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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Immigration Equality's Press Release

Proposed Regulations Would Lift U.S. HIV Travel Ban
After a year’s delay, repeal moves closer to realityWashington, D.C. -- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued proposed regulations to end the long-standing ban on travel and immigration to the United States by HIV-positive individuals. The regulations, which are expected to be implemented following a 45-day public comment period, would remove HIV from the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance.”
Under current law, HIV-positive tourists and business travelers cannot enter the U.S. even for one day, and people with HIV who are living in the U.S. cannot stay.“These proposed regulations are the penultimate step toward ending the HIV ban once and for all,” said Victoria Neilson, legal director for Immigration Equality.
“In doing so, our country is also making great progress towards implementing a fair and sensible HIV immigration policy. Ending the HIV travel and immigration ban removes a federally sanctioned stigma and sends a strong, clear message that the United States is working to end discrimination against people living with HIV.”
Immigration Equality noted that it is urging HHS to quickly adopt and implement the regulations and officially end the ban once and for all. The organization worked closely with Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and former Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) in 2008 to repeal the ban.
Today, the lawmakers joined the organization in praising the new regulations.“Today we are one step closer to ending a discriminatory practice that stigmatizes those living with HIV, squanders our moral authority, and sets us back in the fight against AIDS,” said Senator Kerry. “By proposing this rule, the Obama administration has made a powerful statement in favor of overturning the HIV travel and immigration ban that has no foundation in public health or common sense. There is no reason for this policy to remain on the books. I sincerely hope we can continue to work in a bipartisan manner with the help of the public health, religious, LGBT, and immigration groups to make this proposed rule final as soon as possible.”
Congresswoman Lee also applauded the regulations, noting that, “For more than 15 years, HIV was the only disease singled out for exclusion from the United States by an act of Congress. The HIV ban has undermined U.S. efforts to fight the HIV pandemic and has taken a toll on families and businesses both here and abroad.”“The Obama administration’s proposed rule to repeal the travel ban is a positive step toward finally ending this unjust and discriminatory policy,” Congresswoman Lee said. “I am proud to have played a crucial role in leading the effort to end this outdated travel ban.”
If adopted following the comment period, the regulations will then require implementation. The final timeline for that action remains to be determined. Nonetheless, Neilson noted, the ban is closer than ever to its final repeal.“The end of the HIV ban is now in sight,” Neilson said. “After nearly two decades, there is real, palpable hope for those who have been waiting so long for this change.”
For more information on the HIV travel and immigration ban, and the HHS regulations, visit{LIST_DATA_HASH}/c59c5e145c.

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Atrocious views from doctor

Letter to the Editor 06.06.09

The Editor, Sir:

I must say I am a bit disturbed by an article published in your June 4 edition concerning the views of Dr Kevin Harvey.

Dr Kevin Harvey, senior medical officer in the Ministry of Health's National HIV/STI control programme has expressed the view that he wants the decriminalising of commercial sex work and buggery. I find this atrocious and I am not convinced that this would better the economy of Jamaica.

The views expressed by Dr Harvey give rise to questionable thoughts about the operation of the Ministry of Health and Dr Harvey. Are they abetting criminality? Which other group do they care so much for?

gay activists

These questions are not to accuse Dr Harvey of any wrongdoing, but to highlight that the law would be perceived as 'unjust' if they considered these views by Dr Harvey, and an 'unjust law' is no law at all. I have been reading similar views to those expressed by Dr Harvey in newspapers in several Caribbean countries. I have also heard that it is a strategy by the gay activists to get buggery decriminalised. Is this really what it is?

One thing for sure is that if the Government decriminalises these criminal activities, the society's attitude towards these people won't change. Also, other types of criminals may want their act of wrongdoing being lifted as well, e.g. marijuana users, cocaine addicts, illegal gun suppliers, etc.

One thing Jamaica does not need now is a more unstable society with the economic crisis already facing the country.

I am, etc.,

Kingston 20

Change laws to promote tolerance

Letter to the Editor 08.06.09

The Editor, Sir:

I write in response to an article published on June 4, titled 'Prostitution, buggery laws hamper HIV/STI services'.

It is sad to know that Jamaica, which is known regionally for some of the best strategies in social intervention programmes, is still behind where buggery and prostitution laws are concerned. First, I must commend Dr Kevin Harvey for his consciousness and continued realisation that we continue to delay progress in providing services to commercial sex workers and homosexuals because both activities are illegal.

While what Harvey has said is true and has much relevance, as a young Jamaican I would have been more delighted if he had announced that the ministry would champion the cause for the decriminalisation of these laws so that my colleagues and I would feel comfortable and safe accessing health services without fear of discrimination or violence.

I am knowledgeable that the attitudes and behaviours of health professionals and service providers will not change overnight. However, as a country we must encourage national discourse and promote a culture of respect and tolerance for individual choices in respect to commercial sex work and/or homosexuality. This will ensure that my colleagues will access the appropriate information and care needed without the possibility of the health provider being arrested.

Very little can be done

As a young person involved in several community and national development-led projects/initiatives in youth empowerment, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and violence prevention, I am aware that there are hundreds of youth in dire need of counselling and health care. But there is very little those of us who are either homosexuals, or accommodating of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth can do without policy change and government support.

In the 2008 country report submitted to UNAIDS, the Ministry of Health indicated that the HIV prevalence rate among Jamaican men who have sex with men is between 25 and 30 per cent. Year by year this will continue to increase if as a country we do not move at speed with the decriminalisation of homosexuality and commercial sex work. We will continue to lower our level of productivity and lose our bright minds who are dying from infection or violence and increasingly seeking asylum in other countries so long as we ostracise these individuals from the society with these outdated and harsh laws.

I am, etc.,

RJR News - Sexual Offences Bill under fire

A Government Senator on Friday joined an Opposition Senator in expressing alarm about sections of the new Sexual Offences Bill.

Last week, Opposition Senator Navel Clarke suggested sections of the bill might overturn the buggery laws and sanction consensual sex between two men. In the Senate Friday morning, Government Senator Hyacinth Bennett also picked apart sections of the Bill.She expressed alarm at the prospect that the bill could sanction buggery and said doing so would cater to the homosexual lobby.

The Government Senator also said changes should be made to the bill to guard against people who undergo sex changes.Turning to the section of the bill dealing with marital rape, Senator Bennett disagreed with fellow Government Senator Dennis Meadows who last week suggested that marital rape be made gender neutral. She said doing so would lead down a slippery slope that could bring into contention the definition of marriage.

The debate continues in the senate.

Gays chased, Police warn men

Sunday night last (28.06.09) two men who had just alighted from a bus in Kingston from a trip they had embarked they were walking home when they were rushed and verbally abused by 4 men in a grey Mitsubishi motorcar, license plate unknown. 

One of the gay men who was attacked is known to many persons as he appeared on a party DVD that ended up on the streets for sale over two years ago.

SEE ALSO: Gay Party DVD Reveller on the Run post on my GLBTQJamaica's blog.

He has been recognised before where he used to reside in St. James, he has since had to relocate to other areas and now finally Kingston. His friend who was with him is also on the run as the post above will outline.

Both men ran in separate directions with the car and it's occupants giving chase, they met up again and then proceeded to the Police post in New Kingston where a no nonsense set of officers happened to be on duty.

The men in the car are said to be known trouble makers for not only gays but the Commercial Sex Workers and members of the public who are robbed or extorted at nights along the hip strip entertainment block in New Kingston. The police left the two exhausted men in the station in a waiting room after an interview process and went to search for the car after a report was filed according to one of the victims.

The accused men were found and brought to the station and warned by the officers that if another complaint is made on them that action will be taken. Then men were then released. The officers proceeded to warn the two gay men to be careful and not to traverse the streets at nights as it is no longer safe. I was told that they handled the situation well given the circumstances in Jamaica with police, the public and gays.


Monday, June 29, 2009

There are no gay pride parades in Jamaica

Lisa Biagiotti is working on signature stories for Worldfocus on HIV/AIDS and homophobia in Jamaica. She reported with Producer Micah Fink and Director of Photography Gabrielle Weiss, both from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Their reports will air on Worldfocus later this summer. She gave the below interview to

Q: Gay pride is celebrated across the U.S. every June. Could there be similar celebrations of gay pride in Jamaica?

Lisa Biagiotti: No, there could not be an openly gay pride parade on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, as in New York or San Francisco. In Jamaica, anti-sodomy laws criminalize sex between men, fundamentalist interpretations of the bible and pride in reproduction contribute to the general disdain and non-acceptance of the gay lifestyle.
The idea of a “glass closet” best describes the public’s expectations of homosexuals, meaning, “We know you’re gay, and we can see you, but stay in that glass closet.” In fairness, Jamaica tends not to be a heavily PDA (public display of affection) culture. You don’t see men and women petting each other or even holding hands in public, with the exception of the dancehalls.
One thing that was interesting was the way homophobia finds its way into the language, in the choosing (or avoiding) of certain “gay” words. When little boys call each other “sissy” names, they say “you’re a battyman.” “Batty” means buttocks and is a derogatory name for a gay man. Saying the number “two” — referring to the anus — is also avoided. We heard a story of a father instructing his two-year-old son to say he’s going to be three. You’d say “come forward” instead of “come back.” If you’re ordering fish to eat, you’d say, “Give me a swimmer or a sea creature.” “Fish” is another term for a gay man.

Q: This anti-gay side of Jamaica doesn’t really jive with what many Americans may think of Jamaica. (Stereotypically, sun, fun, Bob Marley and “no problem, mon.”) How did you become interested in this topic?

Lisa Biagiotti: I first became interested in the subject of gay Jamaicans about 18 months ago. I was reporting on gay asylum in the U.S. and was told that Jamaica was one of the most violent and homophobic places for gays. I was told by human rights organizations that if you’re gay and Jamaican, you’d qualify for asylum. I then spent a year profiling Alex Brown, a gay Jamaican who received asylum in the U.S. In all honesty, this portrait of Jamaica was completely foreign to me — it contradicted the image of the Jamaica I know and love.

Q: Your mom is Jamaican, and your family ties to Jamaica span three generations. Was it difficult to report these seemingly negative stories for Worldfocus? What did your family think?

Lisa Biagiotti: At first, I was concerned we were doing advocacy journalism. I questioned whether we were imposing our U.S.-centric views on a country with a different cultural bedrock. Did we really understand the Jamaican culture, which is steeped in religion? Admittedly, I was protective of Jamaican people, who I still hold to be some of the warmest and most resilient people on Earth.
Going into these stories, I was aware of my bias. As a journalist, first-hand observation served as my guide. My team and I went to the places where people were literally living in hiding. We listened to the palpable stories of many gay men — the violence against them, the families that rejected them, the double lives they lead and the idea of mainstreaming their lifestyle to “make it right with God.”
We spoke to hundreds of Jamaicans from all walks of life to try to understand the cultural nuances and attitudes toward homosexuals. And everywhere we went, we heard the same things — said with varying levels of vitriol. Open homosexuality is not accepted. Tolerance and violence really depends on class and whether people act on their general disgust toward gays.
After observing and speaking with people on the ground, I’m confident that the stories we’re producing are fair and accurate illustrations of Jamaican attitudes toward homosexuals. As for my family in Jamaica and abroad, I believe they will respect that. Our goal is not to change Jamaican culture and mores, but to present what it’s like to be gay in Jamaica, and why it is important for the general population to talk about homosexuality because gay men are living double lives in secret.
Q: What do you mean by “double lives?” How is this playing into the spread of HIV?

Lisa Biagiotti: A recent Ministry of Health study showed that more than 30 percent of gay men are HIV+. It was a small sampling of about 200 gay men. But it was one of the first surveys conducted within the gay community. Whether or not the study is actually reflective of the larger gay community is questionable, but this rate is still 20 times higher than the general population.
What’s important here is that gay men are not isolated from the rest of the population. These men lead double lives — one gay life underground and another “heterosexual” life to save face in their communities. Gay men have girlfriends and wives and children, who likely do not know of their secret lives. This poses a threat to spreading HIV into the general population. So, when you layer this 31.8 percent figure over the laws, religion and general stigma against homosexuality, you’re masking the problem and potentially spreading the infection into the general population.

Q: How does the Jamaican government address the HIV problem without acknowledging the gay community?

Lisa Biagiotti: It’s difficult to target the gay community because they’re not out in the open. There could be no ad campaign in Jamaica talking about using condoms for anal sex because anal sex is illegal and punishable with a 12-year prison sentence of hard labor. The channels of awareness and education of gay men are limited and insufficient. I should also mention that, on the flip side, Jamaica has made incredible strides in making anti-retroviral medication free and accessible to everyone. Early testing has whittled down the mother-to-child HIV transmission rate to under 5 percent. But the gay community is not siloed from the general population and could potentially reintroduce the disease into the general population.

Q: Given the extreme anti-gay discrimination and level of violence in Jamaica, did you ever feel that you were in danger as you covered these stories?

Lisa Biagiotti: Every day, approximately four or five people are murdered in Jamaica. For a country the size of Connecticut, with 2.8 million people, that’s a staggering murder rate. I don’t know if I had a false sense of security, but I never felt in danger. We had local guides taking us around and introducing us to communities, and I think that was key. We made sure we had introductions wherever we went. We told people we were reporting on homosexuality, HIV and AIDS. We knew these were touchy topics, but we were open and I think Jamaicans appreciated our honesty, and were in turn welcoming.
(republished in full with expressed permission)

Peter Tatchell's Response to Hyacinth Bennett's representation of his comments

please see Sexual Offences Bill Debate - Senator Hyacinth Benneth's Summary Remarks 26.06.09 for the remarks.

British gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay group OutRage! said:

Jamaican MPs are misrepresenting my views on the causes of homosexuality.

"The scientific evidence on the cause of sexual orientation is set out in the book Born Gay. It demonstrates that genes and hormonal influences in the womb are major factors that cause people to be gay or straight. It is simply not true that people choose to be homosexual or bisexual. “I dispute the claim that a gay gene causes homosexuality. In my view,genetic and hormonal explanations of gayness are important and significant, but they are not adequate and sufficient. Homosexuality is definitely not a conscious choice. “A person's sexuality is largely influenced before their birth and is firmly established by the age of six. It cannot be changed by so-called treatments and cures.
This opinion is supported by the world's leading biological and psychological authorities. I am dismayed the way some Jamaican MPs have misrepresented my views in defence of the country's anti-gay laws." "The fundamental truth is that it does not matter whether people are born gay or not.
Gay people are human beings and therefore we deserve equal human rights. A person chooses their religion and politics, but that does not mean that persecuting them because of their beliefs is justified. “It is time the heterosexual majority stopped fretting over the causes of homosexuality and ceased victimising the gay minority. Live and let live is the best policy. Love for gay people is the true Christian response, " he said.


My answer to this: Is my 9-year-old gay?

as appearing in the all woman section

Is my 9-year-old gay?
Dear RB,
I think that I am going crazy by writing this but I do not know what to do. My nine-year- old son told me that he thinks about kissing boys sometimes. He says he really does not want to do it, but he thinks about it. Should I be concerned about this? Is there a reason that he is having these thoughts? Is this normal? Please answer quickly.- JB
Dear JB,
I understand your distress. Though I am not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, I agree that this is reason to be concerned. I would discuss this with the family doctor immediately and get his take on this. And though I do not want to distress you, if your son is awakening to his reality that he is not quite like other little boys, he will need your help and support more than you know.
But do not panic. Talk to your family doctor and see what approach is suggested. Good luck.
Need no-frills advice about relationships, sex or just about anything else? Send questions to RB Samuels c/o All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Ave Kgn 5; via email at or fax 968-2025.
My answer
Here is my two cents on this exchange, RB did a bad job at answering this question (gonna email her), I guess because the gay issues are in the media again so all kinds of stuff comes a crawling out the woodwork but a nine year old professing to wanting to kiss boys doesn't make him gay he may very be in his "experimental stage" this is of course what knowledge I have as I am not a psychiatrist however it is well documented that children at an early age do try things out including seemingly homosexual tendencies which most of them outgrow. If at 15 or 16 though he still has a propensity to want same sex sexual contact then that's another matter all together as in those years identity begins to form into early adulthood.
As I have indicated I am no expert and if any readers out there so qualified please correct me if I am wrong.
I am going to research this some more and post something in the future

Do you agree with the tips?: How to talk to your child about homosexuality

TALKING to your child about homosexuality

Should take place as early as the child begins to show interest in his/her sexuality or as soon as they begin to ask pertinent questions on the matter. Talking about it is just as important as talking to them about sex.

Remember the rules:

. Relax. This will make the child feel comfortable in talking to you but more importantly, help him/her to feel as though she/he isn't getting a lecture. Children hate lectures.

. Never use any derogatory or homophobic remarks. This will only teach your children that it is acceptable to discriminate against people.

. Take it slow. Rushing through the conversation will result in your kids missing the whole point of the conversation.

. Since you cannot predict when children will ask questions about homosexuality or same-sex relationships, it is good to think about it ahead of time.

. Choose age-appropriate language. Use words that the child will understand at his/her age.

. Encourage your child to ask questions. You want to be sure your child understands what you are saying. When speaking to a younger child, at the end of the conversation ask him/her things like, "Do you know what it means to be homosexual or gay?"

. Respond cautiously. Be sure that your answer will not alienate him or lead him to believe you would love him any differently if he/she were gay.

What to say:

. When you talk to children about moral issues like this, explain that people believe different things, then tell them your beliefs.

. Explain what homosexuality is as simple as you can.

. If you are against the belief, tell the child why, you may even need Bible scriptures to explain why you think it is wrong.

. It will also be important to explain the reproductive system and why you believe men and women are different, therefore giving a clearer understanding of why a man and woman are compatible.

. If however, you do not have a problem with homosexuality, explain to the child why you do, while also explaining why others are against it.

also see a preview of a 1994 controversial book called "It's Perfectly Normal"

'Pro-life' bigotry (Gleaner Letter to the Editor,) 29.06.09

The Editor, Sir:

I have had it up to my neck with some of these so-called pro-lifers who continue to try impose their belief on others. They never fail to tell us what the Bible says about abortion. They continue to echo the clarion call telling women 'not to abort' yet, they never say what they would do for these women and especially the children after they are born. They fail miserably to help or have programmes to help distressed women and children.

I, for one, do not think abortion should be the first resort or be used as a form of contraceptive. However, to tell me that should my wife, daughter, or any other woman for that matter, who becomes pregnant as a result of rape, that they should not abort the pregnancy is heartless, fanatical, harsh and shameless.

Fanatical Christian/pro-lifer'S RESPONSE

I once asked a fanatical Christian/pro-lifer, 'What would you do if your underage granddaughter becomes pregnant as a result of brutal rape?'. His reply was that he would have his granddaughter have the baby and give it up for adoption. This is the classic reply of a fanatic. This man would have nothing to do with his own flesh and blood yet, he would want to dictate to others.

We can learn lessons from other countries where women who are raped and become pregnant as a result. Evidence abounds in Bosnia, Rwanda and other war-torn nations where many of these women who became pregnant as a result of rape will have nothing to do with the children,who are the products of rape. In instances, families shun, stigmatise and vilify not only the children, but also their mothers. Is this what we want to see in our country?

These pro-lifers will showcase and promote instances where rape victims and the product of a rape are a success, but those are exceptions to the norm and trend.

These pro-life Christian groups 'should wheel and come again'. This poll that is commissioned by them cannot withstand the sniff test even for the mere fact that they would not release all their findings. They are using the name of God and want the Government to impose their belief on the rest of the nation. They clearly do not speak for me and many other Christians. The silence of pro-choice Christian groups is deafening. Are they fearful that these Christian groups will demonise them?

To pregnant women, I say abortion should be a last resort but the choice to abort or not to abort should be yours and yours, alone, not the Christian fringe of pro-lifers.

I am, etc.,

New Jersey

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In the closet we must stay it seems ........

This old cartoon that appeared in the Gleaner on January 19, 2007 still rings true, looks like Senator A. J. Nicholson, former Attorney General of the previous People's National Party (PNP)Administration and others like Senator Hyacinth Bennett are intent on keeping us in the closet in relation to the Sexual Offences Bill 2009 being debated in the Senate.

Let's watch this one closely folks, after all it's not about forcing our lifestyle on the nation as some would like to grandstand on but securing our freedom of choice as citizens to private actions without church and state intrusion.

Plain and simple.


here is a flashback to a statement he made while he was Attorney General on Same Sex Unions:

There is no intention whatsoever on the part of the Government or the Joint Select Committee of Parliament that any door should be opened by provisions in the proposed Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or otherwise, to decriminalise homosexuality or to pave the way for same-sex marriages to be accepted as lawful in Jamaica.

In seeking to make submissions to the Joint Select Committee at this eleventh hour, the church representatives and the group of lawyers who complain about certain provisions of the Charter, concerning the protection of the right to privacy, need to be reminded of the history and purport of those provisions as they were developed.
First, those provisions are to the same effect as those that are contained in the recommendations of the Constitutional Commission of the early 1990s, under the chairmanship of Dr. Lloyd Barnett, in their draft Bill on the Charter

Second, the Joint Select Committee that sat for a long time to consider the Charter provisions, in the late 1990s, heard presentations from groups who take a completely opposite view to that taken by the church representatives and group of lawyers. Those entities, including J-FLAG, even though approaching the matter from the base of a different provision in the Bill, were of the view that the Charter should move away from the recommendations of the Constitutional Commission on this score and that there should be no discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.

The Joint Select Committee did not agree that such a recommendation should be made to Parliament since it saw such a measure as opening the door to the legalisation, or at least, the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Third, the Parliamentary Opposition tabled a Charter of Rights Bill in the name of its former leader, in which the provisions of which the church representatives and group of lawyers now complain are in the same terms as those recommended by the Constitutional Commission that was chaired by Dr. Barnett.

The church representatives and group of lawyers ought to be mindful of the following:
• It is not possible to have a policeman placed in every bedroom in Jamaica. So that, within the confines of a person’s home, this particular mischief cannot be prevented or punished except, of course, someone complains.

• Every provision in a law or a constitution is subject to interpretation by judges. Interpretation of laws, however narrowly or broadly drafted, is always coloured by the experience, culture and prevailing circumstances by which the interpreter is guided in coming to a conclusion. That is one of the reasons why the final interpreter of a country’s laws and constitutional provisions should be exposed to and be keenly aware of the socio-cultural imperatives that must guide his decision.

Senator A.J. Nicholson, Q.C.

Men raping men (Flashback) 26.04.08

(Sunday Herald)

Traditionally, females overwhelmingly dominate the number of rape victims. But reports emerging from the homosexual community are that members of that community are being ravished by sex-hungry homosexual and even heterosexual men.

The disclosures have raised fresh concerns among local health authorities who are busy fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in among the homosexual community and the country overall.

The disclosures of increased sexual attacks on homosexuals were made at a three-day training workshop for journalists held by Panos Institute Caribbean and the National HIV/STI Control Programme of the Ministry of Health, in Ocho Rios St. Ann, which ended yesterday. The workshop was aimed at informing journalists on how to effectively report on issues surrounding HV/AIDS.

Based on the reports, some homosexuals were taking advantage of the fear of discrimination and ridicule by male victims to report incidents of rape to the police. Hence, some homosexuals were being targeted and abused.

Data from groups such as Panos Institute Caribbean pointed to an estimated 9,000 to 27,000 homosexuals in Jamaica, out of a population in the region of 2.7 million.

Members of the gay community who preferred to be described as men having sex with men (MSM), gave gripping and gruesome tales at the workshop, of sexual attacks against homosexuals. Because most of the attacks were not reported, authorities have been unable to provide data on what, by the accounts given, was a worrying trend.

“Yes, it is a problem in our community,” said one of the three men who participated in the workshop and provided valuable insights on issues surrounding the MSM community and how the group was dealing with issues relating to HIV/AIDS.

Interestingly, according to one participant, heterosexual men were among the perpetrators of the acts of rape being committed on homosexuals.

Information from several international HIV/AIDS support group indicates that between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of the homosexuals in Jamaica were HIV-positive.

The authorities, in trying to reach out to members of gay community, said they continued to face a number of major hurdles, triggered mostly by the stigma surrounding homosexuals.

According to Panos, a higher HIV prevalence has been recorded in vulnerable groups such as sex workers, MSMs, crack/cocaine users and prison inmates.

“Universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support: Understanding the issues; working towards the goals”, was the theme of the workshop.

Custom, science and lesbianism (Flashback 26.01.08)

(Sunday Herald)

As a general rule, any mention of homosexuality evokes thoughts of male same sex relations. However, what of the females that are so engaged with persons of their own sex.

Lesbians are homosexual women who engage in same sex relationships. The Concise Oxford Dictionary 9th edition will show that the word lesbian came from the Greek word “Lesbos”, being an island in the Aegean Sea where the poetess Sappho lived. It is alleged that she was engaged in homosexuality.

Children usually learn pretty early that it is not okay to be a homosexual. However, certainly for us in Jamaica, the hostility towards female homosexuality is usually less than the hostility to male homosexuality. For this reason, male homosexuals have had it to say that they are being discriminated against when compared to their female counterparts.

I wonder whether the softer approach to female homosexuality has its roots in the traditional roles held by women in society. Historically, women were typically regarded as playing a lesser or supporting role to men. Hence any practices they engaged in that were considered abnormal may not have attracted as much attention as when a man did it.

Many calls have been made, usually from special interests, to re-look at homosexuality with a view to changing the laws that criminalise the practice. However, many Jamaicans appear to be unaware that under our law, the legal barriers are mainly against male homosexual expression and not against lesbianism. The Jamaican buggery laws as they are commonly termed, only punish male homosexual acts. Of course marriage and common-law union rights are restricted to heterosexual relations. Under Barbadian law, lesbian acts can attract a prison term of up to 10 years, and in that same island, the offence of buggery attracts life imprisonment. In Jamaica, the maximum penalty for buggery is 10 years in prison.

Science and lesbianism
Studies continue to look at the causes of lesbianism and some have been suggestive of a biological root. In one recent study on finger length patterns, it was said that lesbians are more likely to have male finger like patterns than straight women.

Whilst it is true that some straight women also had finger patterns similar to men and the measure between the patterns were very small, researchers indicated that the findings point to a biological cause for lesbianism.

In another study it was reported that lesbians are more likely to have hormonal imbalance that leads to infertility. This too suggested a biological cause. No doubt research will continue in this area.

As it relates to how lesbians relate and express themselves, it should be noted that whereas male homosexuals appear to be more oriented to physical expression, lesbians tend to be more emotional in theirs.

It is said that lesbians tend to have longer-term relationships than their male counterparts. Where sex is a part of the lesbian relationship, it is primarily an expression of the emotional bond between the two. However this does not mean that there may not be times of insecurity, possessiveness and manipulation in the relationship.

There have also been cases where the lovers become enmeshed in an emotionally dependent relationship where one or both parties find it difficult to live without the other. Some relate that they had unhealthy relationships with their mothers or that their mothers were weak women who allowed the men in the lives to abuse them in one way or the other.

Then there is the more popularly held view that some lesbians were raped or abused by men and hence they find relationships with women safer.

Lesbianism and society
Some still have the perception that lesbians are mostly masculine looking women. That is only true in some cases. Some lesbians are very feminine and like being women. You may even have one as a family member, friend, neighbour, colleague, employer or employee and not know. The traditional leeway given to women to express affection publicly, assists in keeping the reality of such relations hidden. The lessened horror expressed towards lesbians also allows for more favourable media attention in the form of sexually explicit movies and so forth.

As it relates to watching sexual activity, it is not unusual for straight men to enjoy seeing women kiss each other on screen or live. A threesome is also considered enjoyable, assuming it is two women with one man. I was talking to a group of fellows last year and lesbianism was one of the topics discussed. Only one of them said that as a man he is strongly against seeing two women kiss each other. The other guys appeared somewhat indifferent to the thought and tended to ignore the morality of the matter.

Most opposition to lesbian relations tends to come from religious groups. Most church groups within Judeo-Christianity frown on such practices for the reason that they are not only regarded as sinful, but are said to be not in keeping with God’s original intent for human beings. Indeed some Christians, irrespective of the various studies and theories of lesbian formation, would conclude that if God through the Messiah could raise mankind from the dead, then why couldn’t He change a lesbian as he would a thief or a liar. Of course not everyone holds to such spiritual positions and even some persons of faith do not necessarily share such approaches to human sexuality. Churches that cater to gays and lesbians, in looking at the Holy Scriptures, have their own interpretations. Mainline churches in some parts of the world have for instance taken votes on whether openly gay clergy should be permitted to serve.

The penetration of the homosexual influence is increasing and appears to be strengthened by both subliminal and some not so subliminal messages in various media. In Jamaica, there also seems to be an increase in lesbian activity in a few high schools for girls.

As the pendulum swings in the Western world, it is not unforeseeable that the calls to normalise lesbian relations will increase. It is said that in the time of the ancient Greeks, homosexuality was accepted. Could we see the day when there is a return to this kind of acceptance, at least where women are concerned? The jury is out on that one and we await the verdict.

Stokeley Marshall is an attorney-at-law. He may be reached at

Debate on sexual offences bill continues

Alicia Dunkley (Jamaica Observer)

DEBATE on the Sexual Offences Bill continued in Gordon House last week with lawmakers making additional recommendations as to how it could be further tightened before being passed into law.

Debate on the bill, which will amalgamate all laws dealing with rape, incest and other sex crimes, began in the House of Representatives on January 27. It will abolish the Incest (Punishment) Act and several provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act and has been in gestation for some 14 years.

Opposition Senator KD Knight, speaking during the debate in the Senate on Friday, said the painstaking review of the provisions was not to be seen as an attempt to delay the legislation but rather to avoid passing a weak law only to have sections of it successfully challenged in court, leaving offenders to go scot-free.

He said pertinent to the success of the legislation would be the investigative capabilities and proper infrastructure in the police force. In addition, Knight said the Act should criminalise instances where an individual who has a sexually transmitted infection and knows, still engages in sexual intercourse with their mate without telling them.

"It should be criminalised," he said.

Government Senator Hyacinth Bennett, citing concern over the 7,463 reported rapes between 2000 and 2008 and the 316 buggery cases over the same period, said the issue of sexual intercourse and gender identity needed to be settled in the bill.

Noting that under section two of the bill, 'sexual intercourse" is defined as the penetration of the vagina of one person by the penis of the other person, Bennett said given the times it should be specified that the sexual organs to which reference is being made are those present from birth.

"The sex organs should not include surgically constructed sex organs under circumstances such as where a person underwent a sex change," she noted. "It is conceivable that a man can claim to change his gender to that of a woman and have a vagina surgically constructed and then seek to be covered under the definition of sexual intercourse; maybe someone could even rename their sex organ as that of the opposite gender without surgery based on their change in gender identity."

Bennett added that given modern thinking in which gender identity relates more to which sex you identify with or how the person views himself or herself, "a person could try to challenge the very meaning of 'he' and 'she'.

"The definition of sexual intercourse must guard against these possibilities," she said.

In addition, the Senator said a reference to anal intercourse in the same sentence as sexual intercourse in section 24 of the bill "as if to say there were alternative forms of sexual intercourse" must be cleared up posthaste.

"So as not to cause any uncertainty as to what is meant by sexual intercourse, I would respectfully ask that what is referred to in Section 24 as anal intercourse be replaced with buggery which has always been used to describe such acts," Bennett insisted.

Furthermore, she noted that the act should make it clear buggery is a crime whether or not the participants consent to the act.

Opposition Senator Sandrea Falconer called for further resources for the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), formally the Rape Unit to help make the act more effective, noting that the unit is currently severely understaffed with only 24 of the more than 40 personnel required. There is, too, a lack of female gynaecologists, she said.

The Debate continues next Friday.- 04.07.09

Child sexual abuse and underdevelopment

Glenda Simms

According to the report carried in the June 1 edition of The Gleaner, officials of the Ministry of Health have statistics that highlight "the risky sexual behaviour of children under 14". Luke Douglas, in an Observer report, said a recent study had revealed that children under 14 have up to six sex partners.

Apparently, this situation was placed on the public agenda at a discussion on issues relevant to HIV/STI programmes in the country. By now, it should be obvious to all those responsible for the status and well-being of Jamaica's children that the research made public by Dr Kevin Harvey is the definitive 'red flag', signalling one of the major roadblocks to sustainable human and economic development. The findings speak to the status of children in general, and the continuing brutality against the girl child in particular.

The following sex-disaggregated facts were highlighted in Douglas' report:

Sexually active boys did not use condoms on the occasion of their most recent sexual encounters.

Twelve per cent of the 3,000 ten-14 year-old children surveyed are sexually active.

Fifty per cent of these sexually active children have two or more sex partners.

Eighteen per cent of these under-14 children in the study said they had at least six partners.

Nine per cent of the boys and 24 per cent of the girls in the study were forced to have sex on the first occasion.

The same situation of forced sex was also reported by teens in the 15-19 age band.

Girls 15-19 are at three times higher risk of the HIV/STI infections than males in the same age group.

It would appear that these alarming facts, gleaned from the Ministry of Health's research, run the risk of providing another nine-day wonder headline. As with many other difficult but important social issues, these revelations on the involvement of significant numbers of children in risky and early sexual activities could end up being among the many issues that are politely ignored.

multiple sex partners

However, at all levels of the society, we must understand that young children having sex in the first place, and by extension, having multiple sex partners, is a threat to the foundation of development in any society.

While child-development experts and observant parents recognise, through scientific research and instinctive understanding, that young children have early recognition of their sexual organs as areas of comfort and pleasure, it is also universally understood and established that children's bodies must not be exposed to any sexual activity that is defined by or related to adult modes of sexuality.

It is not enough for the policymakers in the private, public and faith-based sectors to just "be shocked" by the fact that our children are having sex with a variety of persons. This is not just a simple story of 'bad gals', or even 'bad boys'. This is a horrific story of arrested lives, reduced human potential and gross personal and societal underdevelopment.

It is also not surprising that the majority of children having sex are girls. This gender divide in the loss of innocence continues to haunt and retard Jamaica's transition from an underdeveloped to a developed society. It also prevents the nation from achieving the key Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The time has come for the entire Jamaican society to confront the high and enduring levels of damage caused to children and women by sexual abuse.

While it might be seductive to think that children are voluntarily having sex, and with multiple partners, we now need to be informed by research that probes the following questions:

Why are girls overrepresented among sexually active children?

Who are the multiple sex partners of these little girls?

What is the age range of these so-called partners of the girl child?

Are the sexual partners of little boys other little boys, little girls, adult women, or adult men?

What socio-economic strata are these children from?

What is the profile of their family form and circumstance - single parent, poor housing, lack of privacy, age and educational attainment of mother, school attendance record, rural/urban divide and exposure to sexual abuse and adult sexual practices in the home and community, etc?


We also need to find out the purpose of children's sexual activities.

For instance, it might be enlightening to probe whether children are bartering sex for spare change, bling-bling gadgets, food, or other material goodies.

In other words, are the sex-driven children preparing themselves to be the good-time boys and girls for the predators, the pimps and the sleazy underworld of Jamaica and the wider geographical region?

These questions need to be answered because the Jamaican society needs to understand that when young children are forced, by whatever circumstance, to have sex before they are physically, emotionally, spiritually and cognitively ready for such life experiences, the society is culpable of serious child neglect and inhumane abuse.

The society will also have to face the social and economic stress of ill-health, early pregnancies, maternal mortality, illegal abortions, the spread of HIV and other STIs, and a large band of dysfunctional young women who will be eternally searching for their girlhood

The state of our children in the Jamaican society should wake up the policymakers to the realisation that immediate, effective and gender-sensitive interventions must be put in place by the relevant authorities so that this human and developmental tragedy can be addressed in meaningful ways.

The time has come for us to go beyond the hype and sloganeering and find the right path out of the morass of an over-sexualised population.

Glenda Simms is a consultant on gender issues.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

USA HIV Travel Ban to Be Lifted

The first step to ending the HIV travel ban in the United States has been taken by the Obama administration. The Office of Management and Budget posted a notice on its site Friday afternoon indicating that the department of Health and Human Services could move forward with steps to change a regulation that has restricted HIV-positive people from gaining entrance into the United States.

The proposed change will likely have an impact on both travel and immigration to the United States. Under current regulations, non-U.S. citizens who are HIV-positive cannot travel to the United States unless they are granted a waiver by the Department of Homeland Security. Immigrants have also been required to be tested for HIV.

The actual regulatory change, however, will not be available until next week, and advocates are waiting to analyze the exact language.

“We won’t know all of the details until the HHS regulation is posted,” said Steve Ralls, communications director for Immigration Equality. “Congress’s intent was clear that this should be a clean lift of the ban -- our hope is that will be reflected in the HHS regulation.”
Congress passed the policy change last summer but the Bush administration was unable to implement the shift before leaving office. The actual change, however, will likely not go into effect until sometime later this year.

Once HHS publishes the new regulation in the federal registry next week, a 45-day window will be opened for public comment, after which HHS may make adjustments to the proposal and send it back to OMB for budgetary approval. After OMB green-lights the final regulation, HHS will once again enter the change into the federal registry for another 30- or 60-day review period, at which point it will automatically go into effect. In theory, Congress could act to block the change during that time, but that seems highly unlikely in this case.
All of which pushes the change into mid fall at the earliest.

“We’re hoping it will take effect by the end of the year!” said Ralls.
So turn the wheels of government.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Convention Rights - Article 9 Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion

Not all of the rights set out in the Convention and its Protocols are incorporated into British law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The HRA only incorporates the rights in Articles 2 to 12 and in Article 14 of the Convention, plus those in the First and Sixth Protocols. The incorporated rights are set out in the First Schedule to the HRA and are referred to as ‘Convention rights’.

The HRA does not incorporate Article 13 of the Convention. Article 13 provides that people whose rights under the Convention have been breached should have the right to effective redress. The Government did not include Article 13 in the HRA, as it took the view that the HRA itself would meet the requirements of the article by giving people the right to take proceedings in the British courts if they considered that their Convention rights had been breached.

There are three different categories of Convention rights. They are

Absolute rights

Qualified rights

Limited rights

Absolute rights cannot be infringed under any circumstances. Article 3 – Prohibition of torture is a good example of an absolute right. Under no circumstances can torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment be lawful under this article – it provides absolute protection.

Qualified rights are rights that the state can lawfully interfere with in certain circumstances. Generally in such articles, the right is set out at the start and then qualified by certain criteria, such as whether the interference is in accordance with the law; is in pursuit of a legitimate aim; and whether it is necessary in a democratic society. Examples of such rights include the right to respect for your private life, under Article 8,or the right to freedom of expression under Article 10.

Article 5 – Right to liberty and security is a limited right. This means that the circumstances in which this right can be limited are set out in the text of the article itself. . This means that it will be unlawful for the state to deprive you of your liberty unless this is in a way that is expressly permitted by Article 5.

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 9 guarantees that you can think what you want and can hold any religious or non-religious belief that you wish. It therefore protects religious belief and the beliefs of atheists, agnostics and those that are indifferent to religion, alike. You cannot be forced to follow or practice a particular religion and cannot be prevented from changing your religion. You are also protected from indoctrination by the State. This part of Article 9 is an absolute right and can never be interfered with.

For your beliefs to be protected they must be part of a sufficiently coherent philosophical scheme. Beliefs such as veganism and pacifism have been held to fall within the protection afforded by Article 9.

Article 9 also protects the right to manifest your religion or beliefs in worship, teaching, practice or observance whether alone or with others and whether in public or private. This aspect of Article 9 however, is a qualified right which means that an interference with the right can be justified in certain circumstances. The circumstances in which an interference can be justified are similar to those which justify an interference with rights under Article 8 and include the aim of protecting the rights and freedoms of others and public order.

The Rights of Immigrants: The European Convention on Human Rights

It became unlawful for any public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with an individual’s rights under the Convention. ‘Public authority’ in this context includes not only the Home Office and Immigration Officers, but may also include private companies fulfilling a ‘public’ function. The most obvious example in the context of immigration and asylum law are private companies charged with the running of immigration detention centres or privately contracted interpreters employed in asylum interviews.

The protection provided by the Convention applies to every person within the jurisdiction of the UK authorities, irrespective of whether they have leave to enter or remain in the UK. Most importantly, it includes those who have been granted temporary admission, which means that even though they are physically present in the UK, in law they are not deemed to have actually ever been given permission to enter the UK.

Consequently all immigration decisions taken by the Secretary of State, Immigration Officers or entry clearance officers after the 2 October 2000 are subject to a separate right of appeal and/or cause of action for breach of the Convention. Case law makes it clear that nobody is to be deported or removed if such action would be contrary to the UK’s obligations under Article 3 of the Convention.

Further under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, although there is no free standing appeal, human rights can be introduced as a discrete ground of appeal when challenging any immigration decision, and where such a decision is held to be incompatible with the UK’s convention obligations, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave to enter or remain will ordinarily be extended, although the Immigration Rules do not provide for it.

The Principal Rights

Article 3 of the Convention prohibits torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This provision not only protects against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment inflicted by British public authorities but also protects against the removal of any individual to a country where there is a real risk of that individual suffering treatment that would amount to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Unlike the CSR, the protection offered by Article 3 is absolute and applies regardless of the individual’s immigration history or criminal record.

When seeking to determine the legality of a decision by the Home Office to detain a person subject to immigration control, Article 5 of the Convention, which protects the right to liberty and security of the person, may be invoked. The courts have found the UK’s Immigration Detention procedures, as set down in the Home Offices ‘Operational Guidance Manual’, to be generally compatible with Article 5, and can properly be regarded as representing the Secretary of State’s view of what is proportionate. However, by necessary inference detention in contravention of that policy must be regarded as a breach of Article 5 on the grounds that it is disproportionate.

Article 8 provides the right to respect for private and family life. The concept of ‘family’ in the context of Article 8 is wide and includes spouses, children (whether legitimate or illegitimate), and relatives in the ascending line, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles and even foster parents, provided the emotional ties between family members can be shown to be very strong. In relation to children, even natural fathers who have had little or no contact with their children since their birth can enjoy a right to family life with those children. Although Article 8 is particularly important in the case of removal or refusal of admission of a spouse or parents (or other family member) of an individual who has a right of residence in the UK, there are two important notes of caution:

Even though there is a right to respect for family life this, in principle, does not extend to a right to respect for the choice of marital or family home. Where there is an alternative country in which the spouses/family can reside and there are no ‘insurmountable obstacles’ to relocation and settlement there, or where a person subject to immigration control could return to the country of origin and obtain entry clearance as a family member in the ordinary way without risk or excessive delay, declining residence in the UK may not amount to an interference with the right to respect for family life.

Unlike Article 3, the protection of the right to respect for private and family life is not absolute. Interferences can be justified in law provided that the interference is prescribed by law, in the pursuit of a legitimate aim and proportionate. Any decision involving Article 8 therefore includes a sometimes difficult balancing act between the different interests involved.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Joint Select Cmt 2006 on The Charter of Rights - Freedom From Discrimination

Section 13(3)(i)

The provision in the bill as the proposed section (above) of the Constitution guarantees the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of:

Sex - male or female (as recommended by the previous committee in December 2001 on page 28 of the previous report.)
Race, place of origin, social class, colour, religion or political opinions

The word "sex" rather than "gender" which had been used in the Commission's draft was based on a proposal by The Coalition for Community Participation in Governance and was regarded as being the more appropriate word having regard to definitions of the words, sex and gender given in the Oxford Concise Dictionary. The words "that is to say male and female" were included to ensure that the word "sex" would not be interpreted to include sexual orientation.

Opposition members of this joint select committee however stated their preference for the word "gender" which they argued should replace the word "sex" and regarded the words "that is to say male and female" as inelegant an in any event unnecessary.

In response the reformulated was devised:

the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of
1). being male and female

It was reconsidered at the meeting of the Consultation group and was ascertained that the word "gender" is not invariably used in the International Human Rights instruments. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 2 and the American Declaration of The Rights and Freedoms of Man, article 11 the word "sex" is used. It was then proposed to the committee that the suggested reformulation of the provision be adopted and the Committee agreed.

Consideration was given to same sex marriage in relation to the proposed section 13(3)(i). That issue was raised by the Lawyer's Christian Council in written submissions to the Committee in 2006 also with the National Church Alliance and Concerned Citizens. It was pointed out in those submissions that the same sex marriages were legalized in Canada by an act of Parliament which formalized certain decisions of the Canadian Courts in a number of cases including the 2003 decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal in the case of Halpern v Attorney General of Canada and the 2004 case of Catholic Civil Rights League vs Hendriks in which common law definition of marriage derived from the 1866 House of Lords decision in the case of Hyde vs Hyde as the revolutionary union for life one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others was held to be unconstitutional as contravening the equality provision in section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter.

the provision is as follows:
Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

It is clear from the decisions of the Canadian courts over the years having regard to the words "and, in particular" in section 15(1) of the Canadian charter, the grounds of discrimination enumerated in that provision namely, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability, are not exhaustive and that grounds analogous to those enumerated are also covered by the provision. A ground which has been held to be analogous to the enumerated grounds is the grounds of sexual orientation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Homeless MSM in Jamaica

In a forum recently planned for Gay homeless young men organised by a concerned group many of the young men's plights were discussed and possible solutions to begin to address the problem.

In a frank and open discussion the men mostly aged in their early to mid twenties explained in detail their day to day ways of surviving the streets:

1). securing food by begging or shared purchases

2). hiding from would be predators (usually other more powerful homeless males)

3). harassment from police

4). harassment and ridicule from members of the public

5). physical attacks by security guards on nearby premises

6). homophobic attacks from other homeless boys and bikers who roam the streets at night

7). Older, more powerful and experienced bisexual and gay gangstas on the street prey on them for sexual favours, relieving them of money or gifts

Most of the MSMs were displaced because of their sexual preference becoming public knowledge hence they are chased from their homes by family or community members sometimes under threat of death if they should return.

Others lose their jobs for the same reasons and end up struggling to rebuild their lives mostly in fear of being discovered while doing so. The goals and ambitions are laudable with some already possessing skills in the arts and trades (chefs etc).

The men however support each other by way of sharing food and clothing when they receive gifts and money or just emotional kind by talking and making each other aware of their whereabouts.

Emotional development was a factor that was discussed at length which was found to be too heavy at first but it got more simplistic as the exchange continued.

It is hoped that from this first step would be the birth of a continued exercise to rescue these young men and make them into productive and confident human beings.


Debate on Sexual Offences Bill Continues in Senate

Government Senator, Dennis Meadows, has suggested limitations on the types of cases for which persons could be listed in the Sexual Offenders Register proposed under the Sexual Offences Bill.

"I suggest we look at levels of registration, and what degrees of registration should be accessible to the public," he said, noting that the levels of registration should vary according to the degree of the offence.

Senator Meadows was speaking in the Senate on Friday, as the debate continued on the Sexual Offences bill, which seeks to bring under one umbrella various laws relating to rape, incest and other sexual offences. It also provides for the establishment of a Sex Offender Registry, which will maintain a register of sex offenders to be known as the Sex Offenders Register.

Senator Meadows however, said that while the registers are designed to protect and alert the public to the dangers and whereabouts of the offenders, there has been no evidence that mandatory registration has made any society safer.

Opposition Senator A.J. Nicholson cited the move to establish the Sex Offender Registry at the same time as the enactment of the Bill, as the cause of the continued delay in the enactment of the Sexual Offences Act.

"All that is to be accomplished by the passage of this Bill, is for legislative approval to be given for the establishment of a Registry. A combination of Clauses 29 (4) and 38 requires that such a Registry cannot become functional, until and unless the necessary regulations to underpin its workings are developed and presented and passed by both Houses of Parliament," Senator Nicholson stated.

Opposition member, Senator Norman Grant welcomed the Sex Offenders Registry as an important component of the Bill.

"I think it can also help to deal with the issues that we have highlighted, as it relates to the constant assault on our young people," he said.

However, Senator Grant felt that, because the registry is so urgent, a supplementary Act should have been drafted, called the Sex Offenders Registry Act, dealing specifically with the operational issues that will make it implementable.

Turning to the matter of sexual offences committed within the institution of marriage, Senator Meadows said that he was of the belief that these offences could not be equated with other sexual offences within the Bill.

He suggested that Section 5, which deals with marital rape, be removed and possibly treated under the Domestic Violence Act.

He suggested too that marital rape, be treated as a grievous sexual assault making it a gender neutral offence, as he was of the view that women are also capable of committing rape, as well.

Opposition Senator, Mark Golding, also pointed to discrepancies in the Bill in relation to marital rape. He said that Section 5 of the Bill was more restrictive of the rights of wives than the common law now is, because it specifies five limited circumstances in which a husband commits the offence of rape against his wife.

Those circumstances are where the couple have separated; there is a separation agreement between them; proceedings for divorce, or a decree of nullity of the marriage has been filed; a court order has been made against the husband for non-cohabitation, non-molestation, or ousted from the home; or, the husband knows that he has a sexually transmitted disease.

Opposition Senator, Navel Clarke, though declaring support for the Bill, raised issues relating to grievous sexual assault, as well as the power of search and the effect of the provisions on current buggery laws.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sexual Offences Bill out of touch with reality (Observer Letter 15.06.09)

check out this interesting observation by Families Against State Terrorism convener Ms Yvonne Sobers.........

Dear Editor,
We live in a region with a 50 per cent rate of HIV/AIDS infection that is second only to Africa. This epidemic has taken lives, orphaned children, and set back social and economic progress for present and future generations. Yet, we have a Sexual Offences Bill, now before the Senate, that could further drive the spread of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.

Unprotected heterosexual sex is the main route to HIV/AIDS transmission in the Caribbean, with unprotected homosexual sex a critical factor.

According to a 2007 report on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, cultural factors are fuelling the epidemic in high-risk groups (prostitutes and men who have sex with men). In addition, a 2008 study commissioned by the Ministry of Health showed that about one-third of men who have sex with men were also having sex with multiple female partners.

The Ministry of Health cannot now deliver services to these high-risk groups under current laws, let alone the even more stringent laws about to be introduced under the Sexual Offences Bill. For example, under this new Bill:

. A man who is convicted of buggery (having consensual anal sex with a man or a woman) may now be listed as a sex offender after his 10-year prison sentence ends.

. A woman who is convicted of prostitution (having consensual commercial sex) may be fined up to $500,000 and be imprisoned for up to five years. Anyone who lives with a prostitute, or is seen in her company, can be arrested and suffer the same penalties as the prostitute.

Leaders in Jamaica's programme for the control of HIV/AIDS, notably Dr Peter Figueroa and more recently Dr Kevin Harvey, have long called for the repeal of laws criminalising anal sex and prostitution. Further, the African tragedy shows how urgently we need to prevent rather than foment an epidemic that infects about 20,000 Caribbean people each year.

It is certainly in our interest as a society to avoid introducing laws almost guaranteed to worsen a potential epidemic. Let us therefore demand of our senators that they question a Sexual Offences Bill that is out of touch with 21st century life and death realities.

Yvonne McCalla Sobers

Opposition unimpressed with 'painful and troubled' passage of Sexual Offences Bill

LEADER of Opposition Business in the Senate, Senator AJ Nicholson, has attributed the "painful and troubled" passage of the Sexual Offences Bill to sheer hard-headedness on the part of the Government.

Debate on the Bill, which will repeal the Incest (Punishment) Act and several provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act, dates back to 1995 when an Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Bill and an Incest (Punishment) (Amendment) Bill, covering rape, incest and other sexual offences were tabled and referred to a Joint Select Committee. That committee failed to reach an agreement on several amendments, and the bills fell off the Order Paper of the House at prorogation.

They remained stagnant until retabled by Nicholson in 2006 and referred to another Joint Select committee whose report also fell off the Order Paper prior to the 2007 general election, which the Jamaica Labour Party won.

Speaking once again during the debate on the amalgamated Bill in the Senate on Friday, Nicholson argued that the stubborn refusal by the Government to follow the tradition of debating reports of joint select committees had given rise to a number of consequences "including the struggle the Bill continues to encounter through Parliament".

The former Attorney General said such a debate would have given parliamentarians the opportunity to gain a proper understanding of the concepts used and have input in the content of the Bill as well as provide further insight for the drafters.

"The outright rejection by the government of the urgings of the Opposition to debate the report has given rise to a nest of quite avoidable problems," Nicholson said, noting that one such recommendation to pass the Bill and enact separate legislation to establish the Sex Offender's Registry, had been slighted by the Government to its own peril.

"The joint select committee specifically warned against any such route being taken, for it would delay the entire process, as we have seen come to pass," Nicholson rebuked.
"One is left to wonder at the slighting of such a powerful recommendation; it has caused continuing delay in the enactment of the Act," he said.

"The Opposition is by no means impressed by the process that has been adopted by the government since that report was tabled in June 2007; the route taken has caused avoidable delays, a meandering and troubled journey through the Houses," Nicholson said, pointing out that even after the Senate had deliberated, the Lower House would also be perusing the provision.

"We dare to hope it will not come back to us seeking our approval for further changes," he said.

In the meantime, he said the Opposition would prefer if the offence of Rape in the Act had been dealt with under a separate section from the offence of Grievous Sexual Assault. He further suggested that the term Indecent Assault used in the Bill in relation to sexual offences against children be defined.

In addition, Nicholson said attention should be paid to the use of the word intercourse and penetration in section four of the Bill so as to avoid giving license to buggery unwittingly.

"Intercourse is to be used in relation to sexual intercourse, other activities are referred to as penetration of the victim and we note several references where the word penetrates is used instead of intercourse, "Nicholson chided.

"If that change is not made it will not only disrupt the philosophy that undergirds the Bill, it will also leave the door ajar by sending mixed signals ...that door for many reasons must be made to become and remain fully closed in this legislation," he continued.

He was supported by colleague senator Naval Clarke, who said "what we are doing here is giving license to buggery... we have to be careful... we know the majority of the Jamaican public how sensitive they are".

Under the Act, sexual intercourse refers solely to penetration of the vagina by the male organ. Carrying out that act forcibly, constitutes rape. A separate offence - Grievous Sexual Offence - has been created to deal with circumstances where the offender either penetrates the vagina or anus of the victim with a body part other than the penis or with an object or forces another person to do so to the victim. This distinction in a direct attempt to keep buggery, which is punishable in Jamaica with up to 10 years in jail at hard labour, an offence.

The Sexual Offences Bill provides for, among other things:
. a statutory definition of rape;

. the abolition of the common law presumption that a boy under 14 years old is incapable of committing rape;

. protecting the anonymity of the complainant; and

. for the offence of rape to be gender-neutral meaning it can be committed by either male or female and against both male and female.

It also sets out the circumstances under which a spouse who has sexual intercourse with the other spouse without the spouse's consent will have committed the offence of rape.

The debate continues next Friday.


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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:

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