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, April 27, 2009

'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?' And he said 'Who art Thou, Lord?' And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."

'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?' And he said 'Who art Thou, Lord?' And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."

"And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?' And he said 'Who art Thou, Lord?' And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."(Acts 9:4,5)

Just as He said to Saul,

"Why persecutest thou Me?" He felt Himself one with His afflicted members on earth. Just as He will say at the last day, "In as much as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." (Matthew 25:40).

We are all God's children. Yes gays and straights alike. The Lord loves us all despite our imperfections.

He reckons believers a part of Himself; what is done to them is done to Him. So when He carries them to His Father, this is all His argument: "Thou lovedst Me." If Thou lovest Me, love them, for they are part of Me.

See how surely Christ's prayer will be answered for you. He does not plead that you are good and holy; He does not plead that you are worthy; He only pleads His own loveliness in the eyes of the Father. 'Look not on them, He says, but look on Me'.

"Thou lovedst Me before the foundations of the world" (John 17:24).

God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good

"God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)

"O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches." (Psalm 104:24)

All the living things in creation are here described by God as being very good. We can still see how true that was in areas where the changes produced by man are minimal.

God created nature in balance - everything is recycled! But man has disturbed that balance - Yellow Stone National Park in the USA had that balance - it was created by setting aside an area larger than some nations to preserve nature as it was.

Then something happened! The abundant willow trees and aspen trees stopped regenerating, beavers disappeared, food for scavenger birds like eagles and ravens became extremely scarce, and so on.
What had happened? Man had decided that he could improve on Yellowstone as God had originally created it - he killed all the wolves! What was good about the wolves? Their predation had kept the elk population in check.

But now the elk were eating all the young trees and the vegetation needed by the other species of animals. The balance had been destroyed! Finally the Park Service decide that letting "nature take its course" in what was a decidedly unnatural situation should not be allowed to continue. Wolves were good! Wolves were reintroduced from Canada and we are now seeing changes that seem to indicate that the reintroduction is achieving its objective.
What is the lesson in all this?

Man in his arrogance should not think that he can improve on what God has pronounced "very good"! Man also, to his destruction, tries to "improve" on the Scriptures! God says, "All the day long they wrest My words" (Psalm 56:5) and they also "wrest . . . the Scriptures to their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16).

Meditations, Thoughts & Prayer

Prayer can be as simple as, “Oh Lord, help me…” We can also pray specifically for our children, asking God to help us guide them into the people He’s set apart for Himself.

• that we and our children would grow in the fear of the Lord (Prov. 16:6).

• that we’d be constantly mindful of the fact that we are aliens and strangers here and all of our circumstances are only temporary (1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11; James 4:13-15).

• that You would enable us to speak Your Word with great boldness (Acts 4:29,30).

• that we would contend for the faith against a license for immorality (Jude 3,4).

• that Christians would be encouraged in heart and united in love (Col. 2:1,2).

• that Christians would never sacrifice truth for the sake of unity (Gal. 2:5-21).

• that our love would increase more and more in knowledge and depth of insight (Phil. 1:9).

• that we would endure hatred and persecution to the end of our lives (Mt. 10:22).

• that we would not love our physical lives so much as to shrink from death for the cause of Christ (Rev. 12:11).

• for all those with governmental authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Tim. 2:1,2).

• that we would not drift away, become lukewarm or neglect such a great salvation (Heb. 2:1-4; Rev. 3:15,16).

• that we would set our hearts and minds on things in Heaven, not on things here on Earth (Col. 3:1-4).

• that the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts would be pleasing to You (Psa. 19:14).

• that we would be both godly and content with our unchangable circumstances (1 Tim. 6:6).

• that we would not be eager for money or deceived by it in any way (1 Tim. 6:10; Mk. 4:19).

• that You would give us neither poverty nor riches, but only our daily bread (Prov. 30:8).

• that You would keep falsehood and lies far from us (Prov. 30:8).

• that our faith would not fail (Lk. 22:32).

• that we would serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling (Psa. 2:11).

• that we would be humble, contrite in spirit and tremble at God’s Word (Isa. 66:2).

• that we would grow in fruitfulness and make the most of every opportunity (Jn. 15:1-8; Eph. 5:15).

• that we’d be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (Jam. 1:19).

• that we’d keep a tight rein on our tongues, so that we won’t deceive ourselves and make our religion worthless (Jam. 1:26).

• that we’d not fall into temptation (Lk. 22:40).

• that we’d guard our hearts from the anxieties of this life (Prov. 4:23; Lk. 21:34).

• that we would crave God’s Word constantly and have our minds opened to understand it (1 Pet. 2:2; Lk. 24:45).

• that we would consider Jesus, who endured great opposition from the sinful, so we won’t grow weary and lose heart (Heb. 12:3).

• that we would love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us and pray forgiveness and blessings for those who mistreat us (Lk. 6:27,28).

• that You would deliver us from the evil one and incline our hearts toward Your statutes (Psa. 119:36; Mt. 6:13).

• that You would open up doors for the gospel message and that it would be proclaimed clearly (Col. 4:3,4).

• that You would grant us wisdom, health and deliverance from trouble (2 Chron. 1:10; 3 Jn. 2; Jam. 5:13).

• that we may glorify always the name of the Lord Jesus (2 Thes. 1:12).

• that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which He has called us, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in the saints and Your incomparably great power for us who believe (Eph. 1:18,19).

• that we would be filled with the knowledge of Your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9).

• that we would not fear those who kill our bodies, but instead You who can throw our souls and bodies into Hell (Mt. 10:28).

• that we would never forsake our first love (Rev. 2:4).

• that we’d be faithful until death so that Jesus will give us the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).

• that You would give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we would know Him better (Eph. 1:17).

• that we’d be rooted and established in love (Eph. 3:17).

• that You would strengthen our inner being (Eph. 3:16).

• that You would teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psa. 90:12).

• that You will give us an undivided heart, that we may fear Your name (Ps. 86:11).

• that we’d never be lacking in zeal, but that we’d keep our spiritual fervor serving the Lord (Rom. 12:11).

• that we’d run the race to win first prize (1 Cor. 9:24).

• that we’d throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and run our race with perseverance (Heb. 12:1).

that we’d never look back now that we’ve put our hands to the plow (Lk. 9:62).

(originally from biblegems)

In whom (Him) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins

"In whom (Him) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Ephesians 1:7)

A missionary in West Africa was trying to convey the meaning of the word redeem in the Bambara language. So he asked his African assistant to express it in his native tongue. "We say," the assistant replied, "That God took our heads out." But how does that explain redemption?" the perplexed missionary asked.

The man told him that many years ago some of his ancestors had been captured by slave-traders, chained together, and driven to the seacoast. Each prisoner had a heavy iron collar around his neck. As the slaves passed through a village, a chief might notice a friend of his among the captives and offer to pay the slave-traders in gold, ivory, silver, or brass.

The prisoner would be redeemed by the payment. His head then would be taken out of his iron collar.

What an unusual and graphic illustration of the word redeem! Ephesians 1:7 states. "In whom (Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Jesus died on the cross to purchase our freedom from the bondage of sin.

Have you put your trust in Jesus as your Redeemer? Let Him take your head our of the enslaving collar of sin and set you free. (VCG)

Redeemed - how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy -
His child, and forever I am.

Gay Killers trial continues

The two men charged with the murder of a man whose decomposing body was recently found in Havendale, St Andrew, and who are accused of killing the man because it was believed that he was gay, will have to return to court on May 8 for the case to be continued.

Dwayne Gordon, 23, and Andy Williams, are charged with murder.

Allegations are that Gordon was being interviewed by the police as a possible witness to the crime. His statement, however, turned into a confession. He reportedly told the police that on February 23, he and Williams stabbed Dane Harris several times.

It is alleged that Harris had made sexual advances towards Gordon, who told Williams about it. The two reportedly devised a plan where Gordon would agree to meet with Harris, so they both could 'beat' him.

The court was told, however, that on February 23, when all three met up, Williams reportedly began stabbing Harris. Gordon reportedly told the police that he took the knife from Williams and also inflicted injuries.

The body of the deceased was found on February 26. Gordon told the court that Williams was just a contractor he had met through a relative. When asked if the statement he gave to the police was false, he told the court that the police told him to sign a document and then he saw them writing.

When the matter was mentioned in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Thursday, the court was told that the post-mortem report was not yet ready and the case was put off. Gordon was remanded while Williams' bail was extended.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Intolerable intolerance (Gleaner)

Andre Wright,

The modern world's lust for political correctness has so relativised every concept that nearly every commentator tiptoes daintily for fear of stepping on anyone's corns. Nothing is absolute - except for relativism, of course. Yet, with all the talk there seems only to be tolerance for the tolerable. The ability to offend - even intellectually - is blunted by the desire not to hurt anyone's feelings.

This burgeoning culture of wimpishness has trespassed on the fundamentals of freedom of expression, where every person who defends marriage as a union between a man and a woman is caricatured by the gay lobby and their sympathisers as an oafish neanderthal, a dim-witted dweeb whose opinions must be disregarded, swept aside as anti-intellectual excreta. As a former colleague of mine often said, "let's call a spade a shovel".

Carrie Prejean, a finalist in the Miss United States of America beauty pageant, learnt that the hard way on Sunday. On the final lap of the contest, her opinion was sought on gay marriage. Prejean, who represented the state of California - which last November voted for Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage - did what in many circles was deemed the unthinkable. She said, quite respectfully, that she disagreed with gay marriage, believing that union to be the sole domain of a man and woman. In one fell swoop she became the archetypal dumb blonde.

Politically correct

Everyone knows that the kosher comment would have been to hail the right of gays to marry and consummate their union as man and wife (or man and man or wife and wife, or whatever). That politically correct comment would have been the home run that won her the crown. Yet, Prejean spoke her mind. And speaking your mind gets you in trouble. Speaking your mind costs you the crown.

Freedom of speech has always been an endangered species. And even in these so-called more civilised times, such freedom is still the victim of whichever group has greater sway in the pendulous swing of power and influence.

However, despite the unpopularity of MP Ernie Smith's rants against homosexuality or Iranian President Mohammed Ahmadinejad's fusillade of anti-Semitic rhetoric, civil society, if it is to live up to its snuff, should facilitate the airing of such views. Ideas, no matter how objectionable, must be confronted at round tables and in debate halls. They should not be censored or stifled by those who believe they exclusively have the right of right.

Promulgators of gay rights have, wittingly or unwittingly, become the very bigots they have decried, launching every weapon in their arsenal - whether through economic arm-twisting or abject scorn. Instead of trying to eyeball proponents of heterosexual marriage, they have taken the easy route - labelling all opponents brainless, antediluvian Bible-thumpers. Maybe some are. But the knee-jerk willingness to broadbrush must be checked. Those detractors, just as the homosexual lobby, have a right (without being overwhelmingly offensive) to reject the gathering storm of opinion. What is abhorrent is the clamorous crescendo for newspeak - a language, as in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which all have a unidimensional viewpoint: Conservatism be damned! Long live liberalism!

Contending ideas and arguments are still the most potent tools for changing mindsets - not censorship, not brutality, not the bludgeoning silence from those who think they are winning wars by not 'dignifying' comments with a response. The US boycott and subsequent walkout by delegates at the United Nations conference on racism on Monday during Ahmadinejad's usual anti-Israel bombast achieved one thing. Nothing.

Proponents and opponents

Like it or not, our world will always have racists and sexists. There will be proponents and opponents of gay marriage. Atheists and religious adherents will have to co-exist. Either we talk to each other or torture each other.

If persons are proud to call themselves neo-Nazi 'nigger haters' (Oh my gosh, I used the N-word. Boo hoo.), let them spew their hatred. But let it be countered with facts and images of a victorious Jesse Owens or Joe Louis, not simply howls of protest for protest sake, or flying fists of fury. There is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech or expression, as our foul-mouthed deejays have found out. But there must be some space - though certainly not on free-to-air radio - where even the Kartels and Mavados are unshackled to air their opinions.

Feedback to

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Prayer for Jamaica - National Anthem

While our national anthem is a prayer in and of itself it seems we do not fully comprehend the words, our motto says out of many one people but we beat mame and even kill others who do not fit the perfect mold of who we should be namely gays and lesbians. We have a long way to go man, when we can plan to attack a house that allegedly has gays living there when we can devote our minds to more creative and fulfilling means.

When we feel that rape of a lesbian is the way to "straighten out" a sista so we break into their home at gunpoint and do the deed and feel good. Just as guilty are those who witness the act and are complicit in keeping quiet and not speaking out.

We Pray: Words by Hugh Sherlock, music by Robert Lightbourne,
Say it like you mean it

Eternal Father, Bless our Land,
Guard us with thy mighty hand,
Keep us free from evil powers,
Be our light through countless hours,
To our leaders, great defender,
Grant true wisdom from above,
Justice, truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love,
Jamaica, Jamaica,
Jamaica, land we love

Teach us true respect for all,
Stir response to duty's call,
Strengthen us the weak to cherish,
Give us vision lest we perish,
Knowledge send us Heavenly Father,
Grant true wisdom from above,
Justice, truth be ours forever,
Jamaica, land we love,
Jamaica, Jamaica,
Jamaica, land we love

Friday, April 17, 2009

To boycott or not to boycott

With the present San Franciscan boycott of Red Stripe Beer, Myers Rum and Blue Mountain coffee on in earnest without abatement any time soon tempers are flaring as to how to proceed with the issue on one hand JFLAG the nation's second and only operating LGBT rights advocacy group says "NO" to any argument of a boycott at this time.

They believe it may have serious implications on the ground for suspected LGBT persons safety and security. There is proof that confirms so, the EAGALE boycott which was well publicised last year was said to be the cause of an increase in attacks on gays and lesbians here, more so on lesbians, as before most victims of homophobic violence on record were gay men. A reported 9 lesbians in all came formally through JFLAG's crisis intervention system to seek help and to rebuild their lives. One couple in particular had to flee their home following threats and a subsequent breakin from a group of persons living in their area. There were anecdotal reports of several more who however chose to privately handle their respective issues.

See JFLAG's blog for more on those reports:

There have been some debate as to how to proceed, some argue we should go ahead with the boycott and support it fully while JFLAG on the other hand says we shouldn't as there maybe awful outcomes. They claim that a reversal of a major milestone may be forthcoming by this boycott action as Red Stripe Beer one of the targets of the ban had refused to fund Jamaican dancehall artists and events that host them that promote violence of any sort, a decision they did not take lightly as they make millions from these same artists sponsorship and events.
Many artist though upset at the time of the decision literally changed their tunes.

A commendable move probably but were the organizers of the boycott aware of this and did JFLAG do enough to publicise this "achievement?"
I guess maybe everything can't be made public knowing our caustic environment here on homosexuality and the attendant issues.

The rest of the country in the meantime are up in arms about it, saying that foreigners are dictating how we should handle our affairs and that gays are imposing their "dirty lifestyle" on us according to one radio talkshow host.

The organizers mainly one Michael Petrelis says he did contact JFLAG before making the decision to proceed with the boycott according to his blog: the "Rum Dump" as it is nicknamed was said to be a success in the two public events that took place

I don't think a boycott is the way to go at this time what other backative can the organizers give us here in Jamaica in case it goes out of control? and seeing our tense our political and social climate is right now anything is possible. People are angry at the political system, worried about bread and butter issues such as jobs and bills etc. To plant a lighted match in an oilfield is not a wise move.

The organizers in my view are too far removed from the reality to greatly grasp and appreciate how explosive this can get, with politicians as well looking for any item that can greatly accrue popularity unto themselves well this could be one of them as we have seen before, Prime Minister Golding's remarks both here and abroad.

Maybe we as in all the potential players ought to meet and carefully examine this issue while it is early days yet.

Just my two cents

Peace and tolerance

(views are not neccesarily those of SCJ and its team)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Vatican launches investigation over nuns' teachings on homosexuality

The Vatican is investigating the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, allegedly because it has not towed the official line sufficiently on teachings on homosexuality and other issues.

The nuns' organisation said in a statement this week that the "doctrinal assessment" will investigate its activities and initiatives.

Reports suggest that Vatican officials will investigate the sisters' activities in promoting the church's teachings on the exclusively male status of the priesthood, the primacy of the Catholic Church over other Christian denominations, and the "problem of homosexuality."

In December Pope Benedict XVI claimed that the existence of gay people is as great a threat to humanity as the destruction of the rainforest.

He also attacked trans people and claimed that a "blurring" of genders would lead to the extinction of the human race.

The pontiff made his remarks in an "end of year" address to the Vatican's central administration, the Curia.

The Pope said behaviour beyond traditional heterosexual relations is "a destruction of God's work."

Benedict also said man must be protected "from the destruction of himself" and urged respect for the "nature of the human being as man and woman."

"The tropical forests do deserve our protection. But man, as a creature, does not deserve any less."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

JFLAG's Press Release - No to Boycott in San Francisco 12.04.09

Please see letter sent to our international allies, friends and supporters below indicating that we do not support the boycott in San Francisco.

April 12, 2009

Dear Friends and Supporters:

We thank our international allies for their continued interest in the state of LGBT affairs in Jamaica. Your support over the years has strengthened our voice and made it possible for us to make progress where we hardly thought it possible. One of the most significant ventures in which our international allies have collaborated with us was the SMM campaign that started in 2004, and which culminated in a local debate about the appropriateness of violence and hate in Jamaican music played in public places. Despite the occasionally homophobic rant by rogue deejays, we have seen a general decline in the level of homophobia coming from new Jamaican artistes and in new music from Jamaica. We have also seen corporate sponsors withdrawing their support from music that promotes violence or discrimination against any group.

It is with this in mind that we find it unfortunate that a campaign has been launched calling for the boycott of two Jamaican products, one marketed by a company that unequivocally distanced itself from the hostility and violence typical of Jamaican music towards members of the LGBT community. In April 2008, Red Stripe took the brave and principled stance to cease sponsorship of music festivals that promoted hate and intolerance, including that against members of the LGBT community. The naming of Red Stripe, therefore, as a target of this boycott is extremely damaging to the cause of LGBT activists in Jamaica.

In the global arena in which we operate today, events in one place can and do have repercussions in another. Concomitantly, information about occurrences in different places across the globe is easily accessible everywhere. We believe that any overseas entity or organisation seeking to agitate for change in a context with which it has only passing familiarity should first do its homework to ensure that it does not do harm to its credibility and ultimately to the cause of the local community whose interest it seeks to defend.

It is unfortunate that the organisers of the current campaign to boycott Jamaica have failed in the key area of fact finding. The misguided targeting of Red Stripe does tremendous damage to a process of change that we began almost 11 years ago. The boycott call has now left us not only with our persistent day to day challenges but with a need to engage Red Stripe and attempt damage control as a result of actions that we did not take. Against this background, we would like to reiterate that while we appreciate the support given by our international allies, and understand their impatience for change, we who live in Jamaica best know and understand the dynamics of our situation. We also know that change is a slow and tedious process and those who engage in it must be patient.

Jamaica’s deeply ingrained antipathy towards homosexuality and homosexuals is a social phenomenon that will not be undone by boycott campaigns or government dictate. It requires the painstaking effort of confronting the society and talking to social actors who can bring change in the way society sees LGBT people. We have been doing this through a small but growing group of increasingly aware opinion leaders who are concerned about the damage homophobia does to our society. We need those ears to continue being open to us and we need the relative safety that some of us have been given to speak to them.

It is important that our international allies understand the nature of our struggle and engage us in a respectful way about it. Unless they are willing and able to lead the struggle in the trenches as we have done, it is important that they be guided by us. To do otherwise would be to act in a manner that destroys the space for dialogue that we have managed to create over the past decade and to set back our struggle. It is for this reason that we urge those in the international arena who seek to act in our name and on our behalf to do so not only with the utmost care and responsibility but also with due consideration for our efforts and concerns as members of the local activist community.


Jason McFarlane
Programmes Manager
Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays - J-FLAG
Tel: (876)754-8704

Study shows Jamaican girls encounter violent sexual relationships

KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) -A survey on sexual violence in Jamaica has found that as much as 49 per cent of girls aged 15-17 have experienced sexual coercion or violence.

The study, published in last month's issue of the International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, also shows that a significant number of these girls were either persuaded or forced to participate in their first sexual experience.

Data for the study, entitled The Influence of Early Sexual Debut and Sexual Violence on Adolescent Pregnancy: A Matched Case-Control Study in Jamaica, was primarily obtained from interviews with teenagers, aged 15 to 17, 250 of whom were pregnant and 500 others who were sexually experienced but never pregnant.

The results showed that 49 per cent of them had reported experiencing sexual coercion or violence while one-third stated that they had been persuaded or forced to participate in their first sexual experience.

The authors of the study, including Maxine Wedderburn, executive director of Hope Enterprises in Jamaica, said that while young women who had experienced sexual violence were not more likely than those who had not to become pregnant, the numbers reflect the widespread prevalence of gender-based violence in Jamaica.

The researchers also found that 94 per cent of the pregnant teens interviewed reported that their pregnancies were unintended.

These findings demonstrate a strong need for increased education and services for young people in Jamaica to help reduce the country's high rates of unplanned teen pregnancy and gender-based violence, the researchers added.

They warned that the key to addressing these problems was the empowerment of women.

The study also found a significant link between unequal relationships and pregnancy risk.

Compared with their peers who had never been pregnant, adolescents who were pregnant were more likely to have had a first sexual partner who was at least five years older, the researchers said, adding that these adolescents also tend to have low self-esteem and believe contraception is solely a woman's responsibility.

The results of the survey are similar to data released during the launch of the Caribbean Coalition on Women, Girls and AIDS (CCWA) in Trinidad last month.

One study found that for nearly 50 per cent of adolescent girls their first sexual experience was forced.

Official statistics show that in countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Haiti, Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic, one in six women between the ages of 15 and 24 became sexually active before the age of 15.

A 2000 survey conducted by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) revealed that nearly half of all young girls reported that their first sexual encounter was forced or coerced.

Christianity and homosexuality

Posted by Sharon Ferguson (click image for more)

In the third of our series on faith and homosexuality, we take a look at how Christians continue to be divided in the their response and Christ's teachings of love and acceptance

It is never a simple thing to write about faith and homosexuality from a Christian perspective because there is no one Christian perspective. The acceptance or otherwise of homosexuality as a valid expression of human sexuality differs according to the view of the different denominations and even within those denominations, groups and individuals may hold opposing beliefs. Even when people share a belief on homosexuality, how individuals should be treated and what the response of the Church should be to those claiming a homosexual orientation may not be shared.

Many denominations now accept that homosexuality is not simply a lifestyle choice and therefore advocate acceptance and pastoral care towards gay men and lesbians. However, this is usually only as long as they don’t ‘practice’ their homosexuality. In other words, it’s okay to be a homosexual but not to express your love physically or sexually with the person you love. This is quite ironic when most Christian denominations believe that celibacy is a higher state that not many are called to and yet they expect all gay men and lesbians to live their lives in this way.

At the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement we believe that all sexuality is a gift from God and therefore the expression of our sexuality in loving, mutual same gender relationships is just as honourable and blessed by God as are loving, mutual heterosexual relationships.

The Biblical debate rests on 6 verses, 3 in the Old Testament and 3 in the New Testament, but many scholars have shown clearly that these texts are not referring to the type of relationship we label as homosexual today. In fact, some of the verses aren’t even referring to sexual relationships at all but concern the Jewish laws of hospitality.

The fact is that the debate on homosexuality will never be resolved by reference to Scripture alone as both sides of the argument can use Scripture to support their particular viewpoint in the same way as it can and has been done on many other issues over the years, such as, the treatment and acceptance of women, children, and ethnic minorities.

We are told that to be a Christian all we need to do is accept Jesus as God’s son and proclaim him with our lips. Naturally, when a person does this then they try to follow Christ’s teachings. As Christ never said anything about homosexuality we have to look at how he treated people and how he expected us to treat each other. Christ welcomed people from the margins, people who had been excluded and rejected by mainstream society. However, when he called these people he didn’t then say they had to start behaving like the Pharisees and Sadducees. All he asked for was that we treat each other with love as he loved us. Confirmation of his acceptance of loving relationships regardless of the gender of those involved is the story of the healing of the Centurions servant. Christ had no hesitation in healing the male servant even though the Centurion referred to him as his beloved. The servant certainly must have been greatly loved for a Roman soldier to beg a Jewish teacher for help, especially as servants were generally valued no more than any other possession.

I have had a personal relationship with Christ ever since I can remember. When I realised my sexual orientation, the love I felt both for and from God didn’t change. God is concerned about the quality of my relationships, not the gender of who they’re with. Unfortunately, a lot of lesbians and gay men encounter so much homophobia and discrimination within their Church that they start believing that God can’t love them as they are.

It’s no good telling someone that you ‘hate the sin but love the sinner’ when the sin you’re referring to is integral to who they are. It’s like telling someone that you understand that they can’t help being born with blue eyes so it’s okay as long they don’t look out of them!

What is even more distressing is that the religious view on homosexuality often informs the implementation of laws. Consequently there are still far too many countries where homosexuality is not just considered a sin but is also illegal and punishable with life imprisonment and even the death penalty. This treatment is often justified by religious beliefs. The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement continues to campaign against such laws and against any form of homophobia within faith.

Rev Sharon Ferguson is the Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement that will be holding their second conference on Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, and Human Rights on Saturday 16th May, to raise awareness around these issues. For more information and booking form go to Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement

Monday, April 6, 2009

Look from the top

"Look from the top." (Song of Solomon 4:8)

This is a splendid word for a busy day with its crush of work of all sorts. If we get caught in the crush and pushed down, so to speak, the next thing we know is that we are groveling in the dust. Things are on the top of us, we are not on the top of anything. So the word comes, "Look from the top". Come with Me from all that, come up the mountain with Me, "look from the top". In every-day life this simply means, look from everything up to the Lord Jesus, Who is our Peace, our Victory and our Joy, for we are where we look.

From below, things feel impossible, people seem impossible (some people at least), and we ourselves feel most impossible of all. From the top we see as our Lord sees; He sees not what is only, but what shall be. He is not discouraged, and as we look with Him, our discouragement vanishes, and we can sing a new song. (Amy Carmichael - Edges of His Ways)

But when from mountain top,

My Lord, I look with Thee,

My cares and burdens drop

Like pebbles in the sea.

The air is clear,

I fear no fear,

In this far view

All things are new.

Therefore we labour (make it our aim)...

"Therefore we labour (make it our aim)... that we may be accepted (well pleasing to) of HIM." (2 Corinthians 5:9)

A brilliant young concert pianist was performing for the first time in public. The audience sat enthralled as beautiful music flowed from his disciplined fingers. The people could hardly take their eyes off this young virtuoso. As the final note faded, the audience burst into applause. Everyone was standing - except one old man up front. The pianist walked off the stage crestfallen. The stage manager praised the performance, but the young man said, "I was no good, it was a failure." The manager replied, "Look out there, everyone is on his feet except one old man!" "Yes," said the youth dejectedly, "but that one old man is my teacher."

Do we have the same desire for God's approval as that pianist had for his teacher's praise? Our Lord's approving smile is what really matters. But what is it that delights His heart? First, there is faith (Hebrews 11:6). Then, there are two special sacrifices: "the sacrifice of praise," and remembering "to do good and to communicate (share)" (Hebrews 13:15,16). Such sacrifices please God.

Let's make it our goal as we enter each day to please the heavenly Father as Jesus did (John 8:29). Whether we work in the limelight or labor unnoticed behind the scenes, when we do our task with faith, diligence, thankfulness, and caring, God is pleased. But more wonderful still, He helps us by "Working in you that which is well pleasing in HIS sight, through Jesus Christ" (Hebrews 13:21). (D.J.D.)

Just live your life before your Lord,

Rise to that higher, nobler plane -

With single eye His glory seek,

And you shall His approval gain. (Rae)

When you do what you please, does what you do please God?

The Power of Positive Speech

"Say positive affirmations each morning to open the gates of manifestation."
Doreen Virtue, PhD

Notice how often you verbalize defeat, failure, or despair: "We'll never be that good," or "I just can't lose weight," or "It will never work," or "I'm too old to dream." Have you said any of these depressing phrases? Have you said one of them today?

Even one of these negative thoughts can be like a poisonous dart in the heart of enthusiasm. Of course we know that failure happens, but if we don't even believe success is possible, then we are actually making failure more likely! Of course we know that not every wish comes true, but the ones we believe can come true are more likely to.

We have the ability and the right to hope for the best, and if we will speak words of encouragement rather than words of defeat, then the best will
actually show up for us more often. Let's intentionally affirm the best:
"I deserve Good in my life! I know how to have fun! I can and I will succeed! I am blessed! I still have dreams to dream, and I can make many of my dreams come true!"

Don't these statements feel better? And that alone justifies our starting each day with positive affirmations. In fact, we can keep our affirmations going all day long.

Rev. Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div.
Sunshine Cathedral


Related Posts with Thumbnails

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:

Information & Disclaimer

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.

Please use the snapshot feature (if available for your device(s) to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

God Bless

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.


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?


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


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


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


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


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: or Tel: 1-876-841-2923 (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: 1-876-841-2923


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