet he (Dr Wayne West) has no trouble eloquently reeling them off such as "The “utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist” , neocolonial ,imperialist, anti-free speech, thought- policing, intolerant ,belligerent , Mujahideen , ayatollahs of anal, Taliban Gaystapo." (taken from his blog) he also tries to claim that:

"TTT maintains that up to about five years ago the author would have not resisted removal of Jamaica’s buggery.

Testifyingtotruth has no intention of peeping into anyone bedrooms but is even more committed to make sure that no one removes Jamaican’s fundamental rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and parental rights and this is the clear objective of the LGBT lobby which one sees unfolding in western democracies.

Testifyingtotruth is therefore committed to resisting this fascist, stalinist, neocolonial, imperialist, anti-free speech, thought policing political movement.

We do not hold the view that all LGBT persons are a part of this political movement nor do we support violence or any physical harm to LGBT persons."


Recent radio interviews with the gentleman suggests otherwise to me, take a look at this Observer report.




see Wayne West @ 1:15

The business of ethics and integrity comes into play here ON ALL SIDES involved and I notice there is very little emphasis placed on these two tenets of public advocacy especially with regards to Jamaica advocacy both on an LGBTQI front and HIV Prevention work and now obviously missing in the holy religious groups and voices as well.

Tit for tat anyone? how can there be dialogue now even in the face of a religious voice (though a foreigner) calling for the LGBT community not to give up on the church: 

see: Integrity of Jamaican LGBT Advocate Questioned, named as student loan delinquent

The religious groups feel they are being stifled as well as music artists when the action taken though justified in many respects has not been properly timed especially in relation to the bigger strategic goals of the HIV prevention strategies, one may even question the moral authority some folks have when calling out Professor Bain for conflic of interest when said COI is evident in the very groups who did so, the incestuous nature at the management and direction levels of some organizations is questionable then we wonder why decisions and indeed ethics are missing. Attaching the Charter of Rights in this on the context of freedom of speech and not of LGBT rights and recognition seems a little disingenuous to me and some other folks who have commented on this piece and why wasn't this espoused long before the present impasse?

There needs to be some major changes in the strategies on public advocacy on LGBT issues and a clear separation of persons who themselves seems so conflicted that they cannot speak in their official capacities and alternate as it seems fit. Conflict of interest indeed.


Adding insult to injury that in the middle of the furore that is cementing of free speech suppression perceptions in the national pysche JFLAG chooses to launch a media guide on how journalists should use or not certain terms, the RJR interview with Dionne Jackson Miller was clear as the snickers in between the dialogue with Jaevion on May 22nd just indicated the madness of it all as she asked him "You don't think that that might stir resentment amongst professional journalists who are saying who are you to be telling me what to ask?" sometimes I wonder if the J is in the real world? George Davis of Nationwide radio also made dissenting remarks as well to the effect that what right have they (JFLAG) to tell journalists what to say, one could easily see how this also plays into the belief that freedom of expression is being stifled, such a glossary or guide should have been out and on their website eons ago as was agreed in a meeting I attended when Dr Robert Carr was alive and the Chair of the then management committee but such are the repercussions of late action and poor pro-activity.

Here is the article by Jaevion Nelson (limited free viewing, paid subscription may be needed to see it in full)

Freedom of expression/speech is arguably one of the most fundamental rights we enjoy. If nothing else, Betty-Ann Blaine, Daniel Thomas and Shirley Richards, who have been at the forefront of recent protests at the University of the West Indies, subsequent to the removal of Professor Brendan Bain as head of CHART, are right about its importance.

While the public has been misled into believing that the Bain-UWI-Civil Society issue is about freedom of expression, it gives us an opportunity to have a discussion on this important issue.

Ever so often, an alarm is raised about a possible threat to this important right and we are prodded into some sort of action. What really is freedom of expression? How is freedom of expression being threatened and by whom? What does the Constitution of Jamaica and international law say about freedom of expression? How do we protect this right? These are questions we should be asking regardless of our conviction on the Bain issue or gay rights.

According to the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), "freedom of expression is a principle contained in various human rights documents. Its objective is to ensure that people are able to communicate and express opinions, in public, private, either written or spoken, without the interference of the state or others."

Section 13(3)(c) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom guarantees this. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Jamaica became party to on December 19, 1966, articulates that (1) "Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and (2) "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."

Simply put, it means that people do have a right to have dissenting views on any issue. Secularists are free to express their views about religion and the need to separate the Church from the State. Pastors can say casino gambling and flexi-work week are dangerous and should not be supported. Gay rights advocates can say that Parliament has no business in their bedroom. Christians can certainly say homosexuality is 'unnatural' and is immoral.

NOT AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT

One thing missing from the chants and protests is the fact that freedom of expression is not an absolute right; that there are limitations. As APC notes on their website, "it generally only has applicability where the purpose of expression is lawful, and where the act of expression does not infringe on the human rights of others."

Article 19(3) of the ICCPR further states that "The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; [and] (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals."

With rights come responsibilities. It is important for us to be mindful that we don't harm or restrict the rights of other people in exercising or enjoying our freedom of expression. Those who are overcome with anxiety that this right is being threatened must consider the fact that people, regardless of position in society, will and must be held accountable for what they say.

I do concede that in some cases when people are held accountable for what they have said about a minority group, it is not always justified. Human rights activists must understand that balance is critical in this regard. Not everything said is necessarily offensive and no matter how ridiculous something may sound, it is not always reason to lobby for sanctions to be applied to an individual. The oppressed should never become the oppressor.

Jaevion Nelson is a youth development, HIV and human rights advocate. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and jaevion@gmail.com


Readers you decide it is clear to me that there is just some aimless movements in as far as advocacy is concerned and it just stinks.

Peace and tolerance

H

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ian Boyne: Bain exercised terribly poor strategic judgement .....................

I am still carefully going through the materials too numerous on this issue since it broke last Sunday May 18th in the Gleaner and several other issues have arisen since then as previous posts on this blog has brought to bear, the conflict of interest is clear but long time feelings some which were dormant opposing homosexuality overall and the removal of the buggery law have since reawakened.

You may also want to hear these:



and


Ian Boyne takes on the issue as published yesterday in the Gleaner's In Focus:


Ian Boyne

Ian Boyne

Professor Brendan Bain exercised terribly poor strategic judgement in offering that affidavit which got him fired. The University of the West Indies (UWI) hardly had any option but to boot him. Overwhelming public outrage and disgust with the demagoguery of the gay lobby and its fellow travellers is absolutely justified, and the championing of freedom of speech is refreshingly welcome.

These are seemingly contradictory positions, but represent the kind of nuanced reflections which have been all too often absent from the largely visceral and glandular discussion of this issue. We need to cool our heads (well, more accurately, our emotions) and rationally and dispassionately discuss this issue.

I have warned repeatedly in these columns about the profoundly anti-democratic tendencies in the gay lobby and its threat to freedom of speech. It exploits the word 'homophobia' as a conversation-stopper, labelling every opposition to homosexuality, however mild, as blind prejudice, bigotry and stigmatisation. The gay lobby has succeeded in defining even intellectually honest objections to homosexuality (an oxymoron?) as hate speech and it will pursue and persecute anyone who opposes its agenda of normalising homosexuality. I have no illusions about either the gay lobby's power or agenda.

The gay lobby and its human-rights allies have suffered significant reputational damage over its bullying of Bain out of his job as head of a UWI project dealing with HIV/AIDS. The Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches puts it well in its release last Thursday: "A decision such as this against such a reputable professional has served to concretise the view that those with a homosexual agenda are prepared to discriminate against, stigmatise and silence those who do not share their world view. Therefore, this is likely to cement the lines of separation and bolster the stridency in opposing the homosexual lifestyle."

Says the church group: "No doubt Professor Bain's casualty will be lifted up as a local example of what happens to those who share a different world view." However, I believe this issue has been mischaracterised as one of the denial of academic freedom and as mere cowering on the part of the UWI administration. I believe we are conflating some issues needlessly.

First, it is not one of academic freedom. Professor Bain is a retired professor. He has not been penalised as a professor with Evangelical views. He held and expressed those views all those years as a professor and was very active in the Christian community for many years in media pushing traditional Christian family values. He was never victimised by the UWI for that.

But if Professor Bain had lost the support and goodwill of major organisations working in HIV/AIDS, how could he effectively carry out his work as head of Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART)? What practical sense would it make for the UWI to continue to keep him working in a capacity when those whom he would need to work with reject him? Put the blame on the organisations which vociferously voiced their opposition to his continued leadership, not the UWI that was managing the project.

But you say the UWI must not bow for "30 pieces of silver". It must stand up for principles and its values. Well, it turns out, as Vice-chancellor E. Nigel Harris told us clearly in media interviews last week that the UWI's values are in the direction of the decriminalisation of homosexuality - on the wrong side of which Professor Bain found himself in that Belize case. UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne was very forthright and even strident in his address to the 2013 UWI graduating class in Barbados. He sees criminalisation of homosexuality as being against human rights. Harris says explicitly that is the UWI's position.

So faced with sharp and trenchant opposition to Bain's continuing to lead CHART and its own values, the UWI, it seems to me, acted consistently and justifiably in firing Professor Bain. It clearly was going to lose that contract. No doubt about that. But in light of its own position on the importance of decriminalisation to non-stigmatisation and non-discrimination, and the practical fact that Bain's constituency rejected him, it would be only cowardice that would make the UWI keep Bain. Quite the opposite of what some simplistically charge.

The UWI made a significant statement in its release which would justify its dismissal of Bain from the project (not the academy, mark you): "The majority of HIV and public-health experts believe that criminalising men having sex with men and discriminating against them violates their human rights, puts them at even higher risk, reduces their access to services, forces the HIV epidemic underground, thereby increasing the HIV risk. These are positions advocated by the UN, UNAIDS, WHO, PAHO, the international human rights communities and PANCAP (the Pan Caribbean partnership Against AIDS)."

I don't accept all those assumptions. But if there is such broad consensus in the field on the importance of decriminalisation to the HIV fight — and Bain must be aware of this — it was foolhardy for Bain to be leading a regional group and to so blatantly go against its accepted norms in that Belizean case. Go and do your thing. Exercise your freedom of conscience to stand upon for your conviction. But you have to be prepared to pay the price.

The funders of the project, the people paying his salary, have a certain view, whether you agree with them or not. They are both paying the piper and calling the tune. If you fundamentally disagree with them and their direction, you resign. Nobody has any absolute right to any job. There are certain convictions that we have which make us ineligible for certain positions. You can't head a feminist agency and you publicly lobby for women to stay at home and teach that men have a divine right to rule.

We can challenge the groups on their view that the HIV struggle must include decriminalisation. I personally feel their arguments are weak. Even if homosexuality is decriminalised, stigma will still remain once cultural attitudes don't change. Stigmatisation does not depend on laws. That's an elementary fallacy. Ask any black American. Read the literature on race, discrimination and stigmatisation and see how enduring stigmatisation is even after the Civil Rights Act.

The Caribbean gay lobby and its human-rights compatriots make unwarranted assumptions. Do you really believe that it is only because gays are threatened with police action why they don't turn up at clinics and health centres to get treatment and why they don't use condoms, etc.? Really? Nevertheless, I can't see any rational reason to support the continued criminalisation of homosexuality. (Note, this is not the same as arguing for legalisation, which I reject in our context for democratic and religious reasons.)

There is nothing in even conservative Evangelical theology which would say homosexuality should be criminalised while adultery and fornication are not. In the Old Testament, adultery, fornication and homosexuality were all capital offences (like Sabbath breaking). Homosexuality was called an abomination, yes, but in terms of biblical law, it had no higher penalty over adultery and fornication. Why should Professor Bain, as an Evangelical Christian, feel that homosexuals should be locked up and not fornicators and adulterers, when his own Bible provides absolutely no justification for such a differentiation?

That HIV/AIDS has a higher prevalence among male homosexuals is an established fact that is not even contested by gay people. In fact, Bain's testimony, which I read carefully, is sound scientifically, but in no way supports continued criminalisation of homosexuality. I am happy about the outrage and deep concern for freedom of speech, but the issue is misperceived as a freedom-of-expression issue. It is not. It is about loss of confidence by a constituency, justified or not, and the decision of a university to keep a lucrative project which is in tune with its own values.

Ian Boyne is a veteran journalist who works with the Jamaica Information Service. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and ianboyne1@yahoo.com.

Professor's Bain's Testimony Threatened Foreign Funding (Gleaner letter) ....

So as the fire-storm continues since the news came to light that there was a conflict of interest where the former head of CHART testified in a Belizean court on HIV matters here is one such letter and some other links, I am still evaluating the pros and cons of this as this ball from left field has further eroded the gains made over many years in as far as LGBT advocacy and HIV Prevention work.

Today's Gleaner cartoon says it loudest that the perception is now cemented that the lobby is a bunch of bullies:



Demonstration at UWI last week

Here is the letter in question as captioned in the title

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I refer to Gordon Robinson's contribution titled 'Caving in to lobby hijackers' published in The Gleaner of May 21, 2014.

One hesitates to enter the lists against my friend Gordon, armoured as he is with wit, knowledge and intelligence. However, I will present what I believe to be three facts, and then I will ask two questions which I hope Gordon will answer. First, the facts:

1. Since the launch of USAID's HIV/AIDS programme in 1986, the agency has been on the forefront of the global AIDS crisis.

2. That agency's position is the same as that expressed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2009: "Shine the full light of human rights on HIV. I urge all countries to remove punitive laws, policies, and practices that hamper the AIDS response. In many countries, legal frameworks institutionalise discrimination against groups most at risk. Yet, discrimination against sex workers, drug users, and men who have sex with men only fuels the epidemic and prevents cost-effective interventions. We must ensure that AIDS responses are based on evidence, not ideology, and reach those most in need and most affected."

3. The Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Centre is funded primarily by overseas agencies: USAID, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Health Resources & Services Administration, Global AIDS Programme, and the Global Fund.

Now, my two questions: Was the expressed opinion of CHART's head, Professor Bain, in consonance with the stated position of that organisation's funders? If it was not so consonant, and in the face of very strident opinion expressed by a large number of organisations which CHART is mandated to assist, is it not the prime duty of the UWI to ensure that there is not the slightest possibility that the funding of CHART, this most critically important organisation in the Caribbean's fight against AIDS, be in any way compromised?

JEFFREY C. COBHAM
jeffreycobham@gmail.com

ENDS

In the meantime the discourse continues in the public spaces and here is a more rational look at the issue as recording this morning on HOT 102FM's Morning Edition with a leading Epidemiologist and former head of the national HIV program on the matter:


Sadly we have been left with a black eye as the cemented perception on minds of the anti gay voices especially,


In this on May 22 file photo, a protester stands in front of the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, in a show of support for Professor Brendan Bain. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographers

Protests are planned today as well at the gates of the University as if that is going to change the clear conflict of interest on the part of Professor Bain, 
In this on May 22 file photo, a protester stands in front of the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, in a show of support for Professor Brendan Bain. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographers Gleaner.

A protest has been planned for this morning outside the University of West Indies (UWI), Mona Reported the Gleaner earlier to demand a response to a petition regarding the dismissal of Professor Brendan Bain.

A statement sent from the email addressjusticeforbrendanbain@gmail.com says the protest was planned for this morning.

Professor Bain was fired last week as the director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART), Network for providing an expert report in a 2010 suit brought by a gay man in Belize.

Certain lobby groups have claimed that the statement supported the retention of the buggery law in the country as a means of stemming the HIV/AIDS rate.

More than 30 gay and human rights groups had written to the UWI saying they lost confidence in Professor Bain as the head of the training network.

However, last week a group began an online petition demanding, among other things that the UWI issue a public apology to Professor Bain and Jamaicans.

According to the latest email, a protest is planned for today because the UWI vice-chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris, has failed to respond to the petition.

Dr Carolyn Gomes, the executive director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities, which is one lobby groups that sought Bain's removal says the protest will be futile, as the university had no option but to get rid of Professor Bain.

The human rights groups have maintained that Bain's actions in the case presented a conflict of interest. 


My fundamental question is when the dust settles how are the small tolerance gains made over the years be reforged and re-cemented if possible in the national psyche overall?

Here also is the Jamaica Umbrella Groups of Churches take on RJR's Beyond the Headlines last week:


Other letters and discourse of interest:

UWI Did the right thing 

Artists must see the Bigger Picture






Peace and tolerance

H

Police crack College of Agriculture, Science and Education lecturer murder

Cops crack CASE lecturer murder


Police have cracked the murder case involving 44-year-old CASE lecturer Cyprian Moncrieffe. Moncrieffe was found brutally murdered in his bed, Monday, September 9 last year, in Portland. Reliable sources have told a media outlet that police have arrested one man and are seeking two others in the killing. 

The Times has details of the police arrest and what they now know but the newspaper is withholding the information as police say its release now would compromise the investigations. Cops would only say that the man arrested was known to Moncreiffe and didn’t act alone. 

Mr Moncrieffe was found dead near mid-day, in a flat where he lived alone, on the campus of the College of Arts Science and Education (CASE), near Port Antonio. Police found his body in his bed with two knives stuck in the back of his head. The savagery of the attack led police to suspect what they called a “crime of passion”. They claimed that Moncrieffe’s killer might have known him as there was no forced entry to the flat. 

A lap top and his Honda CRV motor vehicle were taken but police said it was obviously not intended as a robbery as several valuable items were left untouched.
 
Police investigations initially suggested that Moncrieffe was killed between Friday September 6 and Sunday September 8. An alarm was raised when the usually punctual Moncreiffe was not seen at school Monday morning. 

Before police were called to the campus, Monday, September 9 Moncrieffe had been reported missing and, in a missing person report, police said “Moncrieffe left CASE in his motor car, sporting a pair of black jeans pants, a pair of grey-and-aqua Nike shoes and a white polo shirt.” They said he had been last seen Friday, September 6.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lessons to learn from The Professor Bain Matter?

We have been losing some support fought hard for and long over the years since the professor Bain firing matter has played out negatively in the public domain since Sunday May 18 when it first appeared in the Gleaner, sadly the perception that the lobby has become a bunch of bullies has been cemented now and I am not so sure how all those gains though small in years passed now lost can be regained as the upheaval continues. 

The Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches says that discrimination against the gay community may increase due to the extent of which persons think that freedom of speech is being stifled, speaking in a radio interview (and there have been several of those since Sunday by all kinds of voices) General Secretary of the JUGC Gary Harriot says the UWI has done more harm than good to the gay community; he said that it was regrettable that an amicable solution could not be reached during the impasse, Reverend Harriot says that the group understands the argument and justification presented by the UWI for ending Professor Bain’s contract but he believes in the long run the decision will only harm the fight to end discrimination against members of the LGBT community.

“What it is now doing is actually causing the rift to become stronger in terms of those who are for the homosexual lifestyle as well as those who are opposed, in a real sense it is a loss because the grounds that I think we have achieve in trying to create opportunities to greater dialogue and greater sensitivity, the way this matter has been brought to a conclusion I believe that it is going to affect that.” Reverend Harriot says this incident has cemented the view that those with a homosexual agenda are prepared to discriminate against, stigmatise and silence those who do not share their world view he says this will lead to a further breakdown in the dialogue between those who are for and against homosexuality.


Today's cartoon by The Observer's Clovis

Leighton Levy is one such voice who has moved from caustic to tolerant but his latest column today makes the point many others are saying.


Daniel Thomas, (left) and Sharon Ricketts, protesting in front the UWI Mona campus in support of Professor Brendan Bain who was fired from his post at the campus. - Norman Grindley

Two years ago in Belize, Professor Brendon Bain was called up as an expert witness to give testimony in a case on which a Belizean man challenged that country's constitution, their buggery laws to be specific.

Professor Bain was the regional coordinator director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDs Regional Training Network, a job he earned because of his acumen as an administrator and his expertise in guiding projects and research with regard to the monitoring and controlling of the spread of HIV.

His testimony was based, not on his opinion, but on findings of research on the spread of HIV. To quote a friend of mine, "He asked to relate the causative effects of such practices. He outlined the statistics as gathered by the organisation and why the strategy employed targeted certain groups in education and the rationale behind the allocation of resources."

Bias

Some of that information did not put the homosexual community in a positive light. Now two years later, he was fired from his job because the gay lobby believes his statements during the expert testimony suggested a particular bias. Based on the affidavit I read, he spoke to findings of scientific research, not his own opinion.

So why is he out of a job today? I am all for gay people being allowed to coexist with heterosexuals without anyone being discriminated against. Many years ago, I, like much of this country, was very much against the gay community, but I grew up and learned to respect the rights of others who were different from me. What a man or woman does in the privacy of their homes is none of my business, and while I might not agree with it, it doesn't bother me anymore.

And which is what bothers me about the firing of Professor Bain. The homosexual community has been fighting for respect, fighting for people to accept them for who they are, fighting for tolerance. These, I believe, are all reasonable demands. However, in that fight, I think the gay community and many of their supporters have lost sight of what they were fighting for to begin with.

What they need to understand is that just like how they need people to be tolerant, they also need to be tolerant and accept the reality that not everything is going to paint them in a positive light. That their sexual practices put them at risk of contracting HIV is a fact established by research. Professor Bain didn't just make that stuff up. His findings were backed by research that up to this point has not been challenged, or successfully so at any rate. So why was he fired?

Tolerance goes both ways, and what has happened to Professor Bain could set gay rights back a thousand years. To win the fight, the gay community needs to understand that it needs to make more friends than make enemies. They have to make people believe that even though they might not agree with how they live their lives, it's okay to let them live theirs.

Similarly, those people who put pressure on the University of the West Indies to fire a man who is a leader in his field just because he told a particular truth that the gay community finds hard to swallow, need to come to grips that trying to swing everything the gay way is not possible. No matter what you do, not everyone is going to like you. However, if your battles end up making you more enemies than friends, then many similar battles could end up as pyrrhic victories.

Send comments to levyl1@hotmail.com.

ENDS

Meanwhile here is my short audio response thus far as I mull through the numerous articles and materials on the matter for a clearer understanding of the public outrage.


see other sites on the story:

A Professor Trial
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140518/news/news1.html


UWI Statement on Bain
Source: http://myspot.mona.uwi.edu/marcom/newsroom/entry/5708

Professor in Hot water
http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/news/regional/05/18/uwi-professor-hot-water-anti-gay-sex-testimony/

Professor Bain poured fuel on anti-gay fire
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140521/cleisure/cleisure5.html

Bain Undermine HIV Fight
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140521/cleisure/cleisure3.html

PlusTV coverage of Bain firing
http://www.plustvbelize.com/professor-fired-professional-opinion-didnt-line-up-with-unibams-agenda/

Protesters Picket UWI

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Protesters-picket-UWI-in-support-of-sacked-professor_16716625

76 crime news
http://76crimes.com/2014/05/22/aids-program-ousts-leader-who-embraces-anti-gay-laws/



Jamaica Observer Editorial: HERE,The sacking of Dr Brendon Bain: The dilemma of our times

National AIDS Committee Says Bain Breached Contract, Dismisses 'Freedom Of Speech' Assertions


Peace and tolerance

H

Friday, May 9, 2014

New Efforts To Halt Spread Of HIV Among Gay Jamaica Men

Another nice explain away of sorts in the failure by state and non state actors to address HIV prevention rates in the MSM community in particular and indeed the least amongst us who feature greatly in this cohort, the last major study in this group showed us that the numbers are still too high at 33% with homelessness/displacements playing a major role and with all this the same agencies with so much clout and visibility refuse to act definitively on addressing the problems documented and anecdotally known for some thirty plus years from the first study done in 1985.

Have a read of the release firstly and see for yourself the major gaps deliberately left out in the response to the LGBT community overall.



Homeless MSM/Trans individuals in the shoemaker gully (deceptively called a sewer to sensationalise the issue by some)

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP):

A handful of sex workers sit on discarded cardboard along a filthy sewer channel, sharing food and razors to shave their legs and faces as they prepare for the night's labour on the streets of Jamaica's capital.

Gay sex and prostitution is illegal in Jamaica, and LGBT people who sell sex face arrest or worse. But this normally wary group is welcoming on a recent evening as a volunteer descends into the open channel with condoms, lubricant and health advice.

efforts to stay safe

"It's hard living like this, but we're trying our best to stay safe and healthy. Nobody wants to get HIV," says one of the gay men, a shirtless 21-year-old who gives his name only as Kris.

In much of the world, giving out condoms and guidance to gay, bisexual and transgender sex workers is routine. But reaching out to men who have sex with men is practically revolutionary in parts of the English-speaking Caribbean, where homophobia and laws criminalising gay sex have long driven people underground, turning them into the toughest group to reach with HIV prevention programmes and fuelling a regional epidemic.

Now, there's a growing momentum to turn the tide in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and eight other countries that criminalise sex between adults of the same gender. Even as funding grants get tighter, HIV prevention programmes to reach men who have sex with men are scaling up and advocacy groups appear energised.

sign of changing times

"We are in an entirely new era," said Ernest Massiah, the Trinidad-based Caribbean director for the United Nations programme on HIV and AIDS.

A clear sign of changing times is Jamaica's Color Pink Group, a non-profit founded in 2011 whose existence would have been almost unthinkable on the island a decade ago. On a recent night, founder James Burton, one of very few Jamaican homosexuals who feel comfortable disclosing their full name, wore a loud pink shirt as he spoke about HIV prevention to a group of young gays outside a Kingston shopping mall.

"This is what was really lacking before: visibility and one-on-one connections," said Burton, whose group also provides vocational training and distributes condoms and lubricant.

highest rate of HIV

Overall, the Caribbean has the highest rate of HIV outside sub-Saharan Africa, though both the overall and per capita numbers are much lower. Regional infection rates are highest for men who have sex with men in countries with longstanding laws that criminalise gay sex.

In Jamaica, roughly 1.7 percent of the adult population has HIV, according to UNAIDS. But roughly 33 per cent of men who have sex with men are believed to be infected on the island. It's the highest rate for that population in the Americas and one of the highest anywhere.

In a bid to tackle discrimination against gay men in the health-care system, the rights group Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays has partnered with a government HIV programme to sensitise hospital and clinic staff to homosexuals' human rights. It can be as simple as training health workers not to narrow their eyes or cast judgement on any patient seeking a rectal exam.

ENDS

It was only yesterday I made an entry on brother blog Gay Jamaica Watch on the arrest of one of the persons from that cohort: Displaced gay man arrested for sleeping in the Shoemaker Gully in New Kingston ... and other challenges continue to affect this younger group bearing in mind New Kingston in particular has always had a homeless LGBT population and other cities across the country also have their share of issues mostly unreported and reached by so called LGBT groups who are only operating in an HIV prevention sphere without any serious psycho-social intervention as part of their mandate.

Western Jamaica also have their own issues as this recent matter brings to bear: Montego Bay Male Sex Worker misses a beating at popular sex site and God knows how many other incidents go under the radar.

The recent "Justice for All" conference showed the glaring gaps as well despite the banding about of figures of over 13,000 MSM  (while excluding specific programs for same gender loving women) reached by the national programs why have we ended up still with homeless MSM in such large numbers yet boasts about Global Fund work.

see: 13,328 Jamaican MSM Reached by HIV Prevention says report on National HIV Program ........ but 
We must not forget the dubious closure of the Safe House Pilot project in 2009/10 which was the only residency response to LGBT homeless after which the New Kingston problems have festered to the sore it has now become. It is sad that the old ways of doing business continues in the new age, simply distributing condoms and testing and or some food in a styrofoam box is not enough when we know the simply principle of Maslow's Theory which was one of the underpinnings and rationale for the aforementioned Safe House Pilot 2009. The explosion of the populations in New Kingston could well have been averted if there was any serious interest in meeting the issues when they were screaming for attention all these years.

Must See older related entries: 

the actual JFLAG version of a shelter that got nowhere despite its marketing via a town hall meeting on November 7 2012 and social media.

Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress for promised shelter

And we continue to reap the world-wind for not addressing homelessness when it was manageable

Kingston’s Homeless MSM challenges scream for proper attention 2013

Homeless MSM/Trans youth draw attention in New Kingston







Dwayne's House board meeting recently yet no serious action to date with the member of parliament for the area where the men are Julian Robinson and a Reverend supposed interested in homelessess so late in the day 


JFLAG has no moral authority to speak on homeless gay men in New Kingston says members of the public


Safe house logo
The Quietus ......... The Safe House Project Closes 2009/10 the re-displacement of the homeless participants with excuse of "bad behaviour" used as the reason sans any psyco social element written in the project enacted.

The Homeless Project, the meeting and more 2009

Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum 2009 where it all begun to go downhill and our brothers and sisters still struggle with no meaningful answer and flowery lip service from privileged persons.

also see the former ED's take on the matter and the heartbreak for some as to how the least amongst us are used: HERE

Peace and tolerance

H

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E. Jamaica Seismic Project Summary 2014


Project Title: SEISMIC! A social engagement programme for LGBT youth 


Project Objective: Provide psycho social and enterprise development skills training services for LGBTQI youth 

Implementer: Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E. Jamaica 

Start date: November 23, 2013 

End date: March 30, 2014 

The Project impacted a cohort of 35 participants in total and the stated objective of providing psycho social and enterprise development skills training services for LGBTQI youth was achieved. The first goal to be accomplished was to engage participants in participatory introspection /self awareness and to improve self esteem. Participants were also engaged in sessions geared towards them learning how to be effective communicators. These included but were not limited to modules such as “Telling Our Stories” "Conflict Resolution” "Safety" and “Effective Communication”.


The enterprise training component of the project was continuous, in that each workshop had an aspect of enterprise training that could be linked to the psycho social development of participants. As the weeks progressed participants were allowed to talk about their business ideas and were given feedback on same. At the end of the series all participants who were interested in becoming owners of businesses had a fully mapped out business idea in writing. 

Two additional workshop sessions and two gatherings/lymes were added to what was originally an 11 session series of workshops. This meant that in some instances funds were stretched thin; however the forecasted impact of the additional sessions required this strategic move and this led to the strengthening of Community and fellowship. At the end of each session for every scheduled workshop participants were asked to complete evaluation forms which were used as the basis for the information provided in this overview.

The mixed method approach taken with the design of the data collection instrument allowed participants to be as general but also as specific as they needed to be in their response to particular questions. The wrap up session which included a one on one discussion with all facilitators highlighted the impact that sessions including but not limited to self-esteem, coming out, sexuality, and conflict resolution etcetera, had on the day to day activities of the group. In general, participants felt they were better able to navigate space given their deepened understating of the normative structure and the political landscape of Jamaica. 


Support was given for three participants to attend the Dr. Ena Thomas Symposium on Sexual health awareness at the Pegasus and also the Gender Symposium jointly held by IGDS and UWIHARP. The focus/objective of these meetings were to share current thinking about sexual diversities, behaviours and gender identities in the Caribbean across a variety of fields – HIV, safe spaces, legal entitlements, visibility etcetera.


Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E. Jamaica also successfully facilitated the procurement of a scholarship for a participant to attend the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka 5-10 May, 2014.

Two male participants who ran into some issues while on the project: See more HERE

Throughout the programme a total of 11 participants benefited from the crisis intervention aspect of the project as number of participants experienced challenges including displacement that required substantial intervention and counselling.

one of the last photos I took of Jermaine in January 2014 prior to his passing

In addition to these incidents, unfortunately one participant died from a heart condition and this unforeseen event resulted in a lot of sadness which APJ tried to manage through one on one counselling sessions with trained professionals. 

Based on testimonials from some participants regarding the project we were able to glean the SEISMIC! impact and the necessity to continue the growing and learning process.

The following are excerpts from two such testimonials: 

‘... With each day that passed I felt unloved and unwanted in a world that songs, preachers and members of the government body condemned me to death or to hell... I became disgusted with myself and the personal shame that came with it slowly withered away my life and I thought several times about just ending it all. In a world of definitions I felt undefined and misunderstood, though I could not blame them as I too did not understand who or what I was... After joining the SEISMIC workshop I am now in state of uncontrollable bliss, The stride that I so long lusted after, the smile that tore at my heart are a few things that I now portray with a strong sense of confidence no longer do I hide in the dark ashamed of who I am, no longer do I judge others for who they are nor am I affected by what I’m seen as by others, Because of SEISMIC a rather suitable name, I am not only of a better understanding of what it means to be a business and the work that goes into starting and maintain one, I had friends to support me In a difficult time in my life as the “love chamber as it was known” I lost someone dear to me a fellow MSM who had to face some of the same struggles I had faced and because of this reason and the SEISMIC program I am now open to help support other MSM’s who are facing the issues that I faced and many more to help develop them to be who they are meant to be as individuals and that though they are currently living in a country where they have to abide to some extent to the society’s gender norms and socialization that comes along with it, they know that that there someone is here to support them along with member of Aphrodite's PRIDE Jamaica...’ 

‘...Aphrodite’s Pride Workshop was an educational one with tons of fun; it was spirited and reflective. Worthwhile sessions were done to motivate our inner -beings. We gain courage; the sessions were thought-provoking and smooth; the facilitators were professional. The Aphrodite’s Pride Workshop give me hope, rejuvenate my aims and allow me to appreciate myself more, I found myself want to be more than just an average citizen working in a minimal position. I am more polite, bold and know how to control myself. The team helped us to understand more about self- actualization. My reason to endure in my career path and lifespan has been enlarged. Participants were inspired and motivated as mutual stories were among the group. The facilitating team was extraordinary and well- organized. The strategies used throughout the presentations were fantastic; filled with critical thinking which allows us to participate equally. The facilitators were honest, open dedicated, enthusiastic and firm. 

It is evident that the benefits of this project will be sustained as participants have begun the process of self actualisation in terms of their stated goals at the beginning of the process. The reality however is that when examining issues affecting the psycho social development of persons, particularly our youth, the process has to be done over an extended period of time, and it is important not to try to address too many issues in a single project. Many have made life altering decisions based off their interactions and what they have learned during the process. For example several have started to apply skills garnered in the enterprise skills training sessions, effective communication and grooming and etiquette sessions to name a few. Participants have used the information to strengthen and in some cases initiated realistic entrepreneurial endeavours particularly in catering, housekeeping, small scale manufacturing and cosmetology.

Peace and tolerance

for further information contact
Howard Fulton
Outreach Coordinator
1-876-813-4942

also see more on the project HERE

Friday, May 2, 2014

California may remove the words "between a man and a woman" with an amended bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A bill that would strike the traditional definition of marriage from California law was approved by the state Senate on Thursday after the U.S. and state supreme courts allowed same-sex unions to resume last year.

SB1306 would remove from the state Family Code language that marriage must be "between a man and a woman." It would substitute gender-neutral language, define marriage as a personal relation arising from a civil contract between two persons, and remove limits on the state recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages performed outside of California.


The bill removes "discriminatory language" from the Family Code and brings state law into compliance with federal and state court decisions allowing same-sex marriages, said Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.


The Bill's text in part reads in part:

An act to amend Sections 300, 301, 302, 420, 500, 720, 721, 750, 751, 752, 754, 761, 1102, 1500, 1620, 1839, 2200, 2201, 2210, 2211, 2322, 2400, 2401, 3120, 3450, 3551, 3580, 3585, 3600, 4323, and 4930 of, to amend the heading of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 720) of Part 1 of Division 4 of, to amend the heading of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1620) of Part 5 of Division 4 of, to repeal Section 308.5 of, and to repeal and add Section 308 of, the Family Code, relating to marriage.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1306, as amended, Leno. Marriage.

An existing provision of the California Constitution, which has been held unenforceable, states that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in this state. An existing statutory provision likewise provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in this state.
This bill would repeal that statutory provision.
Existing statutory law provides that marriage is a personal relationship arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman. Under existing law, a marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted is valid in this state, except that a marriage between 2 persons of the same sex contracted outside this state is valid in this state only if the marriage was contracted prior to November 5, 2008.
This bill would instead provide that marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between 2 persons, and would make conforming changes with regard to the consent to, and solemnization of, marriage. The bill would also delete the limitation on the validity of marriages contracted outside this state between 2 persons of the same sex.
Under existing law, a reference to “husband” and “wife,” “spouses,” or “married persons,” or a comparable term, includes persons who are lawfully married to each other and persons who were previously lawfully married to each other, as is appropriate under the circumstances of the particular case.
The bill would delete references to “husband” or “wife” in the Family Code and would instead refer to a “spouse,” and would make other related changes.
Existing law establishes, except as specified, a rebuttable presumption of decreased need for spousal support if the supported party is cohabiting with a person of the opposite sex.
This bill would make that rebuttable presumption of decreased need for spousal support applicable if the supported party is cohabitating with a “nonmarital partner.”
This bill would declare that the purpose of the act is to clarify that laws relating to marriage and the rights and responsibilities of spouses apply equally to opposite-sex and same-sex spouses and that the changes are not intended to affect existing decisional law otherwise interpreting the laws amended in the act.

Vote: majority   Appropriation: no   Fiscal Committee: no   Local Program: no  


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares that the purpose of this act is to clarify that all laws relating to marriage and the rights and responsibilities of spouses apply equally to opposite-sex and same-sex spouses. These changes are not intended to affect any existing decisional law otherwise interpreting the statutes amended in this act.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 300 of the Family Code is amended to read:
300.
 (a) Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone does not constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a license and solemnization as authorized by this division, except as provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing with Section 500).
(b) For purposes of this part, the document issued by the county clerk is a marriage license until it is registered with the county recorder, at which time the license becomes a marriage certificate.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 Section 301 of the Family Code is amended to read:
301.
 Two unmarried persons 18 years of age or older, who are not otherwise disqualified, are capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 Section 302 of the Family Code is amended to read:
302.
 (a) An unmarried person under 18 years of age is capable of consenting to and consummating marriage upon obtaining a court order granting permission to the underage person or persons to marry.
(b) The court order and written consent of the parents of each underage person, or of one of the parents or the guardian of each underage person shall be filed with the clerk of the court, and a certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.

SEC. 4.SEC. 5.

 Section 308 of the Family Code is repealed.

SEC. 5.SEC. 6.

 Section 308 is added to the Family Code, to read:
308.
 A marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted is valid in this state.

SEC. 6.SEC. 7.

 Section 308.5 of the Family Code is repealed.

SEC. 7.SEC. 8.

 Section 420 of the Family Code is amended to read:
420.
 (a) No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the physical presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as spouses.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed overseas and serving in a conflict or a war and is unable to appear for the licensure and solemnization of the marriage may enter into that marriage by the appearance of an attorney in fact, commissioned and empowered in writing for that purpose through a power of attorney. The attorney in fact must personally appear at the county clerk’s office with the party who is not stationed overseas, and present the original power of attorney duly signed by the party stationed overseas and acknowledged by a notary or witnessed by two officers of the United States Armed Forces. Copies in any form, including by facsimile, are not acceptable. The power of attorney shall state the full given names at birth, or by court order, of the parties to be married, and that the power of attorney is solely for the purpose of authorizing the attorney in fact to obtain a marriage license on the person’s behalf and participate in the solemnization of the marriage. The original power of attorney shall be a part of the marriage certificate upon registration.
(c) No contract of marriage, if otherwise duly made, shall be invalidated for want of conformity to the requirements of any religious sect.

SEC. 8.SEC. 9.

 Section 500 of the Family Code is amended to read:
500.
 When two unmarried people, not minors, have been living together as spouses, they may be married pursuant to this chapter by a person authorized to solemnize a marriage under Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 400) of Part 3, without the necessity of first obtaining health certificates.

SEC. 9.SEC. 10.

 The heading of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 720) of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Family Code is amended to read:
CHAPTER  2. Relation of Spouses

SEC. 10.SEC. 11.

 Section 720 of the Family Code is amended to read:
720.
 Spouses contract toward each other obligations of mutual respect, fidelity, and support.

SEC. 11.SEC. 12.

 Section 721 of the Family Code is amended to read:
721.
 (a) Subject to subdivision (b), either spouse may enter into any transaction with the other, or with any other person, respecting property, which either might if unmarried.
(b) Except as provided in Sections 143, 144, 146, 16040, and 16047 of the Probate Code, in transactions between themselves, spouses are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary relationships that control the actions of persons occupying confidential relations with each other. This confidential relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage of the other. This confidential relationship is a fiduciary relationship subject to the same rights and duties of nonmarital business partners, as provided in Sections 16403, 16404, and 16503 of the Corporations Code, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Providing each spouse access at all times to any books kept regarding a transaction for the purposes of inspection and copying.
(2) Rendering upon request, true and full information of all things affecting any transaction that concerns the community property. Nothing in this section is intended to impose a duty for either spouse to keep detailed books and records of community property transactions.
(3) Accounting to the spouse, and holding as a trustee, any benefit or profit derived from any transaction by one spouse without the consent of the other spouse that concerns the community property.

SEC. 12.SEC. 13.

 Section 750 of the Family Code is amended to read:
750.
 Spouses may hold property as joint tenants or tenants in common, or as community property, or as community property with a right of survivorship.

SEC. 13.SEC. 14.

 Section 751 of the Family Code is amended to read:
751.
 The respective interests of each spouse in community property during continuance of the marriage relation are present, existing, and equal interests.

SEC. 14.SEC. 15.

 Section 752 of the Family Code is amended to read:
752.
 Except as otherwise provided by statute, neither spouse has any interest in the separate property of the other.

SEC. 15.SEC. 16.

 Section 754 of the Family Code is amended to read:
754.
 If notice of the pendency of a proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, for nullity of the marriage, or for legal separation of the parties is recorded in any county in which either spouse resides on real property that is the separate property of the other, the real property shall not for a period of three months thereafter be transferred, encumbered, or otherwise disposed of voluntarily or involuntarily without the joinder of both spouses, unless the court otherwise orders.

SEC. 16.SEC. 17.

 Section 761 of the Family Code is amended to read:
761.
 (a) Unless the trust instrument or the instrument of transfer expressly provides otherwise, community property that is transferred in trust remains community property during the marriage, regardless of the identity of the trustee, if the trust, originally or as amended before or after the transfer, provides that the trust is revocable as to that property during the marriage and the power, if any, to modify the trust as to the rights and interests in that property during the marriage may be exercised only with the joinder or consent of both spouses.
(b) Unless the trust instrument expressly provides otherwise, a power to revoke as to community property may be exercised by either spouse acting alone. Community property, including any income or appreciation, that is distributed or withdrawn from a trust by revocation, power of withdrawal, or otherwise, remains community property unless there is a valid transmutation of the property at the time of distribution or withdrawal.
(c) The trustee may convey and otherwise manage and control the trust property in accordance with the provisions of the trust without the joinder or consent of either spouse unless the trust expressly requires the joinder or consent of one or both spouses.
(d) This section applies to a transfer made before, on, or after July 1, 1987.
(e) Nothing in this section affects the community character of property that is transferred before, on, or after July 1, 1987, in any manner or to a trust other than described in this section.

SEC. 17.SEC. 18.

 Section 1102 of the Family Code is amended to read:
1102.
 (a) Except as provided in Sections 761 and 1103, either spouse has the management and control of the community real property, whether acquired prior to or on or after January 1, 1975, but both spouses, either personally or by a duly authorized agent, must join in executing any instrument by which that community real property or any interest therein is leased for a longer period than one year, or is sold, conveyed, or encumbered.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to a lease, mortgage, conveyance, or transfer of real property or of any interest in real property between spouses.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b):
(1) The sole lease, contract, mortgage, or deed of the husband, holding the record title to community real property, to a lessee, purchaser, or encumbrancer, in good faith without knowledge of the marriage relation, shall be presumed to be valid if executed prior to January 1, 1975.
(2) The sole lease, contract, mortgage, or deed of either spouse, holding the record title to community real property to a lessee, purchaser, or encumbrancer, in good faith without knowledge of the marriage relation, shall be presumed to be valid if executed on or after January 1, 1975.
(d) No action to avoid any instrument mentioned in this section, affecting any property standing of record in the name of either spouse alone, executed by the spouse alone, shall be commenced after the expiration of one year from the filing for record of that instrument in the recorder’s office in the county in which the land is situated.
(e) Nothing in this section precludes either spouse from encumbering his or her interest in community real property, as provided in Section 2033, to pay reasonable attorney’s fees in order to retain or maintain legal counsel in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for legal separation of the parties.

SEC. 18.SEC. 19.

 Section 1500 of the Family Code is amended to read:
1500.
 The property rights of spouses prescribed by statute may be altered by a premarital agreement or other marital property agreement.

SEC. 19.SEC. 20.

 The heading of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1620) of Part 5 of Division 4 of the Family Code is amended to read:
CHAPTER  3. Agreements Between Spouses

SEC. 20.SEC. 21.

 Section 1620 of the Family Code is amended to read:
1620.
 Except as otherwise provided by law, spouses cannot, by a contract with each other, alter their legal relations, except as to property.

SEC. 21.SEC. 22.

 Section 1839 of the Family Code is amended to read:
1839.
 (a) At or after the hearing, the court may make orders in respect to the conduct of the spouses or parents and the subject matter of the controversy that the court deems necessary to preserve the marriage or to implement the reconciliation of the spouses. No such order shall be effective for more than 30 days from the hearing of the petition unless the parties mutually consent to a continuation of the time the order remains effective.
(b) A reconciliation agreement between the parties may be reduced to writing and, with the consent of the parties, a court order may be made requiring the parties to comply fully with the agreement.
(c) During the pendency of a proceeding under this part, the superior court may order a spouse or parent, as the case may be, to pay an amount necessary for the support and maintenance of the other spouse and for the support, maintenance, and education of the minor children, as the case may be. In determining the amount, the superior court may take into consideration the recommendations of a financial referee if one is available to the court. An order made pursuant to this subdivision shall not prejudice the rights of the parties or children with respect to any subsequent order that may be made. An order made pursuant to this subdivision may be modified or terminated at any time except as to an amount that accrued before the date of filing of the notice of motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate.

SEC. 22.SEC. 23.

 Section 2200 of the Family Code is amended to read:
2200.
 Marriages between parents and children, ancestors and descendants of every degree, and between siblings of the half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles or aunts and nieces or nephews, are incestuous, and void from the beginning, whether the relationship is legitimate or illegitimate.

SEC. 23.SEC. 24.

 Section 2201 of the Family Code is amended to read:
2201.
 (a) A subsequent marriage contracted by a person during the life of his or her former spouse, with a person other than the former spouse, is illegal and void, unless:
(1) The former marriage has been dissolved or adjudged a nullity before the date of the subsequent marriage.
(2) The former spouse (A) is absent, and not known to the person to be living for the period of five successive years immediately preceding the subsequent marriage, or (B) is generally reputed or believed by the person to be dead at the time the subsequent marriage was contracted.
(b) In either of the cases described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), the subsequent marriage is valid until its nullity is adjudged pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 2210.

SEC. 24.SEC. 25.

 Section 2210 of the Family Code is amended to read:
2210.
 A marriage is voidable and may be adjudged a nullity if any of the following conditions existed at the time of the marriage:
(a) The party who commences the proceeding or on whose behalf the proceeding is commenced was without the capability of consenting to the marriage as provided in Section 301 or 302, unless, after attaining the age of consent, the party for any time freely cohabited with the other as his or her spouse.
(b) The spouse of either party was living and the marriage with that spouse was then in force and that spouse (1) was absent and not known to the party commencing the proceeding to be living for a period of five successive years immediately preceding the subsequent marriage for which the judgment of nullity is sought or (2) was generally reputed or believed by the party commencing the proceeding to be dead at the time the subsequent marriage was contracted.
(c) Either party was of unsound mind, unless the party of unsound mind, after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as his or her spouse.
(d) The consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless the party whose consent was obtained by fraud afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as his or her spouse.
(e) The consent of either party was obtained by force, unless the party whose consent was obtained by force afterwards freely cohabited with the other as his or her spouse.
(f) Either party was, at the time of marriage, physically incapable of entering into the marriage state, and that incapacity continues, and appears to be incurable.

SEC. 25.SEC. 26.

 Section 2211 of the Family Code is amended to read:
2211.
 A proceeding to obtain a judgment of nullity of marriage, for causes set forth in Section 2210, must be commenced within the periods and by the parties, as follows:
(a) For causes mentioned in subdivision (a) of Section 2210, by any of the following:
(1) The party to the marriage who was married under the age of legal consent, within four years after arriving at the age of consent.
(2) A parent, guardian, conservator, or other person having charge of the minor, at any time before the married minor has arrived at the age of legal consent.
(b) For causes mentioned in subdivision (b) of Section 2210, by either of the following:
(1) Either party during the life of the other.
(2) The former spouse.
(c) For causes mentioned in subdivision (c) of Section 2210, by the party injured, or by a relative or conservator of the party of unsound mind, at any time before the death of either party.
(d) For causes mentioned in subdivision (d) of Section 2210, by the party whose consent was obtained by fraud, within four years after the discovery of the facts constituting the fraud.
(e) For causes mentioned in subdivision (e) of Section 2210, by the party whose consent was obtained by force, within four years after the marriage.
(f) For causes mentioned in subdivision (f) of Section 2210, by the injured party, within four years after the marriage.

SEC. 26.SEC. 27.

 Section 2322 of the Family Code is amended to read:
2322.
 For the purpose of a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, each spouse may have a separate domicile or residence depending upon proof of the fact and not upon legal presumptions.
MORE HERE

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a lower court judge's order striking down as unconstitutional a ballot measure known as Proposition 8, the 2008 voter initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages in California. A 5-4 court majority ruled that the ban's sponsors lacked authority to defend the measure on appeal, though the justices did not directly address the ban's constitutionality.

Marriages resumed in late June after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay it had imposed on the lower court ruling. The state Supreme Court dismissed a final challenge by the ban's backers in August.

"I cannot bring myself, though, to diminish the words 'husband and wife,' and this clearly does that. Throughout history those words have been widely used and accepted," said Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, the only senator to speak in opposition. "They're kind of sacred terms, I would argue, and by this bill we are diminishing those very important words."




The bill was sent to the Assembly on a 25-10 vote, with only Republicans in opposition. Two Republicans, Anthony Cannella of Ceres and Ted Gaines of Roseville, voted in favor.

"All this bill does is bring our Family Code section up to date to comply with those two court decisions," Leno said. He added later: "The sky did not fall, civilization as we know it did not end" when gay marriages began.

Meanwhile our legislators in Jamaica went and are still going the opposite direction, case in point the present Prime Minister when she was in opposition sided with Bruce "Not in my Cabinet" Golding (audio below) in an invented diversionary tactic when no such rights under the then charter of rights debate have been demanded; she said on October 20, 2009 "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity ………. yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ……….."




Now we see the ever shifting goal post of the suggested conscience vote on buggery and the response from the opposition on a referendum on the issue as clearly the election positioning has begun. Of course this is also alongside the antigay voices in the religious community who are opposed to gay marriage when we can't even get passed just basic tolerance, for e.g. Lawyers' Christian Fellowship's Shirley Richards says lesbian sex should be criminalized as buggery ..........



the present PNP administration seems to want us to forget their own record on buggery and the sideshow to reinforce anti gay sentiments by opposing gay marriage in that statement over the signature of the then justice minister A. J. Nicholson as captured in that cartoon above originally published January 19, 2007 in the Gleaner newspaper, also see "No To Same Sex Marriage" now fast forward to February 2014 here is the man now in his capacity as Foreign Affairs Minister: Foreign Affairs Minister says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica


Promised (I mean suggested) Conscience vote on Buggery law not a priority right now (yet again) says PM

Non Governmental Organization Consultant says JLP suggested Referendum on Buggery is not a good idea

Opposition Leader sides with antigay groups on Referendum on The Buggery Law

Jamaican Opposition Leader says he would allow homosexuals in his cabinet ...
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