The Safe House Project 2009 for Displaced & Homeless MSM 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 men in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and 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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The US Supreme Court's Four Most Likely Moves On Gay/Lesbian Couples' Marriage Rights .............

Forgive me readers and listeners for this lengthy entry but it is a matter of grave concern I feel and we MUST follow this closely given the local parameters of a fear of gay marriage agitiation from LGBT groups if and when the buggery law is decriminalized or repealed. On Friday (November 30,2012) the US Supreme Court is expected to decide whether it will be hearing cases about the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. Constitutional rights of same-sex couples hang in the balance.


As the news broke everyone worldwide are transfixed on this development and not to be outdone are the opposing sides locally although no definitive response have come from either the Lawyer's Christian Fellowship, LCF, The Jamaica Coalition for Healthy Families who just last Sunday opposed gay marriage and the idea of a gay family to be unhealthy and relegating gay men as doomed to getting HIV the long and short of the discussion on a Christian radio station. 

Chris Geidner of the Buzz Feed has provided an edited set of possibilities for the deliberations to follow.

"The Supreme Court’s decisions on which marriage cases to hear, expected as soon as Friday, likely will set the course of the national debate about gay and lesbian couples' marriage rights for the coming months and years.

The same-sex couples who filed the cases, some of which date to early 2009, are asking courts to rule that laws like the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 are unconstitutional. The decision of which cases to hear — involving all three branches of government — will set up several months of action on the issue at the Supreme Court.

The portion of DOMA being challenged, known as Section 3, requires that the words “marriage” and “spouse” in all federal laws and regulations apply only to marriages between one man and one woman. In 2008, voters in California adopted Proposition 8 to amend the state’s constitution to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. Because two different appeals courts have struck down DOMA, at least one of the several DOMA challenges is almost certain to be accepted by the court. It is less certain whether the court will hear the challenge to Proposition 8.

The court, after several false alarms, now appears to have settled on deciding this Friday which of the cases it will hear. Along with the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases, the court also will be considering a request brought by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who is asking the court to overturn a court order halting enforcement of a state law that ended same-sex couples’ domestic partner health insurance benefits while making no changes to opposite-sex couples’ health insurance benefits.

In Friday’s conference, four of the justices need to vote in favor of hearing a case for the court to accept it, a process called a writ of certiorari.

Although there are numerous possible outcomes of the justices’ Friday conference, four results look most likely:


• The court takes multiple DOMA cases and the Proposition 8 case. This outcome would be the “all in” option, and it would make clear that at least four justices want the court to resolve the legal questions surrounding these issues, from what level of scrutiny that laws classifying people based on sexual orientation should be given (see more about this here) to whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry. (The DOMA cases also feature the unusual circumstances, in place since February 2011, of the Obama administration opposing the law's constitutionality and the House Republican leadership defending the law.)

• The court takes one DOMA case, while holding the other DOMA cases pending that decision, and takes the Proposition 8 case as well. This is not very different from the first possibility, although the choice of one DOMA case over another could be seen as narrowing the type of argument about the law that the court would like to hear. More likely though, it would simply be a sign of the justices having picked a case in which Justice Elena Kagan, who served as the top appellate lawyer in the Obama administration before joining the court and may choose to recuse herself from one or more of the DOMA cases because of that, can participate.

• The court takes a DOMA case (or multiple DOMA cases) and holds the rest of the cases, including Proposition 8, pending the outcome of the DOMA case. This prospect, advanced as a possibility by Georgetown law professor Nan Hunter, could be taken by a cautious court, wanting first to resolve some general questions — including the level of scrutiny to be applied to sexual orientation classifications — before acting on the other, more direct, question about whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry that is raised in the Proposition 8 challenge. This, as with taking the Proposition 8 case, would delay when same-sex couples in California might be able to marry.

• The court takes a DOMA case (or multiple DOMA cases), but denies certiorari in the Proposition 8 case. This option, once considered by advocates to be the most likely possibility, would lead to same-sex couples being able to marry in California within days. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling in the case did not broadly resolve the marriage question, instead holding that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional because it took back rights formerly held by Californians. As there are other cases in the legal pipeline about same-sex couples marriage rights that could make their way to the Supreme Court, the court could decide to let the narrow Ninth Circuit decision stand.

The court also will do something with the Arizona case, but — even though it is not a case about marriage rights — that outcome is likely to be linked, in one way or another, to the way the other cases are handled. If the court takes both DOMA and Proposition 8 challenges, they might hold the Arizona case or deny certiorari. If they deny certiorari in the Proposition 8 case, the justices would almost definitely deny certiorari in the Arizona case. If they accept certiorari in the Arizona case, that would be a surprise and could signal an ambitious agenda by the more conservative justices on the court to reverse the recent trend of court decisions favoring same-sex couples.

Following the conference, the court could announce which new cases it has taken as early as Friday afternoon. The latest an announcement would be expected is 9:30 a.m. Monday, when the court is expected to issue an order list, reporting its actions from the conference. If the justices deny certiorari in the Proposition 8 or Arizona cases, that decision most likely will not be announced until the order list is issued Monday morning — regardless of whether the accepted cases are announced Friday or not.

Once the court accepts a case, the petitioner — generally, the party seeking reversal of the lower court’s opinion — has 45 days to file its opening brief. (This could be slightly adjusted due to the unusual procedural circumstances of the parties in the DOMA cases.) The opposing party or parties have 30 days to respond, and the petitioner then has 30 days to reply to that. During that time, other groups and individuals will submit filings — called amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs — expressing their views on the case.

Then, the court will hold an oral argument on the case — in spring 2013 — and, in the following days, a conference to vote on the case. Although the justices can change their votes, the initial vote sets up the opinion-drafting process, in which one justice in the majority begins crafting the court’s tentative opinion and other justices begin crafting dissenting opinions or, later, opinions concurring in the court’s decision but using somewhat different reasoning. Drafts are circulated and, once the justices are done writing, the opinions are issued — likely in late June 2013."

ENDS

Meanwhile the paranoia of sorts that has set in regarding the feared gay marriage agitation locally is real as it comes, President of the LCF for example has repeatedly hinted to it linking the expected thrust as a part of the "gay agenda" below is a video clip I put together taken from a recent documentary she appeared in.

Shirley Richards' Paranoia on buggery/possible future gay marriage rights in Jamaica



see an old Feb 15th 2006 Gleaner article here:
'Unholy union' - Charter could sanction gay marriage in Jamaica - Christian lawyers check out the panic from Miss Shirley Richards a member of the LCF on the then Charter of Rights deliberations:

"Our concern," said Richards, "is that these words, as innocuously sounding as they are, can be interpreted to allow for adult consensual homosexual conduct in private," said Richards. She added that once homosexual acts are decriminalised, there would be no basis to bar to gay marriage. Mrs. Richards added that the concept of privacy also deals with abortion rights.

"If the government wants to decriminalise either homosexuality or abortion then it must do so squarely. Don't tell us that this will never happen under your watch and then allow for a few choice words in the charter which you know are capable of having this meaning," said Mrs. Richards.


also see: Shirley Richards support Uganda “Kill Gays Bill?”

Also see a recent news item as well where church leaders supposedly oppose gay marriage when in Jamaica it was never asked for when we can't even get passed just basic rights, recognition and freedoms granted. 



Jamaican Church says it won't support same sex unions (as if LGBT Jamaicans asked for that)




If we are to follow new antigay, anti-buggery and anti abortion group Jamaican Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS which aslo has LCF members in its midst then LGBT people under their system of rule (theocracy) would never see themselves having any marriage rights or family structure to include raising children, see: Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS continued confusion of paedophilia & consenting homosexuality but if we can't get a sensible home and family life curriculum in schools so as to properly prepare youngsters to understand sex and sexuality then how are these anti gay groups in a position to be moralists about family life when they are afraid to talk about issues on such especially when homosexuality is involved? see: Urgent need to discuss Sex & sexuality nationally part 2
also see the following: 

MoBay Church Fraternity Says No To Buggery Review 

Vatican vows to fight gay marriage after gains made on sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica

Group braces for costly fight against gays





Church angry, gays happy PNP on collision course with Christians ………………. but some of us are not impressed




In a recent radio discussion one theologian Reverend Everett Allen said gay marriage is radically against the teachings of Christ while another used Genesis 2:24 to back his position and also said that's the biblical text for marriage on the premise of procreation. Another theologian the Reverend Earl Thames said "If same sex marriage becomes a normal institution of society it is the end of the human race ....in itself contains the seed of destruction" (May 11, 2012 on Morning Watch Love 101 FM) but I wonder who had all these gay children in the first place wasn't it heterosexuals in their versions of unions for guess what? Procreation!!!!!!!! some intellectuals do not think sometimes before they speak and just pontificate on absolutism. When it was suggested by the host that gay marriage be another form of relationship accorded the same rights and state benefits as heterosexual unions he responded that one can't say it's an additional as one does not know who will be involved in it. Rev Thames feared gay marriage may become the preferred union (he did not say by whom) and as for raising children it may become an issue. He also said that the Greek and Roman empires were brought to their end due to homosexuality. Civil unions however are being considered by the Rev Allen as an option for now but not marriage in its true form. Theological and physical dimensions of concerns raised by the men in the interview. 

Others surmise that the gay community is trying to use same sex marriage as a front to desire respectability for the "homosexual lifestyle" (some can't bring themselves to see it as sexual orientation so they continuously use that term) and to legitimise the protection of their beloved by the law. 

Gay marriage rights not just marriage in and of itself does in fact gives it social respectability but in my eyes it's about the equal footing of rights and state recognition with activates benefits for the parties involved such as pension, death and housing (NHT). Both men had predicted doom for Obama at the time in the US election as they claimed his support for gay marriage would have been his downfall. Rev Allen said "......it may be a significant nail in his presidential coffin......." but ironically the opposite occurred and it became the flower in the vase on the centre table instead.



After digging my archives I found a part of a presentation by Mrs Simpson Miller in 2009 (poor audio though) where she sided wholeheartedly with the then Prime Minster Bruce Golding (his speech linked) on the banning of gay marriage, gay marriage rights by the way was never asked for by the LGBT advocacy structure at that time but it was dishonestly pushed on the agenda during the Charter of Rights debate then as a smoke screen to deny us recognition in the Charter. The clause that had discrimination as an infraction then was also removed from the draft prior to this speech after successful lobbying by none other than the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and Shirley Richards with support from none other than reparative therapy advocate Reverend Al Miller. Sadly we had little presence during those deliberations.
 
PM Miller said on October 20th 2009 in parliament - "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity ………. yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ………."

also see: 
UNAIDS Director says the PNP offers hope for the repealing of the buggery law …… but some concerns exist



Has Prime Minister Simpson Miller changed her mind or is evolving as President Obama did and is moving towards having the review done and will she get the needed support as per conscience vote to make the repeal possible or at best decriminalization from her members of parliament especially folks such as A.J. Nicholson? who when he was Justice minister and then leader of govt business (in opposition during the sexual offences bill deliberations) vehemently opposed same sex marriage here is a statement issued at the time: PNP 2006, No plans to Legalise Same Sex Union   

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




.........and now first time MP Lambert Brown (Dec 2011 vote) who opposed condoms in prisons saying it was homosexuality being snuck through the back door? Mr. Brown said. “Those who are promoting condoms in prison are using the back door to promote homosexuality which is illegal.” he has since been hinting his position on the issue which is definitely not in the affirmative. See: Male Rape .... nobody wants to talk about it


We have to keep a close eye on this one. Here also is a very old podcast from my now defunct 2009 blogtalk radio show but I captured the clip for you:



Peace and tolerance

H

XXXTTRRRAA Clovis cartoon from the Observer following Obama's "evolving" position on the matter in the US, you be the judge. 



UPDATE June 26, 2013 DOMA IS DEAD:
The US Supreme Court DOMA Decision


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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 realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

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

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 .....

When Arrested and taken to a Police Station you have the right to:

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.

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