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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Understanding Male Sexual Abuse: Why Male Victims Remain Silent

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Jamaican born author O'Brien Dennis who gave us The Cries of Men is back with another book on the issue of male sexual abuse. The widespread assumption in society is that men are not as affected by rape and/or rape does not really happen to men. To some extent this myth has received some support in the literature. 


Research on the socialization of men has shown that this “non-reaction” to abuse is an effort to appear masculine rather than a true depiction that men are not as affected by rape as women. Male victims of sexual assault are an often forgotten population–unseen, neglected, and underserved. The following information has been put together so that this population of victims can be better understood and supported.

Social perceptions towards male victims of sexual abuse are coupled with various stereotypes and myths that impact male victims’ ability to face their sexual assault


Cries of Men by Jamaican born author O'Brien Dennis is in it's 6th year or publication books bought from his site will see part proceeds going towards his foundation.

see also: 

Male Sexual Assault Myths ...... "Cries of Men" 6th Anniversary
Male Sexual Assault Myths

Product Description
The best way to understand male sexual abuse is to learn about its survivors. They are the victims, and they have stories to tell.

Author O’Brien Dennis recounts how he was sexually abused as a boy in Jamaica, and he also shares accounts from other men who were abused. By giving them a voice, he unveils how male sexual abuse can so easily happen at the hands of close and trusted family, friends and even strangers.

As you read these intimate stories, you’ll learn how society’s narrow definitions of sexuality and masculinity have conspired to silence male victims, preventing many from speaking up about their abuse. Sexual abuse hurts victims, who may later suffer from drug addiction, sexual dysfunction, self-blame, guilt, and other problems. Male rape is used not only as a form of subjugation but also as a tool for war and dominance in contemporary wars and conflicts.

Male sexual abuse is underreported, and it is estimated that one in six boys is sexually abused before he reaches age sixteen. By Understanding Male Sexual Abuse, it’s possible to start exploring solutions to a terrible problem.

“Dennis calls on policy makers and public administrators to raise their heads from their sheaves of paper and to pay attention to the many men who are victims of rape in prisons or other institutions, and to see that male sexual abuse is more than a public health hazard; rather, it rips at the fabric of society and humanity.”
—Antoine B. Craigwell, journalist

About the Author

O'Brien Dennis was born and raised in Jamaica, where he was a victim of male sexual abuse. As the executive director of the O'Brien Dennis Foundation, he researches sexual abuse and provides a safe haven for survivors and their families. He lives in Westchester County in New York State and is also the author of The Cries of Men: Voices of Jamaican Men Who Have Been Raped and Sexually Abused.

Product Details

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 343 KB
Print Length: 159 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1462016960
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: iUniverse (August 24, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B005LHRJYM


Here is O'Brien on Wendy Williams radio show in 2009 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rev Al Miller - the gay lobby is not asking for buggery decriminalization because of discrimination but to force homosexuality on the nation .......

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So as we continue to look at the many sides in the arguments on the decriminalization or repealing the buggery law fully, restorative therapy advocate Reverend Al Miller on his weekly television ministry Word Power continued to comment on the issue. He touched on the recent Jamaica Observer headline "No To Buggery" which highlighted a round table of sorts with a new crop of politicians from both sides, the Jamaica Labour Party’s Paula Kerr-Jarrett, who will represent the party in the upcoming elections from Hanover East and Collin Virgo, the candidate in Manchester South, as well as the People’s National Party’s candidate in St Mary West, Jolyan Silvera and his colleague in St Andrew North East, John-Paul White — are all, based upon religious considerations, against the act of buggery. However, they argue that discussions should be held on the subject with the people as a whole, to determine whether or not Jamaica should continue to enforce buggery related laws.

See a previous post on this blog on that issue:

Last week he had said among other things:

" ...........we mentioned that issue, the homosexuality thing  continues to be in the air ……… lot of continuing comments to what the British Prime Minister said in the wanting to pressure nations like Jamaica to conform to change our laws to allow that the homosexual lifestyle should be accepted as an alternative   normative lifestyle and as he indicated that those who don’t conform they are considering cutting aid I have indicated we appreciate the aid from our international partners we need it as part of our development process but aid must never be at any cost if it is against the principles of spiritual righteousness  holiness and challenging the morality of our society then it is not a price we are prepared or can afford to pay for economic aid and let us know that if we take a principled stand that out prime minister has done I hope and pray he will continue to maintain a principled stance as the former prime minister did and their government to stand strong and resolute against that practice."


See more here from GLBTQJA on Wordpress:
Rev Al Miller on the Abnormality of Homosexuality & the invented gay marriage rights ploy also see Rev Al Miller’s previous sentiments some months ago:Rev Al Miller says gay lobby is using the guise of tolerance to get the nation to accept the “gay lifestyle



Today he commented:

Al Miller "....homosexuality is still a major topic as there are some in our world who continue to push for change in that area of our laws, it is not changing of our laws because of discrimination, the real issue is wanting the laws to change to make homosexuality an accepted lifestyle, it is to that that we object and I continue to state we love the homosexual and we must not abuse them we must accept them and receive them and help them where they want to change;

but we cannot accept the lifestyle as normative and consider it to be right, no, it is morally wrong but like so many other things are morally wrong and we get caught up in the behaviour and we must work to change the behaviour but we must never accept it as it is OK and that's what this big push is about wanting the nation to accept it as it's OK and our international partners are forcing that upon us and to that we must resist at whatever the cost .........

Cause there are the moral principles are greater to its benefit to our nation thane economic health, note this and do remember it, whenever this is moral and spiritual decline social and economic deterioration follows and whenever there is a restoration of the moral and the spiritual then the social and economic revitalization takes place, so there is a consistent relationship deterioration of our moral and spiritual values and social and economic collapse and so we must stand for principles stand for what is right stand for truth and justice as much as we stand for the moral principles of integrity of respect for one another of truth and unity all of these are critical to building a strong nation.

On the recent Observer article and round table with a young crop of politicians from both sides he commented:

So let's stand together and certainly congratulations to those young politicians that they are remaining and remembering those christian values and holding to them you are quite right both sides of the political spectrum, they stood, they were saying that they do believe that those biblical principles are correct but yet dialogue, they are open to dialogue and that's of course we must debate we must talk we must educate a society but not an education that says the lifestyle is OK, it is an understanding that when we err there are methods to deal with it and to treat each other with respect no matter what...."

The Reverend continued on the recent Live Love campaign which had self described ex gay gospel artiste Donnie McClurkin who performed at the National Heroes Park on Sunday November 20th where hospital supplies were donated to medical facilities and a concert with the gentleman in the photo above. No direct mention as we saw in the quote above of restorative therapies directly but the hints are clear based on the pronouncements.

The goodly Reverend may have recorded this episode before as the new information was revealed that the original aid withdrawal as stated by United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron has since been rescinded in a sense and now aid will be redirected to other areas away from central governments and we also realized that Jamaica may not be directly affected and may not have been so from the get go which brings in sharp focus the ethical footing we went into a debate as led by our advocates mainly JFLAG and AIDSFREEWORLD riding on the wave of the supposed and unverified aid removal threat. 

click: Minister confirms UK will redirect aid, not cut it, for human rights violations

One may wonder though if Reverend Miller is using this issue of homosexuality and his strong opposition to repair his public image? which has taken a battering since the Dudus Coke matter earlier this yearand the subsequent missing gun trial where he, the goodly pastor was found guilty, a recent news service reported:

Gleaner link: Reverend Al Miller has been found guilty of negligence resulting in the loss or theft of his licensed firearm.

Reverend Miller, who is the pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle Church, in St Andrew, was charged in January earlier this year.
Senior Resident Magistrate Lorna Williams announced the verdict when the case resumed today in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court.

In handing down her ruling, Williams said she rejected the unsworn statement Miller gave in his defence.
Responding to the verdict, Miller said it shows flaws in the system.
Allegations are that the reverend and his daughter were on their way home when they stopped at a school in the Shortwood area, of St Andrew, to pick plums.
He reportedly left a pouch containing the firearm and several rounds of ammunition in his car, but returned to find them missing. (MORE HERE)


ENDS

Here is an older video from CVM TV's Sunrise program recorded earlier this year with Rev. Al Miller Fellowship Tabernacle (Church) and Arlene Harrison - Henry ( Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights I.J.C.H.R.) Debated about Sexual Equality. (use of this video is only for educational and discussion purposes)

video

Extra reading and listening:
Promoting homosexuality? No, its about freedom of choice, privacy & tolerance


and


See what you make of all this folks as the discussions continue for and against but let us not loose focus that the aid threat has been withdrawn and a new path selected by the UK and also bear in mind that the initial action was slated for African states.

Peace and tolerance

H

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Booted from the Fellowship … said to be a homosexual ... Pastor's response is wanting

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A criticism I and many others have had over the years of the church or some sections of it in treating persons who are discovered to be same gender loving and booted from their pews has made the Tell me pastor column, however Pastor Dumas's response as a psychologist to me is wanting of what the man ought to do given the circumstances outlined by the supposed letter writer, what was also indicated was that the letter writer went to Jamaica AIDS Support for LIFE, this particular story rings similar to a February 2010 Star News story where a deacon was allegedly recorded by church persons in a seventh day denomination making advances to a boy. He was reprimanded for it and told to sit at the rear of the church.  Paedophilia however is not homosexuality although there is same sex paedophilia around but perpetrators may not be necessarily gay. Obviously the religious community does not know how to handle the same gender sex issues that present themselves from time to time whether by consent or duress. 


Booted from the Fellowship … said to be a homosexual



Dear Pastor,

I am a young man in my mid-30s who was molested twice at the age of 10 by my cousins. Since then, my life has been a struggle with mixed feelings. However, over the years, I have tried my very best to be totally honest in my day-to-day activities.

When I was 14 years old, I got baptised and started fearing God, but not long after, I realised that I have developed a very sensitive and high sex drive. I started exploring as teens would do, and I noticed that rare things were going on in my mind, mostly when I am around my male companions. At the time, I thought it was the norm for me to feel this way because I was developing into manhood, so I kept it really confidential.

When I was 16 years old, my mother learnt about my situation from a friend who was very concerned about my behaviour around males. She spoke to me about it, but she didn't follow up and we are still living in the same house. We live like normal mother and son.

My real challenge was when the fellowship at my church found out. The pastor preached about it that Sunday. He then called a meeting afterwards, but it didn't go down well, so I walked. One of my pastor's friends taped my voice by setting up a guy to ask me questions while he was acting as a gay.

I was attacked and beaten up badly in the community. I become a victim to many but I didn't move. I stayed in my community and underwent many years of victimisation. When I turned 20, I thought that getting married would have helped, but I also thought that the marriage wouldn't work. It would just be a cover-up.

hate church

I was now totally out of the Fellowship with my church, and even developed hate for the church. I started dating girls and having sex more and more just to eliminate my thoughts from guys. I was still feeling hopeless, empty and I couldn't find any peace of mind, even in the world that I became a part of. I still stood my ground and I stayed strong and brave and faced the situation head on, which as a result helped me to be motivated today.

I am not blaming the pastors and brethren who tried to kill me, or my cousins who started me out or even the society which never sought to find the answers. Since that time, I have never given up hope in myself because I have never accepted being a homosexual or bisexual as a lifestyle. Every day my wish is that I will overcome this behaviour.

Three years ago I was introduced to the Jamaica Aids Support organisation while they were celebrating HIV week. I was introduced to a panel of counsellors which from that time have continued to help me in a very positive way. I am proud to say that I am doing much better and I am serving God again.

I would like to thank the Jamaica Aids Support and the Ministry of Health and also you, pastor.

C.A.R., Kingston
Pastor's answer:

Dear C.A.R.,

You have explained yourself well. You have confirmed what so many practising homosexuals have said, and that is, they were not born homosexual, it was introduced to them by others who were much older than they were. Many practising male homosexuals claim that they were sexually abused by older men which have resulted in them becoming homosexuals. Lesbians make the same claim.

I regret hearing that your church did not show you much love and compassion. However, I am happy that you have been able to receive help from the Jamaica Aids Support. And I am also pleased to hear that you are endeavouring to serve the Lord. I hope that you will find fellowship in a church that recognises that all people are sinners. And as sinners, they should not condemn anyone.

Pastor
ENDS

I was of the opinion the goodly pastor/psychologist would have recommended some further interventions mainly counseling to deal with the emotional scars from the way too early initiation, it is true that many persons are exposed to sex via adult inappropriate contact although his previous recommendations have a reparative therapeutically tinge to them, some more work maybe needed to determine his true sexual orientation, it is however instructive that the writer never intimated he was not gay anymore and surprisingly pastor responds at the end that all are sinners and as sinners they should not condemn anyone. Is he on the road to a more embracing philosophy?This one is a little hard to make out though as there are so many other dimensions to this case that may not have been presented.

Why would the letter writer name the JASL in this piece though, is this a concocted letter to see how the Pastor responds? I hope there is some truth in all of this as these days a kind of unethical smoke screen seems to be pervading our land and advocacy work where persons write under pseudonyms and present sometimes falsified or embellished scenarios to see how perceived homophobic persons respond. We cannot continue to or at any time operate under a false pretext to gain recognition or rights, we must bring things out in the open honestly on a sound ethical footing.

Peace and tolerance

H

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No to buggery! - Young candidates oppose relaxing laws, but want more education on subject

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UPDATE 22.11.11 8:12pm please listen before reading below.


BY HG HELPS Editor-at-Large helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

FOUR aspiring politicians have come out against relaxing buggery laws in Jamaica, although they believe, collectively, that there should be national dialogue on the subject.

The four — the Jamaica Labour Party’s Paula Kerr-Jarrett, who will represent the party in Hanover East and Collin Virgo, the candidate in Manchester South, as well as the People’s National Party’s candidate in St Mary West, Jolyan Silvera and his colleague in St Andrew North East, John-Paul White — are all, based upon religious considerations, against the act of buggery. However, they argue that discussions should be held on the subject with the people as a whole, to determine whether or not Jamaica should continue to enforce buggery related laws.




Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for Manchester South, Collin Virgo (left) states his view on the buggery law while his JLP colleague, Paula Kerr-Jarrret, who will contest the East Hanover seat, as well as People’s National Party candidates Jolyan Silvera (3rd left), who will be running in St Mary West, and John-Paul White (St Andrew North East), listen at yesterday’s Observer Monday Exchange. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/No-to-buggery-#ixzz1eRXbFI3s


The four were guests at yesterday’s Observer Monday Exchange at the newspaper’s Beechwood Avenue headquarters in St Andrew.

The subject arose from revelations at a conference on HIV/AIDS being held in The Bahamas, which showed that countries without buggery laws had a lower HIV prevalence rate among homosexual men, than countries with such laws.

“I was brought up as a Christian. I am a practising Christian, and I know that there are a lot of things that are in the Bible as well as just generally, morally, the approach to it is not acceptable,” said Kerr-Jarrett.

“We need to educate our people in Jamaica more before laws are changed, because if you remove something, a void is created, and before anything is done there ought to be a blitz of education on the subject,” she added.

Virgo, who will challenge veteran member of parliament Michael Peart, said that the matter of buggery was a delicate one which requires solid discussion.

“The constituency where I am from, that is not something that you would be able to sell to them right now,” Virgo said.

“I come from a very strong Christian constituency, which has one of the largest concentration of Seventh-day Adventists in the country, and that's the church I grew up in.

“I don’t get the feeling that they (constituents) are going to be highly supportive of that one. To be an elected representative of the people is not going to be my responsibility to force my view on them. I will encourage dialogue, but at the end of the day, changing the law will not allow the problems to be solved,” he said.

“Knowledge and some level of exposure will cause it to be changed. If there isn’t acceptance by a significant portion of the people of Jamaica, changing the laws will not solve the problems,” Virgo added.

Both PNP representatives also echoed similar sentiments that buggery was immoral and an effort should be made to clarify issues surrounding the subject.

For Silvera, who is going up against JLP powerhouse Robert Montague, buggery has no place in the society.

“I grew up in a Christian home and I have my morals intact. But this is where we are today and this is reality,” Silvera said.

“We do have to engage, and we have to sit down and talk ,and take certain things into consideration, because at the end of the day, the Bible is ambiguous, there are double meanings every chapter you read.

“We are a civil society, and if buggery has to be brought to the table to be talked about, I don’t think I would have a problem listening. But at the end of the day I know where I stand, because I have Christian beliefs. I think the law should stay, but I am open for discussions. We would be a bit premature as a country to open it up presently,” Silvera said.

As for White, the son of a former preacher, education is the key to handling matters related to buggery.

“I am also from a spiritual and Christian background, but we need to educate the country more,” he said.

“When a person hears about buggery, he associates it with, based on our socialisation, things to do with homosexual activities.

“As representatives, we really need to seek the opinion of those we represent, and based on the majority of those opinions, we take it into the Houses of Parliament.,” he said.

“My biggest concern about the law has more to do with a health point of view and the transmission of diseases associated with such activities, especially in a society where the cost of health care is really expensive,” White said.



also see on my sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress new developments on the UK front:


Andrew Mitchell said the policy had been wrongly reported as a threat to cut aid
Minister confirms UK will redirect aid, not cut it, for human rights violations

Andrew Mitchell (photo) said the policy had been wrongly reported as a threat to cut aid

The government has confirmed plans to redirect aid away from overseas governments who fail to recognise human rights, but has said it will still ensure aid reaches those in need.

Some African states reacted angrily to Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell’s comments that aid would be redirected away from governments to other bodies, believing that overall aid would be cut unless anti-gay laws were repealed.

Now that we have the smoke cleared several questions come to mind:

1) were we too quick to jump the gun locally?

2) were our advocates using the original report as a tag along to unethically promote decriminalization of buggery on a false footing?



Although the debate is on in earnest the advocates should never have in effect mislead the nation and should have sought to clarify the position before diving head on with coalition teams at that participating knowing or unknowingly. How can we have any moral authority to ask the nation for any dialogue or present our arguments on the strength of a farce in a sense to bolster our call for the buggery law to be removed?

True representation for any group must be above board and must be untestable ethically speaking and have some moral soundness, after all our detractors will judge us on that as they do already condemn us because of our “nastiness” we cannot go making demands and calls for acceptance on shaky ground.

Too many double standards? or are the British now backpedaling too seeing the furor the whole thing has caused?

Suffice it to say some with say cutting aid versus redirecting it is the same but let us remember aid comes in many forms and tranches.



also see posts and hear previous audio commentary: 

Not Ready For Gays ……. Gay Marriage smoke screen reintroduced ……………. political dodging



and



Peace and tolerance

H

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Shepherd, Same Old Sankey, Carolyn Cooper on Buggery & such ..........

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Carolyn Cooper, 

Unlike Bruce Golding who strayed from the fold of the JLP looking for greener pastures, Andrew Holness has been a faithful sheep. Groomed by the shepherd of all shepherds, Eddie Seaga, Andrew unquestioningly stayed in line in the flock. Perhaps he was always too young to pluck up the courage to challenge the authority of the shepherd. As Holness pointedly observed in his inaugural address, he was a mere babe in arms when Golding became a member of parliament in 1972.

Incidentally, Golding remains the youngest person ever elected to Parliament - at the age of 24. But, as the final years of his political career have proven, an early start is no guarantee of a glorious end. Andrew Holness had better learn that lesson. Prematurely elevated to the rank of chief shepherd, Holness has become Jamaica's youngest prime minister.

I'm sure that some of the older heads in the JLP are quite vexed that 'di bwoy bruck di line, fly pass im nest an dust dem out. But dem ha fi bow. A young people time now, an hair dye naa no swag. If dem waan try win election, dem better simmer down an follow backa im'.

Antiquated ideas

For a relatively young man, our new prime minister has some rather antiquated ideas about sex, gender and politics. In his inaugural speech, he made a particularly pompous statement that struck me forcefully: "The ancients saw politics as the highest calling of man. It is what men do in the interest of the public good without thought for their personal benefit or threat of sanction; it is what we do because it is right, not because it is expedient. In this regard, our leaders must lead."

Who are these ancients that Prime Minister Holness cites so authoritatively? I suppose he means the Greeks. Not the modern ones who haven't been able to balance their national Budget and whose bailout is threatening the stability of the Eurozone. Mr Holness' 'ancients' are long dead and their grand rhetoric has little value these days. You can't take ancient Greek political philosophy to the bank. Certainly not to the European Central Bank.

Modern Greek politicians like George Papandreou are no different from our own leaders who like to spout platitudes. 'Personal benefit' often appears to take precedence over 'public good'. Papandreou threatened to call a referendum over the rescue package cobbled together for the Greek economy. It was a gamble to gain support for the austerity measures and so protect his own political interests. Then he flip-flopped and backed down. After all the fancy footwork, Papandreou was forced to resign. The ancients must be turning in their collective grave.

Politics - a man's game?

Quite apart from the emptiness of Mr Holness' holier-than-thou political moralising is the troubling issue of gender. If politics really is 'the highest calling of man', where does that leave women? Out in the cold? Or do women have a higher calling than mere politics? Who is the 'we' to whom the prime minister appeals in his inaugural address? Men? And what is the gender of the leaders who must lead? Masculine?

The Jamaica Women's Political Caucus must be quite alarmed by the prime minister's gendered politics. Established in 1992, the caucus vigorously challenges the stereotype that politics is 'what men do'. Its mission is to increase the number of women in politics at the highest levels. Putting its money where its mouth is, the caucus pays the nomination fees for all female candidates.

UNESCO's Inter-Parliamentary Union ranks Jamaica at No. 86 of 188 countries in the world, based on the percentage of women in Parliament. Only eight of the 60 members of our Parliament are female. This is not a good ratio. We are way below Cuba (No. 6), Guyana (No. 25), Trinidad and Tobago (No. 28) and the Dominican Republic (No. 53). But we're doing much better than Barbados (No. 103), Brazil (No. 110), Haiti (No. 125) and Belize (No. 136).

Why is it that more women don't enter representational politics in Jamaica? Is it because we ourselves believe that it's a man's game? Or have we been deliberately excluded from the men's club? If our youthful prime minister can speak as if representational politics is still a male preserve, what hope is there to transform the patriarchal culture and create opportunities for a fresh crop of women leaders?

Taking the bull by the horns

On matters of sexual politics, new Andrew Holness sounds a lot like old Bruce Golding. Holness hasn't come out and said, "Not in my Cabinet." But it's clear that he's not prepared to take the bull by the horns and initiate the repeal of Jamaica's outdated buggery law. It was the 'ancients' who conceived the Buggery Act of 1533. Not the Greeks, this time, for whom homosexuality was an accepted practice.

Almost 500 years ago, the English parliament passed a law that criminalised 'unnatural' sex acts. These included anal penetration and bestiality. The punishment for buggery was death by hanging. This act takes us right back to the primitive Old Testament theology of the Book of Leviticus.

The buggery law was repealed in the UK in 1967 but remains on the books in many of Britain's former colonies, including Jamaica. A recentSunday Gleaner article, 'Not ready for gays', reports the following: 'Despite renewed pressure from Britain for Jamaica to repeal its anti-buggery law, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it will be up to Jamaicans to signal such desire.'

So why not call a referendum on the repeal of the buggery law? Perhaps Jamaicans are ready for change. Politics is not about expediency. It's what we do because it is right. Our prime minister needs to practise what he preaches. Otherwise, all of this talk about youth and change is nothing but the same old Sankey.

Carolyn Cooper is a professor of literary and cultural studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Visit her bilingual blog at http://carolynjoycooper.wordpress.com/. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and karokupa@gmail.com.

Buggery laws choking HIV control ..... Lower prevalence rate in men in countries without restrictions

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Ingrid Brown

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Michel de Groulard, regional programme adviser of UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team said that data has shown a significantly lower HIV prevalence rate among gay men in Caribbean countries without buggery laws.

According to de Groulard, the HIV prevalence rate among men who have sex with men (MSM) in three Caribbean countries without buggery laws namely Bahamas, Haiti and Suriname was less than 10 per cent in all cases.

This he said is in comparison to Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana where the prevalence rate is more than 20 per cent for these countries with buggery laws.

Pointing to The Bahamas which repealed its buggery laws inn 1991, de Groulard said that the prevalence rate now stands at 8 per cent among gay men. This is despite Bahamas having the highest prevalence rate in the Caribbean.

However in Jamaica, where the buggery laws remain firmly on the books, de Groulard said that the prevalence rate among gay men is a whopping 32 per cent.

"We see correlation for countries which have decriminalised because when you compare them to those who continue to criminalise there is a significant difference," Groulard told the Observer.

He was however unable to say how, if any, decriminalising of homosexuality has impacted the incidents of HIV in countries like The Bahamas, since there are no available data.

Groulard said that while it is easy to determine what per centage of a population is infected, it is more challenging to determine when they were infected, thus determining if this would have been before or after buggeery laws are repealed.

"There are methods to do it but it is expensive and complicated so most countries do not do it," he said.

Dr Peter Figueroa, the former head of Jamaica's national HIV programme said that the HIV prevalence rate among Jamaican men who have sex with men continues to be unacceptably high.

Dr Figueroa was addressing delegates at the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference now underway at the Atlantis, Paradise Island, The Bahamas where delegates from more than 30 Caribbean countries have come together to chart the way forward in the fight against the disease.

Pointing to a Jamaican study conducted in 2007 with 201 men who have sex with men and another conducted this year with 453 men, the epidemiologist said that only 75 per cent of these men reported using condom at last anal sex.

According to Dr Figueroa, the study further revealed that 34 per cent of MSM had two or more female partners in the last 12 months while 56 per cent of them said they were bisexuals.

The homeless, victims of violence and those of lower socio economic status were twice as likely to become infected with the disease.

"What was worrying in 2011 survey was that 18 per cent said they had no chance of getting HIV and 40 per cent said they had little chance of getting the disease," he said.

HIV prevalence remains high among persons engaging in sex for money with 11 per cent reporting that they had paid for sex and 21 per cent saying they were paid for sex.

Pointing to reasons why the HIV prevalence rate was so high, Dr Figueroa chalked it down to high rate of commercial and transactional sex.

"Many of them are vulnerable, homeless, poor and have no family support and limited education," he said.

Dr Figueroa said that there is a need to empower and support these men to take more responsibility for safe sex.

"We need to provide a much more supportive environment starting from policies to actual programmes, and dealing with discrimination when it takes place," he said.

He said that he purpose of the research is to get closer contact with MSM in order to better improve prevention efforts and to get persons to seek treament earlier.

Meanwhile, policy and advocacy coordinator of the Caribbean Vulnerbale Communities Coalition (CVC) Ivan Cruickshank said that despite the rising levels of infections among vulnerable groups such as sex workers, MSM, prisoners and socially excluded youth, Caribbean states have chosen to focus almost exclusively on targetting the wider population. Such countries, he said continues to develop generalised responses rather than tailored programming.

"Moreover while Caribbean governments often commit on paper and in rhetoric to working with marginalised groups, in private government officials and ministers continue to express resentment to working with these populations," he said

He added that while most governments of the region have committed to report to the United Nations against targets, they fail to report 70 per cent of all data on sex workers and men who have sex with men.

Rev Clinton Chisholm on "Consensual Sex Revisited"

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Another entry from Reverend, Blogger, Talk show host and columnist Clinton Chisholm touches on homosexual sex and the public discourse surrounding consent. Although aged it was brought to my attention on the strength of an editorial in the Gleaner earlier this year when the debate had commenced in a sense on gay issues. It was also published as a letter in the same paper. The Editorial was entitled: "


(Excerpt)

Entrenched homophobia

We understand why the various commissions, committees and legislators who drafted the charter failed to expressly declare people's rights to freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It has do with the receding, but still-entrenched homophobia in Jamaica that caused Mr Golding to declare, more than three years ago, that gays would not be welcome in his Cabinet. Politicians fear that any perception that they embrace or are soft on homosexuality will cost them votes and open them to discrimination and stigma.

The attitude, we insist, is cowardly, retrogressive, socially dangerous and offensive to human rights.

Serious concerns for all

To be clear, our position is neither an endorsement nor rejection of homosexuality. Frankly, we do not care. How consenting adults choose to live their lives is none of our business. There are, however, a couple of things that concern us and which we believe should be the concern of all Jamaicans.

First, while we note and commend the advances in individuals' rights contained in the charter, we are aware that the possibility of discrimination against any group is a toehold for the erosion of the rights of others, notwithstanding the cover of constitutional protection.

Moreover, the fear of stigma, discrimination and violence pushes many people into the closet. Their talents are often underutilised, to the detriment of the society and economy. There is evidence, too, of the health problems faced by gays, many of whom prefer to live without treatment for their illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, for fear of discrimination. The public-health risks are obvious.

It is nearly 50 years since the promulgation of the Constitution; waiting a few more months to get a better charter won't hurt.

Improving the charter will require that it lie in the legislature for months in accordance with the time stipulation for amending the Constitution. In the meantime, legislators should expunge the buggery law, the main bit of existing legislation that makes homosexuality illegal.


Here is the response from Reverend Chisolm let us juxtapose it to the recent comments, concerns and rhetoric by other religious leaders or fanatics however you want to label them, see the post immediately following this one that has several of those responses or 

Anti Sodomy Decriminalization/Repulsion action intensifies from the Christian Community



Jamaica Gleaner Company

“To be clear, our position is neither an endorsement nor rejection of homosexuality. Frankly, we do not care. How consenting adults choose to live their lives is none of our business.” (Jamaica Gleaner editorial, April 1, 2011)

To some the above sentiment of the editorial is progressive, politically correct and defensible. To me it is dangerous and disingenuous. I say the editorial’s posture is disingenuous because it seems to reflect a neutral position about homosexuality but this veneer of neutrality is blown to pieces by the realization that the position of the editorial is not neutrality but indictable moral ambivalence/indifference about homosexuality summed up in the words “…we do not care.” How can a responsible and prestigious media organization (which influences public opinion) claim it is none of its business “how consenting adults choose to live their lives…”?

The editorial’s posture is societally dangerous in that how people live their lives sexually is critical to the society’s health concerns and even continued existence. Mathew Staver is correct when he says “It is a truism frequently forgotten by large complex societies: only societies that reproduce survive.” (Same-Sex Marriage, 2004, p.8) Ponder the societal consequence of universalizing homosexuality as the sexual norm!

Can one be really socially responsible but ambivalent about consensual homosexual sex, consensual adultery, consensual incest, consensual sadomasochistic sex given the relational implications of such acts beyond even the health costs of dealing with AIDS and other STIs? Has the editor given thought to the social cost of pregnancies deemed ‘unwanted’ by putative parents and especially the impact of absentee father figures on the lives of our young men?

Let us get it clear in our minds, consensuality even along with privacy and age-maturity does not constitute adequate moral justification for sexual behavior, without more, as the lawyers would say. If we hold the view that a certain sexual behavior is morally defensible let’s have the moral courage to be upfront and say so and not hide behind a thin veneer of neutrality. Homosexuality may indeed need to be decriminalized and the buggery law expunged but the reasons for doing so must be more convincing than simply moral ambivalence or apathy about what consenting adults do sexually.



Sunday, November 20, 2011

Anti Sodomy Decriminalization/Repulsion action intensifies from the Christian Community

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As the furor continues over the statement of aid removal by the United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron from countries that have anti sodomy laws, a big stick approach I am totally against and subsequent challenge launched by a team of lawyers lead chiefly by Lord Anthony Gifford to the Buggery Law following in the footsteps of UNIBAM in Belize

Caleb Orosco, Executive President, UNIBAM May 2011 said:

“Our case isn’t unique in terms of what we’re trying to do. We’re using a democratic tool. The tool is the Supreme Court and the use of the Constitution. We are not unique in terms of bringing constitutional challenges. There are other groups which have done that and have used the court to for finding redress so our case is not unique in that regard. Beyond them politicizing the sexual rights of individuals that they know nothing about really is a dirty. What it means is that gay people or gay men in particular, bisexual men in particular have stood up for basic human rights. What is means is that this case will and have generated a discussion on the basic consciousness of every individual in this country. How would you treat your own blood if they were gay?"







Blow by blow responses have been coming from the just as equally powerful and influential religious community who have in its midst right wing sounding personalities, last week we saw the pronouncements by Miss Shirley Ricahrds who is the immediate past President of the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship as posted on my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger where she said among other things on a religious Program named Moments of Hope on Love 101 FM when asked about her point of view she began by saying that people were clamouring to do what they want to do in the privacy of their bedrooms but the host interjected that the current Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that what happens in private has public effects to which Miss Richards agreed: "Absolutely, it is naive to think that is all that is wanted, in every country and you know we have one learned QC (Lord Anthony Gifford) who mentioned Ireland that in Ireland um the anti sodomy laws were repealed by his interventions but the same very thing is happening in Ireland in every country in which these laws have been repealed what has happened is that um Christians are being impacted and so for example in the United Kingdom the Catholics have had to close down their adoption agencies(host interjects - "cause they are against the whole thing of telling children ...") what I find interesting about the Johns that they didn't realise the world around them was changing until they came in contact with the system. (host - "so the system can be very big? so you realise that Christians in Jamaica and outside of and not only Christians but others who are neccesarily for if they are not aware of what is happening the thing can come on us overnight and you don't even know") more HERE


When asked by the host Miss Blossom White "Would legalizing homosexuality prevent paedophiles, because I've heard the report on the news the victims support unit that many of the little boys age 12 years old they need therapy, would would legalizing this stop anything like that?"


Shirley Richards responds: "I can't see why, I can't say that there is any direct correlation between the repeal of that law and a lessening in the incidence of abuse of minors, I can't see why, I can't see that logically that would follow, I really can't see it, what is needed is for these people, these men to be brought to justice, you know as you mentioned there is still a problem in these countries, look um there is a football coach who was who was, who was fired from his job what was it? at University of Pennsylvania, you know in a country in which there is no sodomy law, there are no sodomy laws in the states of the US and um just recently just a couple days ago he was found guilty of having molested a number of children over the years so to say that if you repeal the buggery law that the incidence of child abuse in this particular area would go down I can't see that that would necessarily follow because it still happens in these countries in which there is no such law ......just find the ways of letting the government know of your disapproval with the repeal of the buggery laws"

Then we saw yesterday an ally of Miss Richards and equally powerful though damaged by recent public events and legal wranglings Reverend Al Miller on his show Word Power as posted on my other sister blog GLBTQJA on Wordpress saying that homosexuality is abnormal and not normative: 


“…remember to pray for our leaders because the word of God says that first of all that prayer should be made for those in authority that we may lead a quieter and peaceable life, remember that the decisions that are made  by those in the seat of governance affect our lives so we want to pray that the wisdom of God, we want to keep the negative forces of evil away so that they will make the right and wise decisions that will ensure our nations is able to become  a productive nation and deal with the social ills.  
Last week we mentioned that issue, the homosexuality thing  continues to be in the air ……… lot of continuing comments to what the British Prime Minister said in the wanting to pressure nations like Jamaica to conform to change our laws to allow that the homosexual lifestyle should be accepted as an alternative   normative lifestyle and as he indicated that those who don’t conform they are considering cutting aid I have indicated we appreciate the aid from our international partners we need it as part of our development process but aid must never be at any cost if it is against the principles of spiritual righteousness  holiness and challenging the morality of our society then it is not a price we are prepared or can afford to pay for economic aid and let us know that if we take a principled stand that out prime minister has done I hope and pray he will continue to maintain a principled stance as the former prime minister did and their government to stand strong and resolute against that practice.
We are not by any means against persons  who have a certain lifestyle, we’ll understand it, we’ll help them, we’ll support them we will pray for them but we cannot take a position that it is normative, it is abnormal, it is not normative and it is not something we can now redefine marriage to include by no means  and so if it means aid won’t come because of that then we must be prepared to suffer for what is right, I tell you more if we stand for what is right on principles  then God will make another way for us all the time deliverance will come from another place, so I’m not worried, don’t you be worried either, we have a God who is on our side cause righteousness exalteth a nation ……”  




Also the presence of ex gay gospel singer and pastor Donnie McClurkin has me suspicious about the issue of reparative therapy being sneaked in on the issue yet again as was done by that so called former lesbian preacher. In 2004, Mr. McClurkin sang at the Republican National Convention. The appearance generated criticism for the event organizers and McClurkin for his statements on homosexuality. He claims to have struggled with homosexuality during his youth for several years, but states that he is now “delivered” from the condition. Also see Rev Al Miller’s previous sentiments some months ago:Rev Al Miller says gay lobby is using the guise of tolerance to get the nation to accept the “gay lifestyle”

Now this morning November 20, 2011 we hear in a brief interview on radio one Dr. Wayne West declaring  Christian lawyers and people of God will not stand by and allow homosexuality to be legalized. He said among others things significant lawyers from Europe are a part of the moves to impose sodomy on Jamaica and that we (the church I would imagine) must resist it. He mentioned the high rates of HIV in the Men who have sex with men community and quoted figures from France and other areas suggesting HIV/AIDS is a gay disease as other religious spokespersons have done instilling a fear that repealing the laws will unleash more infections. In referring to the legal challenge against the buggery laws in Belize that is ongoing he also said "....yes Jamaica is the next place ..... there can be only one, if certain rights dominate in the public sphere the church will be into the closet."


So here we are again folks fear and trepidation being infused into the psyche of the nation or at best the religious community, yet other real issues such as missing children that now literally number in the thousands we do not hear the church so vociferous on or the amount of murders, as I predicted we are in for a show down coming in 2012 it seems, why can't the discussion not become so emotional and theocratically tinged?  


More audio and posts:




We need level heads in going into this critical juncture of the rights struggle, here is an older interview from Aug 2011
Rev. Al Miller Fellowship Tabernacle (Church) and Arlene Harrison - Henry ( Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights I.J.C.H.R.) Debated about Sexual Equality



video


Peace and tolerance


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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.

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Other Blogs I write to:

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

contact:

APJ Website Launch & Link


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




audience members interacting during a break in the event


film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

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

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


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

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

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

MSM/Trans homeless - From gully to graveyard



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

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

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

More HERE

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


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


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

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

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

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


Sexuality - What is yours?

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



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

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

also see if you can

JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness



Reminder

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

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

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

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

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


a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

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

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

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

Also see:

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

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

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

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE


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


New Kingston Cop Proposes Shelter for Shoemaker Gully LGBT Homeless Population




Superintendent Murdock

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

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

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

Gender Identity/Transgederism Radio discussion Jamaica March 2014





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

CLICK HERE for a recording of the show

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



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

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



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



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

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


What to Do .....




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following may apply:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues


If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -

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

There are two standards that must be met:

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

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

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

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

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

"Bail is not a matter for daylight

Locked up and appearing in court

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

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

Other Points of Interest

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

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

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

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

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

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

a) Is the accused a flight risk?

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

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

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

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

Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

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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: glbtqjamaica@live.com 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
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

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



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

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

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


John Maxwell's House