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 LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, 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 also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Monday, July 25, 2016

Former PNP MP Damion Crawford dismisses gay rumours

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Damion Crawford has come out swinging against allegations that he is gay. Frankly his sexual orientation is of little import to me as we must never forget his tyrade on the suggested conscience vote that was said by his party leader then Portia Simpson Miller in the 2011 leadership debate.


Damion Crawford

The former junior tourism minister told THE STAR ONLINE that a letter containing the damning allegations about him was circulated at a People's National Party (PNP) meeting on Sunday.

“It’s not the first time rumors have been brought against me and it won’t be the last. I am sure of my heterosexuality and that’s all there is to it” Crawford told THE STAR ONLINE.

Crawford argued that people do not throw stones at green mangoes and said the fact that people have set out to destroy his character indicates that he is viewed as a threat within the party.

Crawford served for one term as Member of Parliament for East Rural St Andrew between 2011 and 2016.


Following the distribution of a letter at a People's National Party (PNP) meeting on the weekend, which made certain claims about his sexuality, Damion Crawford yesterday said claims that he is gay are unfounded.

"Mi don't think nobody can question my heterosexuality inna real life," Crawford told THE STAR.

Crawford, a former junior entertainment minister, said he believes the letter to be the handy work of people in the PNP who are desperate to see the back of him.

"It's not the first time rumours have been brought against me and it won't be the last. I am sure of my heterosexuality and that's all there is to it," Crawford said.

The outspoken dreadlocked Crawford found himself on the political sidelines after the majority of PNP delegates in East Rural St Andrew rejected his bid to seek a second term as member of parliament for the constituency he represented in Parliament from 2011 to 2016.

Crawford also failed to get the nod of the PNP to represent North Trelawny in the 2016 general election.

"When dem cyah break yuh. That's just an automatic response" Crawford said when asked to speculate on why he would be labelled as gay.

He said that his detractors have tried many things to destroy him and that this is the latest method being employed.

"Dat a propaganda politics ...1964 ting," he said.

Crawford said he is focused on his obtaining his PhD rather than a career in politics.


"Last year, I would miss my deadlines to ensure the completion of political work but this year my classes are my first priority," Crawford told THE STAR.

In previous posts such as:


and


He dismissed and at one point scoffed at the idea of any conscience vote on buggery, and the possibility of any gay member of parliament in the house would come out and survive it. In a sense he was right as it would take a brave one indeed as the internal party machinery alone would silence any hope of that once revealed. Case in point Crawford himself as who would have thought himself and another first time MP Raymond Pryce would be outside the system now.

The slug fest that has come to define the PNP in recent months since the loss of the 2016 elections is disturbing to watch, to say the least. So it is not surprising to see this and the bitterness from the loss with persons calling for Mrs Simpson Miller's head is showing up what they are or were covering up so nicely while in power. Ironically when the JLP was going through their meltdown over some neat twenty years in opposition as Edward Seaga held on to power for dear life until he was forced out so to speak.

What's next? I don't know, these days all principles and dignity seems out the window these days on many fronts but more so in politics.

Peace & tolerance

H

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Grrrrr ........... Al Miller could escape with fine

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Despite his conviction in the St Andrew Parish Court on Friday, Al Miller could escape with a fine when he is sentenced on September 15. Grrr I am so mad at this, see my previous post on the matter: GUILTY! Anti Gay Rev Al Miller to be sentenced Sept 15 for Perverting course of justice

Miller was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice after then-wanted man Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke was found in a car the pastor was driving.

This is Miller's second conviction in nearly five years

Miller is yet another high profile Jamaican in two years to be convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

In 2014, Senior Superintendent of Police James Forbes was convicted on a similar charge.

However, he was not sent to prison. Instead, Forbes was fined $800,000 or six months at hard labour.


He paid the fine.


Forbes was convicted on a similar charge

At the time Coke was captured along the Mandela Highway in St Catherine in a sports utility vehicle being driven by Miller, the drug lord was wanted on an extradition warrant in the United States.


A disguised Coke was found a sports utility vehicle being driven by Miller

A month earlier, Coke had managed to elude a massive police-military operation in his Tivoli Gardens stronghold, in which more than 70 civilians and one member of the Jamaica Defence Force were killed.

The popular pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle Church in St Andrew, has maintained that he was taking the convicted drug kingpin to the United States Embassy in St Andrew to surrender to authorities there.

However, Judge Simone Wolfe Reece rejected his evidence saying based on the evidence led by prosecutors, his "behaviour facilitated the desires" of Coke.

This is Miller's second conviction in nearly five years.

In October 2011, he was convicted on a charge of negligence in relation to the loss of his licensed firearm.

At that time, the clergyman was slapped with the fine or three months' imprisonment.

He paid the fine.

How our justice system is so unbalanced but let us see where this goes.

Peace & tolerance

H

Friday, July 22, 2016

GUILTY! Anti Gay Rev Al Miller to be sentenced Sept 15 for Perverting course of justice

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The near two year old case of Reverend Al Miller, noted antigay voice allied to Jamaica CAUSE, Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS and a thorn in the side of the second phase of the LGBT struggle since 1998 ended today in the St Andrew Parish court as the Reverend was found guilty for perverting the course of justice. Before announcing the guilty verdict parish court judge Miss Wolf Reece said that based on evidence presented in the trial she is convinced that Al Miller’s behaviour facilitated the desires of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke; the judge further commented that the evidence supports the finding of fact that Miller was seeking to evade law enforcement in Jamaica, Miller was arrested by the police on June 24. 2010 and after two days of questioning he was charged with harbouring a fugitive and perverting the course of justice.


then Clovis toon on the issue

The charges arose from the arrest of then fugitive Tivoli don Dudus Coke on June 22 of the same year, Coke was arrested on Mandela Highway after being found in a vehicle driven by Reverend Miller poorly disguised in a wig and a dress and glasses much to the laughter of the cops and soldiers who came upon the scene; subsequent photos which went public had sections of the public in stitches while others were not amused. To think this most vitriolic man of the cloth who demonises gays as liars and such and has gone as far as to describe transpersons as mad found it necessary to use the very female impersonation of Coke to evade the police under the guise of taking him to the United States embassy as Coke supposedly feared he would have been killed otherwise. Miller made his first court appearance in July of 2010. This is outside of another court matter involving his gun going missing and to date has not been found.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges of the present matter and maintained his innocence; in court police testified that Miller led them on a high speed chase before his vehicle with Dudus Coke aboard was forced to stop. Miller denied the claim, he said he was transporting Coke to turn himself in to the aforementioned US embassy. A no case submission from the defence was dismissed last year in June and within an hour of today’s proceedings he was told he was guilty and is to be sentenced on September 15.

Speaking outside the courtroom Miller said:

“We have to respect it and so we accept it; as her findings, sure ........ to put into perspective but we just really accept and leave it for that fo now. When it’s all finished we will see what is the next move.”

His attorney Jacqueline Samuels Brown says they will await the sentencing before deciding their next move.

“The case has been pending sometime and as you know today the parish judge for the parish of St Andrew gave her decision, she also gave the reason for her decision with of course respect, at this time our concentration is on however is the sentencing hearing which she has set for the fifteenth of September.”

His repeated use of his Word Power TV show over the years to scold homosexuals and promoting the strident antigay advocay by the aforementioned groups yet this is the outcome of his trial. Just goes to show not all who wear collars are clean it seems. His credibility has always bee n murky in my eyes and his appearance and the last two Rallies in Half Way disguised as addressing concerns when what it really was and still is a antigay imperative while preying on an already homo-negative climate nationally. No formal response has come from the groups he is aligned with nor his Fellowship Tabernacle church at the time of the preparation of this post.

Let us see where this goes upon sentencing and what if anything will be said by his colleagues even as the pending buggery constitutional matters had a wrench thrown in the mix recently has posted some days ago.

Some members of the public are already snickering suggesting Miller got his just deserts in this matter. In chapter 12 of the aforementioned Tivoli commission report released earlier this year Miller was named again despite he did not testify before it as he had the other case answering to in court.

The report read in part:

CoP Ellington Re: Bishop Blair and Rev. Miller

12.8. CoP Ellington testified that Mr. Golding asked him to speak with Bishop Blair and Rev. Al Miller concerning the possibility of Coke’s surrender prior to 24 May.

12.9. CoP Ellington said that Rev. Miller visited him sometime prior to 24 May and told him that he (Rev. Miller) had been in contact with Coke but Coke was reluctant to surrender to the custody of the police owing to concerns about his personal safety. CoP Ellington sent a message of plea and assurance via Rev. Miller to Coke as follows:

“I said, please tell Christopher Coke that I am appealing to him to surrender peacefully and I will ensure his safety whilst he is in custody of the State because that is my responsibility.” 

12.10. According to CoP Ellington, a few days later, Rev. Miller made the following report to the Commissioner:

“I saw the man and the man said to me if it was PNP in office, them woulda know how fi deal with this. Tell Bruce Golding fi find a way to deal with it. I am not going anywhere and, if they want me, they have to come fi me and they have to come good.”

Communications after 24 May

12.11. According to CoP Ellington, about 27 May, Rev. Miller attended on him and told him that he was instrumental in getting Coke’s brother and sister to surrender to the police pursuant to an appeal by the JCF for them to surrender. Rev. Miller apparently continued efforts to find Coke and have him surrender.

CoP Ellington told us – “I thanked him for his continued effort and support, wished him good luck and that was it.” Mr. Golding

12.12. Under cross-examination by Ms. Martin, Mr. Golding said that, after the hostilities subsided, he had a brief conversation with Rev. Miller who thought that he might be able to influence Coke to surrender. Mr. Golding’s recall of the meeting is this –

“He spoke with me and indicated that he had already commenced an initiative because he indicated that he was in contact with persons in the Police High Command and he was also in contact with officials in the U.S. Embassy. I welcomed that initiative because anything that could be done to secure Coke being taken into custody, the warrant having been issued there was too much turmoil created.

And there was still anxiety about the fact that he was still at large. I welcomed any initiative and I was quietly, guardedly optimistic that, based on the fact that he had been able to take in Coke’s sister and brother to the police, he might have been able to do similarly with Coke himself.”

Peace & tolerance

H

recall these:

Rev Al Miller on the Abnormality of Homosexuality & the invented gay marriage rights ploy

also see Anti gay pastor and restorative therapy advocate in trouble with the law again from sister blog GLBTQJA on blogger

REVEREND AL MILLER’S OWN MORAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST & ANTI GAY CAMPAIGN and also see his shameful or shameless defiant retort that he would have helped Dudus again to escape the law: I'd Carry 'Dudus' Again - Miller and Rev Al Miller - the gay lobby is not asking for buggery decriminalization because of discrimination but to force homosexuality on the nation .......

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Man says gay rumours need to stop, Bishop in car accident not his boyfriend

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Ian Allen/Photographer Devon 'Chris' Fray who was accused of being in a relationship with the bishop who died in a motor vehicle accident at the Flat Bridge.

The late bishop Steven Ricketts who, along with five of his church members, was killed when his Suzuki Vitara overturned in the Rio Cobre by Flat Bridge, Bog Walk Gorge 

Man says gay rumours need to stop, but so what if he was it is not anybody's business to make a fuss; I imagine however things may get ugly if it continues to this damage control of sorts maybe the sensible thing to do; especially in a rural community. Also see the previous post on the matter: Accident victim on flat bridge denies gay rumours

Since the tragic passing of Bishop Steven Ricketts, who died when his car plunged into the Rio Cobre River on Saturday, an old video footage has resurfaced of him allegedly beating his lover.

However, the young man in the video, 20-year-old Devon Fray, also known as Chris, of Commodore, St Catherine, has come forward to clear the air, saying he is not gay, and that the video footage has been misconstrued by a misleading caption.

"I just need people to get this thing straight. I want people to understand what really happen," Fray told THE STAR, noting that the controversy has been wreaking havoc in his family.

three hickeys

The 33-second-long clip at the centre of the controversy was initially posted online in 2014. It shows the bishop wielding a machete while grabbing a young Fray and enquiring about three hickeys on his neck.

"Who give you dem hickey deh? Talk fast before me give you three outta this!,"the bishop said.

The video made the rounds on social media when it was initially posted two years ago, but it recently resurfaced since the Bishop's passing and has been causing quite a stir since.

Fray told THE STAR that at the time the video was created, the Bishop was "running a joke" with him.

" Earlier in the day, I was just meeting this girl by me church and we usually talk and thing. She gave me three hickeys," Fray said.

"When me go by his [the bishop] house now he was drinking. He wasn't serious. He was just joking and asking me where me get hickey from, and saying, 'talk fast!' So I started laughing and saying you see hickey pon me neck?," Fray explained.

He added, "Even after that video, he [the Bishop] was laughing and saying, 'you nuh easy enuh, you make church woman hold you down and give you hickey'."

Fray said he was shocked when he later saw the video online with the misleading caption.

"Me neva have a problem with people putting out the video, but it's what dem have a write up under the video, saying pastor a beat him boyfriend. Mi and him never have sex yet or any of them behaviours deh," Fray said.

He told THE STAR that the controversy surrounding the video has taken a toll on his life and that of his family members, so he wants to clear the air and move on.

"People was sending pure threats to me. All some young bwoy a say them wah kill me. My mother trouble with pressure and it a stress her out. She nuh know wah fi do," Fray lamented.

Fray added that he is in a committed relationship with a female, who was pregnant with his first child, but unfortunately lost the baby recently.

"Mi no really want all a dem things yah [gay rumours] a distract me life," Fray said.

But Fray had nothing bad to say about Ricketts who he said was a father figure to him. He stressed that the bishop never made any sexual advances towards him

"He is nice and kind and so forth. He has done a lot for me. We would sit and eat, and drink, and reason. I'm so sad about his death, but all now me nuh cry because of this whole video thing," Fray said.


here is the video of Fray attempting to explaining himself or at least trying to but the joke bit I do not buy at all:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Teen boy love, getting caught & exploration

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In bushes just outside a high school in St Catherine was the scene of two teenage boys who were allegedly caught partially naked both with erections but not having anal sex on February 25, 2016 around 3pm after classes ended, a huge thank you to the sources for this one and for the confirmation. A grainy photo of the scene has since been removed from social media allegedly as the Principal took steps to cauterize the matter in a bid to protect the boys implicated and by extension the schools’ reputation which is already tarnished in the minds of some. Many parents and members of the public have a slightly negative perception of the spanish brown uniform wearing institution as the behaviour of some students is much to be desired and previous troubles of taxi drivers in inappropriate relations with female students has not left the minds of the public despite the interventions of faith based groups and the social arm of the police.

The semi nude boys said to be about 16 years old each were allegedly caught after other friends went in search of them as they were to accompany the searching colleagues to a food establishment in Spanish Town according to reports; it was only earlier this year in February an awful fight was captured on video and shared on Facebook and elsewhere and went viral for a short time and a 2014 sex tape involving a man and a female student also repulsed many persons, many parents whose children are successful at GSAT for the institution make every effort to get transfers due to the checkered reputation of it; the student populations like some others are banned from entering some big name eateries such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, the latter has a sign clearly banning students in uniform from entering and is strictly enforced by vigilant security guards.

The embarrassed boys were able to escape the curious and laughing mob as they ridiculed them as battyboys and such as expected. Both boys have since been transferred to another school as the teasing and bullying despite the physical attributes of them as masculine became too much to bear and was said to be affecting their grades and relations at the school. Reports suggest that they are doing relatively well in their new environment but one can only imagine the fear or concerns by the boys and their families; thankfully the parents involved did not kick them out as would the norm in other such cases. What concerns me is the issue of teenage sex of a same gender nature and the ill-preparedness of our students yet still on sex and sexuality education in schools; with the continued fearmongering and moral panic on matters such as condoms in schools and any mention of homosexuality in texts or the classroom is stupidly seen as grooming of students into ‘alternate lifestyles’ as voiced recently by former Education Minister Ronnie Thwaites. The incident of a student orgy earlier in May of this year at Coorville Gardens and instead of guiding the students on such matters they were instead arrested first then taken in and after much public outcry we were told counselling was on; I can imagine the sanitized structure of said counselling. In an age of instant availability of materials of all kinds, distractions for teenagers who are restless with not so engaged and indeed ill prepared parents and a national ignorance in the face or ready information on sex and sexuality; we are well on our way to the phobias and paranoia we get every now and again.

Antigay religious voices who make the rest of the church look backward and other denominations want a sanitised sex education system or curriculum; remember the Home & Family Life Education, HFLE fiasco? And just a set of questions on homosexuality while guiding students as to the legal issues attached to anal sex still was withdrawn and replaced with an edited version without the so called offending materials as designated by the aforementioned Thwaites. The nonsense on rainbow flags being flown even in the face of rainbow kites being sold to students is going to somehow groom children into homosexuality is so absurd but that was the conclusion by the goodly gentlemen in the recently cooled rainbow flag controversy from a tweet from no less a person than the Attorney General.

I can only imagine the urges the teens must have felt and we all I think at some point have fooled around in the absence of adults same gender or not; lest we forget the dolly house phenomenon, playing house as father and or mother, peeking into bathrooms perhaps or peek-a-boo to see or even small children being curious but the guidance and talk therapy is what is important to establish appropriateness, boundaries and behaviour is what parents and guardians should provide. But even they need help in parental skills as we are seeing in recent times, cognitive skills even in their cohort is much to be desired and early childhood development is impacted greatly. I remember an incident similar to this at my former high school way back in 1989 at a remote section of the school behind the technical drawing classroom. The matter was the subject of much laughter, ridicule and stigmatization even by teachers, unfortunately the students were expelled. I only got a glimpse of one of the boys then surrounded by teachers and security as other students demanded their pound of flesh as he was escorted to some safety, the pain was obvious in his eyes and I felt so helpless to aid him even as I was, like him a young gay teen feeling in the dark, possibly terrified of being outed while doing all possible not to be and blending in.

Hope the guys can move on peacefully and live it down.

Peace & tolerance

H

Accident victim on flat bridge denies gay rumours

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A policeman looks at the vehicle in which eight persons were travelling when it careened into the Rio Cobre last Saturday.

... Says funeral being planned for relatives in Rio Cobre crash, looks like it's gay rumours season again, oh boi what else is new now?

Family members of the Bishop Steven Ricketts, who died when his car plunged into the Rio Cobre on Saturday, have vowed to clear his name following a flood of allegations that he had a liking to young boys.

"I try not to read some of the things that people are saying because I don't see or know him as that kind of person, and I am always around him," a cousin of Ricketts told THE STAR last night.

"All of us are upset, angry and disgusted. Most of my family members don't want to hear or read anything about this," she said.

Bishop Ricketts and his two sons Shevaughnie and Sujay Ricketts were among six persons who died when his Suzuki Grand Vitara ran off the Flat Bridge and plunged into the Rio Cobre.

Eight persons were travelling in the vehicle which was said to be returning from a 'duppy catching' mission in St Thomas.

"All the persons who are talking bad things about Steven do not know him," the bishop's cousin added.

sexual favours

While stating that the claims that being made against the defenceless dead man are hurtful, she said that family is now focused on burying Steven and his two sons.

"We are just concentrating on the funeral of our three family members," she said.

Residents of Commodore, St Catherine, have alleged that the bishop would often give boys goods in exchange for sexual favours and that he was not afraid to hide his homosexual tendencies.

Ricketts was also the source of attention in a video on Facebook in which he beat a young man, an alleged boyfriend, with a cutlass.

Up to the point of his death, Ricketts was a defendant in a court case for burning a young man with hot water.

Bishop Ricketts was the head of the Mount Maria Zion Truth Fellowship Spiritual Church of God in Commodore. He was described by some community members as a man who loved to help people, and contributed to community development.

Hamlet Gordon-Simpson, a member of the church and close friend of Ricketts, attested to this.

"He was a people person, he's one Jamaica will miss. He was a Jamaica building person, community helper," she said.

Rest in peace although I did not know the man but the speeding on that bridge needs to go or more lighting on the strip itself, I use the thoroughfare every weekend nowadays and the crazy driving sometimes is ridiculous to say the least.

Peace & tolerance

H

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Public Defender appeals block from Buggery Constitutional Challenge

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The Public Defender has filed an appeal challenging the decision of the Supreme Court to bar her from joining as an interested party in the law suit brought by gay rights activist and attorney-at-law, Maurice Tomlinson reported the Gleaner.

Tomlinson now has a matter in court challenging Jamaica’s buggery law.

He had filed a constitutional motion against the Attorney General seeking to have the anti-sodomy law nullified in all cases of adult consensual sex.

Tomlinson is also claiming that criminalising homosexuality amounts to a direct and blatant denial of equality before the law for him and other gay men.

In her application to join the case as an interested party, the Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry argued that her office was created for the purpose of protecting and enforcing the rights of citizens.

However, Justice Kissock Laing turned down the application stating that the Public Defender was seeking to insert herself into the centre of a nationally divisive issue and could lose the confidence of many Jamaicans if allowed to join the case.

However, in her appeal, the Public Defender is contending that the judge erred in making his decision.

Among the grounds of appeal, the public defender is arguing that the judge failed to sufficiently apply the interest test to her office as was applied to the five other groups who sought to join the case.

Religious groups have joined the lawsuit as interested parties and are asking the court to reject Tomlinson’s constitutional motion.

The public defender is also contending that the judge’s decision has the effect of restricting the statutory remit of her office to protect and enforce the rights of citizens.

meanwhile on Sunday another attorney and former Acting Public Defender Matondo Mukulu had a thing or two to say via the Gleaner also:

If you ask reasonably informed citizens which public institution in their view is the guardian of the Jamaican Constitution, I would not be surprised if the Office of the Public Defender does figure among the list.

Unfortunately, the Jamaican Supreme Court, in a rather bizarre decision [Maurice Tomlinson v Attorney General [2016] JMSC Civ 119], took the view that the public defender, in effect, has no role/sufficient interest in a case in which a citizen asserts that Section 79 of the Offences Against the Person Act (OAPA) encroaches on his rights outlined at Section 13 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional Amendment) Act 2011.

On the other hand, the court, in its decision, took the view that the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS), the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship (LCF), and another group collectively referred to as the churches, were taken by the court to have sufficient interest in the case. In effect, these unelected religious bodies will be allowed to make representations in this case, as to why they say the buggery law should be allowed to stand, even if it does not affect their right to practise their Christian religion or to have a belief of their own choosing.

CIVIL PROCEDURE RULES
 
Quite briefly, the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) is a body of rules that sets out the procedures that must be followed by the court when it is dealing with a civil matter. In Mr Tomlinson's case, as he was inviting the court to make a declaration that a piece of law passed by the Jamaican Parliament breached his constitutional rights, the court had to be guided by the provisions of Rule 56.

The JCHS, the public defender, LCF, etc. were not named or served by Mr Tomlinson with his claim, and thus had to make an application in which they said that they had sufficient interest in this case, pursuant to Rule 56.13, to permit them to participate. Accordingly, permission to persons or groups to intervene in cases of public importance is usually regarded as healthy, as such bodies bring expertise that can assist the court.

Rule 56.13 of the CPR does not define or offer any guidance to the court on the meaning of sufficient interest. As such, the court in Jamaica, over the years, has obtained guidance on the meaning of that term by reading CPR Rule 56.2, which sets out a guide on the meaning of sufficient interest in judicial review application, which is a separate type of application than the constitutional application that is being pursued by Mr Tomlinson.

Of the most notable factors are (a) any statutory body where the subject matter falls within its statutory remit; (b) any body of group that can show that the matter is of public interest and that the body ... possess expertise in the subject matter of the application.

Our courts, in judicial reviews, have consistently emphasised that sufficient interest should not be granted to persons who are deemed busybodies.

In reading the Supreme Court's lengthy but insufficiently reasoned decision, it deploys a series of 'reasons' as to why the religious collective should be granted standing. It would appear that it focused attention on the asserted 'expertise' that the collective would bring to the case. In establishing their claimed expertise, the JCHS contended that it had organised a series of conferences in which the issue of the retention of the buggery law was explored.

NO OPPOSITION
 
The attorney general, as primary defendant to the claim, did not oppose these anaemic arguments. However, if I had been in court, I would have been the busybody who would have made it clear that these bodies offer no expertise to the question of whether a person's right to either equal treatment or his right to privacy was infringed.

These groups follow a Judaeo-Christian theology, and are natural opponents of Mr Tomlinson's application. The participation in a few interviews or workshops does not give them any relevant expertise. It is for this reason why we should be disappointed that the attorney general was not bold enough to actually oppose their participation. In fact, this case tells us that there is a need on the part of the Supreme Court's Rules Committee to devise clear guidance in respect of the meaning of sufficient interest. A test that requires proof of 'wide public interest' will preclude the busybodies and it will ensure that a more robust test is applied by the court.

Turning to the court's reasons for denying the public defender's application, we must first appreciate that the court has a wide discretion to allow persons/groups to intervene. In dismissing the public defender's application, the court, relying on the fact that the public defender is a creature of statute and shamelessly supported by the attorney general, took the view that Section 13 of the Public Defender (Interim) Act provides that the only action available to the public defender is that of an investigation after receiving a complaint.

However, while the thrust of the court's interpretation of Section 13 is correct, I note a flaw that undermines the decision. In the first instance, it is wrong to say that the public defender cannot investigate a matter unless it gets a complaint, as during my time at the office, I dealt with files where the public defender initiated investigations where he had received no complaint from a specific member of the public. Such a proactive approach helps to promote the legislative intent in the creation of the Office of the Public Defender.

The flawed nature of the court's decision is to be found in the fact that Section 4 of the Public Defender (Interim) Act does provide that the Office of the Public Defender was created "for the purpose of protecting and enforcing the rights of citizens ... ." This section was ignored by the attorney general, and one wonders why it is that the court was never invited either to read into Section 4 of the act an implied provision permitting the public defender to intervene, or to consider that the public defender is permitted to bring or to join an application in which it is said that a right under the Constitution is being infringed.

The court, in effect, was of the view that by intervening in such a matter, the public defender will "run the risk of ... losing the trust of, or worse, completely alienating, the other side. The public confidence in the office may also be further negatively affected ... ." The fear of alienating (inevitable in such cases) a section of the Jamaican public, because she supports a challenge to a law that some citizens regard as unconstitutional, can never be a reason why the public defender should demur from pursuing a constitutional claim. The court abrogated its responsibility to those men and women in Jamaica who look to the public defender, guardian of the Constitution, to assist in vindicating their rights.

The attorney general's expressed support of a purely religious intervener, in a case that has nothing to do with a religious right, while excluding the parliamentary appointed guardian of the Constitution, is worrying. Where a prospective citizen applicant lacks the resources to advance a constitutional claim, does it mean that the sole guardian of our constitutional rights will now be reduced to a spectator, hoping for a complaint?

Email  matondo_mukulu@yahoo.co.uk.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Oh lord, the ‘area man’ problem again

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You may have seen references in previous posts to a phenomenon known as ‘area man’ which effectively means men who are either gay, bisexual, pass-throughs or homo-curious and who reside in the same geographical zone or very close to another gay/bi man. The closeness is further complex by a class division if one is in an middle class neighbourhood in the same zone and the ‘area man’ is from a nearby so called ghetto or unplanned aka squatter settlement and usually carry a hyper-masculine disposition or the proverbial ‘heaviots’ ‘homo-thug’ or ‘trade’ wherein some of us have a hankering for. Problem with such diverse polarities in same gender liaisons are that the proximity quotient can become problematic and an entitlement attitude comes to dominate the relationship; persons may feel that sex should be spontaneous seeing whilst keeping the secret or on the downlow access ought to be easier; demands for money or kind are or should be expected as the freeloader mentality comes into play as well.

Lord knows I had my share of those while I was living in Campbell Town then Franklyn Town and Portmore respectively with men who liked my ability to run the effeminacy and masculine spectrum made their positions known while requesting sex, money, companionship otherwise not possibly available in their own homes or living communities. Effeminacy or the lack thereof is a key prerequisite for the attraction by hyper-masculine types, they fear any form of suspicion being involved in gay activities or associated with a ‘battyman’ so keeping it ‘all man’ is key and often reiterated verbally every now and again.

A young man in his twenties learnt a lesson recently and shared his story by the blog hotline of an ordeal he had with an ‘area man’ and also on the strength of a previous post on the issue. He met a thug who he liked and vice versa but the dude lived in a nearby area and was unemployed, masculine acting, nicely endowed but bisexual as well. While the thug liked him he also was clear as to his ‘babymother’ who is supposedly obligated to service (the first sign of trouble for me). infrequent but short visits soon became more repetitious with more intimacy being added to the mix, with that comes growing demands for financial assistance to buy either food items, weed and it got to a point of clothes and a phone request over time. But the visits started to get sporadic and unannounced with sometimes late hour surprises. With each visit some sexual activity is expected to follow even if the man is not interested at that present time and he had been dating or seeing another man who he tried to curtail his visits so as not to clash with the ‘area man’ party to avoid any challenges. But the third party’s presence or lack thereof was not the straw that broke the camel’s back instead more territorialism and entitlement by the ‘area man’ which became increasingly problematic, so much so that it became nearly violent between the two as the area man felt he was being short changed or would be left out in the cold as the man’s attitude had changed in relation tithe warmth he would encounter with visits. The man reported that he tried to stop the visits for a while so as to let tensions cool but the guy kept turning up on his bicycle sometimes unannounced, usually smoking and his decibels in calling very loudly.

It is situations like this that indeed sometimes lead to problems over time including homophobic appearing incidents and murders which h is why it is so important to get to the heart of the issues before pronouncing on a matter despite the ghastly nature of it, what are the causations or triggers?

So long as the 'two Jamaicas' conditions exist I guess we are going to have to contend with the entitlement issues, downlow phenomenon and such will abound but how do we contend or unlearn some of this. Hidden in some of this is this notion that gay men or MSM who are relatively stable somehow have money to throw away that he (the thug type) is entitled to it somehow as he is a real man than others and in a homo-negative environment so good ‘gansgtas’ are hard to find; so when you do you have to pay for it and like all scarce commodities the price is high. These ‘area man’ know the ropes and use it to their advantage. The liaison has slowed since the report was made and the ‘area man’ upon realising his prospects may not produce the results but I suggested he the impacted man consider relocating in the long run; one cannot be sure if the lull period as it were will end and the repeated visits will recommence, and a smoothing over that some of these guys are good at will come into play.

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

High protracted male traffic + nosy neighbours + a refusal to curb = misguided hate

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There has been an old battle as to whether persons are free to choose their actions at the homes in terms of visitors and gay sex in Jamaican terms. What with the inquisitiveness that can abound with neighbours on a single man with no opposite sex partner of consequence or any socialization with a misogynistic line for subject matter to effect bravado. Failure to meet those markers places one as an outsider and different and makes one the subject of profiling or unneeded scrutiny under suspicion of being gay, which in turn leads to some sort of response in the open soon or long afterwards. Does one curb one’s male visitors who may stay overnight (and leave early in the morning) especially in certain low or mid income area knowing what can befall one or go ahead and whatever happens, just happens? Those for curbing say yes as only a fool would make themselves into a bait for homophobia as it may be construed as throwing it in persons’ faces while others claim domicile or threshold control and privacy while one should be free to entertain who they want in the privacy of their own home.

This post comes on the strength of a report of a man and subsequent social media attention and debate in the long standing problematic Portmore St Catherine, though a middle class suburb the repeated instances of nosy neighbours, home invasions or something close to it and displaced impacted individuals. The man in his forties was known to have high traffic of lovers and one night stands which landed him in some trouble, so much so that the landlord served a notice to quit; prior to the notice’s expiration in March of this year the man was met with much anger by other men living nearby who after the departure of a man early one Sunday morning in Waterford, St Catherine, as he may have thought early departures or late night entries would help, some five men were up in arms hurling the usual anti homosexual sentiments, ‘battyman fi dead’ and so on and that he should leave the area as they were aware he was given notice. Apparently the mobbing was an attempt to pre-empt the document’s date.

A near similar matter occurred in Harbour View in August of last year but it was more two female neighbours on each side of the target who kept making snide remarks every now and again and so on, until the landlord was also told of the man’s supposed shenanigans; the landlord more forward –thinking-like was not perturbed by the rumour mongering and was said to have told the women as long as the man had no boys and was not disturbing the neighbourhood with noise and did not owe rent he was fine with his tenant, much to the annoyance of the nosy women; the man still lived at the house until sometime this year where he relocated. I am ambivalent on the competing issues, years gone by I would have been a little timid in terms of men coming to my home(s) for an overnighter with persons knowing or perceiving my sexual orientation; but the power I have in my threshold is as important as well. To supposedly curtail my visitors to please others who are going out of their way to pry into others’ affairs seems rather ridiculous though. So long as there is this deep seated homo-negativity we’ll have to put up with this continued nonsense although some slow sensibility is creeping in.

Class or mid to upscale residencies are not immune, my own experience in the late nineties to 2000s at Gore Terrace Flats told me that, despite the professional class of residents the prying was as fierce as a mid to lower income strata area, housing scheme or squatter settlement. The moment a car door closes, curtains move, shadows pass windows or home phones ring as the ‘village lawyer’ dishes who arrived and who they arrived with. Only to be surprised by the same blatant loud responses laced with homophobic themes and even threats. A townhouse drama at the centrally located seemingly quiet Ivy Green Mews is one such example, the police had to be called in some years ago to quell a matter simmering to become something way bigger; all because the male occupant was accused of having too much male traffic.

People should be free to move within the confines of their homes and in fact we are legally free to do so, even in a rented circumstances as the rent act I gather covers such areas of coveted space and so on; not even a landlord can enter your flat to evict one or seize items left inside without a court order and a bailiff, after having conducted an inventory of the items in lieu of monies owed. Some in the thread on Facebook discussing this particular case though young in years claim they are tired of living things down, I guess due to social media usage and exposure to lifestyles of others elsewhere persons have dreams of utopia but a recent transgender murder in New York which has been making the rounds seems to have sedated the fantasy that foreign is better or at least in certain parts.

Another case was referenced though unconfirmed that occurred in East Kingston in 2015 in the middle class seaside area of Duncaster, the short lived residency of a man came to an end as he was given an ultimatum by men who lived nearby, unemployed, ganja smoking and who were suspected as trouble makers in the community fingered in a series of house break ins. In a supposed attempt to project strength or bravado the men who have been occasionally uttering snide remarks and disguised threats made it known they want no ‘battyman’ near to them. So in a bid to avoid any further confrontation the man took evasive action and relocated. Then came a shocker in the same thread when a wakeup call to all concerned (and rightfully so) was shared in the form of a story of a successful asylum seeker for some four years was the subject of a homophobic attack in New York, that intervention brought a more sedated set of comments which mostly reflected that ‘foreign’ is not a bed or roses so leaving Jamaica may only help one only just; while others dismissed the incident as a one off matter which may be few and far in between. However the lovers’ traffic matter was reintroduced and some comments reflected that in NY one would be free to take home who they desire but such comments was denied profusely by other overseas Jamaicans who say one has to be careful in some parts just the same, suggesting all is not as pristine as we think.

In conclusion one has to be cautious in all things but probably more so with lovers and friends visiting versus privacy versus too inquisitive neighbours or others, and what that can lead to if one is not vigilant of their surroundings. Some would say for a peaceful life one should cower but life goes on and we cannot let others decide our socialization pattern(s); for others to take the time to stop what they are doing to see what you are doing is just amazing to me yet still.

Until next time, mi luv unu

Peace & tolerance

H

African Photographer accused of Exploiting Homeless Gays for Self Agrondizement

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Well it just never ends, does it? an article appearing online and on several blogs highlighting some described homeless persons and Jamaican porn stars has surfaced, this is while a larger number of homeless and displaced persons are around.



one of the photos from the piece, last I checked there is a big difference between a porn star and a commercial sex worker or escort but distortions are normative in the world today. At least when Mapplethorpe was around his subjects were paid properly although he was also accused of objectifying Black men for his books. I hope this is not another case of folks coming here and making mileage of persons with nothing in return, lord knows we have had so many usages over the years while persons gain reputational benefits and the subjects are left behind.

Dazed online carried the story, Shooting Jamaica’s male porn stars in archive Hood By Air with onl six photos for an upcoming book, South African photographer Pieter Hugo is known for his visually arresting images of African communities, such as his visceral documentation of Nigeria’s “Hyena Men”. Now, for a new book created in collaboration with NYC label Hood By Air, he’s turned his lens to a different subject: Jamaica’s male porn stars and “Gully Queens” – a vilified gay community in Kingston who live in a gully (or drain) beneath the city. It’s a particularly interesting choice of subject given Jamaica’s laws on homosexuality (gay sex is still punishable by up to ten years in prison), a topic the photographer addresses in an in-conversation essay with Carlos Nazario, who collaborated on the project, which is featured in the book. “It’s definitely one of the most homophobic and macho societies I’ve ever been to,” he says. “I like it, but I find it deeply problematic.” 

“I was learning about these Gully Queens, who’ve been kicked out of their homes, they’ve been disowned and had to find family amongst one another, and they were forced to live in a gully, hence their name.” says Nazario. 

“They were chased out of there and then they moved to a cemetery, and they were chased out of there and they moved to another cemetery and presumably another cemetery... They are frequently attacked by citizens and police alike, and they live as sex workers, they attack one another, you know, it’s dark shit. It’s not fun stuff, it’s heavy, heavy stuff, and of course I was completely intrigued and I sent Shayne this stuff and he got back to me, like, ‘this could be fucking amazing’. He was very excited, and that’s what brought us to Jamaica.”

“Yeah, that was kind of a nucleus, a seed, and that’s what brought us to a broader exploration of male sexuality, in particular West Indian and Jamaican male sexuality – and complicating that...” Hugo continues. 

“Some of the people we met in Jamaica who were not homophobic had problems with the Gully Queens because they make their living off crime. I guess it depends on how one looks at that because a lot of them are forced into a life of crime because there’s no way they could find work in Jamaica. We were also photographing body-builders and good-looking men we found on the street. At first we thought it would be impossible to get Jamaican men to wear HBA clothing because it’s gender-bending and risqué, and I think our experience there was very contrary to that.”

Photographing adult film actors and marginalised LGBT people could be exploitative, but Hugo captures these men in a beautiful, hugely respectful way – and one which relates to Hood By Air’s own relationship with America’s queer underground communities. 



PH & HBA is available from See W and Claire de Rouen Books 

I am not aware of any group living in or moving into a cemetary but the spin doctoring continues as per usual while truth slowly perishes.

Some of the comments made include:

"Exploiting other's misfortune for your self aggrandizement. Shame on you."

"So a couple of gay porn "stars" but mostly homeless and marginalized men and some body builders. But a nice click baiting headline that completely buries the real story about HBA's intentions and the backstory. You did your devil work well today, you should be proud, Mr. Stansfield."

Sadly this is the way things have gotten to while no serious sustained interventions for the populations overall come; as newer cases come to light.

Let us see what is next, while no permanent shelter is yet to materialise.

Peace & tolerance

H

Monday, July 4, 2016

Oh to change hearts and minds

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I have been taking a glance at the hardened positions on both sides pro and anti buggery law reform it is somewhat troubling to me, and by extension homosexuality overall with male same gender loving abhorred more than anything else. Despite the fact we are in an information age with materials literally at our fingertips via smart phones and devices aptly supported by good old Google we have rampant ignorance complete with justified bliss to boot dominating the debate if not a shouting match. Let us recall we are coming from the days of near blacklisting on the part of media especially print, a rather more caustic environment and more violence Frankly something has to give sometime soon as we cannot continue like this; tit for tatting if you will where religious voices hang on for dear life to old beliefs and a seemingly intolerant view of intolerance by LGBT voices and advocates. We have a JFLAG that seems more about rightsizing its image more so than pushing for more sensible forumatic discourse but what is new?

Tolerance is unfortunately still seen as acceptance, homosexuality is seen as a sin not to be forgiven and can only be addressed by some reparative or restorative type psychological therapy which we now know does not work and can and have had not so good outcomes; persons struggle with self acceptance after such attempts. Head strong LGBTQ advocates refuse to budge either and it is starting to appear as a battle with no end anytime soon. Everyone seems intent on as the French would say pull the blanket to their side instead of listening and some of us as older operatives are becoming a little weary of it, there must come a time when sensible heads have to sit down and face off respectfully of course. It almost appears as if some folks on both sides want this to continue in perpetuity as careers ostensibly have been created and honed out of this struggle; for some folks the only thing they know is opposition ever since the buggery law reform component of the struggle became goal central.

The struggle overall feels stuck I had made similar observations in a post on the recognition of JFLAG co-founder Brian Williamson on June 9 on Gay Jamaica Watch:

I guess having been so long in it directly and indirectly and having had site of the Gay Freedom Movement archives in hours of review it may have left me with some higher expectations than average. The major turn or intersection I was expecting is not forthcoming yet.

Even in the face of a change in the goal for law reform towards an amendment if not decriminalization which for me came too late but better late than never; anti gay voices simply refuse to budge, despite other religious allies, heterosexual allies who are out to a certain extent we have seen a disturbing caustic resistance grow right before our eyes. Maybe that has something to do with the misguided or mistaken twinning of atheism, secularism with LGBTQ rights considerations and ignorance on sexuality and homosexuality often conflated with abuse. Up to recently on Newstalk 93FM on an afternoon show one female caller claimed the buggery law should go (she is known as a PNP supporter) but went on to say no gay marriage, no adoption of children as she sees adoption elsewhere by male couples of boys in particular as a form of grooming them into gay life; such sentiments though not widespread I imagine are well supported in parts, such as the family life component. Added to that is the effemophobia and strong resistance to outward displays of affection such as kissing or less than masculine attitudes. It is as if the walls are closing on religiosity as the false dichotomy seems all too real for some that LGBT rights seeking is a threat to Christianity overall, when the argument is not about the existence or non existence of God.

And where oh where are the other traditional denominations especially in the face of the Pope’s adjustment finally on clerical abuse of boys by priests and his non-judgemental stance (real or not) on homosexuality while leaving on said judgement to God. The Jamaica Council of Churches, JCC seems lost in translation as they have been dithering on a specific position on the matter as recent pronouncements showed us. Despite the growing understanding of the holiness codes for the Hebrew people during the temporary time under Moses after, bear in mind in the KJV the preamble is quite clear as it reads in part:

“The book of Leviticus, accordingly is a manual for priests detailing the religious rules and procedures which the priests had to observe and enforce for the covenant nation of Israel. Its historical setting is the two years Israel spent encamped at Mount Sinai; it contains no further account of Israel’s journeys from Egypt to Canaan.”

It continues:

“The fact that Moses, the author of Leviticus devoted an entire book to priestly matters shows the importance that the religious observances were to have ever afterwards for the Israelites. Christians, under the terms of Christ’s new covenant do not regard these Levitical regulations as binding, but they do obey the same God, not in the letter of the law but in the spirit of Christ.”

Yet religious voices who make the rest of the body of Christ appear out of touch and paranoid continue to use the justification in their eyes that Sodom was destroyed because of exclusively homosexuality when we know that is not so. Bearing in mind King James in whose name the most popular English translation of the Bible in 1610 is in was actually bisexual even in the face of a buggery law; pity the goody King would not have foreseen the work put in would be used as a destructive weapon hundreds of years later against LGBT people. Let us put to rest the silliness about “homosexual lifestyle” once and for all; as a phrase it is pure propaganda, a gossipy generalization and completely unworthy of a Christian who, following the counsel in Proverbs seeks understanding and insight into life and people. As Christians some will have to decide if we are going to partake of divisive “party spirit” that racked the church at Corinth or follow Christ as discerning attentive principles – to that still small voice and sharpen concerns for the ostracized instead of creating more strife.

Oh these modern day Pharisees, Saducees and Scribes who think their correctness is the be all and end all. Frankly envy of the apparent freedom of LGBT people could be called ‘freedom envy’ in my view. The role of freedom envy in the anti LGBT crusade is confirmed by the repeated and emphatic reference to “the homosexual lifestyle.” This is left a vague generality, as though it were something everyone already understands. The so called “homosexual lifestyle” is associated with a US view of homosexuality and dates back to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and stories of bath houses in places such as San Francisco; hence folks like Dr Wayne West of JCHS uses it as well to vectorise gays in his antigay advocacy or the deceptive “HIV is a gay disease ploy.” There is no such thing as a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ just as there is no such thing as “heterosexual lifestyle” heterosexual live on a “lifestyle” continuum just as homosexuals do. The continuum includes people in decades long monogamous relationships, people who live in social isolation, people who in into bar scenes etc people who move from relationship to relationship.

How can we change hearts and minds also when poorly informed self declared spokespersons who want their time in the sun grant interviews all over the place and present misinformation? One such recent article had one of the successful asylum seekers now living in the US supposedly speaking on our behalf here in Jamaica that homosexuality is illegal when that is not true. Misinformation such as that just further complicates matters effectively giving more ammunition to the very folks who oppose the push. Then we wonder why the label of LGBT voices as dishonest and liars persist; and there maybe some truth in that when it comes to certain individual advocates. Will hearts and minds on all fronts change with so much smoke in the room? I am weary of that and I am seeing a frustration of sorts coming from even tolerant voices such as Ian Boyne, one of his last well penned pieces made that clear and an earlier piece where he spoke to an intolerant view of intolerance.

Inconsistency on message is also something that concerns me, some say repeal (although the amendment route is the way) of buggery while others say decriminalize while poorly prepared and evidenced court challenges end up with less than favourable judgements.

More anon.

Peace & tolerance

H

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Taking Atripla Three Days a Week Maintains Undetectable HIV Viral Load, Pilot Study Finds

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Taking efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine (Atripla) three days a week maintained an undetectable viral load for at least 24 weeks in people who were already virally suppressed for at least two years, according to a small, proof-of-concept study presented at ASM Microbe 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Baseline Characteristics

The study, conducted in Spain, followed 61 individuals living with HIV (88.5% male and 11.5% female) who were stable on efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine and had a viral load below 37 copies/mL for at least two years before study enrollment. All participants had a CD4 count above 350 at the start of the study, and none had previously documented virologic failure, though a single viral load blip between 50 and 200 copies/mL was allowed for study inclusion, according to lead study author Esteban Martinez, M.D., Ph.D.

Participants also had no evidence of resistance to efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin), tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF, Viread) or emtricitabine (FTC, Emtriva).

The volunteers were randomized to either continue taking efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine once a day or reduce their regimen to three days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), about half in each group.

Viral load was measured at baseline, 12 weeks and 24 weeks, but more thoroughly for the three-day group at 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks.

Most of the study cohort was male (89%); roughly two-thirds were Caucasian, while the rest of the volunteers were Hispanic; and three-quarters of the study participants were men who have sex with men. Mean age was roughly 48 years.

Results

After 24 weeks, there were zero treatment failures in either study arm, and with 333 viral load tests in total, none were above 37 copies/mL, suggesting that taking antiretroviral therapy (at least in this case of efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine) three days a week could be a feasible option to maintain undetectable viral loads.

Adherence was measured by standard questionnaire and pill counting, and the overall adherence rate was fine, according to Martinez. The researchers were worried the three-day group would not be able to adjust to the new schedule, and at times, patients missed one dose, but each of them managed to maintain the new schedule using smartphone calendars or other equivalents, he said.

Due to the outstanding results, the researchers asked the ethics committee to extend the study to three years, Martinez said. When asked about patient satisfaction, Martinez noted that all three-day patients were extremely satisfied and no one wanted to go back to once-daily dosing. In fact, participants in the control arm wanted to switch to three-day arm.

Data on participants' viral reservoirs were not included in the study poster presented at ASM Microbe 2016. However, Martinez noted that the reservoirs were measured using total and integrated DNA, and all patient reservoirs remained stable throughout the study.

When asked how applicable these results would be to current clinical care given the reduced use of efavirenz, Martinez stated that while the use of efavirenz is decreasing in first-world countries, it is still widely used in developing countries. At the very least, this confirms the potential for therapy doses to be farther apart than once a day, Martinez concluded.

Peter Espeut told to 'Don't Dress Up Homophobia As Science'

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Peter Espeut the Catholic priest whose homophobia has been long in happening has been told in a letter in the Gleaner which I am total agreement, now that the pope has suggested that the church on a whole should apologise to homosexuals I wonder what he is going to come with in response; as his own church head has spoken and it maybe binding to all priests. 



Espeut has since shown more madness such as evidenced in previous posts: 


Espeut, West says “Homophobia” was invented to abuse Christians as hate speech and The False Dichotomy of the religious right on the LGBT advocacy Godlessness, also see: My answer to Peter Espeut's rubbish on Homophobia Exposed

now here is the letter in question:

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I just read Peter Espeut's article titled 'Sexual identity, gender identity' (The Gleaner, June 17, 2016) and, as a sociologist myself, wanted to edify him a bit. His views do not reflect the understanding of sex and gender among mainstream sociologists in any way, shape or form.

No half-decent sociologist believes that people are born 'male' or 'female' because of their chromosomes. That would equate (fe)maleness with a chromosome or sexual organ. I know that Espeut is a male, and I have never tested his chromosomes or seen his organs! It should be obvious from just that fact that 'maleness' is not based on those factors, but describes a series of social characteristics that we have been socialised to identify (shorter hair, more toned, less shapely, voice, etc., and, most of all, dress code!). I strongly encourage Espeut to read an article called 'Doing Gender' by West and Zimmerman.
Nonsense Argument

His argument that socialisation fails when a person who is supposedly born male identifies as a female is also nonsense to sociologists. We don't see people as failures because they do not fit into our traditional norms. A person who is a Christian in Iran is not a failure because he is in a small, rejected minority. Espeut should read Foucault's 'A History of Sexuality'.

Finally, the idea that this kind of 'post-modern subjectivism' is also wrong. Gender and sexual fluidity have been part of many cultures over history. Native Americans, for instance, recognised more than two genders. Here, 'How To Be Gay' by Halperin is a good book (it's not a manual on how to become gay, but a study of the history of gay culture).

Espeut is a homophobe. I've read enough of his stuff to know that. Rather than owning it, he's dressing up his religious intolerance in pseudo-scientific discourse. Not only are his views judgemental and reactionary to an oppressed group of people, they are also very wrong.

ANDRE STEPHENS
andrestephens@outlook.com 

ENDS

As I had pointed out in a previous post, In my own journey I do believe that one can be homosexual and Christian; I do not believe that God is caught up in judging us harshly by mere sexual orientation; after all we are more than just who we have sex with or are attracted to. I ask every now and again I refer to the woman with the alabaster box story or the stoning incident where I just quoted above the line Jesus used in terms of who is more holy than others. The raising of homosexuality as the worse sin above all others then the twinning if not combining of atheism/secularism as expressed by some LGBT persons as a false dichotomy to some anti-Christian, anti God position are simply just that, false dichotomies.

Jesus himself never spoke to homosexuality in a discriminatory fashion barring where Jesus in a teaching on the rapture makes what appears to be a neutral non-discriminatory reference where it read (King James Version):


also see:

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Bad Man Nuh F*** Batty (Masculine Men Don't F*** Ass) (The Fear of The Feminine in JA ) 16.04.15


A look at the fear of the feminine (Effemophobia) by Jamaican standards & how it drives the homo-negative perceptions/homophobia in Jamaican culture/national psyche.



After catching midway a radio discussion on the subject of Jamaica being labelled as homophobic I did a quick look at the long held belief in Jamaica by anti gay advocates, sections of media and homophobes that several murders of alleged gay victims are in fact 'crimes of passion' or have jealousy as their motives but it is not as simple or generalized as that.

Listen without prejudice to this and other podcasts on one of my Soundcloud channels

hear recent pods as well:

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Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use the Happenings section to select other posts of a different nature.

Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

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Other Blogs I write to:

Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.

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APJ Website Launch & Link


Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1




audience members interacting during a break in the event


film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

The Hypocrisy of Jamaican Anti Gay Groups & Selective Actions of Societal Ills


The selectivity of the anti gay religious voices on so called societal ills is examined in this podcast as other major issues that require the "church" to have spoken up including sexual abuse by pastors in recent times yet mere silence on those matters is highlighted.

Why are these groups and so called child rights activists creating mass hysteria and have so much strength for HOMOSEXUALITY but are quiet on corruption in government, missing children, crime in the country and so much more but want to stop same gender loving persons from enjoying peace of mind and PRIVACY?

Also is the disturbing tactic of deliberately conflating paedophilia with same gender sex as if to suggest reforming the buggery law will cause an influx of buggered children when we know that is NOT TRUE.

MSM/Trans homeless - From gully to graveyard



When are lives interrupted be allowed a real honest chance to move from interruption to independence and stability? I just cannot tell you friends.

An article appeared in the gleaner today that just sent me into sadness mode again with this ugly business of LGBTQI homelessness. The author of the piece needs an intervention too as he (Ryon Jones) uses terms such as cross dressers and or homeless men which if transgender persons are present they cannot be described or seen as such, sigh another clear display of the lack of impact and reach of so called advocacies and advocates who are more interested in parading as working but really aint having much impact as they ought to or claim.

We are told of houses being put together from time in memorial; the Dwayne’s House project seems dead in the water, the Larry Chang (named after a JFLAG cofounder) seems stuck in the mud and Colour Pink’s so called Rainbow House seems insignificant in relation to the size and scope of the national problem. JFLAG as presented on this blog is obviously not interested in getting their hands dirty really on homelessness save and except for using the populations as cannon fodder and delegating same; as far as I am concerned presenting them as victims of homophobia which is true but where are the programs and the perceived millions donated or granted since President Obama’s visit to address LGBTQ matters?

More HERE

Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?


Former host of Dr Sexy Live on Nationwide radio and Sexologist tackles in a simplistic but to the point style homophobia and asks the poignant question of the age, What really are we as a nation afraid of?


It seems like homosexuality is on everyone's tongue. From articles in the newspapers to countless news stories and commentaries, it seems like everyone is talking about the gays. Since Jamaica identifies as a Christian nation, the obvious thought about homosexuality is that it is wrong but only male homosexuality seems to influence the more passionate responses. It seems we are more open to accepting lesbianism but gay men are greeted with much disapproval.

Dancehall has certainly been very clear where it stands when it comes to this issue with various songs voicing clear condemnation of this lifestyle. Currently, quite a few artistes are facing continuous protests because of their anti-gay lyrics. Even the law makers are involved in the gayness as there have been several calls for the repeal of the buggery law. Recently Parliament announced plans to review the Sexual Offences Act which, I am sure, will no doubt address homosexuality.

Jamaica has been described as a homophobic nation. The question I want to ask is: What are we afraid of? There are usually many reasons why homosexuality is such a pain in the a@. Here are some of the more popular arguments MORE HERE

also see:
Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation


Sexuality - What is yours?

The Deliberate Misuse of the “Sexual Grooming” Term by Antigay Fanatics to Promote Their Hysteria



Just as I researched on-line in NOT EVEN five minutes and found a plethora of information and FACTS on Sexual Grooming (and thanks to Dr Karen Carpenter for some valuable insight I found out what Sexual Grooming was) so too must these fanatics go and do the same and stop creating panic in the country.

The hysteria continues from the Professor Bain so called protests to protect freedom of speech and bites at the credibility of the LGBT lobby collectively continues via Duppies Dupe UWI articles when the bigger principle of the conflict of interest in regards to the greater imperative of removing/preserving archaic buggery laws in the Caribbean dependent on which side one sits is of greater import when the professor’s court testimony in Belize went against the imperative of CHART/PANCAP goals is the more germane matter of which he was former head now temporarily reinstated via a court ex-parte injunction. The unnecessary uproar and shouting from the same hysterical uninformed quarters claiming moral concerns ....... MORE CLICK HERE

also see if you can

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness



Reminder

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 realize the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonor. 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

Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:


a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tense

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated

i) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

Vacant at Last! ShoemakerGully: Displaced MSM/Trans Persons were is cleared December 2014





CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:

the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT 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


May 22, 2015, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston


New Kingston Cop Proposes Shelter for Shoemaker Gully LGBT Homeless Population




Superintendent Murdock

The same cop who has factored in so many run-ins with the youngsters in the Shoemaker Gully (often described as a sewer by some activists) has delivered on a promise of his powerpoint presentation on a solution to the issue in New Kingston, problem is it is the same folks who abandoned the men (their predecessors) from the powerful cogs of LGBT/HIV that are in earshot of his plan.

This ugly business of LGBTQ homelessness and displacements or self imposed exile by persons has had several solutions put forth, problem is the non state actors in particular do not want to get their hands dirty as the more combative and political issues to do with buggery's decriminalization or repeal have risen to the level of importance more so than this. Let us also remember this is like the umpteenth meeting with the cops, some of the LGBT homeless persons and the advocacy structure.

Remember JFLAG's exclusion of the group from that IDAHO symposium on LGBT homelessess? See HERE, how can we ask the same people who only want to academise and editorialise the issue to also try to address their own when they do not want to get their hands dirty but publish wonderful reports as was done earlier this month, see HERE: (re)Presenting and Redressing LGBT Homelessness in Jamaica: Towards a Multifaceted Approach to Addressing Anti-Gay Related Displacement also LGBT homelessness has always been with us from the records of Gay Freedom Movement(1974) to present but the current issues started from 2009, see: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009 as carried on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch. CLICK HERE for FULL post of this story.

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

BUSINESS DOWNTURN FOR THE WEED-WHACKING PROJECT FOR FORMER DISPLACED ST CATHERINE MSM



As promised here is another periodical update on an income generating/diligence building project now in effect for some now seven former homeless and displaced MSM in St Catherine, it originally had twelve persons but some have gotten jobs elsewhere, others have simply walked away and one has relocated to another parish, to date their weed whacking earning business capacity has been struggling as previous posts on the subject has brought to bear.

Although some LGBT persons residing in the parish have been approached by yours truly and others to increase client count for the men costs such as gas and maintenance of the four machines that are rotated between the enrolled men are rising weekly literally while the demand is instead decreasing due to various reasons.



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 .....




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.

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues


If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -

If one is locked up then the following may apply:
Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime.

There are two standards that must be met:

1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight

Locked up and appearing in court

 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest

 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?

b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?

c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?

d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?

 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process

Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

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: 1-876-799-2231 (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: 1-876-799-2231
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Battle Lines Javed Jaghai versus the state & the Jamaica Buggery Law



Originally aired on CVM TV December 8th 2013, apologies for some of the glitches as the source feed was not so hot and it kept dropping from source or via the ISP, NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED and is solely for educational and not for profit use and review. The issue of the pending legal challenge in the Constitutional Court in Jamaica as filed by Javed Jaghai an outspoken activist who happens also to be openly aetheist.

The opposing sides are covered as well such as
The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society
The Love March
Movement Jamaica

The feature seems destined for persons who are just catching up to the issues and repositioning JFLAG in particular in the public domain as their image has taken a beating in some respects especially on the matter of the homeless MSM front. They need to be careful that an elitist perception is not held after this after some comments above simplistic discourse, the use of public agitation as beneath some folks and the obvious overlooking of the ordinary citizen who are realy the ones who need convincing to effect the mindset change needed and the national psyche's responses to homosexuality in general.


John Maxwell's House