Was this letter even penned by a member of the community really or a homophobe posing as such?
As for his students well they are up in knots along with the administration of the University of Technology, here is the letter from a member of the community, pity their name was not placed. Also what is glaring is that other former activists have left Jamaica without any cloudy and controversial circumstances as the reasons for their departure was clear as crystal to everyone. The letter reads as follows:
IN YOUR editorial on Tuesday, you made mention of the fact that as law students, those who Maurice Tomlinson teach should take into consideration Section 13 (3)(a) of the Charter of Rights in Jamaica's Constitution which speaks about the right to life. As a member of the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender community, I know all to well the negativity, such as threats and physical attacks, that we as lesbians and gays have to go through at times.
I can also relate to what the students are going through, especially those who have to work while attending school.
I might get a backlash from the community for what I'm about to say, but who gives a damn?
Mr Tomlinson, being a well-known activist, is fully aware of the dangers members of the community face, and as a well-thinking adult, he could have gone about things differently. There's no way his marriage could have remained a secret with him being a well-known activist, and more recently, with him receiving the David Cato award. Mr Tomlinson should have foreseen the current events. It's no business of mine what goes on in Mr Tomlinson's personal life, but he needs to answer a few questions.
1. Why didn't you put a plan in place for your students in the event of incidents like this?
2. Why couldn't you have ended the semester and then take care of your personal life (your wedding)?
3. I'm sure you are capable of using our current technology. Why didn't you plan webinars and make use of various related tools for your students?
It was very rude of Mr Tomlinson to just tell his students to sit in with other lecturer(s).
I'd be very upset too.
Also see the post below for more as there have been other members of the community including the intelligentsia who have expressed some outrage at the whole matter and the timing of the wedding article, the timing of the departure of Mr Tomlinson from Jamaica (January 10, 2012) and then the subsequent travel to London to collect the David Kato award and cash grant along with it just looks too suspicious and manipulative of the systems for personal gain. The systems seemed to have been worked especially the lobby for the award in London so enough publicity had to be done via TV appearances and a leaked hint to the wedding in Canada which originally took place in August.
This comment when first made/posted was deleted from a Facebook group where JFLAG operatives converge by one of the administrators who work with the organization I have since gathered. Another dangerous precedence for muzzling and or dictatorship and the prescriptive nature to the rest of the community? yet we ask for tolerance elsewhere.
Frankly, from reading this article, I don't get a sense of someone who's been forced to "flee". People who "flee" don't have a return date scheduled. If someone is fleeing for their life because of circumstances beyond control, how exactly did he suddenly regain enough control to be able to"schedule" when his safety concerns had been resolved? What I do get a sense of is someone who's taking advantage of the reputation that Jamaica has gained, and using it to his own ends. That is, how convenient that such "safety concerns" emerge as significant right around the same time when he goes to London to go pick up his award?
And who told the newspaper that he was away from work? Let me guess....
Suffice it to say, this story reeks of unprofessional and unethical behaviour on Maurice's part. It may well be that faculty members in Jamaica can and do mistreat students however they want - cancel classes, don't show up, don't give the students their grades, etc. - with no repercussions. But to use homophobia as the excuse for not showing up, ad to have the administration in knots over how to deal with this crisis, when I'm sure they sense that things are not as they appear - that is beyond selfish and self-involved.
I am totally sick and tired of lgbt Jamaican individuals manipulating the already hostile situation at home by making themselves into scapegoats and victims, just so they can appropriate resources and attention for themselves. I was wondering where the leaked story of the wedding was going, and I can already see.
In my opinion, there needs to be a total news lockout against Maurice Tomlinson unless what he's talking about or doing DIRECTLY involves broader community, and there's sufficient corroboration of his accounts. He is being very manipulative in his conduct, and is harming the movement in many ways. Others have pulled similar stunts in the past, but Maurice is taking the situation to a whole other level. And he's counting on the silence and gullibility of lgbt Jamaicans as well as the fears of straight people to help him accomplish whatever he's set his mind to, and which won't benefit anyone but himself. Enough already."
Remarks by Maurice Tomlinson, AIDS-Free World’s Legal Advisor on Marginalized Groups, upon receiving the inaugural ‘David Kato Vision and Voice Award’ London, UK, January 29, 2012, 6:00 PM
more on audio
Peace and tolerance