The Safe House Project 2009 for Displaced & Homeless MSM/Transgender reviewed & more



In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless MSM & Transgender persons especially teens in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.

Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Member of Parliament Lloyd B Smith on Of Buggery & Rationality

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The following appeared in the Jamaica Observer today bearing in mind Mr Smith is a now sitting member of parliament and publisher of the Western Mirror paper and that JFLAG's change from a full repeal of buggery to decriminalization still seems to have gotten some notice as indicated in second to last paragraph although his take on crisis communication and indeed homophobic versus non homophobic murders is way off base, I do not think though if a conscience vote be called tomorrow we could rely upon Mr Smith to vote in the affirmative of removing or amending the law as he seems too fickle to me but you decide as politicians are nervous these days given the hysterics of some religious voices and antigay groups.

Lloyd B Smith

Jamaica CAUSE antigay rally in Half Way Tree June 29 2014

"Every dog have him day, every puss him twelve o'clock." — Jamaican proverb.

Homosexuality is not a crime in Jamaica. Anal sex, described by statute as buggery is a criminal act that can attract a maximum sentence of 10 years. Case in point, some time ago, a Montegonian resident was arrested and charged by the police after he was caught in a romantic embrace kissing another man. When the matter was brought to court, the accused was freed as the presiding judge declared that there was no legal basis or precedent on which the accused could be convicted.

Jamaica being a Christian country sees many of its citizens using the Bible as their reference point in terms of expressing their abhorrence of buggery, which is condemned as an abnormal act deserving of death. Interestingly, the Bible also condemns fornication and adultery — both of which attract similar punishment but do not attract a similar level of violent rejection by modern-day Christians.

What is also conveniently ignored is that anal sex is practised among heterosexuals; meaning that men commit buggery on women. In the meantime, Jamaican law puts buggery in the same category as bestiality. It is common for donkeys, goats and cows to be singled out for such an act. Indeed, a female goat in Jamaica is oftentimes referred to as "dem boy gal"; thus the ram goat is the much preferred meat to be curried and eaten by many sceptical Jamaicans.

The Bain/UWI saga has opened up a can of worms, as it is felt by concerned churchgoers that the 'Gay Agenda' is becoming too much in their face. The introduction of seemingly provocative and unsuitable sex education material in a number of private children's homes by a Jamaicans For Justice-led effort has added more fuel to the fire. And so, on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Half-Way-Tree Jamaicans from all walks of life and various religious persuasions took off the gloves and came out punching, insisting that the buggery law should be kept as is, and that marriage should continue to be a union between a male and a female. The reported rape (buggering) of a male jogger by two alleged thugs also got the nation into a frenzy fuelled by the national media that have sought to over-sensationalise this issue.

There is nothing wrong with the Church taking such a stance. What would be wrong is if hatred, bigotry, intolerance, and violence are the weapons used by these followers of Christ to fight the Gay Agenda. To a large extent, some sections of the gay community had become too barefaced and so were seen as wanting to overpower the heterosexual community. But this gay issue is a far more complex one than is being imagined.

To begin with, Jamaica is not a homophobic society as has been posited over these many years based on the many violent deaths that have befallen gay men— some of them high-profile and well known individuals. A careful analysis of many of these murders will reveal that the majority of the victims were killed by someone close to them; either a lover or someone who is being used and then refused. Young men who have sex with men for money also can become very violent if they are "outed" by their seducers. There are also cases where promises are made and not kept in terms of financial rewards or expensive gifts. Then there is the tragic incidence in which an individual is infected with HIV on the 'down low' and ends up giving his girlfriend or wife. All these scenarios, and other such vexing situations, can lead to a bloody end and, indeed, crimes of passion.

In the meantime, we have to be careful as a nation that we do not take extremist positions. There has to be a middle ground to be found because, as renowned philosopher Bertrand Russell once said with respect to world peace, it is either co-existence or no existence.

Jamaica or the World is not going to wake up one morning and find no homosexuals around. Like the poor, they will always be with us. Which church choir does not have at least one gay soul singing his or her heart out praising the Lord alongside his/her straight brothers and sisters? So what is needed is to establish some ground rules based on appropriate education, tolerance, and a respect for citizens' human rights as guaranteed in the Jamaican Constitution.

In this context, I am of the view that every generation and succeeding ones to come must deal with issues of sexual lifestyle and morality in a timely and rational manner. In this vein, I do not think that Jamaica, at this time, is ready to accept same-sex marriages. But I do believe that decriminalising buggery should not be seen in the narrow way as those who object to it are doing. In that the State ought not to interfere with what goes on in the private space of consenting adults. Is it that doors should be kicked down to catch persons in the act?

In the final analysis, we all need to take a deep breath and then debate this controversial matter in a way that does not make us descend into barbarism or, even worse, neo-fascism. Lest we forget, Hitler started to persecute homosexuals before turning on the Jews, who he sought to annihilate.

Finally, it ought to be posited that not all homosexuals seduce little boys in the same way that not all heterosexuals seduce little girls. Even more intriguing is that research has shown that not all gay men indulge in anal sex and not all gay men behave like a "bitch" or lesbians like a "butch". And those who help to perpetuate this myth are indeed homophobic, no doubt unsure of their own sexuality. As Bob Marley has sung, for some who scream the most, we would be amazed if their night should turn to day.

George Weinberg, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Society and the healthy homosexual" (in which he coined the term homophobia), proposed that those who harbour prejudice against homosexuals, and not homosexuals themselves, are suffering from a psychological malady, an irrational state of mind. Weinberg, though supposedly heterosexual himself, became a leader in the ultimately successful struggle to have homosexuality removed as a diagnostic category from the DSM — the professional therapeutic handbook. Indeed, he has argued that genuinely straight men do not oftentimes react violently to homosexuals; it is those who suffer from sexual insecurity.

The bottom line is — no pun intended — that, while most Jamaicans from all indications are against same-sex marriage, a stance which should be respected and upheld by them is that it is imperative that the rights of minority groups, which include gays, should be respected and upheld as well. Let he that is without sin cast the first stone.

Lloyd B Smith is a mmember of Parliament and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the People's National Party or the Government of Jamaica. Comments: lloydbsmith@hotmail.com

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jamaicans For Justice Crumbles - Osborne Latest To Resign Amid Sex-Ed Controversy

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The headline that blared in the Gleaner today and as the noble institutions unfolds right before us the silence from the funder of the sex education course Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, CVCC and JFLAG allies are silent as a lamb when the bigger principle of bypassing the Child Development Agency which is the legally constituted authority that was to have been consulted seems lost in all this. Like them or not it is what it is and just as how the CVCC was quick to point out the conflict of interest on the part of Professor Bain and the expert witness testimony in Belize going against the greater imperative of HIV prevention in MSM in the Caribbean so too must the fault be accepted here in some respect by all concerned bearing in mind that Mrs Gomes former head and founder of JFJ is now Executive Director of CVCC, how coincidental?

So much effort was spent to get this sex education course into children's homes while bypassing the CDA and indeed the CDA should have picked up on it with its internal monitoring of the homes (one wonders if they lied to the public of knowledge of the activity) when so many homeless MSM/Transgender need assistance and programs but does the CVCC and others care, it would seem that they do not.

The Gleaner carried this:


Kay Osborne

The leadership of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) continued to collapse, yesterday as the human- rights lobby's Executive Director Kay Osborne resigned with immediate effect after less than five months into the job.

Osborne's resignation came less than two days after JFJ Chairman Lisa Lakhan-Chen indicated she would be resigning, following the controversial sex-education programme that was delivered in six privately run children's homes.

Osborne stressed in her resignation letter to Lakhan-Chen that JFJ's review of the controversial 'Healthy Sexual Growth and Development in Marginalised Youth: Rights, Responsibilities and Life Skills' course implemented in the homes had explicitly exonerated her from having knowledge or oversight of the programme.

"The board of directors having clarified that the children's home programme was a HIV/AIDS-prevention intervention has led to my decision that I cannot work as executive director of a human-rights advocacy organisation that does not advise me that it is implementing a programme in children's homes to decrease the spread of HIV/AIDS," her resignation letter read.

Osborne has maintained that she was unaware of the programme, tellingThe Gleaner/ Power106 News Centre less than two weeks ago that she would not have taken the job if she had been aware of the sex-education course.

"I was unaware that JFJ was engaged in a sex-education programme. It never came up in the interview and it did not come up in any part of the interview process and confirmation of my appointment," she had said on July 7.

However, Dr Carolyn Gomes, the former executive director of JFJ, under whose tenure the project was initiated, has argued that Osborne was aware of the project and even spoke about it on television and in a press release.

Specific details

In that episode of CVM TV's 'Live @ 7' current affairs programme, which aired in early June, Osborne gave specific details of a programme dealing with sexuality being delivered by JFJ in children's homes.

"We just completed 75 and will complete 100 workshops in children's homes where we are helping children learn more healthy ways of engaging with their own bodies, learning about their sexuality, about self-esteem and so on, helping them to become better citizens," she said on the programme, which aired days before the controversy over the sex-education course and its content first came to national attention.

She added: "We are at fault in that we have not tooted our horn as much as we could."

In a response to Gomes' claim that this was further proof that she was aware of the programme, Osborne yesterday asserted that during that interview she thought the initiative she was speaking of was more in line with JFJ's other programmes.

Expectation

"I mentioned the programme during my 'Live @ 7' interview and in my press release to the Honourable Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture, as being among JFJ's ongoing projects. Like Jamaicans everywhere, my expectation was that the children's home programme was similar to one of the different types of human-rights advocacy programmes JFJ is well known for engaging in over many years," Osborne said.

The sex-education programme is now the subject of an investigation by the police, Child Development Agency and the Attorney General's Department, as it is said to have exposed children to inappropriate material.

Lakhan-Chen said JFJ has since sought legal advice in light of the investigations and has conducted its own internal review.

In addition to Osborne and Lakhan-Chen, Gomes recently resigned as a board member of JFJ.

After Gomes' departure, JFJ directors Susan Goffe and Rodje Malcolm also resigned. The Reverend Sean Major-Campbell, deputy chairman of the lobby, is also expected to tender his resignation soon.


See Jamaica Observer's take HERE and their take on 

Dr Carolyn Gomes misrepresenting me, says Osborne


ENDS

My opinions remain the same as espoused in my podcast on the matter when it first broke:





The principles on which JFJ was founded has since been forgotten it seems hence this fallout as exampled with other NGOs that of transparency, accountability and leadership yet JFJ seemed through Mrs Gomes even as she reported on the course's activity did not go further to point out same to a new board albeit they too are at fault in not reviewing the materials they have been presented.

Sad to watch this go down like this, why did JFJ take on folks in the first place that were clearly incompetent to begin with and why didn't the old guard be more scrupulous in such appointments are even bigger questions, meanwhile Outgoing chairman of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), Lisa Lakhan Chen, says it has sought legal advice in the wake of at least two investigations into the explicit sex education programme it implemented in six private children’s homes this year.
The JFJ chairman told The Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre that to date she has not received any official notice from the police to participate in any probe.

However, Lakhan Chen says in the best interest of the organisation, JFJ has sought advice from its attorneys.

The controversial programme created a firestorm over the sexual details it provided to children as young as 13 years old and an internal review conducted by JFJ concluded, among other things, that children may have been exposed to content that might not have been appropriate for their age.

In addition to a probe by the police, Youth Minister Lisa Hanna has asked the Attorney General’s office to review the contents of the programme to determine if they violated any laws.


here is an older interview from the 18th on Nationwide radio:



Peace and tolerance

H

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Funny And Framed - 'Mother' Of New Kingston Gays Says They Are Not To Be Blamed For Increase In Crime

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Well obviously not all of them would or could be blamed as established for some time now and this blog has been clear that only a few bad eggs have been made to cause the others who really need help to suffer with agencies some of whom are mentioned turning their backs on the men in the first place thus allowing the problem to fester in New Kingston. The greater numbers of persons in the Shoemaker Gully when seen at nights are NOT homeless or even displaced but are friends of the those who are and hang out together, others are just enjoying the ride so to speak in terms of public expression often not had and socialization.



The Safe House pilot, the ONLY residential response was made to close down by Jamaica AIDS Support for Life's Board as JFLAG stood silently by and then moved into the very space that was the house turning it into their offices in 2009/10 with the causality being the Executive Director of JASL then and the men eventually discarded in 2010 five years later here we are with deaths, in-fighting, pretentious agencies and individuals all ready and willing to parade them and gratuitous sympathy but no real help and did I mention parade them for HIV prevention purposes and as condom distribution recipients but where is the real help that these powerful well funded agencies and NGOs can more than give if they desire? 



former Jamaica AIDS Support/JFLAG office site @ 4 Upper Musgrave Avenue demolished after they were evicted due to repeated clashes with the men and staff after the Safe House closure in 2009, the present generation and some older men/transgender still use the area for sex work, podcast on their eviction can be heard HERE


All this while designated spaces for shelters lay abandoned as photoed above by government even though they promised all kinds of crap. See Some good news on the homeless MSM front ..... guarded & waiting part 2: Dwayne's House Project site opened LGBT advocates obviously do not really care about this group save and except to parade them as victims and for statistics or study with no real rehabilitation courses for them. Also see: Shelter Coming For Homeless Gays reports the Gleaner  also see from February 2013: And we continue to reap the world-wind for not addressing homelessness when it was manageable


MP Julian Robinson claims he wants help for New Kingston homeless gays

It is painful for myself and a few others having been apart of the mess and the lead up to the formation of the Safe House to watch this and other happenings most of which go unreported such as a recent attack as caused by a mistake of one of the youngsters.

Now comes today's Gleaner report:

Funny And Framed - 'Mother' Of New Kingston Gays Says They Are Not To Be Blamed For Increase In Crime


Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

They are being accused of being the main perpetrators of crime in the once almost idyllic New Kingston area, but the mainly homosexual men who live in the Shoemaker Gully say they are being framed.

New Kingston residents and the cops who patrol the area last week toldThe Sunday Gleaner that the increase in murders, shootings, robberies, assaults, house break-ins, car break-ins and larceny reported in the area coincides with the migration of a large group of homosexuals to the gully near Trafalgar Road.

But the so-called mother of the group, who goes by the name 'Thelma', last Friday denied the allegation and charged that most of the wrongdoings are committed by persons who visit New Kingston for short spells.

"I see it in the paper that we are responsible for most of the crime in New Kingston. Some of dem that do the crimes just come around, sleep and tek weh dem self; they don't live in the gully," the 30-year-old Thelma toldThe Sunday Gleaner during an interview on the bank of the gully.

BLEACHING CREAM THEFT

"Yu have man weh come amongst wi who have dem place, but just come and stay and do dem crime. Some of dem wi deh beside di gully and all si people a pass and grab dem phone, mi nah hide nothing. Like all me now, mi lie down a sleep fi go mek my own honest bread and man weh nuh live wid wi, but just come among wi mek trouble and all last night (Thursday) dem tek weh how much phone and my bleaching cream," alleged Thelma.

But the theft of skin-lightening products pales in comparison to crimes like murder, for which the police have accused at least one of the gay men, 'Pebbles' who live in the gully.

Thelma disputed that Jevon Francis, otherwise called 'Pebbles' or 'Trina', is responsible for the May 18 fatal stabbing.

"Mi a read inna di paper say a someone name Trina (Pebbles) do di killing, but is not she do di killing. Pebbles do whole heap a thieving and robbery, but a nuh she do di killing," declared Thelma, even as he admitted that it's a member of the group who committed the murder.

According to Thelma, the killer has claimed that there was no robbery involved as the killing resulted from a long-standing feud, "but me know say that is not so".

The St Andrew Central police have reported that between December 2013 and May this year, 45 major crimes have been reported in the New Kingston area, and most of these are being attributed to the gays residing in the gully also referred to as 'Gay Bridge'.

"We have carried out several operations in the days, but in the days, the group numbers about seven or eight homeless boys. At nights, the number grows considerably and among that group are some persons who use the diverse community as an umbrella to do crimes. If you move to them, you are being seen as anti this group," argued Deputy Superintendent Christopher Murdock, who is in charge of the New Kingston Police Post.

"Persons within the group would want to say that it's a handful of persons that are committing crimes, but this is not so. They have caused an increase in crimes as it relates to the stealing of smartphones, robbing persons at knifepoint, robbing persons under menace, and then using means to extort them by saying that they will call their wives and tell their wives that they came to seek sexual favours from them. These are some of the crimes that have been reported to us," added Murdock.

Thelma does not dispute that some among them are involved in wrongdoing, but he sought to put it in perspective.

"Nuffa dem hear bout it and see it on TV that here suh brand as a b—— man spot, and nuff a dem come out here and do what dem want to do and then want to trick di people dem," argued Thelma, as he defended the stealing from some of the clients of these gay men.

But residents say the menace by these men extends way beyond just 'punishing' those who try to deny them their earnings.

"All of New Kingston is affected by this brazen crime spree and action needs to be taken now. I'm very scared of the reports I'm getting about the many attacks on my neighbours," a member of the New Kingston Citizens' Association wrote in an email to The Sunday Gleaner.

"How can any decent, law-abiding community simply allow a band of men to take over and operate illegally from a section of the road?"

But according to Thelma, this is a short-term arrangement for many of the men.

"In the next five years, I don't plan to be on the road; maybe even migrate. I don't have anywhere to go right now, because if mi go town people a buss shot after mi, because when mi walk, mi come in like the queen of town," he said. "So I want to migrate and try to get asylum somewhere."

Great health risk

He accepted that the occupants of the gully are putting themselves at great health risk, as they defecate, eat and sleep in proximity to each other.

However, Town Clerk Robert Hill told The Sunday Gleaner that steps are being taken to create somewhere to house these persons who have made the gully their home.

"We are trying to come up with some sort of social-intervention policy in partnership with other places like (Jamaica) AIDS Support and a United Nations agency, to kind of redirect the type of antisocial behaviour and see if we can now assist in finding land on which a centre may be built to offer counselling and other divergent services," said Hill.

ENDS

Here is where it all begin to go downhill from December 2009 when JASL decided to ditch the then populations from the only shelter ever designed to temporarily address displacements, as JFLAG sat quietly (same board members for the most part):

Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum

It was only in June as the JFJ/CVCC funded sex education fiasco was in full swing I asked: Why did CVCC & JFJ not Fund a Project/Home for Homeless LGBT Youth in New Kingston instead of the Children’s Home Fiasco that now obtains?

These personalities on these boards and management committees obviously do not care about these homeless men more so than parading them as victims as the clashing imperatives of the differing agencies cause a lack of pro-activity and priority in frontline responses to such matters even as more displacements continue to add to the numbers.


here is an older podcast I had done on government's role in LGBT sheltering:



Those persons who do open up their homes and let in persons despite the risks are to be commended even without any financial or logistical help from powerful advocates and NGOs which shows we may not need these folks after all. I can attest to the difficulties in offering shelter and the fallouts but only kindness matter I guess as singer Jewel says.

see: Community based crisis sheltering is still an option for the displaced

N
EVER FORGET this in 2013:
JFLAG excludes homeless MSM from IDAHO Symposium on guess what? .......... HOMELESSNESS! hear the audio HERE

Please check the Homeless MSM tab immediately below for a complete list of posts from 2009 on the issue and from GLBTQ Jamaica HERE also see:

Office of the Children's Advocate, OCA's Child Justice Guidelines recognises discrimination/sexual orientation but

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

The Public’s separation of homo-negativity and homeless LGBT welfare issues

More MSM Homelessness Issues while agencies shift responsibilities

Children’s Advocacy & LGBT Agencies inconsistent approach to Homeless MSM Youth

JFLAG’S NEEDS TO ACCEPT SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE TRAFALGAR MURDERS ….. HOMELESSNESS NOT PROPERLY ADDRESSED

Sigh! will there ever be some genuine relief to our displaced brethren and not tokenism for a change?
Peace and tolerance

H

Old Guard vs New Guard War of Words at JFJ on Sex Education Course that bypassed CDA

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This unraveling in the public domain is embarrassing for the JFJ a noble group funded on such strong principles and where is CVCC the LGBT coalition that funded the course in the first place? quiet as a lamb all this while they both bypassing the constituted authority for children's homes, it is one thing to implement a well needed course but it is totally another when the law of the land is passed. The CDA's monitoring system could and should have picked up on the near eight month activity but they claimed they didn't and now this fiasco albeit Mrs Gomes now proudly heads the CVCC, incestuous mess anyone?

The Observer reported 



HUMAN rights lobby group Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) says after reviewing the controversial sex education manual it has come to the conclusion that the children who were exposed to inappropriate material could have been psychologically harmed.

But the group's claim that its board of directors was not fully informed of the content of the programme has been stoutly denied by Dr Carolyn Gomes, the former JFJ executive director who now heads the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVCC).

In a release on Friday, JFJ accepted culpability for not vetting the material properly and placed the blame squarely at the feet of its board of directors.

"Children in some of the homes may have been exposed to content that might not have been appropriate for their age. This possibility arose from weaknesses in the oversight and vetting process. The board of directors is responsible for the deficiency in the vetting process," the group admitted in a release to the media on Friday.

The controversial Healthy Sexual Growth and Development in Marginalised Youth: Rights, Responsibilities and Life Skills manual, JFJ said, was an educational programme designed to "engender responsible attitudes in marginalised youth towards their sexual and reproductive health in order to reduce the incidence of HIV infections in the adolescent population". The programme was implemented in six children's homes and ran for eight months from October 2013 though to May 2014.

Some 80 caregivers were trained by JFJ facilitators between November 2013 and February 2014.

As many as 176 children were trained between January 2014 and May 2014. Training was conducted by the JFJ facilitators. Several children younger than 13 were exposed to different modules in several of the children's homes, the JFJ admitted.

"We were unable to confirm which module or modules or what content these children were exposed to," the release said.

JFJ also admitted that:

* The programme content and methodology were not vetted by the board of directors of JFJ before being implemented;

* The programme content was not signed off by project partner, Family Planning Association of Jamaica (FamPlan); and

* Some of the content in Module 5 -- Gender, and Module 6 -- Sexuality and Society would be inappropriate if not delivered by someone properly trained to children who were not properly prepared to receive it.

"We were not able to determine conclusively if children were exposed to material not appropriate for their age or development. However, this possibility cannot be ruled out," the group said.

The project, the rights group said, was implemented by it pursuant to a call for proposals from the CVCC/Centre for Integral Orientation and Investigation (COIN) in April 18 2013.

"The then Executive Director Carolyn Gomes developed a proposal to provide marginalised youth in children's homes with rights-based information on sexual and reproductive rights and submitted it in June 2013. The proposal was successful and the contract for the execution of the project was signed by Gomes on behalf of JFJ on October 17, 2013," JFJ said.

"Course content was developed from material provided by FAMPLAN, CVCC/COIN and various other publicly available sources. FAMPLAN did not sign off on the final course content. The content was intended to be delivered to children between the ages 13 and 17," the release said..

JFJ said Gomes delivered three secretariat reports in 2013 to its monthly board meetings and the programme was mentioned. However, the full content was never brought to the board, the group said.

"This is not unusual as programme details were not normally presented at board meetings," the release said.

The group also pointed out that its current Executive Director Kay Osborne was appointed on April 1 this year and had no involvement in the design and implementation of the controversial project.

Instead, JFJ claimed that Gomes designed, developed, negotiated and contracted the project with funding arranged by CVCC.

"The project began implementation in October 2013 under the direct guidance of Dr Gomes. In December 2013 when Dr Gomes demitted office as executive director she did not provide the board of directors with complete information on the project, notwithstanding that she continued to sit on the board until her resignation on June 17, 2014. There were material deviations to the project proposal that affected the development and implementation of the project. The project proposal required that FAMPLAN sign off on the material to be presented to the wards. This was not done."

The group also said the board was unable to determine who actually prepared that material.

"At no point did Dr Carolyn Gomes or anyone else, either in writing or verbally, indicate to Ms Osborne that JFJ was implementing a programme in children's homes to decrease the spread of HIV/AIDS or one in which sex education is taught. We are further satisfied that Ms Osborne was unaware of the content of the said programme modules and no aspect of the same formed any part of her job description since she was appointed executive director," JFJ said.

"Against this background, the board of directors regrets these occurrences and concludes that children in some of the homes may have been exposed to content that might not have been appropriate for their age. This possibility arose from weaknesses in the oversight and vetting process. The board of directors accepts that there were deficiencies in the vetting process and holds itself fully accountable," the group admitted.

But yesterday, Dr Gomes said although she designed the project, the accusation by JFJ that she did not share the information with the board is erroneous.

"After we drew a proposal I shared it with the then chairperson by e-mail before it was submitted. And then every month after that I reported to the board right through until October when we won the grant," Dr Gomes told the Sunday Observer.

Dr Gomes said when there was a call for proposals in April 2013 she discussed the matter with the members of JFJ to include representatives from FAMPLAN.

"We set out some preliminary thoughts and I shared them with the head of the Child's Rights Working Group... because the board of JFJ operates through various groups and teams and they oversee the Child's Rights Working Group," Gomes explained. "And this was by e-mail from April of last year. So they knew what we were thinking of doing before we even did it."

She explained that the proposal was mentioned in the secretariat report but became a full report in the communications report to the board which set out in detail what was to be done regarding the project.

Gomes explained, too, that the full details of the project were included in the November and December reports to the board.

"This was circulated by e-mail and then tabled in hard copy at the board meetings," Gomes said. "So to say that the board was not informed by myself and the team at the office is completely erroneous. If you don't choose to read your reports that are presented to you, then I don't know on what basis one operates. How does one operate other than providing reports? So, for example, in November the headline was CVC COIN project: Healthy sexual growth and development in marginal youth, rights, responsibilities and life skills," she explained.

She noted that during the reporting period activities undertaken were outlined detailing the preliminary organising and training, with official letters seeking permission sent to six privately owned children's homes detailing the goals and objectives of the project.

"So to say that I didn't brief them clearly isn't accurate," she said. "And I have proof that they were briefed."

She explained that when she handed over the reins in January this year, the project was still being developed.

"All the way to June of this year, two newsletters were done about it and shared with the board and with the membership, so I don't know how they didn't know about it," Gomes said.

She said the head of the Child's Right Working Group, with whom she shared documents in April before the group wrote the project, reported on it to the Annual General Meeting in April.

"So the members were told from April about information on the project, so not only was it reported on but the chairperson reported on it herself to the membership."

Gomes said Osborne got involved in the project earlier in May when there was a glitch in the delivery and the project implementer asked for her assistance in getting some of the workshops delivered at John Bosco Boys' Home due to a scheduling issue.

Gomes said it was Osborne who asked that the project be continued by a sister at that boys' home when concerns were voiced by a member of the school that time was against them.

"So I don't know how she could have said she didn't know what she was asking the sister to continue," Gomes said. "And then after that she appeared on Live at 7 to talk about how this project was good. And she also drafted a press release to Ms [Lisa] Hanna at the end of May which spoke about our work in children's homes," Gomes said.

Despite being at the centre of the controversy, Gomes said she had no input in the review that was just concluded.

"I have my responses prepared, but I have not shared them with anybody because no one in particular asked for them," she said after explaining that two letters were sent to her on Monday but she was not sure of the authenticity of the requests as they were unsigned.

"So the review proceeded without my input and it proceeded without the input of the chief implementer from the organisation. I am aware that the chief staff person in charge of the project was not questioned about the project during the review period. Nor was the trained social worker, a volunteer posted by CUSO who also worked on the project," Gomes said. "It is unclear who conducted the review but I am aware that there was no meeting of the board to discuss and agree on the findings of the review prior to it being sent to the media."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Anything to Remain Current ........... Bounty Killer Backs Anti Gay Religious Groups Stance

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“Deejay Bounty Killer says he is throwing his full support behind the Church's anti-homosexuality"

So in a bid to obviously remain relevant in today's fledgling dancehall music business of no sales and lowering numbers at major events, blocking of murder music acts and materials including the DJ named therein and more liberal lyrics from groundbreaking names such as Alkaline whom Bounty also took a swipe at in today's Star as well supposedly after his performance at a lowed keyed SUMFEST.

Why am I not surprised, the popularity train is one easily hopped on by fading acts, only a few weeks ago we saw Elephant Man and Beenieman feuding, yes feuding at their late stages of their careers when they should be guiding younger artists. Anyway the story for bounty's alignment read as follows:

Deejay Bounty Killer says he is throwing his full support behind the Church's anti-homosexuality stance and its objection to the repealing of the buggery act.

Bounty Killer made his comments during an interview with THE STAR shortly after his performance at Reggae Sumfest's Dancehall Night on Thursday, during which he used the opportunity to reiterate his disapproval of the homosexual lifestyle, even if he would be barred from future shows.

"Some people always have this mind-frame about time and place. I don't know if I might make it to see tomorrow.From it come to mind, I speak it. That is how I operate. I am not going to sit down and wish and tomorrow I never get to say it. Everybody know the situation at hand and it is either you are with it (homosexuality) or you are against it. And we know the situation in Jamaica about what is going on, and I am backing the Church," Bounty said.

freakinesS

He added; "In dancehall you have people who are righteous, people who are conscious, people who unconscious, people who say freakiness, people who uphold straightness. If you are young and you are listening dancehall, you are wondering what dancehall is all about, because dancehall has no stance again," he added.

To solidify his point, Bounty also made reference to upcoming dancehall artiste Alkaline, who is noted for a song in which he refers to women as 'devils and John Crow'.

"You hear Alkaline a say gyal fi tun inna John Crow; I wonder if him know what a John Crow is. You can't compare a woman wid a John Crow. And if you are encouraging things that you don't uphold, you are using the people; you are prostituting us," he said.


ENDS

It was a couple days ago that another younger artist "warned" Alkaline about his style as appearing in the Star as well:


Dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta has urged controversial deejay Alkaline to be careful of the messages that he is sending to minors especially as it relates to taboo sexual practices. This he did in a new single called 'Nah Bad'.

Tommy Lee who received his fair share of criticism courtesy of iconic dancehall artiste Bounty Killer for using the moniker 'Uncle Demon' in his lyrics, is now the one seeking to straighten out another aspiring dancehall act.

According to the deejay, who told the audience at Sting that he has had a change of heart since his near fatal accident, Alkaline's practice of encouraging taboo sexual practices can be more harmful to children than using the fictitious moniker 'Uncle Demon'.

"Mi just a correct him, mi nah dis him. Mi a mek him know sey him fi fix up him argument. If mi wah dis him; mi wi dis him, mi nuh fraid fi duh dat. Mi just feel like di youth dem nuffi a hear dem thing deh ... . A nuh nothing if yu sey yu a Uncle Demon, that is just a made-up character. But when yu a guh sey gyal fi lick out bottom a nastiness dat, and that is physical. How yu wudda feel fi see a likkle pickney a duh dat? Mi just a correct him ... . I never said I didn't want to be corrected when Bounty speak against Uncle Demon, because a di right thing him did a sey. It was the disrespect that came with his opinion that got me upset," Tommy Lee Sparta said.

According to the deejay who has songs featured in internationally renowned video game Grand Theft Auto, he does not want the children to be led in the wrong path where sexuality is concerned. Tommy Lee Sparta was making reference to Alkaline's single Touch You, in which he endorsed anal stimulation using the tongue.

"Mi just return from tour and mi life comfortable mi nuh haffi a stress out myself. Mi just a sey certain action weh mek di pickney dem think sey it right - mi just sit back and a watch the business from wah day and mi decide fi fix it. Mi nuh care bout nuh man feelings," Tommy Lee Sparta said.

The deejay is getting strong attention for his recent UIM Records-produced singles Whine Up and Dream, which have received over 300,000 views on YouTube.

Alkaline's publicist Kereen Beckford told The STAR that they are not aware of Tommy Lee's song and are therefore unable to give a comment.

European CDC cautious about PrEP ........... More research needed before European approval, EU Centre for Disease Control says

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The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) has issued a paper saying that it cannot make a clear Europe-wide recommendation on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and that it would require clearer data on efficacy, cost-effectiveness, side-effects, resistance and its impact on condom use before making one.

Recently, two important public health organisations have recommended pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as an additional prevention strategy, especially for gay men.

PrEP is already licensed for use in the US and in May 2014 the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended its use for anyone HIV-negative with an HIV-positive partner, for gay men who haven’t used condoms consistently or who have had an STI in the last six months, for people who inject drugs who have shared needles, and for heterosexuals who’ve had condomless sex with a high-risk partner.

This month, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a comprehensive set of prevention guidelines (also see below) or HERE which continued to recommend “the correct and consistent use of condoms” as a highly effective HIV prevention strategy, but which also included the new recommendation that “Among men who have sex with men, PrEP is recommended as an additional HIV prevention choice within a comprehensive HIV prevention package”. This was widely misreported as the WHO wanting all gay men to take PrEP.

No European agency has issued a public statement on PrEP since March 2012, when the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published a consultation paper on PrEP. In the end this consultation was never completed. European agencies may therefore have felt under some pressure to make a statement on PrEP.

The ECDC has now issued a paper taking a much more cautious line on PrEP. It comments that “PrEP is an antiretroviral therapy-based HIV prevention strategy which merits some mention” and in an accompanying presentation says that it “shows promising prospects for inclusion in the ‘HIV prevention toolbox’ in Europe”.

There is no common approach on PrEP across Europe, the ECDC comments. Apart from the never-completed EMA paper, the British HIV Association/British Association for Sexual Health and HIVissued a statement on PrEP in which they said they wanted to see more European research before making a decision on PrEP. There are two scientific studies of PrEP currently underway in the UK and France, PROUD and IPERGAY, (PROUD’s principal investigator, Professor Sheena McCormack, was also an author of the BHIVA/BASHH statement) but they will not report efficacy data for a couple of years. Because of this, the ECDC says that “This makes it difficult to provide a clear recommendation at present that would apply to the entire European Union”.

The ECDC says that “despite some encouraging results, a number of questions remain unanswered regarding PrEP. For example, the cost-effectiveness of PrEP in the long term requires further investigation, as it is likely to depend on high levels of adherence to the treatment.”

There have been many papers modelling the cost-effectiveness of PrEP. The ECDC mentions one based on the US setting that computes that PrEP could be cost-effective in terms of preventing HIV infections, but would still be very expensive. If 50% of high-risk gay men used PrEP (taking the CDC’s definition of unprotected sex in the last six months), this would prevent 30% of HIV infections over the next 20 years that would otherwise have occurred, and reduce HIV prevalence in high-risk gay men from 31% to 23% - a 26% relative reduction. This PrEP programme would cost $2.1 billion every year for the next 20 years; taking HIV infections avoided into account, it would still cost $1.8 billion. The paper cited found that PrEP would be cost-effective by US standards only if it cost less than $5475 per person per year or if its efficacy was more than 75%.

A number of other modelling papers on PrEP’s cost-effectiveness have found that, in various global settings, it could be everything from cost-saving to completely unaffordable, depending on two crucial factors: the price paid for PrEP drugs and how tightly it is targeted at people whose risk of HIV, to quote an early paper on the iPrEx trial is not just “high, but imminent”.

ECDC acknowledges PrEP “could be particularly effective for persons at very high risk of HIV acquisition, such as sexual or injecting partners of people living with HIV” but says a number of questions need to be answered before a Europe-wide recommendation is possible.

These include:
Can countries afford to invest in PrEP? HIV treatment costs are only going to increase.

Is it justifiable to provide ART to HIV negative individuals before having reached sufficient ART coverage for people are HIV positive?

Will PrEP divert resources away from other prevention activities?

Given the high costs of PrEP, how do we determine who will be eligible?

How will we ensure that adherence is maximised?

Will the use of PrEP impact on condom use? If so, will overall transmission risk increase or decrease as a result of PrEP?

The ECDC concludes by saying that “Future research needs in the use of ART for prevention of HIV transmission should focus on obtaining the evidence on the efficacy of ART in reducing onward sexual transmission in the wider population” – in other words, that the public-health effectiveness of ARV-based prevention strategies in general, and not just PrEP, needs more research and evaluation in Europe.


ENDS

While the WHO issued guidelines sometime before, see: 
World Health Organization, WHO Urging Gay Men To Take Antiretrovirals, Says HIV Cases High In Group 

also see this video that has me on the fence still about this PrEP, see what you make of it:




Girls Now Charged for Having Sex with Minors as Boys, Do Adults Ever Speak to Them?

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The outcome of a sexual-offence case last week left persons expressing surprise that the girls involved were charged along with the boys. But if with the fear and sheer ignorance we have regarding sex and sexuality and our education system only is stuck on reproductive health otherwise called "guidance counselling" how are minors to really know that even experimentation can be illegal if caught?


Two girls and two boys were each charged under the Sexual Offences Act, having sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 16.

They pleaded guilty to the charges and were placed on probation.

They were 15 years old at the time of the offence and it is contended that they believed their secret was safe until one of the parents found out and reported the matter to the police.

A policeman commenting on the issue said the parent who made the report must have been frightened when the girls were charged.

"Sometimes, it is the girls who are the aggressors but, in times past, it is the poor boys alone who had to face the consequences in court," the policeman said.

"I am glad the law has been changed, so girls can be charged along with boys. Children are sent to school to learn, not to be involved in sexual acts.

"This case should be a warning to schoolgirls. Once they are caught, and in agreement with boys, they, too, will be arrested and charged. They may not have to face jail time but the embarrassment of coming to court should be a deterrent for them.

"I have observed many schoolgirls, while on duty, and some of them are really out of order. Sometimes they are teasing boys and forcing them to be intimate with them. Last month, I had to give some schoolgirls a stern warning when I heard the type of argument they were engaged in.

"I think the principals, teachers and guidance counsellors at schools should have weekly counselling sessions with girls and inform them that, under the law, they, too, will be charged for being involved in sexual activities with boys. However, boys, too, must take heed and avoid 16 contact with girls even if girls try to pressure them," he said.

Sadly we seem to ignore the realities out there on the ground as the last reproductive health and ones before surveys have shown us 58.4% of girls in a reporting mechanism done already had two partners in the same year the survey was done and these girls were thirteen years of age, so those who feel that our teens are angels better think again and with the highly sexualised nature of entertainment our refusal as adults to talk openly about sex and paranoid religious and child rights activists around we are in for more suppression of such information and thus kids and teens search and find what they want in ad hoc places.

Section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act states, "A person who has sexual intercourse with another person who is under the age of sixteen years commits an offence"

This is the section under which the four children were charged.

So what about same gender sex and teens one might ask at this age as well and in the aforementioned survey Dr Sandra Knight of the Family Planning Board also noted that several teens both male and female also have experimented with devices anally and otherwise which is also illegal if we are to go by the Grievous Sexual Assault charge whereby penetration with a device or finger to the anus or vagina is considered.

Everybody wants to be so self righteous and dictate how persons private affairs should operate as we saw with the hijacking of the discussion around homosexuality recently in the name of fear of a homosexual agenda yet people will always do what they do in private even teens, the issues of minibuses and inappropriate sex is still real and so on.

We need to sit and talk openly with our children frankly as one part of the solution, the other is when oh when will the Ministry of Health ever just stop sanitizing the matters surrounding sex and sexuality as it did in the HFLE fiasco in 2012 and we saw again recently in the CDA bypassed CVCC funded controversial sex ed course.

Peace and tolerance

H

Friday, July 18, 2014

SASOD Guyana Reports Homophobic Government Minister to the United Nations

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SASOD - Guyana

On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at a press conference held in the Burbon Room at the Sidewall Café, the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) launched a damning 11-page report on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights in Guyana.


(l-r) Mr. Joel Simpson, Managing Director, SASOD; Ms. Tiffany Barry, Social Change Consultant, SASOD and Ms. Schemel Patrick, Advocacy and Communications Officer, SASOD.

SASOD, submitting the report along with the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI), reported homophobic Government Minister Juan Edghill to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council for hate speech, as a violation of the Guyana Constitution and international human rights law, and called for his removal. SASOD also presented a 15-point list of recommendations to the Government of Guyana.


Ms. Tiffany Barry, Social Change Consultant, SASOD giving a brief synopsis of the UPR report

In giving a synopsis of the report, SASOD’s Social Change Consultant, Ms. Tiffany Barry outlined the 15 recommendations posited by SASOD. 

The recommendations include educating members of the uniformed forces and evaluating their performances based on their obligations in terms of non-discriminatory treatment towards marginalized groups; repeal sections 351 to 353 of the Criminal Law Offences Act Chapter 8:01 and 153 (1) (xlvii) of the Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act Chapter 8:02 which criminalise same-sex/gender intimacy between consenting adult men in private and cross-dressing, respectively; amend section 4 of the Prevention of Discrimination Act, Chapter 99:09, to include sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for discrimination in employment, training and recruitment; among others.

The report titled “On Devil’s Island: A UPR Submission on LGBT Human Rights in Guyana” was submitted a month ago on June 15, the same day that Minister within the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill made hate-inciting comments on Hard Talk – a local radio programme on iRadio - describing homosexuality as “destructive, unwholesome and unhealthy” saying it should not be tolerated in the Guyanese society.


Mr. Joel Simpson, Managing Director of SASOD, answering questions from the media.

In his remarks, Managing Director of SASOD, Mr. Joel Simpson said that “Edghill’s inflammatory edict amounts to hate speech as described by Article 146 (3) of the Guyana constitution as “speeches or other expressions, in whatever form, capable of exciting hostility or ill-will against any person or class of persons.” He further went on to say, “We are therefore calling for his removal as a Government Minister and Member of Parliament as this is a blatant violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms under the Guyana constitution.”
Others government representatives who have made comments on LGBT issues over the past month were PPP/C’s Member of Parliament Manzoor Nadir stating that the outcry to scrap anti–LGBT laws is a “storm in a teacup” issue; and Presidential Adviser on Governance, Gail Teixeira’s recent remarks that “there is no fast track… to see change and support new rights.” 

Simpson questioned “which rock Nadir is living under” citing monthly media reports of violence, discrimination and injustice against LGBT Guyanese and multiple reports from the University of the West Indies’ Faculty of Law, SASOD and other groups. Simpson also responded to Teixeira declaring “yes, there is a fast track way. It’s political leadership and our government sorely lacks this when it comes to human rights issues.” He reiterated the call for better protection of existing human rights for LGBT people, rebuffing Teixeira’s salvo that these are “new rights.”

The full report can be found here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Forming The Ass With Anti-Gay Rhetoric

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The following appeared in the Gleaner July 16, 2014 I also recommend for some comic relief the Jamaica Observer's editorial as well as they try to rid themselves of the gay-baiting tinge that has come to follow them in recent publications and commentary as well: 

Homosexuality: the long, painful search for workable rules of engagement


Annie Rose Kitchin, GLEANER Guest Columnist wrote:

What a contrast between the July 14, 2014 letter from M. Browne ('Gay rights are rights for all'), characterised by love, compassion and respect for others, and those in the same edition from Verna Gordon Binns ('Anus not built for multitasking') and Derrick Gillespie ('Gay-rights lobby has no case'), characterised by ignorance, inaccuracies and downright lies.

To take Ms Gordon Binns first, she confidently defines the term 'buggery' for us as follows: "The penetration of the erect male organ into the mouth" - no, Ms Binns, that is called oral sex, and it is neither buggery, nor is it illegal! - "or anus" - OK, you got that one right - "of another male, or female, or BEAST" - no, Ms Binns, that is called bestiality, and has nothing whatsoever to do with 'buggery'.

The headline, 'Anus not built for multitasking', also reveals another misunderstanding about human biology. Ms Gordon Binns does not seem to appreciate that human beings are the most adaptable animals you can find. If we had stuck with our original forms, we would still be living in trees and moving about on all fours instead of standing and walking erect. If Ms Gordon Binns had been alive at the time, she would have been trying to stop this dangerous new development from spreading.

As for Mr Gillespie, he confidently states that "scientific studies" have shown that "there is no gene for homosexuality". So? How does that affect the price of butter? There is no gene for heterosexuality either. Can he really be so ignorant of basic biology as to believe that all human characteristics are determined by specific genes?

distorting research

He further states that "scientific studies" show that gay men "are a major health risk in terms of public health". Now, I want Mr Gillespie to show me which scientific study makes such an asinine claim; it is no more possible to claim this than to claim that uncircumcised men are a major health risk.

Indeed, one of the leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS research, Dr Chris Beyrer, actually wrote to your newspaper complaining that his research was being distorted and misused by people of Mr Gillespie's ilk, and asking for them to cease and desist - yet here is Mr Gillespie making the same mendacious claims!

Mr Gillespie then goes on to fly in the face of what the experts have been saying and writing over the last umpteen weeks in the wake of the Bain non-issue: he states that "scientific studies" show that "abolishing buggery laws does not improve access to, or have gays make increasingly use of, health care", which is, quite simply, a lie.

I am constantly amazed at the capacity of some people to snoop and pry into the intimate lives of consenting adults, when there are issues crying out for outrage, protests and action from us all:

The trafficking of young girls, lured away by unscrupulous criminals to disappear without a trace;

The need for a proper investigation into the actions of police and soldiers during the Tivoli operation under the previous government and the responsibility of politicians in all that occurred;

The reason for Ellington's abrupt retirement; the fact that, to date, no application has been made to the National Environment and Planning Authority for the 'development' of Goat Islands, yet this is apparently a fait accompli;

The preference of successive governments for borrowing billions - which then have to be paid back with a constantly devaluing currency, thus hijacking the future of our children and grandchildren - rather than investing heavily in education, education, EDUCATION, so as to produce young people with the knowledge and the skills to be innovative and creative, thus broadening the economy and creating prosperity.

These are, inter alia, the issues that demand our attention and our commitment, and not what individuals do with each other in the privacy of their bedrooms, which is absolutely NONE of our business.

Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and anniekitchin@gmail.com.

ENDS

I responded to the "Anus multitasking......." letter writer's rubbish

"oh boy another country bumkin' who is so out of touch with the real world

so the pastors who molest children why aren't you righteous anal security guards speaking about that but have so much strength for homosexuals but silent on everything else

what about political corruption?
the homeless and the destitute
hundreds of missing teens and kids

And your poorly researched letter left out the two MOST IMPORTANT PIECES to the puzzle PRIVACY AND CONSENT for ADULTS in other words NONE OF YOUR DAMNED business what persons choose to do, yet the ills that are right infront of you you and your types are blind

In the meantime so what some of what your own are up to in sexual abuse maybe some good reading will help

http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/pastor-accused-or-molesting-boys-given-suspended-sentence

http://gayjamaicawatch.blogspot.com/2014/04/animal-study-provides-first-evidence.html

http://gayjamaicawatch.blogspot.com/2014/04/oh-really-penileanal-penetration-is-not.html

http://gayjamaicawatch.blogspot.com/2014/07/more-pastoral-inappropriateness-under.html

http://gayjamaicawatch.blogspot.com/2014/06/anti-gay-religious-voices-where-are.html

http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/pastor-on-sexual-abuse-charges-in-court

http://stationwww.iriefm.net/news/headline/former-pastor-assault-and-buggery-charges-sentenced

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2492&dat=20080726&id=WkVaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nSYMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6156,2882448

http://gayjamaicawatch.blogspot.com/2009/07/pastor-accused-or-molesting-boys-given.html

Do some reading and learn instead of writing stupid letters

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Police Hunt Murder Suspect in Homeless MSM/Trans Population in New Kingston

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Just when we thought this group had cooled here comes another major mess, so much has happened with this particular set of young displaced MSM/Trans persons of which I have not covered on this blog and as we were told that Dwayne's House was to take on the issue I waited and was guarded but it seems my wait is in vain as no real response can seem to come to deal with this our longest standing issue stemming from stigma and discrimination.

see: Some good news on the homeless MSM front ..... guarded & waiting part 2: Dwayne's House Project site opened LGBT advocates obviously do not really care about this group save and except to parade them as victims and for statistics or study with no real rehabilitation courses for them. Also see: Shelter Coming For Homeless Gays reports the Gleaner 

also see from February 2013: And we continue to reap the world-wind for not addressing homelessness when it was manageable

The Observer has once again shone a light maybe that would have gone unseen (at least they have changed their gay-baiting course some of their writers were on) but the "homosexual man" line is still problematic.


THE St Andrew Central police have intensified their search for a homosexual man known to frequent the Shoemaker Gully at Trafalgar Road in New Kingston in relation to the murder of a man in May.

The fugitive has been identified as Jevaughn Francis, also called ‘Pebbles’.

Police said that in the early hours of Sunday May 18 this year, a man was using his cellular phone while walking by the spot, now called the ‘Gay Bridge’, when he was attacked and dragged into the gully and stabbed repeatedly after he resisted being robbed.

According to Commander Christopher Murdock, who is in charge of the New Kingston Police Post, the man managed to flee through one of several tunnels in the gully before emerging on Dumfries Road where he was rescued by members of a police team.

The victim died the following day but was able to provide a description of the man who robbed and stabbed him.

“He spoke with the officers and described the man who attacked and his description of them fit Francis,” Murdock told the Jamaica Observer.

The dead man has been identified as 18-year-old Rasheed Samuda of Myers Street in Kingston 12.

Francis is also wanted for several robberies committed in the New Kingston area at nights.

The night before the fatal attack, another man who was walking past the gay bridge was also attacked and stabbed after he resisted attempts by two men to steal his cellular phone.

“The man was walking by using his phone when he felt someone hit the phone out of his hand and when he tried to resist he was stabbed in the arm. He kicked the person and was stabbed in the leg,” Murdock said.

“He almost died on us because the main vein in his arm was severed and he was bleeding heavily. His description of the men who robbed him fit a man known as Ramon Francis, also called ‘Teetus’ or ‘Ishana’,” he added.

Francis was taken into custody in connection with the incident.

Foreign media and gay lobbyists portray the men as the victims of homophobic attacks. However, the police say that the men who live and hang out at the Shoemaker Gully are responsible for serious crimes, ranging from murder, shootings, robberies, unlawful wounding, assault, house break-ins, car break-ins, larceny to malicious destruction of property.

“They are known to have lured people in their environment and robbed them. If you resist the result can be deadly,” a senior cop said.

Weeks ago an overseas-based pilot who had read about the plight of the homeless gays who were living in gully, decided to visit the area to talk with them and take pictures of the gay men, but to his surprise he was attacked by men armed with knives and other implements who relieved him of his camera and other valuables and ordered him to leave the area hastily.

The men who often dress in drag and pose as prostitutes, live subnormal lives and according to the police, pose a serious threat to the New Kingston environment.

The St Andrew Central police say that between December 2013 and May this year 45 major crimes have been reported in the New Kingston area, most of them believed to be committed by the gays who reside in the gully.

The crimes include three murders, two shootings, 24 robberies, 11 break-ins and four larcenies.

Police say that they have strong evidence that more than 90 per cent of the robberies were perpetrated by persons purported to be members of the gay community.

Residents of the nearby Trafalgar Park say they are being held under siege by some of the gay men who prey on their homes and rob them with impunity.

One resident said he suffered a broken jaw as a result of resisting robbers.

“I was walking home one evening and they tried to rob me and I resisted. They hit me in the face with a blunt object and broke my jaw. I had to undergo surgery to repair my face. It was very painful,” the man said.

Other residents said that their homes and cars were broken into regularly and the thieves seem to be targeting laptops, tablets and cellular phones although one homeowner reported losing a flat-screen television set and other appliances.

“They are a nuisance to the community. They even tried to rob a woman who was going to church with her daughter one Sunday morning. They grabbed at her handbag and when she resisted they threw acid at her. She was lucky to escape harm,” one resident said.

“One resident came here to make a report that he could not sleep as they were going through the community making all kinds of sounds and noise. Maybe it’s a diversion, a distraction and they then break into other houses,” Murdock said.

In addition to committing serious crimes, the police say they have been receiving regular reports from staff at three business places in close proximity to the bridge that they are being subjected to harassment and threats of violence.

One man who works at an established business in New Kingston recounted how he barely escaped injury from the group of rowdy gays.

“It was just getting dark and I was leaving work and walking towards Half-Way-Tree on Trafalgar Road. I never even looked at them but they were intent on getting my attention and started making calls, telling what kind of sexual favours they were willing to perform on me. I told them that they were not my type and that them fi gway. By the time I knew what was going on they started running towards me and one of them had a knife. I had to run for my life,” the man said.

Murdock said that he has received reports that the men are not only selling themselves to willing customers but are harassing passers-by, even though they know those persons are not interested in doing business with them.

Another man told the Sunday Observer that he was propositioned by the male prostitutes and given a tongue lashing when he spurned their advances.

The men are openly prostituting themselves, but the archaic nature of the law results in them being back on the street in no time if the police charge them for prostitution, loitering or indecent language as the fines are not prohibitive.

“They even laugh at us and say the money soon pay and is not them going pay the money,” one cop said.

The men, who live in the gully, number fewer than 10 but at nights their numbers can swell to almost 50, the police said.

“They say they are homeless, but if you go there in the day you only see a few. But at nights they come out in their numbers. A lot of them live in the inner city but only pose as if they are homeless,” Murdock said.

Some of their number were among several men who had captured a house at Millsborough Avenue in the upscale community of Barbican and caused untold woe for the residents, some of whom complained that they were bathing naked on the driveway and stealing their property.

The men were eventually evicted and the house demolished.

When contacted by the Sunday Observer, Jamaica Forum for All-sexuals and Gays and Lesbians (JFLAG) Executive Director Dane Lewis said that the organisation does not condone criminality and urged the police to do their jobs regardless of the sexual orientation of the person accused of committing a crime.

The men pose a serious health hazard also, as they defecate in the gully where makeshift beds are set up in one of the tunnels which lead out of the gully.

“It is just a health risk for these persons who are living under there. Should it rain suddenly, not necessarily in New Kingston, but if the water comes rushing from further up, then you know what can happen,” Murdock said.

But Murdock is not about to employ only a hard-nosed policing approach to deal with the problem of the diverse males in the Shoemaker Gully, whose presence, he says, is a disaster waiting to happen.

He has developed a Power Point presentation which has been distributed to various stakeholders with whom he plans to meet to suggest a way forward in terms of solving the problem.

Murdock said that he was planning on meeting with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVCC), JFLAG, Jamaica Aids Support For Life, the Child Development Agency, the KSAC City Engineer, the National Solid Waste Management Authority, head of the St Andrew Central Division, Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, Member of Parliament Julian Robinson, Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown-Burke, Councillor for the Trafalgar Park Division, Kari Douglas and representatives from USAID.

“We are trying to find a solution for these persons. It is not about transferring the problem. If you move them from the Shoemaker Gully they are going to become a problem to some other areas,” he said.

ENDS


designated homeless shelter for persons downtown under the previous JLP government left to bushes and animals on 167 King Street


The Shoemaker Gully before the overpopulation of MSM/Trans persons and substance users 


A treat by Dwayne's House persons earlier this year featuring Yvonne McCallah Sobers


Millsborough Avenue House that was destroyed by the new developers


Yes the article has its flaws but I am more concerned about the men for now as we know how the Observer and others puts a skew on things, I do not see how a meeting with the very agencies that abandoned them and their older generations from the dubiously closed Safe House in 2009 will help. Lest we forget we are still in the throws of a controversial sex education course that was bypassed by the legal authority the child development agency funded by CVCC whose board members read like a whose who of JFLAG and JASL named above.

Here is where it all begin to go downhill from December 2009 when JASL decided to ditch the then populations from the only shelter ever designed to temporarily address displacements: 


These personalities on these boards and management committees obviously do not care about these homeless men more so than parading them as victims as the clashing imperatives of the differing agencies cause a lack of pro-activity and priority in frontline responses to such matters.

Sad that here we are about to go into another set of accusations and probably movement again if this plays out as I suspect.

Peace and tolerance indeed needed

Let us remember:
Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston



Some good news on the homeless front ..... guarded and waiting 2012 The JFLAG shelter version which did not materialise


also see all the homelessness & displacement related posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE


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JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness






In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

also see a flashback to some of the issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless LGBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Gender Identity/Transgederism Radio discussion Jamaica March 2014





Radio program Everywoman on Nationwide Radio 90FM March 20th 2014 with Dr Karen Carpenter as stand-in host with a transgender activist and co-founder of Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica and a gender non conforming/lesbian guest as well on the matters of identity, sex reassignment surgery and transexuality.

CLICK HERE for a recording of the show

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.


What to Do .....

When Arrested and taken to a Police Station you have the right to:

a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone
b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council
c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state
d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police
e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number
f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided
g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence
h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail
i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail
j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence
Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:
1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

Popular Posts

What I am reading at times ......

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com or Tel: 1-876-8134942 (leave a message just in case)




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

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

  • 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

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

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

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

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

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

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

Thanks again
Mr. H or Howie

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

GLBTQJA Vimeo Video Channel


videos on homelessness
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relevant to
Jamaican LGBT news
archived for your viewing


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