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

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rome is right - no gay priests (Observer Letter)


Dear Editor,

I commend the Vicariate of Rome for wanting gay priests out of the closet and out of the Catholic Church.

Homosexuality is abnormal, immoral and anti-life. It is not innate as some believe. Sexual orientation is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration. Dr Francis Collins, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work sequencing the human genetic code has proved that homosexuality is not genetically "hardwired". The Bible condemns homosexuality outright.

Scientific studies have also proved that homosexuality is linked to paedophilia. For example, a 1992 study in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that homosexual men are three times more likely than straight men to engage in paedophilia.

A 1988 study of 229 convicted child molesters published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour found that 86 per cent of paedophiles described themselves as homosexual or bisexual. Dr Richard Fitzgibbons, a US psychiatrist with vast experience in treating priests with paedophilia, recently stated: "Every priest whom I treated who was involved with children sexually had previously been involved in adult homosexual relationships."

Dr Michelle Cretella, a board member of the American College of Paediatricians, also concluded from several studies that homosexually behaving teens and young adults suffer increased rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions and suicidal thoughts. In addition, she found that boys who adopt a homosexual lifestyle because of the influence of their same-sex parents face a 30 per cent chance of being dead or HIV positive by age 30.

Paul Kokoski



Apparently Mr. Paul Kokoski is no stranger to media in his letters and utterances as has been to my GJW's attention in a poignant post on their website worth reading and archiving. It depicts a clear trend in Mr Kokoski's points of view from Jamaican newspapers to all the way in the Arab world as well from as early as 2006.

Have a read here

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A response to Ian Boyne's piece - ‘Do Gays Have a Choice?’


On Noverber 15, 2009, the Sunday Gleaner published an article written by Ian Boyne entitled ‘Do gays have a choice‘. The following response is an open letter to the writer.


Hello Mr. Boyne,

I am a faithful reader of your work in the Gleaner. Last year I read the piece, ‘Do gays have a choice?’, but it wasn’t until today when a friend reposted in on a blog that I felt compelled to respond.

I feel a little queasy. The tone of the piece concerns me. And it’s not because I have ‘scant respect for the canons of reasons.’ From what I gather, your commentary is a well articulated opposition to what you term ‘the propaganda war’ of the ‘powerful Gay Rights Lobby’. Your words flow so eloquently that people might forget that not all the information that gay rights groups disseminate is propaganda, and that not all gay men are organized in powerful lobby groups- though, that is the assumption many Jamaicans have of gays in the developed world. Surely, you can appreciate how misleading Jamaicans in this way serves to affirm their views on homosexuality, which are often as ‘irredeemably intolerant, glandular and visceral’ as you describe many gay people.

So, scientists haven’t discovered a gay gene. It is well established, however, that the factors that determine sexual orientation are complex. It is dangerous to reduce understandings of sexuality to the age-old ‘nature’ vs. ‘nurture’ argument. Like you, I find it hard to think that ‘nurture’ could have any profound impact in a place like Jamaica, where we are indisputably nurtured (for want of a stronger term) to be heterosexual. I can promise you, Ian, that many of us try to change. Your citing that change is indeed possible, though enormously challenging, might just encourage some LGBT people, who have been socialized to hate their sexual selves, to try a little harder. Psychologists have long documented that such efforts are quite self-destructive- you acknowledged this in the article.

The piece ends with a series of questions challenging ‘gay’ logic. I don’t appreciate the generalization. Further, I can’t help but be concerned with the way you phrased the leading questions- for the sake of argument. You likened homosexuality to pedophilia and incest in the penultimate section (as taboo sexual relations that people have strong urges to do, but that we continue to proscribe- and supposedly should continue to proscribe), catering heavily to the slippery slope argument that is often used to thwart advances of pro-LGBT legislation. The right to privacy and protections from harassment and abuse shouldn’t be granted only after the ‘born gay’ question is answered. These are matters of citizenship and human rights.

The few comments on the post tell the story of the message conveyed by the article. Perhaps you think too highly of your audience’s intelligence. You have unknowingly bolstered blatantly homophobic positions, though your original intention was to facilitate ‘a cold, rational, dispassionate discourse on [not against] homosexuality.’ Gay people fight long and hard in their powerful lobbies, advocating for a host of rights, but they don’t always speak for Jamaicans. Many gays and lesbians here would be content with the right to live and the right to self-determination. Surely, we don’t need to be organized in a powerful, overbearing, propaganda wielding lobby for you or anyone else to understand this.

I have long stopped trying to persuade people that I am ‘normal’. I have discovered that the most effective way to end homophobic rhetoric is by coming out to people. It’s difficult to say ‘dem fi ded’, when one knows that their brother, or their daughter is gay- all the rationalizing, moralizing and philosophizing diminishes in importance. Love is the most convincing argument for the tolerance and acceptance of same-sex loving people. So, do gays have a choice? I don’t know. But I know that I am gay, and I don’t think the answer to that question should affect how people regard my right to live and love a consenting adult male.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gender identity is a sign of a human diversity

Dr. Lalit kishore

Masculinity and femininity need to be taken as reflection of one?s traits and behaviour pattern as male and female, irrespective of one?s biological determination. Instead of the sexual identity, many feel that we must move towards gender identity

MANY GENDER experts feel that now marriage needs to be regarded as a union between two persons based upon their partnership preference and gender identity rather than hetrosexuality. Masculinity and femininity need to be taken as the reflection of one’s traits and behaviour pattern as male and female, irrespective of one’s sex or biological determination.

Instead of sexual identity, many feel that we must move towards gender identity, which is the internal private experience of a person. The internal affiliation to maleness or femaleness is a sign of a human diversity, which needs to be respected.

A gay or homosexual is a person whose sexual preferences are the members of his or her own gender.

The comprehensive research surveys indicate the following things in respect of homosexuality. Percentage of human population that has had occasional gay experience: 40 per cent.

Percentage of gays or homosexuals: one per cent.

Out-dated views on homosexuality are:

It is a perversion and a mental illness. It is a criminal offence. Current enlarged view of homosexuality are:

It is an acceptable manifestation of sexual preference of certain individuals without any sociological and clinical judgment on it.

Consequent to this enlarged and informed view, in many countries; homosexuals or gays have been accepted and equally respected as heterosexuality.

It is no more a clinical and social problem as long as an individual is comfortable with his or her sexual preference and accepts it as a natural physiological drive. Only in certain societies wherein homosexuality is seen as a perversion or is prohibited by law, it is seen as a matter of social shame and criminality.

This notion of homosexuality is intrinsically wrong as its current knowledge base informs us.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

5,000 more HIV-infected Jamaicans now need life-saving drug

XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna Austria

with Ingrid Brown

THE recently revised World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines requiring HIV-infected persons to be placed on medication at an earlier stage of the disease will require an additional 5,000 more Jamaicans to be placed on the life-saving drug.

Dr Kevin Harvey, head of Jamaica's National HIV programme, told the Observer here in Vienna that the revised guidelines mean that instead of 10,000 there are 15,000 Jamaicans who will now be required to be placed on ARV.
Of this number only 7,000 persons are currently receiving treatment.

"This (new guidelines) means our coverage would drop from 75 per cent to 50 per cent, hence we have moved from nearly achieving universal access to being half-way there," he explained.

Prior to the revised guidelines persons were only placed on the drug when their CD cell count was 200 and below, but they are now required to take the drug when their CD cell count is at 350.

But with the need for persons to be placed on ARVs earlier, there is great disquiet among infected persons that inability to afford good nutrition will render the drug less effective and result in a shorter life span.

Once placed on ARVs, infected persons must take the drug for the rest of their lives.

According to Dr Harvey, the HIV programme provides small grants for income generation as well as small stipend for bus fares and lunch to those most in need and ready-to-use foods for children.

HIV-positive children need between 50 to 100 per cent more calories, compared to HIV-negative children, while adults need up to 30 per cent more calories as the disease progresses.

In light of this, head of the United Nations World Food Programme Martin Bloem is urging Governments, health care providers and other partners to include a good nutrition programme in the treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS in their respective countries.

"There is a growing body of evidence that food, and nutritional support are essential for keeping people living with HIV for longer and for improving the effectiveness of treatment," said Bloem.

"If people don't have access to food it is hard to take antiretroviral drugs and the risk of going off the treatment rises," he told the Observer.

He pointed out that among malnourished patients who start on ARVs the risk of death is two to six times higher, compared to those who are receiving proper nourishment.

Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci of the United States Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said HIV needs to be addressed directly but also in the context of various other issues surrounding the disease such as lack of proper nutrition for infected persons.

"But we cannot say we will not address AIDS until we address these other problems and vice versa, so we have to address them both," he said.

Asked about placing persons on ARVs earlier than normal given the nutritional challenges, Fauci said malnourished infected persons do badly regardless of what stage they are placed on the life-saving drug.

Meanwhile, he insisted that countries need to also assign large budgets to purchasing ARVs and to ensure that they source cheaper and better drugs.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Clyde McKenzie warns against stupidity of anti-gay lyrics

Shocking Vibes Director, Digicel Rising Star judge and respected music officionado Mr. Clyde McKenzie speaks again on anti gay lyrics timely is this article in the Gleaner 20.07.10 it was only recently he was involved in a radio discussion with another Clyde this time Clyde Williams a human rights lawyer for the Parliamentary opposition, The Peoples National Party, PNP see that post HERE

He was included in a letter to the editor some time ago called Tolerance of Aquiescence?

Also see his instructive call for a truce on GLBTQ Jamaica's Blog as well.

here is the this post's reference piece:
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

Close to the end of his address at last Wednesday's third induction into the Jamaica Music Hall of Fame, Clyde McKenzie moved from the importance of preservation to the impact of free expression.

He was speaking at the Mayfair Hotel, West Kings House Close, St Andrew, as the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates inducted Desmond Dekker and the Aces, the Blues Busters, Don Drummond, Island Records, Burning Spear, Jackie Edwards, Jackie Mittoo, Leslie Kong, Toots and the Maytals and Delroy Wilson.

"We have to be very careful about some things," McKenzie said. "The fact is, putting certain things in the public sphere helps to normalise them. I have said to my artistes, when I used to manage them, "you see this thing about every day you go on a stage and waging war against homosexuals, it is a stupid thing"," he said.

The stupidity lay in the fact that it supported the very thing it was supposedly opposed to, as by talking about it in the public sphere, artistes were normalising it by giving it exposure.


Further, speaking about regulating that public sphere, McKenzie said "we have to be very guarded about the kinds of interventions we require of the state."

He added: "You see certain things that we would suggest have been changing in the society in recent times, it is coming from people having the ability to say what they want to say in a climate that does not penalise them."

So McKenzie cautioned that one has to be careful in speaking about the curtailment and abridgement of people's rights to expression.

He also pointed out that "many of the things we are calling for, legitimately, we have tools to deal with them but we don't have the political will. Wi 'fraid". However, McKenzie is confident that once Jamaica garners the courage to make the political decisions, the transformation of the country will be startlingly rapid.

Marie Francis read the citations at the induction ceremony hosted by Norma Brown-Bell.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stop Murder Music France peacefully protest Capleton's tour in Paris




Paris, Thursday 15 July 2010
Press release No. TR10INT09H

Jamaican singer CAPLETON appeared at L’ÉLYSÉE MONTMARTRE in Paris on Tuesday 13 July, without having committed himself never to call for the murder of LGBT people (lesbians, gays, bi- and trans-sexuals) whether in Jamaica, France or anywhere else in the world.

In fact, CAPLETON is well known for his provocative lyrics, present in 29 of his songs, such as "Burn out a queer, Blood out a queer" (from Bun Out de Chi Chi), "Sadomite and batty man mi shot up" (from Woah!) and "Yow, string them up and hang them up alive" (from Hang Dem Up).

In 2005, in Jamaica, Steven HARVEY, an activist in the struggle against AIDS was murdered because of his homosexuality. The activists of TJENBÉ RÈD (an Afro-Caribbean organisation fighting all forms of racism, homophobia and AIDS) were therefore present in front of the concert hall and addressed the fans with the following slogans:


TJENBÉ RÈD deplores the fact that a venue as well known as L’ÉLYSEE MONTMARTRE is not more consistent in its programme arrangements. We recall that it hosted the official Paris’ Gay Pride event on the 26th of June this year.

For Tjenbé Rèd,
+33 (0)6 10 55 63 60

In the event of any differences between the English translation and the French original, the French text shall prevail.

15 juillet 2010 - Campagne Stop Murder Music - Capleton à Paris : La musique est un droit, l’appel au meutre pas ! - Communiqué de presse n°TR10INT09H [fr] [en]

Tour Schedule:
[1] Capleton Tour in France : Monday 5 July Montpellier (Rockstore) ;

Friday 9 et Saturday 10 July near Saint-Malo (during the Summer Reggae Fest, Fort Saint-Père) ;
Monday 12 July at Golfe-Juan (théâtre de la Mer - Jean-Marais, near Cannes) ;

Tuesday 13 July at Paris (in l’Elysée Montmartre) ;
Wednesday 21 July at Villeurbanne (CCO, Cultural Centre , near Lyons); between Thursday 22 and Saturday 24July at Biarritz (during the Big Festival, in the Iraty venue) ;
Thursday 23 July at Six-Fours-les-Plages (near Toulon, île de Gaou) ;
Saturday 31 juillet at Faverge(during the Roots Reggae Festival, at Simon-Berger park, near Annecy).

Archival info:
[2] 31 décembre 2004 - OutRage!/ Stop Murder Music/ Dancehall Dossier [en] [en]

[3] 13 juillet 2010 - Tract distribué lors du concert de Capleton à l’Élysée Montmartre

[4] 13 juillet 2010 - Pancartes et slogans utilisés lors du concert de Capleton à l’Élysée Montmartre

Thanks to SMM France for this and for standing for the community on a principle in some respects we have failed to properly and continuously execute. Artists are free to express themselves but to advocate death is just too much, right is right.

Peace and tolerance.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Paedophiles and female priests supporters are one?

Many had feared this would happen when news first came to light that action would be taken to not allow the appointment of women as priests but to now equate their male paedophile counterparts to those who support the notion of accepting female priests is the bigger shocker, the gasps, oohs and aaahs could be heard worldwide as that part of the deal was totally unexpected. The idea to allow women priests was introduced to somehow help change the image of the church as a male dominated entity with sex crazed paedophiles. The photo below illustrates what many now think of the priesthood with every new case mentioned it demonises the position, most have been unresolved and are decades old in some instances.

(disclaimer: the sign is in no way intended to portray all priests as paedophiles but to show the image of the church now following the reported repeated cases of abuse to children worldwide) (Jamaica has no reported case as yet according to the local arm of the church)

Of course the usual inclusion of hebephiles in the peadophile category is here once again, a common mistake made even here in Jamaica whenever we hear of carnal abuse cases or some horrible abduction of a teen everyone runs screaming paedophile, this is not to discount the horror and psychological damage the victims and their families go through. I am not trained in such matters but I have been following this for some time as I have realised the error that is played out time and time again. The LGBTQ community has not in my estimation properly responded to this probably because of the lack of expertise in dealing with it and or the pre-occupation and rightly so with our already rapantly homophobic society (I call it that for now as ther are other factors that play a role in our homophobia in my estimation).

Please see the Ephebophilia Paedophilia Homosexuality labels tab below this post to review previous installments on the subject in examining the importance of the separation and also you may want to look at the proposed inclusion of hebephilia (men attracted to pubescent {as opposed to prepubescent} children form a recognizable sexual orientation group) in the DSM V.

pedophile (plural pedophiles)
1.A person who is sexually attracted to children
2.A person who engages in sexual activity with children usually under some form of duress

ephebophile (plural ephebophiles)
1.An adult who is sexually attracted to adolescents
2.An adult who engages in sexual activity with adolescents

teleiophile 1.A person who is attracted primarily to mature adults

A study of offending priests commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice bears out the notion that many of the culprits in collars are in fact hebephiles. The study showed that "the largest group of alleged victims (50.9%) was between the ages of 11 and 14." (The quote is from page 9 of the Executive Summary. The age breakdowns of victims, available on p. 70 of section 4.3, also show that clear clustering in ages 11-14.) (Psychology Today)

Objections to the formal recognition of hebephilia as a sexual disorder come from the quarters you might guess: hebephile activists who want to convince all that pubescent children are really "mature," so that the hebephile is just a socially-oppressed niche teleiophile (A person who is attracted primarily to mature adults) who has a greater respect for the decision-making capability of your average 12-year-old than the rest of us; and defense attorneys and their alleged paid expert witnesses who hope to convince judges and juries that their hebephilic clients are just social-misfit teleiophiles who just haven't been able to get no satisfaction, because they're "really" closeted gay men, here in lies the misconception as the Vatican wants us to believe that a man having unwarranted sexual relations with a 12 year old is the same as a man doing so usually with consent with another adult.

I am in no way defending paedophiles and others who clearly have some sort of "philia" as designated by the experts but if the LGBTQ community is to win any arguments or overcome the misconceptions brought against it we must become cognisant of the differences in the orientations, philias and variants. We know all too well the mistake has been made here, for e.g. do we remember Beenieman's interview on the BBC some years ago where he basically defined "battyman" as a man who interferes with children, even at that level the misconception exists thus assisting in fuelling our chronic homophobic problems over the decades. Many people think all gay men want to do is to get into little boys pants. When another male entertainer for example was alleged to have fondled a 12 year old boy some years ago, the son of his then lady love interest that too sparked hostile reactions and he was labelled as a battyman by other entertainers publicly which has led to promoters blacklisting him, his career has since stalled.

Here are some of the articles on the development from Rome

Women priests 'as bad as' paedophiles The Periscope Post
Vatican: Female priests as bad as paedophiles

The Vatican has classified the "attempted ordination" of women as one of the most serious crimes a Catholic priest can commit, putting it on a par with paedophilia, heresy and desecrating the Sacrament.

Anyone found to be ordaining women will be automatically excommunicated under the new rules.

The Vatican also announced new laws to tackle paedophilia, doubling the church's statute of limitations to 20 years and allowing bishops to sack priests without having to resort to a full canonical trial.

So the holy inquisition in the modern world is close at hand.

I wonder what is going to be the stance locally on this new conjoined misplaced ideology?
I guess the homophobes including the christian right movement will hold on to the parts they can use which is the continued paedophile misconception to support their anti gay stance. The non acceptance of women as priests may not be of importance here at least for the abundance of many other faiths that exist here that welcome female leaders.

So if a woman feels called by God to do his work she has no place in as far as leadership is concerned in the Catholic Church, good thing there are other faiths that are more embracing. God in my view came for the outcasts and left the Church to act in his absence until his return but it seems the body is busy creating more and more "others" than itself so it can find reasons to castigate and punish them.

Interesting times friends.

Peace and tolerance.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dancehall coming 'out ... and bad'?! (a 'nah nuh 'ead" sequel) .......

Remember that old event call 'out and bad' well here is a nice take on it from a different angle critiquing the metrosexual and downlow overtones in dancehall, I couldn't have said it better myself of course this was way back in 2005 so bear with the history but nothing much has changed, has it?

Here in a setting that seems quite unfamiliar to anything else seen in dancehall history - or was it bubbling under the surface? Living in a culture where the flag of homophobia flies higher than the Jamaican flag, yet the culture that sang about it is now 'bouncing' to it. The subtle undertones of this behavior have come 'out and bad'.

Out and bad is fitting for this year's theme as one of the biggest news in the Dancehall era was the mere fact that 2 MALE DANCERS were feuding about who is the better dancer (and no Rex Nettleford was not involved). Please take a moment and rewind to the late 80's early 90's, to the television series called FAME. (For those that are not old enough and were mere babes during Hurricane Gilbert or weren't even thought of yet, please Google it.) Certain of the fact that John Hype and Bogle were as flaming and flamboyant as Leroy the male 'effeminate' dancer on the show.

To pre-empt any questions about Merman watching a show like FAME, 2 words - JANET JACKSON.

Nonetheless, Bogle got his wish ... the lyrics for the song FAME are most fitting:

... I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly (with wings on)

... I'm gonna make it to heaven (or hell I guess we'll find out at some point huh)
Light up the sky like a flame (there will be no references to gas station shoot outs here)

... I'm gonna live forever
Baby remember my name (we honestly can't forget it ... I have tried - I really have)

Well hopefully long term memory will prevail and realise the stage is only big enough for one Bogle. So... go Paul! go Paul! It's your birthday!

However the death had a nation reflecting on the 'national' hero. We thank you Bogle helping to liberate our country - with your dance moves. Yes, life in Jamaica would be drag if it were not for 'Sesame Street', 'Zipp it Up', 'World Dance' and the very popular 'Bogle'. In your death the tribute dances in your honour have made the intelligent citizens uneasy because we are not sure (ie. the straight ones) about the double meaning of 'out and bad' or the 'willie bounce'. At times it seems like these dancers are exercising their gay-like minds like Richard Simmons. Funny enough the dances really do look like aerobics.

Nonetheless, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and OutRage! should invest in going to a street dance, session or any public event (without the GLAAD or OutRage! t-shirts) and see how similarities between their mannerisms and how most patrons behave. There is more flashing of wrists than a fat woman fanning herself on a hot day in Coronation Market (pronounced Curnation Market by the locals). Leg grabbers which look like they were sponsored by Berger Paints; the men's well tweezed eyebrows as they stay on one side dancing by (or with, one is never too sure) themselves in their tight shirt railing up for the latest Celiene Dione song - or Ghost cover. Being apart of the urban fabric and music of 'Jamaica land we love' the most appropriate word in the english vocabulary is ... queer. What ever happened to wall to wall coupling of the 80's and 90's?

Has anyone seen the humour in Scare Dem Crew saying "badman nuh dress like giiiiirl"? So exactly, what's your excuse!? It seems the more thuggish you are the more feminine you need to look. I couldn't help but laugh and nod in agreement after hearing an up and coming Jamaican rapper's lyrics: "don't watch the 'hype', watch the hype, nuff a dem badman a badman girlfren' at night!"

In the 21st Century I am not sure if the saying 'right ear queer, left ear buccaneer' applies. The crossing gender boundaries are making things hard for the typical human. Too many times double, triple and quadruple takes have to be done just to establish if it is a man or a woman. Many times just walking away resolving that some questions are just left unanswered.

At present, this seems to be where the culture is in pertaining to homosexuality and it's 'acceptance'.

* Dancehall is homophobic or anti-gay ... or both

* GLAAD and OutRage! doesn't like Dancehall for its 'stance' on homosexuality

* Most people do the dances that have gay undertones and overtones

* At parties/street dances/sessions the men are on one side and the women on the other.

* Many artists might have a queer eye for a straight man's sense of dress or just a queer eye - or 2.

Fire and brimstone are rained down on the girlie man at work place because everyone notices how he is 'happy'. Yet we put on the most aggressive demeanor and end up flashing wrists worst than Mr. Girlie-man will ever. So exactly where does the confusion stop?

We cared so much if our Prime Minister is gay, not realizing the guy/girl on the bus; in the taxi or the one we linked to just chill or play ball with was 'out and bad' long before Frankie Paul or Kid Ralph. More so I ask the question, as a culture are we condemning it openly and yet sneaking it in through the 'back door'? Raising the issue of this ambiguity creates more shades of gray than a real definition. Is it apart of an evolution of a culture, where one tries to include more people as popularity grows?

Nonetheless confusion reigns in the stance Jamaican Dancehall culture takes.


Merman ‘Flabba’ Johnson

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Buju Banton denied separate trial while advocates write to the US A.G.

A request from reggae superstar Buju Banton to be tried separately from his two co-accused has been rejected by a court in the United States (US).

Buju, whose correct name is Mark Myrie, had applied to the US District Court in the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division in May 2010, to have his trial separated from Ian Thomas and James 'Spencer Clarke' Mack on the basis that this could be the reason the trial was being delayed.

But in an oral ruling, the court denied the request while siding with the prosecution, which had argued that the general rule was that defendants who are jointly indicted should be tried together, particularly in conspiracy cases.

"It would impair both the efficiency and the fairness of the criminal justice system to require, in all these cases of joint crimes where incriminating statements exist, that prosecutors bring separate proceedings, presenting the same evidence again and again, requiring victims and witnesses to repeat the inconvenience (and sometimes trauma) of testifying," the prosecution claimed.

"(This) would randomly favour the last-tried defendants who have the advantage of knowing the prosecution's case beforehand," argued the prosecution successfully.

The trial is now set to begin in early September with the start date to be set at a status conference on August 4.

Government prosecutors are expected to take three to four days to present their arguments, while the defence is expected to take three days to present its case.

Buju and his two co-accused were arrested late last year and charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

The three have been in custody since then awaiting trial.

Meanwhile some persons describing themselves as advocates for Buju Banton have penned a letter to the US Attorney General asking fans and supporters to mass mail them in a bid to alert the authorities that the case is being watched by the public.

The sample letter written in the first person reads:
Dear Attorney General Holder:

I am writing to ask for your intervention with respect to a grave injustice against Grammy-nominated reggae music icon Buju Banton (legal name Mark Anthony Myrie). The incarceration of this legendary musician without bail is unconscionable. He is currently incarcerated in the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida while he awaits trial on drug conspiracy charges in the Middle District of Florida for which he has pleaded not guilty. The charges are a result of information provided by a professional informant who relentlessly pursued Mr. Myrie for six months to participate in a drug deal.

In our great system of justice the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, persons accused of crime are entitled to bail. Mr. Myrie meets all of the requirements for bail, yet it has not been granted. In addition, his trial has been postponed three times despite his attorney’s objections.

The professional informant in Mr. Myrie’s case is a convicted drug trafficker from Colombia. This convicted felon has been granted legal immigration status and to date has earned over three million American dollars (tax-free) for serving as an informant to various U.S. government agencies. Taxpayer dollars certainly could be spent more effectively than on trying to entrap individuals who have no previous criminal record and have never been involved with drugs in any manner. Is the Federal government presently in the business of creating criminals?

Mr. Myrie, a.k.a. Buju Banton, produces uplifting, positive music comparable to the music of Bob Marley. His work inspires people worldwide. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award, the highest achievement in his field, four times since 1999. He is one of the leading voices of his generation, shedding light on such issues as the unrelenting violence and abject poverty pervasive in the Third World.

Banton has also represented his country in performances at the Summer Olympics in Greece in 2004 and at the Cricket World Cup Opening in 2007. Buju commemorated Jamaica’s support for President Obama by appearing in rock legend Dave Stewart’s music video for “American Prayer,” a moving tribute to the President. Additionally, Buju is a family man, an employer and a generous philanthropist.

Given Buju Banton’s exemplary reputation, his humanitarian efforts and his cultural contributions to society, he should not be languishing in jail at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. I urge you to do whatever possible to end this injustice.

More on Sexual Orientation Removal from The Cotonou Agreement Against European Parliament's Directive

Thanks to African Activist blog for alerting us to this, we almost overlooked the finer details in the midst of all else that has been happening.

Here is the original post I carried on the Cotonou Agreement and the African Caribbean States angle on refusing to budge on LGBT rights issues.

Meanwhile June 2010

The Gay and Lesbian Rights Intergroup reports that sexual orientation was excluded from the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement in violation of the European Parliament's directive. The Cotonou Agreement delineates political and trade relations between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and includes human rights requirements.

Out of 79 ACP states, 49 criminalise homosexuality with up to 14 years in jail, and up to 5 punish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with death.

European Commissioner Andris Piebalgs previously intended to include non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the new terms (as demanded by the European Parliament), but finally agreed to conclude a deal with ACP states that does not mention the human rights of LGBT people, despite blatant increases in state-supported violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the ACP region.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, reacted: “This is unacceptable for the European Parliament. The Commission backed down in the face of governments that increasingly discriminate, imprison, torture and kill people because of their sexual orientation. It is a dangerous signal that there is a hierarchy of rights: some will be defended, but others will not. This matter will not be left to rest here.”

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, concurred: “I would have expected Commissioner Piebalgs not to give in to pressure from ACP governments. His abdication is not only against European values, it also is harmful to LGBT people in ACP countries who are confronted with the notion of homosexuality being ‘un-African’—a notion proven wrong by historians and sociologists. The European Parliament will confront the Commission with this decision.”

The revised agreement has been tentatively agreed upon, with the official signature planned for June 2010 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Here is the European Parliament resolution of 20 January 2010 on the second revision of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement (the "Cotonou Agreement"). Notice the directive in item 32.

32. Calls for negotiations to reinforce the principle of non-negotiable human rights clauses and sanctions for failure to respect such clauses, inter alia with regard to discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation and towards people living with HIV/AIDS;
In Article 8 of the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement (pdf) on Political dialogue, sexual orientation is missing (See page 5).

4. The dialogue shall focus, inter alia, on specific political issues of mutual concern or of general significance for the attainment of the objectives of this Agreement, such as the arms trade, excessive military expenditure, drugs, organized crime or child labour, or discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
In Article 31 of the second revision of the Cotonou Agreement (pdf) on HIV/AIDS, sexual orientation is missing in sections d and e (See page 17).

d) addressing gender inequality, gender-based violence and abuse, as drivers of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and intensifying efforts to safegaurd women's and girls' rights, develop effective gender sensitive HIV/AIDS programmes and services for women and girls, including those related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to support the full involvement of women in planning and decision making related to HIV/AIDS stragegies and programmes;

e) developing supportive legal and policy framewords and removing punitive laws, policies, practices, stigma and discrimination that undermine human rights, increase vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and inhibit access to effective HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support, including medicines, commodities and services for people living with HIV/AIDS and the populations most at risk;

Clearly the deterioration in the human rights situation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the 49 ACP states requires that the Cotonou Agreement follow the European Parliament's directive and include sexual orientation explicitly in the agreement.

To quote the European Parliament directive, this is a "non-negotiable human rights clause."


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Net fishing, profiling, abuses & unjustified detentions by cops under state of emergency part 2

Following on the reports of Jamaican citizens being rounded up and taken in for questioning under the guise that they are "persons of interest" members of the human rights collective, lawyers and other civic actions groups are calling for an end to the state of emergency it is becoming apparent that the security forces are loosing their short lived and much hailed success and renewed confidence in carrying out there duties.

Although the crime figures for June has fallen dramatically by some 21% this is not being done through serious investigative work and probity but clear net fishing as part 1 to this post can attest to in as far as LGBT people are concerned. The police clearly have no materials in which to adequately develop a case to charge individuals so they use their awesome powers now under the present regulations to bring in persons they couldn't arbitrarily nab.

The Emergency regulations which among other things allows the security forces to:

Direct persons in charge of vehicles to move them to some other point in a 10-mile radius.

Search premises or vehicles where persons are suspected or are likely to endanger public safety.

Stop and search vehicles if it is suspected that they are being used in a manner prejudicial to public safety.

Have right of access to do work on land which is required for the preservation of peace or regulating the supply and distribution of water, fuel, electricity transportation and other necessities (the statutory purpose).

Take over on the order of the governor general any premises or facility which provides essential services defined in the regulations.

Restrict publication of undesirable material which may be prejudicial to the public interest or which may incite persons to commit a breach of the peace.

Prohibit assemblies of persons.

Prohibit the carrying of a firearm or other lethal weapon.

Prohibit the use of firearms and ammunition conditionally or unconditionally.

Restrict access to certain areas for persons who are suspected of acting prejudicial to public safety.
Prohibit the wearing of uniforms and emblems, except for those engaged in lawful industrial action.
Question persons and demand answers.

Arrest and detain persons whose behaviour gives reasonable grounds for suspecting that he/she is acting in a manner prejudicial to public safety, or has committed an offence against the regulations. Such persons are to be detained up to a period not exceeding 24 hours. However, the competent authority has the power to extend that detention period by a further five days on the authority of a resident magistrate or a police officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent.

Search persons and seize any article which is suspected or intended to be used in a manner prejudicial to public order and/or public safety.

Confine persons to residences on the authority of the minister to prevent such persons from acting in a manner prejudicial to public safety.

Control places of public resort and entertainment which are specified in an order.

Restrict the granting of bail for persons who contravene or fail to comply with provisions of the regulations, and where it is believed that such persons would be likely to commit a similar offence against the regulations.

Deal with compensation for the use of property and equipment during the period of the state of emergency.

It has since been brought to my attention that there are members of the LGBT community being held under questionable circumstances, three to be precise, two males in Kingston and one female in St. Catherine. They have been held for five days overall and have been able to secure the services of an attorney however family visits are limited due to the overcrowding of the lockups, visits are staggered over two to three days at a time per person so that everyone gets a chance to see their loved ones as the crowds that converge during visiting hours are large. I am hopeful that they will get out soon despite the circumstances, they too seem to be having some difficulty seeing their notice of detention papers although they have been told their attorneys have them.

Their detentions may not be linked to their sexuality or orientation at this time but due to the recent problems of the detention orders that are to be served to detainees upon being held under the Emergency Powers Act/regulations, lawyers have been complaining that when they are preparing to go to the specially set up Emergency Tribunal to hear these cases as habeus corpus rights has been waved the detention orders are blank and do not explain the reasons for holding the citizen. They are also complaining that it's when they actually attend the tribunal hearings it's the first time they are seeing many of these "hastily prepared" detention orders for their clients from the government lawyers without proper time for them to prepare their arguments or call possible witnesses, persons are being held for extended periods of time in over crowded facilities most without charge and in some instances mother and siblings are in one station.

The Emergency Tribunal has no powers basically as it only can offer recommendations in respective cases which are sent to the Ministry of National Security for a final decision. They have no jurisdiction over the intermittent five day notices which is a separate form sometimes hand written on one sheet. Some detainees have three or more five day notices suggesting sloppy administrative work on the police's part, they cleverly provide the "real notice of detention" documents just before the scheduled Emergency Tribunal hearing date or on the day in question for the detainee involved so as to legitimise their presence at the session as they, the cops, know they cannot proceed without the properly prepared detention order presented to the Tribunal which has sitting on it seasoned human rights persons such as Nancy Anderson from The Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights (IJCHR).

The notice of detention must be served upon a citizen upon being taken into custody signed by a Senior Superintendent of police under normal practice as soon as possible or within 24 hours after the detainee is in custody.
The police high command has since denied that there are blank detention notices being presented for detained persons, one leading human rights attorney said they are in possession of 5 such "blank" notices meaning the reasons for detaining the citizen are not outlined.

There were a recent set of circumstances involving some homeless MSMs and other LGBT people as well with the police under the state of emergency.

See: MSM Harassed Again from GLBTQ Jamaica
here is an excerpt:
"... set of homeless MSMs along with some of their friends in a different section of the district where the officers recognised the men and accused them of being male prostitutes they were harassed with one suffering hits with a baton ..."

The police clearly are loosing the little trust that was re-established following the incursion in Tivoli but the present circumstances do not look good. There is a clear need of a proper detention centre to house detained persons separate from the previous incarcerated populations so everyone is now batched together in filthy conditions at lockups. There is no way to get proper redress from the emergency tribunal in as far as breaches regarding detention notices not being served on a detainee the tribunal can only recommend so it has to go back to the Minister of National Security's office who is briefed by the police.

I have decided to do all business during the days and if I have to go out at night then I do so by planning my routes carefully. Prevention better than cure they say.

Be safe out there.

Peace and tolerance.


click the "Homeless MSM: tab immediately below for previous exclusive entries on homelessness 

'Police should not be expected to clean up mess left by politicians'

Rights activist says cops given basket to carry waterBY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter

HUMAN rights activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers yesterday June 12th called for additional resources to be given to the police in order for them to conduct their duties efficiently.

The police, the rights activist said, have been given 'basket to carry water' and that the constabulary should not be expected to clean up the "mess" made by politicians over the years.
Yvonne McCalla-Sobers, head of the rights group Families Against State Terrorism, addressing Observer reporters and editors

Addressing editors and reporters at the Observer's weekly Monday Exchange at the newspaper's Beechwood Avenue headquarters in Kingston, McCalla-Sobers said the expectations of the police were unfair, adding that police officers were being mandated with an impossible task of cleaning up crime without the necessary resources.

"The police deserve better treatment, and better treatment means they deserve the resources that they need...," said McCalla-Sobers, president of the rights group Family Against State Terrorism (FAST).

The police have, for years, called for more resources to strengthen their fight against crime and violence. In addition to the calls for more police officers, the constabulary has over the years called for more motor vehicles, state-of-the-art equipment to help in forensic investigation, and more bulletproof vests, among others.

McCalla-Sobers, at the same time, said politicians were the root cause of the problems in most communities affected by crime, and they should not leave the problems up to the police to fix.
"...The police do not deserve to be put out there on the front line cleaning up what mess politicians make," she said.

McCalla-Sobers said, too, that it was not the duty of the police to implement social intervention programmes in crime-riddled communities in an effort to provide other alternatives for the residents.

"The police cannot do that. The police have a job and social intervention is not their job," she said.
McCalla-Sobers said that even though intervention by the police in some inner-city communities had in recent times shown a decline in crime in those areas, there has not been the necessary intervention by relevant government agencies to ensure that stability remains.

Citing police intervention in inner-city communities in Kingston such as Hannah Town, Tavares Gardens, better known as 'Payne Land', and Parade Gardens in 2004 as examples, she said the police were expected to restore calm to those areas with the expectation that the relevant authorities would follow up with the necessary social intervention. "But it did not happen," she said. "Social intervention is not their (police) job."

However, she said the police needed everyone's support.

"The police need our support, but they also need our support to act in ways that do not increase alienation in the community. We have to support a kind of policing that is going to do what the military called building hearts and minds. If we treat the innocent badly they will become supporters of the tyrants," McCalla-Sobers said.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Advance in Quest for HIV Vaccine


HIV research is undergoing a renaissance that could lead to new ways to develop vaccines against the AIDS virus and other viral diseases.

In the latest development, U.S. government scientists say they have discovered three powerful antibodies, the strongest of which neutralizes 91% of HIV strains, more than any AIDS antibody yet discovered. They are now deploying the technique used to find those antibodies to identify antibodies to influenza viruses.

The HIV antibodies were discovered in the cells of a 60-year-old African-American gay man, known in the scientific literature as Donor 45, whose body made the antibodies naturally. The trick for scientists now is to develop a vaccine or other methods to make anyone's body produce them as well.

That effort "will require work," said Gary Nabel, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who was a leader of the research. "We're going to be at this for a while" before any benefit is seen in the clinic, he said.

The research was published Thursday July 8, 2010 in two papers in the online edition of the journal Science, 10 days before the opening of a large International AIDS Conference in Vienna, where prevention science is expected to take center stage. More than 33 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2008, and about 2.7 million contracted the virus that year, according to United Nations estimates.

Vaccines, which are believed to work by activating the body's ability to produce antibodies, eliminated or curtailed smallpox, polio and other feared viral diseases, so they have been the holy grail of AIDS research.

Last year, following a trial in Thailand, results of the first HIV vaccine to show any efficacy were announced. But that vaccine reduced the chances of infection only by about 30%, and controversy erupted because in one common analysis the results weren't statistically significant. That vaccine wasn't designed to elicit the new antibodies.

The new discovery is part of what Wayne Koff, head of research and development at the nonprofit International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, calls a "renaissance" in HIV vaccine research.

Antibodies that are utterly ineffective, or that disable just one or two HIV strains, are common. Until last year, only a handful of "broadly neutralizing antibodies," those that efficiently disable a large swath of HIV strains, had been discovered. And none of them neutralized more than about 40% of known HIV variants.

But in the past year, thanks to efficient new detection methods, at least a half dozen broadly neutralizing antibodies, including the three latest ones, have been identified in peer-reviewed journals. Dennis Burton of the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, Calif., led a team that discovered two broadly neutralizing antibodies last year; he says his team has identified additional, unpublished ones. Most of the new antibodies are more potent, able to knock out HIV at far lower concentrations than their previously known counterparts.

HIV is a highly mutable virus, but one place where the virus doesn't mutate much is where it attaches to a particular molecule on the surface of cells it infects. Building on previous research, researchers created a probe, shaped exactly like that critical site, and used it to attract only those antibodies that efficiently attack it. That is how they fished out of Donor 45 the special antibodies: They screened 25 million of his cells to find 12 that produced the antibodies.

Donor 45's antibodies didn't protect him from contracting HIV. That is likely because the virus had already taken hold before his body produced the antibodies. He is still alive, and when his blood was drawn, he had been living with HIV for 20 years.

While he has produced the most powerful HIV antibody yet discovered, researchers say they don't know of anything special about his genes that would make him unique. They expect that most people would be capable of producing the antibodies, if scientists could find the right way to stimulate their production.

Dr. Nabel said his team is applying the new technique to the influenza virus. Like HIV, influenza is a highly mutable virus—the reason a new vaccine is required every year.

"We want to go after a universal vaccine" by using the new technique to find antibodies to a "component of the influenza virus that doesn't change," said NIAID director Anthony Fauci. In principle, Dr. Fauci said, the technique could be used for any viral disease and possibly even for cancer vaccines.

Some of the new HIV antibodies discovered over the past year attack different points on the virus, raising hopes that they could work synergistically.

In unpublished research, John Mascola, deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center, has shown that one of Dr. Burton's antibodies neutralizes virtually all the strains that are resistant to the antibody from Donor 45. He also found the reverse: The antibody from Donor 45 disables HIV strains resistant to one of Dr. Burton's best antibodies. Only one strain out of 95 tested was resistant to both antibodies, he said. Dr. Mascola is one of the authors of Thursday's papers.

Click Image for full article.

Peace and tolerance.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Latent homosexuality & misconceptions creating havoc?

Jamaica has been described as the most homophobic space in this side of the world given our cases of beatings, alleged murders of gays, murder music, harsh public sentiments and scorn, prejudicial media outputs and negative pronouncements by politicians. Not to be outdone are the failed attempts to convince the country on a whole of the decriminalization of buggery from our law books, an inherited set of laws from our colonial masters.

As of late I have been questioning whether our homophobia is real on its own right in terms of heterosexuals who have a problem with gays or is it an end product of several other items at work in our society over the years that include same sex attracted persons or persons who practice gay sex undercover? We didn't arrive at this place in a single go of course just going from memory it took us several years and occurrences for us to be in the place where we are today. The late seventies of course when Gay Freedom Movement the first gay advocacy group in Jamaica was formed the society was not so caustic towards the lifestyle given all the misconceptions added over the years.

The main occurrence that I feel that helped to influence the rampant homophobia we now see was a horrible case of carnal abuse/murder of a young boy in the early nineties where he was found to have been sodomized as well as was reported in the autopsy report. Jamaica however was well on the way to homo hate with other dancehall acts directing more "softer" lyrics calling gay men number two etc before that. Then came Buju Banton's "Boom Bye Bye" 1992 song which openly advocated the death of gays by gunshots. This song drastically changed the mood of the nation towards gays and lesbians but as indicated before it wasn't the only one. The song was originally recorded in 1988 but re-recorded later in 1992 when he was 18 years old.

Here are some of the other negative occurrences that have influenced our homophobia to now:

  1. The previously strong output of murder music using ever new names to stereotype gays and lesbians
  2. Tacit support of murder music by mainstream media in continued homo hate
  3. The public humiliation over the years of gays and lesbians by the state and other citizens
  4. Multiple cases of homophobic and lesbophobic violence that have gone for the most part unresolved
  5. Forced evictions and ostracism of profiled gay and lesbian persons without any recourse
  6. Tabloid newspapers prejudicial and stereotypical articles on male homosexuality
  7. Deliberate joining of paedophilia and adult male homosexuality to justify homo hate (Beenieman's BBC appearance was one such occasion)
  8. Use of the nation's homophobia by the political establishment to gain or maintain popularity
  9. Manipulation of draft legislation to keep old laws on the books such as the Charter of Rights 2010
  10. Media's continued negative portrayal of gays and lesbians over time
  11. The church's selective biblical literal-ism and manipulation of doctrine to stifle discussion on tolerance and freedoms
  12. Poor representations and agitations by human rights advocacy groups on behalf of LGBTQI people
  13. Missing support and representations from the social sciences communities and academia - psychologists, psychiatric community
  14. Institutional homophobia from state healthcare facilities and even advocates themselves
  15. Poor social and educational support for LGBTQI people in understanding their issues
  16. Portrayal of homosexuality as a "foreign" lifestyle and not present in the African context
  17. Poor examination of issues such as substitutional sex and situational homosexuality
  18. Inadequate discourse and education on bisexuality and clandestine homosexuality in our culture
  19. The belief in some quarters (notably church leaders) that gay men actively recruit young boys into homosexuality without any proper justification
  20. Corrective Rape used a means to "straighten" lesbian women, for e.g popular poet Stacey Ann Chin who was sexually assaulted by several male students in 1996 on the University of The West Indies Campus
  21. The LGBTQI poor resolve to speak out on issues openly outside of the advocates
Those are just a few I came up with just from observation this is with a view for all of us to continue the discourse on this and other related issues. Frankly I have been having second thoughts about the image portrayed about Jamaican as the gay murder state as many of the persons sadly who have been killed were known to their attackers. I am now thinking we need to refocus on clandestine homosexuality or down-low lifestyles, situational homosexuality (substitutional sex in jail-house or boys home homosexual activity), emergency homosexuality and bisexuality with the issues of secrecy and the nation's obsession of machismo, even more so with present public accusations of persons on tape in compromising positions and a supposed list of entertainers including homo hate spitting ones who are alleged to be covertly gay or bisexual.

Class of course is a primary factor as those public cases of "gay murders" have several common features present, the attackers were all from the lower socio economic parts of Jamaica or supposed thugs while those killed are usually rich powerful men. These same hyper masculine types who publicly "bun out battyman" yet will engage in sexual activity are no more shocking the nation when they hear about such cases as the down-low phenomenon is now well cemented in our culture I feel, that could explain the hunt that is now on to expose those who are alleged to be involved in same sex activities.

Thugs of course do not wish to be identified as gays as "gays" represents a man wanting to be a woman in bed (seeing gays are only looked at for how we have sex not as people) given our patriarchal society that's a big no no. In prisons for example it is well known in certain circles that same sex actions happen but usually non penetrative involving masturbation or oral sex as a form of release after all men have needs and putting alpha males together something's going to happen given time especially for those who are on very long sentences. There are also cases of commercial sex inside the confines of maximum security facilities but to avoid the possible uproar the authorities resist any references to such arguments. When the matter of condoms in prison was the hot topic at the time it caused much unease for the correctional hierarchy and the government as it was viewed as sanctioning homosexuality in lock-ups, remember these?

Here we see the clear conflicts between the issues of homosexuality vs substitutional sex, the belief to legitimatize anal sex vs preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in sections of the prison population. Let's face facts if we as LGBTQI people are going to begin to make in roads we have to demystify all the crossings of the issues that has had an adverse impact on our nation added to that are the stereotypes of the gay male lifestyle.

Meanwhile the twisting of adult male homosexuality vs paedophilia, teleiophiles (Teens who find mature persons attractive), hebephilia and ephebophilia continues here are some recent examples and more readings on the subject:

Child Sex Abuse Rampant But Hidden (2006): - "Homosexual paedophilia is one of the ways in which young people enter into homosexuality if it is done by someone of the same gender," said psychiatrist Terrence Bernard Bernard. "Boys may be molested by men and girls may be molested by women. In other words, it becomes a form of initiation into homosexuality. The victims sometimes become sexual predators themselves."

Kingston Chronicle Comment on Alleged businessman sexual advances on a 12yo at a KFC bathroom in Mandeville Jamaica - "So to all those battyman support groups and their supporters. When beenie man and buju banton sing about battyman fi dead they are not only speaking of your lifestyle but sexual predators such as this one. So once again boom bye bye fi all battyman and child rapist"

I will continue in another post soon.

Peace and tolerance.



Related Posts with Thumbnails

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

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

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

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

hear recent pods as well:

Information & Disclaimer

Not all views expressed are those of GJW

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

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

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

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

God Bless

Other Blogs I write to:

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


APJ Website Launch & Link

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

audience members interacting during a break in the event

film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

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

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

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

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

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

MSM/Trans homeless - From gully to graveyard

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Sexuality - What is yours?

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

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

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

also see if you can

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness


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

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

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


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

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

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

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

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

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

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

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

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


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

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

New Kingston Cop Proposes Shelter for Shoemaker Gully LGBT Homeless Population

Superintendent Murdock

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

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

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

Gender Identity/Transgederism Radio discussion Jamaica March 2014

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

CLICK HERE for a recording of the show


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

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

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

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

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

What to Do .....

a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone

b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council

c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state

d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police

e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number

f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided

g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence

h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail

i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail

j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence

Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:

1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues

If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -

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

There are two standards that must be met:

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

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

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

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

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

"Bail is not a matter for daylight

Locked up and appearing in court

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

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

Other Points of Interest

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

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

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

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

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

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

a) Is the accused a flight risk?

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

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

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

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

Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

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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