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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Govt Advances Plans to Establish National Human Rights Institute .........

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More announcements or genuine work here by government given what played out at the review earlier this year?

see:


UN Pressure Mounts For Jamaica To Repeal Anti-Gay Laws, Improve LGBT Environment

Now we are told that Officers within the public sector are to commence human rights training in June, as the Government advances plans to establish a National Human Rights Institute for Jamaica.

The training, which will begin with judicial officers, is targeting all public sector professionals, whose work involve aspects of human rights.

The Government has been working on establishing the Institute since May 2014 with technical support from the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It will complement the existing network of institutions that are mandated to protect the rights of nationals.

In a statement in the Senate (May 22), on Jamaica’s recent Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights, Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, explained that the intention is to “go through the system to train the different cohort of persons, who are part of the key agencies and institutions that touch and concern human rights”.


more here


“Part of the plan of action is to train people on human rights issues, the conventions, the existing infrastructure in Jamaica, and the role of the National Human Rights Institute,” he said.

He said the Government is looking at the Office of the Public Defender “as a possible and likely candidate for the expansion of its role to become the National Human Rights Institute. We have been working with them around that issue.”

Opposition Senator, Kavan Gayle, commended the Government on the work it continues to do in the area of safeguarding human rights.

“As a developing country, we appear as if we are really first world in protecting human rights and we must be commended on that,” he said.

Another Opposition Senator, Alexander Williams, contended that the establishment of the institute, is the “lynchpin of the policing of how the state deals with human rights”.

“The intention of the National Human Rights Institute will be to actively go out there and defend the human rights of people and may even suggest additional economic rights outside of what may now exist in the Constitution for the state to consider,” he pointed out.

For her part, Opposition Senator, Marlene Malahoo Forte, noted that the Government of Jamaica has done a lot in the realm of human rights.

“We have a tendency to criticise ourselves very harshly and while there is a place for that, a lot of work has been done by Jamaica, and Jamaica has led the way in many areas (of human rights),” she said.

Jamaica participated in the meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, from May 13 to 15, 2015, which considered the country’s report to the 22nd session of the Second Cycle Universal Periodic Review.

The Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council was established pursuant to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution of March 15, 2006.

All UN Member States participate in the Universal Periodic Review process, which is aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground, and supporting co-operation in the promotion and protection of human rights; ensuring the fulfilment of each state’s human rights obligations and commitments.

It also encourages the sharing of best practices among states and other stakeholders; as well as full co-operation and engagement among the Human Rights Council, other human rights bodies, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The review takes the form of an interactive dialogue between the state concerned and the other UN member states.

The first cycle of the review spanned the four-year period, 2008 to 2011. The current (second) cycle began in June 2012, and during this period, countries are required to update the Council on measures taken to implement the recommendations that were accepted, as well as any other pertinent reforms and developments relating to human rights in their countries.A

Sunday, June 14, 2015

How the EU can promote LGBT rights in the ACP group

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also see: Despite opposition, EU Parliament votes for LGBTI rights/trans identity depathologization in gender equality strategy from sister blog GLBTQJA, I however came across this publication excerpted below sent to me via email.

The Cotonou Agreement, the core of political and trade relations between the European Union and the group of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states revealed a major issue related to the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) rights. In more than half of ACP states (49 out of 79) homosexuality is illegal and is punished with up to 14 years in jail. In five countries, it warrants the death penalty. 

view here

Promoting democracy and respect for human rights, the EU has immediately expressed concern regarding the dissimilar views and practices between the agreed parties. Although member states differ in particular legislation, all 28 recognise homosexuality and LGBT rights, which are protected under the EU treaties. Capital punishment is prohibited in the EU, per Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Any partnership between EU and ACP states cannot be legitimised without consensus regarding essential human
 and therefore LGBT rights. 


To this end, the EU strives to affect change in the domestic policies of its Cotonou partners which would elevate the legal status and norms regarding their LGBT communities. One way in which the EU could promote its values beyond its borders is through positive conditionality within the framework of the Cotonou Agreement. Political dialogue benefits all parties involved and is the surest approach to foster acceptance of the LGBT community in the ACP group. The message promoted by EU representatives did not resonate with the heads of ACP states, especially in the case of Uganda and Nigeria, which recently adopted new anti-LGBT legislation, expanding the criminalisation of it, and obliging anyone who might be aware of a LGBT person to report it to the authorities.


“Human rights and minority rights are universal, and we cannot accept these laws. It is time for the EU to look at the restrictive measures available under the Cotonou Agreement. Trampling human rights should come with economic consequences.” 

Olle Schmidt MEP, Member of the ACP-EU delegation and Member of the LGBT Intergroup.

Should the EU use sanctions?


Sanctions are used in the belief that economic restrictions 
weaken target regime access to the vital resources necessary to sustain their political power and domestic order.
When the regime’s coercive power is undermined by public opinion and contested by elites who benefitted from the status quo ante,it is expected that human rights conditions will improve.

The overwhelming majority of sanctions research concludes that sanctions are a largely ineffective policy tool of compelling compliance. Outlined in “Basic Principles on the Use of Restrictive Measures (Sanctions)”, the EU identifies sanctions as a last-resort instrument to ‘name and shame’ its targets. The EU takes care to minimise public suffering by issuing ‘smart’ sanctions targeting individuals wielding political or economic power. However, these elites are able to evade the costly effects of sanctions by deflecting them downward, funnelling the burden disproportionately upon average citizens.

Sanctions would undermine the Cotonou Agreement

A fundamental principle of the Cotonou Agreement is recognition of equality of partnership among EU and ACP countries.

Dictating terms and punishing non compliance neither serves European interests nor aspirations. Public opinion in ACP countries is resolutely in opposition to LGBT rights. They will, in time,come to accept the LGBT community as equal citizens not by force, but of their own volition. The EU cannot expect ACP governments to adhere to foreign demands that are unpopular among their domestic constituencies. Economically punishing ACP countries for human rights violations will impede and reverse progress toward the Agreement’s objectives of eradicating poverty and integrating those countries into the global economy. Sanctions yield an array of unintended and damaging consequences, including an increase in poverty and unemployment as well as deterioration of public health.
Sanctions increase human rights violations.

Political leaders in targeted states perceive and publicly represent sanctions as an affront to sovereignty and national unity. Facing an external threat, they are able to divert public attention and rally it against the sender. Under these conditions, leaders are able to exploit sanctions to broaden their base of support and justify further crackdown against the domestic opposition minority.

A study of the human rights effects of economic sanctions from 1981 to 2000 finds that so-called ‘smart’ human rights sanctions increase the rate of disappearances, extra-judicial killings, political imprisonment, and torture; the scope of the sanctions is positively correlated with the harm caused. Additionally, sanctions produce even more harmful effects when issued multilaterally.

Sanctions would not improve LGBT status

For the use of sanctions to be justified, the EU needs to have a reasonable probability of success. There is little reason to believe that sanctions would stimulate recognition of LGBT rights. The EU must wrest with the fact that regimes discriminating against the LGBT community are reflecting the broad popular sentiment. A 2014 Pew survey finds that 98% of Ghanaians, 93% of Ugandans, 88% of Kenyans, and 85% of Nigerians consider homosexuality immoral.

An ACP government that caves to sanctions would galvanise a majority of the population against the regime. Sanctions undermine the political stability necessary to affect human rights conditions.

For the human rights status to improve for LGBT people in
ACP countries, the people’s hearts and minds must first be won. Economic punishments and threats thereof will not attract any audience to European values and norms.

Conclusions

Before levying sanctions, the EU should thoroughly assess the extent by which LGBT rights violations impede collaborating to attain the objectives of the Cotonou Agreement. Furthermore, the Article 8 of the Agreement clearly specifies a dialogue, which implies a positive level of negotiation that may not result in tangible policy change.
The main risk of applying sanctions is creating a hostile environment for cooperation, which could produce results on the opposite spectrum of those anticipated. It can be expected that, although sanctions would have immediate, short-term results, they would fail to produce significant social change in the long run, since they would be addressing (i) political institutions, not society as a whole, and (ii) the result of certain social prejudices and tensions, not their cause. It should also be seen what the outcome of applying sanctions in other fields was (e.g. arms trade, drugs,organised crime), in contrast to positive conditionality. 

As a solution, EU actions in the fight against sexual and gender discrimination would be more successful by appealing to dialogue. In this manner, the level of the approach would be enlarged, incorporating the engagement with not only the governments, but also with civil society actors and NGOs.

“Recent moves to criminalise homosexuality and to impose severe prison sentences on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people constitute an unacceptable violation of the basic rights of individuals. Additionally, appropriate measures should be taken against countries who continue to criminalise homosexuality or pass even more repressive laws. LGBTI rights are human rights!”

Martin Schulz, European Parliament President, Fourth EU-Africa Summit, 2014

Some Previous posts:
African, Caribbean & Pacific Countries refuse to include declaration of gay rights in Brussels. 2010





Friday, June 12, 2015

Public Defender pleased with diversity training for police

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Speaking at the Jamaica Constabulary Force diversity training workshop aka COMET, Community Empowerment Transformation Project (COMET II) at the Jewels Resort in Runaway Bay today Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry commented on some concerns she has on the interactions between police and marginalized groups. She said it is timely for the force to participate in such activity and to reinforce policies that already exist.

She stressed that continuous training is required to remind individuals in varying professions for the need to maintain professionalism especially with marginalised groups.



"I regard this program and this training to provide greater sensitization of the police to the diversity of the Jamaican population and it includes a broad group of persons; to include women whose rights particularly in relation to matters of domestic violence over time we see the police being more engaged in matters of that nature and not merely treating it as a family matter." she said. 

"This training can only inure to improve services offered by the Jamaican Constabulary Force to the citizens of Jamaica," Ms Henry added sadly our same gender women in some recent cases cannot say that and as per usual launched initiatives, campaigns and trainings happen but implementation, continuation and monitoring has always been a challenge.

In as far as clash of rights from an LGBT standpoint where one journalist from NNN asked Ms Henry if some groups rights will supersede others, Miss Henry answered "I don't think it (LBGT populations) enjoys the rights that it ought to enjoy .........." she continued that there is continuous logging and recording of reports from various groups but she stressed the police has a duty under law to treat all citizens with dignity. She said that the Charter of Rights speaks to all persons owning their own rights and to preserve it for their families and future generations.

Some rights are absolute such the right to freedom or protection from torture when in police custody there is an absolute prohibition on any acts of torture while in the hands of the state.

She does not see a clash given the level of awareness and to guard such rights as applicable. "I come from a place that says that there is no room for discrimination, one against the other; we know that there are minority groups in Jamaica who may have a particular point of view; they have an entitlement to operate within that sphere."

She continued "That does not deny us our national identity; in other words by and large we are a heterosexual population but we must have respect for those who are not ..... it's a matter of engagement using set standards and principles that the state that we occupy on this island is shared in a way that each one is comfortable with the other; with mutual respect and dignity to all groups."

Ms Henry also spoke on camera on the matter:


video

The USAID COMET II workshop is in aid of supporting community based policing, sensitizing the force on issues to do with women & girls, people living with disabilities and members of the LGBT community. The workshop will run for four days June 12 -13 and again on 19 -20 all at the Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa St Ann.


 Arlene Harrison Henry reviving the instruments of office from the Governor General January 16 becoming the first female to head the office

Ms Henry raised the following at the training sessions:

Earlier in May USAID announced the activity:

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing $330 million (US$3 million) in grant assistance to support targeted community activities under phase two of its Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (COMET II).

The Small Grants Program will provide direct funding support to community groups, faith-based organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and civil society organisations, to assist in strengthening local governance structures, and improving safety and security, particularly in volatile and vulnerable areas.

Provisions are also being earmarked to support the implementation of climate change adaptation activities, with focus on reducing the risk of disasters occurring, due to extreme weather patterns.

Three initial grants have been earmarked for allocation under the program. The first is $2.7 million to administer programs for “at risk” young people. The other two total just over $17.9 million to undertake youth and sports, skills trade, and vocational training programs.

While focus will be placed on providing support to the 25 communities where COMET II is being implemented, the small grants program will also be open for wider stakeholder participation, input, and benefit.

COMET II is $1.4 billion (US$13 million) community intervention initiative which USAID is implementing in the 25 communities across five parishes over the next five years, in partnership with the Government of Jamaica.

It is a continuation of work carried out under the program’s initial phase, between 2006 and 2013, in the 25 communities. These are among 100 communities targeted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) for social interventions, under its Community Renewal Programme (CRP).

COMET’s overall aim supports the Government’s objectives and key aspects of the country’s Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan, which seeks to position the island to achieve developed country status within 16 years and, in the process, making it the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.

The COMET II Small Grants Program was formally launched by USAID Mission Director in Jamaica, Denise Herbol, during a ceremony. The occasion was also used to stage a climate change sensitisation session for participants attending the event, most of whom were from COMET II beneficiary communities.

In her remarks, Ms. Herbol said these engagements were “all about working with our communities and helping people.”

She noted that the extent of the USAID’s activities in Jamaica, over a number of years, has seen the agency establish a track record for promoting community safety and security; widening access to quality basic education; and increasing the resilience of targeted sectors, to climate change.

The Mission Director assured that under the USAID’s latest initiatives, “our emphasis remains an integrated approach to creating opportunities for secure livelihoods through a more cohesive, just, and healthy environment.”

In his remarks, Programme Director for the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s Community Renewal Programme (CRP), Charles Clayton, highlighted the importance of the COMET programme, particularly in complementing and assisting to advance work carried out under the CRP.

“The Community Renewal Programme is built on…partnerships…people working together in a coordinated way to bring about transformation in the (targeted) communities,” he stated.

Mr. Clayton pointed out that the COMET II programme focuses on such as security and safety, economic transformation, and the environment and climate change, offering, “(the) bridge that we all need…to re-unite our communities…and… make the changes that we need to see in our communities, to make a better Jamaica”.

Director of Governance at the Social Development Commission (SDC), Sherine Francis, said the COMET II grant programme and climate change sensitisation “signifies another important event towards advancing community development and building resilient communities.”


ENDS


Reminder of the Police's Diversity Policy
The Jamaica Constabulary Force believes that all citizens of Jamaica and visitors to its shores have a right to be treated with dignity and respect irrespective of who they are or the particular grouping to which they belong; through the Jamaica Constabulary Force policy on diversity the organization has strived to ensure fair treatment of all in its service delivery.
It is the policy of the Jamaica Constabulary Force that all reports from any individual or group be handled in a manner which reflects the highest level of professionalism in respects to human rights and dignity, this should be done with a view to portraying a professional image of the police and enhancing positive relationships between the wider community and the police service.



ENDS

Ms Henry has batted before at the crease several times prior to assuming the Public Defender's office leadership, one such memorable moment was with the now charged for perverting the course of justice one Reverend Al Miller:





and 





RJR's Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller had Arlene Harrison Henry on Human Rights Day 2012 on the the removal of language in the form of sexual orientation on the Summary Executions UN Resolution - On November 21, 2012, Jamaica voted against resolution A/C.3/67/L.36 at the United Nations condemning extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions which urges States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation.

Hope that the trickle down effect from this and what appears to be future training sessions will be evidenced in real terms during the police precinct customer service engagement and subsequent follow-up where required.

Peace and tolerance

UPDATE June 22

RUNAWAY BAY, St Ann -- With two weekends of training seminars completed, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are expected to be more aware of the diverse groups in society and to better understand the safety and security issues facing them.

Fifty members of the JCF underwent two-day diversity training sessions at the Jewel Paradise Cove in St Ann over two weekends. Twenty-five members were trained in the first session with another 25 completed the training sessions yesterday.

The training sessions, which were held in partnership between the JCF and the USAID/COMET II project, saw the law enforcers being made aware of how to deal with vulnerable groups in carrying out their duties. The areas of focus were women and girls, people living with disabilities, marginalised youth and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Guest speaker at the opening ceremony on Friday, June 12, Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry, commended the JCF for the creation and implementation of its diversity policy. She also praised the USAID for working with the JCF to host the training sessions.

"One size does not necessarily fit all," she pointed out, insisting that every Jamaican had her own expectations and deserves equal treatment, and so the policy was a positive step in that direction.

Harrison Henry said that the Jamaican legal framework has been slow to recognise the increasing diversity in the population. She called on participants in the training seminars to make use of the training which will enhance their professional and technical skills and which allow them to carry out their duties conscientiously.

"As public servants, sometimes we have to stop and reflect on who is the public that we serve," she said.

She reminded the police that to serve and to protect was not only a moral duty but also a legal one.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Dr Gary Welsh said the training is not only for the Community Safety and security Branch but for the entire JCF. However, focus is placed on members of the Community Safety Branch (CSSB) because they interface with the public on a daily basis.

He said that the police diversity policy was rolled out in 2012.

"This training now helps to empower our officers to understand the training and how to use it as a tool in delivering service to our various groups. The persons who have been selected have been picked from all divisions across the country so that when they go back they will be the trainers," Bishop Welsh said.

Members from Respect Jamaica also participated in the sessions.

"We partnered with the USAID because we felt that this initiative is here to serve and protect and is dealing with a diverse group of Jamaicans. If they understand how to deal with each group then that will strengthen their ability to serve and protect," said Anna-Kim Robinson, programme manager of Respect Jamaica.

Donaree Muirhead, training coordinator and community policing coordinator with the USAID Comet II, encouraged members of the JCF to approach the training with open minds. She urged them to put away preconceived conceptions and be willing to share their views on situations so that they will leave the training with clarity.

She said the objectives of the training sessions included raising the awareness of the police as it pertains to the nuances of the diverse groups in society, to better understand the safety and security issues and challenges facing the diverse groups to increase the capacity of the CSSB to develop interventions that are inclusive or are specific to the needs of diverse groups, to enable the police to maintain professionalism in the discharge of duties, to treat with dignity and respect, uphold and preserve the human rights of all irrespective of who the individual is or to which group a person belongs.

The training facilitators were experienced and recognised persons who are leading voices for the diverse groups.

They included Rochelle McFee of WE Change; Taitu Heron, UN Women Jamaica Programme; Gloria Goffe, Combined Disabilities Association, and Miguel Williams, programme development Specialist at the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

H

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Man gets six months for acid attack

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Sometimes the things we do we have to pay the price eventually and such seems to be the case with this latest internal community matter gone public. 

The Star news carried the following:


A self-proclaimed homosexual yesterday drew reference to lines from dancehall artiste Alkaline's 2013 hit 'My Life (Lowe Mi)' (video below) as he sought to justify why he threw acid on a man whom he alleges, provoked him on a regular basis.


He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for the offence, however, not before boldly stating, "Dem fi lowe mi mek mi live mi life! Mi a homosexual, it's my life."





When the matter was called up in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, the accused, Marlon Hamilton, pleaded guilty to the offence.

He is charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. Hamilton explained to the court, "Your Honour, mi walk like a girl and mi nuh business. Him and him fren dem always a trouble me. Him a trouble- maker. Him see mi and box mi up tru mi a live my life. Mi tired a it. A my life! Mi nah trouble dem. Mi mek all report to the Hunts Bay police bout it. Mi jus tired a it, so mi throw di something on him."


(English Translation not included in the original article)
"Your Honour, I walk like a girl and I do not care. He and his friends always interfering (troubling) me; he is a troublemaker. He has seen me and slapped me in my face (box) all because I am living my life. I am tired of it, it is my life and I am not interfering with them.
I have made reports to the Hunts Bay police before; I am just tired of it so I threw the item (acid) on him."

The complainant received burns to his face and right side of his body. Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey said, "You know how much time people trouble me? That doesn't give you a reason to be walking around with acid."

Hamilton told the court that he did not walk with the acid. 


He claims it was given to him."I never walk with it, Your Honour. A somebody give it to me. Mi tek it and throw on him and see it here, some of it catch me."

After his sentence was handed down, he said, "Thank you, thank you, yuh hear? Mi will do my time."

A fingerprint order was also made.


ENDS

I can understand the need to have what maybe considered protection in the eyes of some when on the streets especially MSM who exposed from various means and reasons but the appropriate time should be when one is attacked I would imagine, not in a fight allegedly with someone else.

The frustration by the accused in terms of harassment should not be overlooked as that can push anyone over the edge but clear judgement is required for a cool head so as to avoid running into things like this.

It was only some days ago I lamented to a friend that our younger MSM/Transgender populations are lacking guidance and role models to emulate and hence find themselves in all kinds of disastrous consequences due to poor judgement and life choices. A corroborated incident in St Catherine where a drag queen had a hard time with a male client of hers as she failed to deliver 'services' to his satisfaction and the disgruntled man sought to teach her a lesson via body blows and throwing her from a car as it drove by a gas station nearing the Spanish Town hospital.

As we turn the corner nationally though in terms of outward gender non conformity, high visibility of same and MSM/Transgender populations be they homeless or not there are bound to be more fallouts like this as things settle or normalize.

Peace and tolerance

H

Remembering Brian Williamson (September 4 1945 - June 9, 2004)

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Brian Williamson (September 4 1945 - June 9, 2004) was one of our first out Jamaican Gay rights activist besides another co-founder Larry Chang's public advocacy, Brian was a businessman, philanthropist, club owner/promoter and co-founder of the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians and Gays, J-Flag. 

Also see: Larry Chang ........ a Reintroduction a post I had put together from 2008

Brian with cutie Tessa back in the day

Uncle Brian was known for personally housing and looking after gay people in Jamaica, his networking skills became legendary especially with displaced gay and bisexual men at his business property where he often used the drapery/awning factory section adjacent the club danceloor as an overnight shelter for short stays. A pleasant smile was what one would get upon entering his complex but a serious disciplinarian up until his death and he sought to it that homeless persons were assisted in what ever way he could, beneficiaries had to tow the line and abide by the guidelines for stay, which may explain my push in this regard as my early exposure to that side of on the ground advocacy and his own struggle to convince others to include that part of crisis interventions far more into the mix.



He was murdered with a machete, suffering multiple stab wounds to neck and face. Williamson's confessed murderer, Dwight Hayden,was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after fifteen years. The case raised several concerns regarding non homophobic killings, credibility in crisis communication, non-romantic same gender sexual liaisons gone bad, community based assistance with trust challenges and Jamaica's entrenched homophobia (the cheering by the public outside the murder scene as the body was taken away).


Other posts and articles on Brian:
Remembering Brian Williamson

Gleaner on Remembering Brian Williamson June 20, 2004
More related posts that named Brian: HERE
More from Gay Jamaica Watch: HERE
More from GLOBALGAYZ: HERE

Sadly missed

One of the founding members of JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals & Gays (worth repeating)

Brian outside his home/club in New Kingston where he was taken from us sadly.

former dancehall queen and wife of Beenieman popularly known as Carlene was the one who interviewed Brian on her talkshow back in the 90s

Owner of one of the most successful gay entertainment spots in Jamaica, The Entourage and a dedicated activist. One of the memorable moments in our GLBTQ history is an appearance on Jamaican television then known as (JBC) Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation coming out to the nation and by extension the world and putting a face to the gay community. He gave me my big break on the LGBT party scene at the time when I made my transition from the mainstream sound system sector, my nights were Fridays. Also we should remember Brian's business sidekick Michael Melbourne who also was murdered brutally in his New Kingston apartment, 
long time friend, ally to the community, philanthropist, art dealer, club owner/manager and an activist in his own right, was taken from us in October 14 2001 to be precise brutally by assailants in his home. He was known as the bubbly manager of the then Entourage LGBT nightclub in Kingston as owned and operated by late activist Brian Williamson who was also murdered in 2004, a fate that seems to follow open hearted persons in the community and it begs the question were they duped into scenarios and towards persons with ulterior motives that lead to their own demise?

Michael was also known for his contributions financially and otherwise to non governmental organizations and was very active during the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Jamaica as the photo below shows he was making a donation to a popular NGO at the time.



the legendary Michael Melbourne also see more here:
LGBT HISTORY MONTH: ALLIES – POSTHUMOUS RECOGNITION ’11 PART 1

GAY & BISEXUAL INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, HOMOPHOBIC INCIDENTS & CRISIS COMMUNICATION




Here are some setmixes I had done on some of the dancefloor anthems from the day.

The VHS tapes of the JBC interview should be available at JFLAG's archives in Kingston, we hope they have been stored properly and not left to go the route of the Gay Freedom Movement (GFM) archives that subsequently what was left of those were retrieved by it's founder Larry Chang and archived overseas were not in good condition due to poor handling and storage, sad as Jamaica should have been the repository for such important materials. We must preserve our past a people who do not know or respect their past cannot plan for the future.

A pity as he must be turning in his grave now to see how we still are at odds over what is to be done for the movement in totality of the LGBTQI communities instead we are left with a joke of an advocacy though very slowly changing; with criticisms of dissenting voices described as "bickering" as if the establishment are infallible when the engagement of everyone for or against should be the thrust forward in dealing with not just the repulsion of the buggery law while affixing HIV/AIDS issues which seems to be the main focus while the urgently required social interventions for certain sections of the community to uplift and rebuild their lives.


Sadly it seems more about self-aggrandizement coupled with what appears as an elitist agenda with a general intolerance for views outside the system. The ordinary LGBTQI body politic seems relegated to just followers with selected individuals given a platform. The loss of a former volunteer and contracted individual in 2011 via a gruesome murder with not so much as some formal recognition for however small his contribution was glaring to say the least.

Read more here from the Wordpress edition of GLBTQJA

All this was not the original plan when The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays when first formed and launched albeit that from the get go if I am to go from memory the signs of the aforementioned opposition to certain types of intervention ideas were knocking at the door but were not as pronounced as today.

Let us however move towards working together for the greater good of those down trodden and or displaced with a sense of hopelessness, rest assured the criticisms will not and cannot be stopped as it is by picking the meat from same and having real forumatic activities that the solutions will come.

Love always

Peace and tolerance


H

Monday, June 8, 2015

There goes gay marriage paranoia again ....

0 comments
Another pastor has sought to rile up his congregants in a church service where several heterosexual couples renewed their vows and as per usual the fear mongering as if granted gay marriage rights (as is inevitable after dealing with buggery first of course) is going to take away the rights presently enjoyed and protected by straight couples via the various marriage acts.

Heterosexuals are already as far as I am concerned are the ones who are killing the institution of marriage in its traditional forms, just take a look at the divorce rates in recent years and also the repeated complaints of persons in the church who are pressured into sometimes hastily put together marriages and despite counseling the requisite professional misses the downlow same sex attracted or bisexual partner in the prospective union and then disaster strikes afterwards.

In a previous post on June 3, 2015 (Sexual Orientation questions in premarital counselling) the very issue of deception in marriage was addressed but the parachuted gay marriage smoke screen to deny rights and tolerance is a kind of deception of its own and more egregious when it comes from religious voices. A question I have asked and to date no serious answer has come as contained in this previous post headlined: When did anyone ask for gay marriage rights in Jamaica when we can't get basic tolerance? from an official advocacy point of view where then the Methodists were the ones who screamed no to gay marriage. 

Today's Observer headline screamed: 


Pastor knocks same sex marriage as 70 couples renew wedding vows

’Marriage is what God calls marriage’

A local pastor did not mince words yesterday as he reaffirmed the church's position on same sex marriage stridently declaring that it was not ordained by God but was simply an arrangement.

"I don't call it marriage. I call it an arrangement. Marriage is what God calls marriage, not what somebody else calls marriage," Reverend Rennard White said as he delivered the message at Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre on Waltham Park Road, in Kingston where some 70 couples collectively renewed their wedding vows.

He added: "It seemed to have missed God, but he didn't know that a man could actually be a wife or that a woman could be a husband, he didn't know that, that seemed to have escaped him but (United States) President (Barack) Obama knows that; However, it is against the Lord."

White said marriage as an institution is honourable, godly and was designed to work, but the issues come when people with misconstrued values enter.

"It is God's institution, not an institution created by some social scientist. Marriages are not the problem, it's people who are the problem. It is a godly institution that's designed to work. If dishonourable people are into an honourable institution what do you think will happen?" he said.

White, who is also the vice president of the Jamaica Evangelical Alliance, president of the Missionary Church Association and board chairman of the Jamaica Theological Seminary said that the purpose of renewing vows is to build good family structure and charged that for a marriage to be successful, couples have to give it their best shot as it isn't easy.

"Whatever you're marriage looks like today, under God, I hope you are working to make it work. Some people have concluded that this marriage thing is an endurance test and when you can't take it anymore you call it quits. The feminists have a position on it where they say it's not their death [in reference to till death do us part], it's the death of the relationship, and the popular word is you only have two types of people who are married -- those who are unhappy and stay with it, or those who are unhappy and leave it," he said.

White added that couples should understand that their marriage is what they make it and it is the foundation of a solid family structure and society.

"If we get marriages right, we're going to get a lot of things right in this country," White said.

Moreover, he acknowledged that in the 21st century, more than ever, challenges have arisen that have raised a lot of questions with regards to family life.

"Are we fighting a losing battle as a people of God? Are we trying to realise the unrealistic? This thing about a beautiful relationship, are we really just daydreaming? Should we just change the rules to suit the way the game is being played? Are we for real trying to adhere to a particular biblical approach for married life. Can we do that?" he questioned.

But regardless of the challenges, White said biblically, divorce was never intended and effort from both parties have to be made to preserve marriages and the quality of family life, as apart from religion, the family is the most developed institution worldwide.

He also called on men to be the spiritual leaders, lovers and labourers of their families and offered a few tips to improve the qualities of unions. He said some of the important things are friendship, commitment, fruitfulness, faithfulness, affirmation, sexual fulfillment and good deportment.

Bishop and founder of the church, Herro Blair, while addressing the congregation said the event was not one of pomp and pageantry but one where the church demonstrates to the world the importance of marriages.

He said as a body, the church had made adjustments so that family life is given the precedence it deserves.

"We have started putting emphasis on family structure and we closed our children's church in January so that families could sit together in service. Today we have come to give God thanks for our families and our marriages," he said.

The couples were also serenaded by Minister Verna Blair with the lyrics to Each for the Other, both for the Lord, which saw the wedded pairs dancing and enjoying the company of their partners.

At the end of the service those who participated in the ceremony of the renewal of their vows were presented with certificates to indicate that they had once again publicly declared love for their significant other, after which they were feted to a reception in the church's family hall.


ENDS

Yet divorce rates as hinted to above are high, for e.g the rates courtesy of Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN screams trouble:




also see previous bouts of sheer madness if you ask me interspersed with some sensible reasoning:
More gay marriage paranoia & hijacking of the homosexual debate by fanatics

Jamaican Gay Unions? Hanna Says Ja Not Ready For Same-Sex Families Despite Int'l Redefinition


NY's Gay Marriage reactions & our scenario

MoBay Church Fraternity Says No To Buggery Review

Anglican Church in the Caribbean: No to Same Sex Marriage

J'cans can't handle a referendum (Jamaica Observer)

Same-Sex Unions And The Marriage Contract (Gleaner Editorial June 2014)


PNP 2006, No plans to Legalise Same Sex Union (FLASHBACK)

No Same Sex Marriage says Prime Minister in Charter of Rights Bill Debate (Bruce Golding)





REV AL MILLER ON THE ABNORMALITY OF HOMOSEXUALITY & THE INVENTED GAY MARRIAGE RIGHTS PLOY the man who is charged with perverting the course of Justice, also see: Al Miller has a case to answer (Jamaica Observer)


Gay marriage agitation if and when it begins in Jamaica as we cannot get passed buggery reviews and true tolerance as far as I am concerned is not just about the cultural aspects of relationship life but more so the legal protections and state benefits that flow towards couples recognized by the state thus enhance the decency of said couples who enter into monogamous relationships. I would have thought the folks such as Dr Wayne West would be sensible enough to see an avenue of monogamy in same gender unions as a means to reduce HIV risk as his usual line implying the HIV is a gay disease ploy quoting unqualified statistics and such.

Let us see when the real change will finally come and good sense prevails.




She said on October 20th 2009 - "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: Opposition sides with Govt on No to same sex marriage when Mrs Simpson Miller was the leader of the parliamentary opposition in 2009.

Peace and tolerance


'I Want To Marry My Gay Partner' - St James-Based Lesbian Says Marrying Her Lover Would Be A Dream

Lesbian couple celebrate their marriage locally

Gay Parenting (a view on the ground) (repost from 09) ........ International Family Day

No Same Sex Marriage says Prime Minister in Charter of Rights Bill Debate 2009

Gay Marriage - An Invented Issue by the christian right movement

Will same-sex marriages ever be accepted in Jamaica? 2009

UPDATE June 12, 2015

Gleaner's cartoonist Lasmay decided to take a swipe at the issue.

'I Want To Kiss My Bride' ... Lesbian Couple Want To Get Married In Jamaica Before They Die from the Gleaner apparently a reaction to some strange supposed study on gay marriage refusal, sadly as the ladies express they want to marry the cogent points seem missing and the emphasis seems to be placed on the ceremonial component and not the rights and coverage that flow already to heterosexual couples. The definition of marriage is still between a man and a woman and the supposed gay marriage smoke screen when responded to by some miss out the other couple types under the LGBT umbrella.

Such as:
Transhomo couples
Transhetero couples
Asexual couples (gay or not)
Same gender couples 
Polygynous couples.

There is nothing in law as far as I am aware that stop persons of any gender from celebrating their union via an activity ackeen to a traditional wedding what needs to be zoomed in on if one decides to unofficially speak to gay marriage are the rights and benefits that accrue for others.


also see the Jamaica Gleaner headline yesterday: Vast Majority Of Jamaicans Remain Adamantly Opposed Same Sex Marriage the local team consisted of 
Balford Lewis, Research Fellow, Centre for Leadership and Governance, UWI, Mona, Jamaica 
Anthony A. Harriott, Professor of Political Sociology, Director of the Institute of Criminal Justice and Security, and the Head of Department of Government at the Mona Campus, UWI, Jamaica. Pages 38, 39, 242, 245 are where some of the details are:



Described as The American Barometer 2014, the study included 26 countries in the Americas and more than 41,000 interviews, which allows for comparison of the results of each individual country with others of the region.

Some 41.6 per cent expressed preference for the political rights of regime critics, while 16 per cent endorsed the political rights of homosexuals.

The question of whether homosexuals should be allowed to seek public office has been a subject of public debate in Jamaica for some time. It is a question that was raised during an interview with a journalist on the BBC's 'HARDtalk' programme, in 2008, that prompted former Prime Minister Bruce Golding to declare: "Not in my Cabinet!"

The LAPOP study also suggested that churches contribute to the marginalisation of homosexuals in Jamaica, by openly criticising their lifestyles as immoral.

It says that religion is an important determinant of the attitudes of Jamaicans towards homosexuals and notes its influence in affecting the political sphere.

While it is not all Jamaicans who feel this way, the acceptance level in Jamaica is still low and overruled by the majority, who are against homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Not surprised ..... Islamic Council Wants Buggery Law To Remain

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So not surprising as the sentiments were expressed in a radio interview and a call in show on radio some weeks ago during the aftermath of the Presidential visit and the euphoria following especially the LGBT hint and the hailing of Angeline Jackson activist from QCJ.

acting President of the Islamic Council of Jamaica, Al-Hajj Mekaeel Maknoon

However I would love to ask the ICJ what explains the ever increasing popping up of LGBT Islam or Muslim groups worldwide and even in our own LGBTQ populations though small in number but they see themselves as being left out of the loop in as far as being part of the faith. As per usual the cop out line is that they (ICJ) do not support violence against homosexuals.

I imagine the council is also in disagreement in principle with the position taken by The founder of Muslims for Progressive Values Ani Zonneveld when he criticized 'deviant, draconian, and hateful' variants of Islam and advocates for LGBT and gender equality. As in Christianity, some Muslims may point to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as a justification for anti-LGBT beliefs. And as in Christianity, others disagree with that interpretation.

“It was rape; it was inhospitality; it was going against the prophet Lot’s teaching” that were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, not homosexuality, says Ani Zonneveld. The Koran, she said, prescribes no punishment for being gay or transgender.

Zonneveld founded Muslims for Progressive Values in Los Angeles in 2007. Singer-songwriter Zonneveld felt that in many Muslim communities “a woman’s voice was forbidden,” and she wanted a progressive Muslim community to belong to. The groups has monthly spiritual gatherings, open mikes for youth, and social events for its LGBT members. In addition to the flagship L.A. chapter, MPV now has U.S. chapters in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. There are also MPV chapters in several other countries.

The Gleaner carried this today:

Acting President of the Islamic Council of Jamaica, Al-Hajj Mekaeel Maknoon, said yesterday that the Islamic community in Jamaica is against the repeal of the Buggery Act.

Speaking at a Gleaner Editors' Forum, he indicated that homosexuality goes against Islamic beliefs .

"The Creator has already made his judgement on that in Sodom and Gomorrah. We do not have anything to add to that, He has said it is the most unnatural act ... . His judgement is that it is unacceptable," he said.

The Imaam outlined arguments against the repeal of the Buggery Act.

"People have a right to have desires; that is the human right. It's not a human right that you have to impose your desire on other people. It is not your right to create a situation which is, in essence, by nature, diametrically opposed to the continuity of the human race," he said

According to the acting president, "the country cannot look at the situation and say you are allowed to do what you want to do until it starts to affect 90 per cent of the country and then we start to take action ... 90 per cent of Jamaicans do not engage in this behaviour and we need to respect their wishes and not legislate something like this."

Inherently Wrong

Maknoon spoke to the morality surrounding homosexuality indicating that it was inherently wrong.

"Something is either inherently wrong or right and furthermore, you cannot impose on 90 per cent of the Jamaican people, a conduct that they find abhorrent. It is unacceptable," he said.

He went on to explain, however, that Muslims do not discriminate against homosexuals.

"The man who is gay, I don't have the right over him. If he chooses to live that life, that is his life; your way is your way ... . We will not excommunicate a member who is gay, that is his life and he is accountable to the Creator of the universe," Maknoon said.

ENDS

Meanwhile in 2014 


“This new interpretation of Islam is deviant as far as I’m concerned,” says Zonneveld, pointing to the influence of Saudi Arabian Wahhabism as “a very draconian, very new teaching of Islam — very intolerant … of different cultures, very hateful, I would say, even.”

She says Saudi money has gone into every corner of the world and influenced cultural shifts in Muslim countries. For instance, she says, many mosques where men and women once worshipped together now require women to enter from the back or to worship in a separate room from the men.

“It’s a bastardization of Islam,” she says, referring to the “true spirit of Islam” as “interfaith and inclusive.”

Zonneveld emphasizes that she is calling out governments and institutions — not individual Muslims. There are progressive Muslims all over the world, she says, and in many places they face the threat of imprisonment or even death for speaking out. That’s why Zonneveld thinks that, as a Muslim in the western world, she has a duty to “highlight those voices.”

In fact, MPV obtained consulting status with the United Nations in order to advocate for the granting of individual rights regardless of cultural beliefs.


The conflicting teachings has been a source of hardening divides in the Islamic community and by extension the theologians from a Christian perspective especially on the Sodom bit and whether it was a matter of hospitality versus destruction simply due to homosexuality exclusively as is espoused by anti gay voices.

Then comes this other conflicting solution supposedly to Jamaica's problems during yesterday's Gleaner forum with the ICJ: 'Polygamy, solution to Jamaica's family crisis' this might sound good for some men seeing we raise multi-partnering as a mark of masculinity but sometimes I have to wonder.

Anyway I found another group online called Muslim Alliance which was launched January 23, 2013 at the Creating Change conference in Atlanta, GA. Building on the work of generations of LGBTQ Muslims and their allies, the new organization grew out of a working group brought together by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (The Task Force). 

The Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD) works to support, empower and connect LGBTQ Muslims. We seek to challenge root causes of oppression, including misogyny and xenophobia. We aim to increase the acceptance of gender and sexual diversity within Muslim communities, and to promote a progressive understanding of Islam that is centered on inclusion, justice, and equality.

MASGD hosts a retreat for LGBTQ Muslims and their partners each May.


In the UK:
Imaan

Imaan supports LGBT Muslim people, their families and friends, to address issues of sexual orientation within Islam. It provides a safe space and support network to address issues of common concern through sharing individual experiences and institutional resources.

Imaan promotes the Islamic values of peace, social justice and tolerance through its work, and aspires to bring about a world that is free from prejudice and discrimination against all Muslims and LGBT people.

In September 1998, a group of us were brought together in London by an advert placed in the Pink Paper by visiting founder of Al Fatiha Foundation, the US gay Muslim group.

Back then, Muslims who were gay were not part of a discernible group. If anything we were part of a larger, mostly London-based Asian presence that congregated at gay Bhangra clubs like Club Kali and Shakti - if at all.

The need to reconcile Islam with sexuality seemed to coincide with a coming-of-age of a particular generation of gay people from Muslim backgrounds born in this country that had witnessed the growth of a gay culture in England.

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


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



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

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

hear recent pods as well:

Information & Disclaimer


Not all views expressed are those of GJW

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

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

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

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

God Bless

Other Blogs I write to:

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

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