The Safe House Project 2009 for Displaced & Homeless MSM/Transgender reviewed & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Thursday, August 18, 2016

McLeod's mother not bothered by malicious tweet

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meme from LASCO's Facebook Page

The Star News carried this one:


The new 110m hurdles Olympic champion Omar McLeod is still on a high coming after his gold-medal performance in the event at the Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Tuesday. McLeod won the event clocking a time of 13.03 to stave off a very competitive line-up.

Immediately following his superb history-making performance, social media went into a frenzy sending congratulatory messages and tweets in recognition of Jamaica earning its first gold medal in the event.

However, not too long after all the merry-making, a rather unsavoury tweet spoiled the mood and sparked much backlash in Twitter land.

The tweet, which was later deleted, appeared to have come from corporate giant Lasco's Twitter handle.

In response to the tweet, McLeod's mother, Arnella Knight Morris, said she is unbothered by it.

In a phone conversation, she said her son told her that "If you do good, people will talk and if you do bad, people will still talk. At no point in time everyone say good about you at all times, so expect it. So, it doesn't bother us," she said.

She added that Omar has not seen the tweet and neither is he interested in seeing it because he has come a far way from where he was, and he doesn't intend to focus on the negatives.

"He is a humble child. He doesn't make whatever happen around him trouble him whether negative or positive. He chooses to remain positive," she added.

The family says they will continue to take all that comes with Omar's achievement with a smile.

"We can't stop people from talk. Omar's dream was to get a gold medal at his first Olympics, and our faith in God and his hardwork has helped him to achieve it.


Lascelles Chin Chairman of LASCO Foods

Lasco has since apologised to the athlete and his family for the tweet. In a statement released by the company, it said the person who allegedly wrote the malicious tweet has been fired.


found this one on fellow bloggers KAOS

also see:

Peace & tolerance

H

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Belizean Government Will Not Appeal Section 53 Decision on Decriminalizing Buggery

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The Government of Belize has announced that it will not appeal the landmark decision of the Supreme Court in respect of Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code. That statement comes one week after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled in favor of gay rights activist Caleb Orozco who successfully challenged the constitutionality of that piece of legislation, which criminalized same sex intercourse between consenting adults. 



During a press conference this afternoon, Attorney General Vanessa Retreage conceded that the Barrow administration will not pursue the matter before the appellate court, much to the chagrin of the churches. Prior to today’s announcement, the National Evangelical Association of Belize, along with the Roman Catholic Church, in separate letters written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, urged government to appeal the decision for several reasons. Despite those points, Attorney General Retreage says that government is satisfied having consulted further legal advice and will not venture beyond the CJ’s judgment.

Vanessa Retreage, Attorney General


“The decision to amend Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code to decriminalize consensual sexual acts between adults in private has generated much controversy; however, the government must accept, as the court has stated, that public opinion cannot be allowed to shift the court from performing its solemn duty to interpret the constitution and would add or the government from its duty to respect the decision of the court. 

 In this regard, it is of utmost importance that the public understands the findings of the Honorable Chief Justice in their barest form without the bias of either opposing view. The government, in considering whether it would appeal, embarked on this sober exercise for itself and found the following to be the findings of the Honorable Chief Justice: one, that consensual sexual acts between adults in private is no longer a crime; and two, that the constitution as it now reads, without any amendment, should be interpreted so as to prevent discrimination against any person as a result of that person’s sexual orientation. 

Those are the very narrow and limited findings of the Chief Justice. The government has closely considered the option of appealing and has sought legal advice as to the possible merits and benefits of appealing. In this regard, it is noted that there were seven interested organizations which argued the case apart from the claimant and the government with no less than fifteen attorneys representing them. 

Government is therefore satisfied that the case was properly argued and does not see any aspect of the decision that would benefit from further argument and as such, has taken the decision not to appeal. It is also conscious that the option of appealing is open to one or more of the interested parties and it is not the government’s intent to influence or in any way preclude any legal steps which others may consider that they wish to pursue. 

The government is however satisfied that it must not appeal simply for the sake of appealing but must ensure that its actions best serves the interests of the Belizean people.”



also see from Belize 5:

Gay Marriage Coming? ......... Belizean P.M. Says Section 53 Decision Won’t Cause It

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Does the reading down of Section Fifty-three open the figurative door to gay marriage? 

It’s a widely held belief among many, including the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, its premise for seeking an appeal of the controversial Supreme Court decision is hinged on that very notion. Government, on the other hand, does not believe that the effect of the judgment will necessarily result in a move toward gay marriage. Here’s how PM Barrow responds to the church’s concern.






Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“They are saying that it is imperative that an appeal be lodged. Why? Because in every part of the world where criminalization has been successfully challenged it has been swiftly followed by the passing of gay marriage laws that seriously violate a child’s right to a mother and father, restrict freedom of conscience and religion and impose a Draconian gender agenda in the school system. Now, I don’t agree that that’s an inevitable or even necessary consequence of the Chief Justice’s ruling. 


In fact, I hold the opposite view and Cabinet is also so convinced that this does not open the door to gay marriage. Nothing can stop the people who believe in that from agitating, from taking legal action, but it is not fair to the Chief Justice’s ruling, in my view, to suggest that that ruling in any way opens the door to that. This was a matter of striking or reading down a section of the Criminal Code that imposed criminal sanctions on what was even if, on actions that were consensual. 

 That’s a far cry, it’s a huge leap to go from there to suggest that somehow the door is open to gay marriage and I will tell you that Cabinet is absolutely clear, based on the advice from the lawyers, that that is not the case. But because the gentlemen of the cloth feel so strongly that that is what the ruling does, please by all means go ahead and appeal and seek to vindicate your position.”

In case you missed the written judgement download it here:

go HERE

also see:
Justice Minister says Belizean buggery law ruling a possible game changer

Jamaica Council of Churches response to the Belize Supreme Court buggery law decision

Suggestions that court victory in Belize could set precedent for decriminalisation in region

Belize Supreme Court overturns sodomy law for consenting adults 

Let's watch this one folks

Peace & tolerance

H

Ellen Degeneres gets a backlash for 'riding' Bolt

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I was a fan on Ellen but now I am not so sure if I am gonna be so 100% after this incident; Miss Ellen should have known better than this especially given the race relations challenges with police and such and Trumps hints at divisiveness as well, context and timing is everything, indeed appropriateness.

The timing of this could not be so wrong and then to do it in the height of Jamaica's success certainly it would cause a massive reaction.


Usain Bolt is an athlete that is loved on and off the track, so when American TV host Ellen DeGeneres made a tweet about the ‘sprint legend’ following his 100m victory at the Olympics in Rio, Brazil, she should have known that anything that is seemingly negative as it relates to Bolt would not go down very well.

Perhaps caught up in the euphoria of Bolt’s unprecedented history-making performance, DeGeneres jumped on to the ‘Usain Bolt meme’ bandwagon with one of her own.
In the post, uploaded to her Twitter page on Monday, the TV host photoshopped herself on to the back of the reigning Olympic champion. She may not have expected the backlash that followed her post, and perhaps she would not have drawn any attention to herself if not for the caption accompanying the photo.

the actual tweet

Was racist

Many social media users believe DeGeneres’ photo caption was racist as she declared that riding on Bolt’s back would be how she would run her errands from now on.

A Twitter storm erupted as users pointed out why the post could be interpreted as a racist one.

“So riding on his back like a mule, a horse, as some form of property is fun to you,” one user commented.

The backlash was so severe that Degeneres was forced to respond. In her response to the outrage on Tuesday, the TV host again took to Twitter to make it clear that she wasn’t a racist and never intended for the meme to come off as such.

shot after Bolt's appearance on her show

“I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am,” her response read.
Bolt made an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show in October last year. He was the surprise guest on the episode which featured Internet sensation Demarjay Smith. Smith, who is of Jamaican heritage, became an instant sensation after his motivational fitness videos went viral on YouTube.

The young trainer named Usain Bolt as one of the persons that inspires him and was surprised with a visit from the legend himself live on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Hope Miss Ellen learns from this one in terms of appropriateness and timing as a public figure herself. She may not have meant hurt and she says she is not racist but persons need to be mindful of what they put out there.

Peace & tolerance

H

LASCO Foods' principled action on unauthorised bigoted tweet& (mis)construed views of masculinity

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Lascelles Chin LASCO's Chairman

It was only Sunday last in one of the major dailies an article came forth about tweets, social media and online profiles and how past posts, comments and such can come back to bite persons, a case in the St Andrew Parish court today involving a police man who arrested two men for marijuana possession claimed he never met the men, yet a photo turned up as evidence of the said policeman at the home of one of the men thus the matter was dismissed by the judge and a probe launched by the police systems as to his dishonesty.

one of the awful pics being circulated

Omar McCleod the gold medal winner for the first time in the 110m hurdles for men was the subject of a bigoted tweet by a one week old employee of LASCO foods who used the word “Goldfish” with reference to #lasco in response to a request by a Gleaner journalist who was soliciting a possible headline for the achievement for the paper, while others were offering suggestions that offensive bigoted tweet was the one that led to the firestorm around 10pm on the 16th and which lasted ‘til the following morning. The ‘fish’ component of the term is what is offensive as it is the word over decades used in place of other terms such as ‘battyman’ ‘number 2’ ‘chi chi man’ and ‘faggot’ used to stigmatize gay men. The conjoining of both ‘gold’ and ‘fish’ therefore was a direct jab a McCleod’s winning the gold and he is gay; an unfortunate assumption to make in the height of feel good moment we are going through. Even crime has been reduced due to the distraction of sorts by the positive results from the Olympics and our athletes.

LASCO who is known for their exceptional corporate social responsibility quickly acted as their brand was about to be mired in a surprise bolt from the blue based on an effemophobic view of the athlete based on his emotional reaction to the win complete with memes, edited photos and homophobic darts thrown at his public persona; this just goes to show how far we have left to go in tackling sheer ignorance even in the face of mainstreaming so called metro-sexuality in the form of tight pants and or body clinging clothing, bleached faces and skin, arched eyebrows all thought as anathema for men but now entrenched; apparently the effeminate posture is the supposedly line men must not cross. Why was a one week old employee allowed to have such proxy and power to tweet on behalf of LASCO is one of the big questions being asked and where was the supervision or vetting systems to catch that tweet before it went out?

I like many sensible persons saw a Jamaican winning the race, his sexual orientation should not be of any consequence let alone whether he was too emotional or not, the moment is surreal and to achieve such as win at the highest level at his age is a major achievement. Speaking on POWER 106FM chairman of LASCAO Lascelles Chin and deputy executive Peter Chin said the acted as soon as they got wind of the infraction, Mr Chin the former is and has been a no nonsense man since his days at Henkel Chemicals to now. The previous statement issued by LASCO on claims of the account being hacked may have been an attempt by the perpetrator to cover their tracks.

Lascelles Chin went on to say among other things:


“I have zero tolerance against any discrimination but what happened, a fellow we employed about a week or two weeks ago opened a twitter account without our knowledge ...... and go ahead and do this tweet and believe you me I was so shocked because I was so happy and elated to know that Mr McCloud won as a Jamaican; and we are trying to get in touch with him to apologise because this is crazy, I mean this is not me this is not LASCO ....... for somebody to have a mind like that, unbelievable!

It’s unfortunate that some of these things do happen but I mean all Jamaicans the best and you know that even now we are fighting to reduce our costs to pass it on straight to our consumers.

We are personally trying to communicate with Omar, probably this tweet might come some good, because we are going to try and see how we can really ... we really apologise to him; the tweet was unnecessary and we are going to communicate and make amends in whatever way we can.

How can a Jamaican say that at this time when we should be all thanking Omar for really giving us this fantastic moment and a gold, unbelievable, we must all learn to appreciate good and don’t come with ‘badmind’

We don’t need a fool to try and create problems.”

This is a big lesson for all social media managers including LGBT ones as some of the crap I am seeing coming across from some outlets is disturbing to say the least where persons seem to forget the account is not for their personal hurrah. Years of work almost destroyed by one idiotic tweet. Then there is the business of sensitivity training or the lack thereof and that when individuals behind the platforms are to operate they are doing so on behalf of the entity, some supervision should have been there to vet the tweet before the send button was hit. The former employee who did this is not alone his/her immediate supervisor(s) must be accountable as well, a one week old employee cannot be free to act on their own.

LASCO’s statement also read in part:


Dear All:

Earlier this evening an unauthorized and offensive tweet was posted via our company account.
We wish to sincerely apologize to our fans, friends, customers, consumers, partners, Jamaicans and everyone for this terrible act. Most importantly, we issue our sincerest apologies to Mr. Omar McLeod.

The LASCO Affiliated Companies are also offended by such utterances which are a clear breach of our own values. Consequently, we have removed the tweet and deactivated the account. Further, we have terminated the employee who posted the tweet as this action was a violation of our code of conduct.

We, at LASCO, have the utmost respect for the remarkable achievement of Omar McLeod. We congratulate him on his gold medal victory in the Men’s 110 M Hurdles Olympic Event. We deeply regret any embarrassment or displeasure caused by the post and again offer our sincerest apologies.
Humbly,

LASCO Distributors Limited

ENDS

Meanwhile some political opportunists have jumped on this one to try to gain mileage, word has come that a tweet by the Portia Simpson Miller account claiming no hate and such while others have been eagerly creating videos claiming it was hate yet these are the same political representatives who cannot find the gumption to do the right thing in starting the process to reduce the very hate they are latching on to.

Anyway congratulations to the athletes who have been representing us and hope that McCloud and his camp can get passed this one.

Peace & tolerance

H

Friday, August 12, 2016

Justice Minister says Belizean buggery law ruling a possible game changer

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As reactions continue to come in since the unexpected ruling in Belize by their supreme court, some see the matter as a precedent setting one while others say it is a first instance issue and will be appealed and maybe be taken to the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ or the Privy Council if they have that court as their final court. Some local luminaries have said that the judgement may not be binding and like many of us are awaiting the written judgement to see the tenets of the conclusion. We now have the written judgement as at the preparation of this post to help to guide us, to see more details as it is the oral presentation in court that is being reported on and is subject to mixed or different understandings and versions. Chief Justice of Belize Kenneth Benjamin ruled that Belize’s laws discriminates against LGBT persons, violates privacy and dignity.

download the judgement HERE

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck speaking on radio yesterday August 11, 2016 said among other things that the ruling could be a game changer in the Caribbean and if such changes occur in our courts the country should respect such rulings from the courts.

“You will admit this is a sensitive matter that the churches and other levels of civil society, they are in dispute as to whether or not the buggery law should be removed; maybe even the parliament of Jamaica is very sensitive about whether or not it can be removed because of the sentiments and feelings across most of Jamaica but that ruling will have a game changing effect on similar laws across the Caribbean.”

The minister added that if a similar or adverse ruling the nation must respect the court’s ruling until a higher court be it the court of appeal, the Privy Council or the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ rules on the matter.

“We promote respect for the rule of law but until the law is changed then we must respect whatever laws exist, as far as I know law is a changing dynamic concept and therefore the buggery law is undoubtedly will be examined and as in Belize there may be changes in the rest of the Caribbean.”

Previous Justice Ministers such as Mark Golding Chuck’s immediate predecessor in his public private flip flop principled conundrum had said as a matter of personal opinion the law should go but he was not prepared to merge those opinions and principles in action or duty in simply doing the right thing in amending the antiquated 483 year old law. He was quite prepared to make known his position but by the time he got to the periodic review on Jamaica at the UN he played the usual refusal card and then turned around and slapped all in the face in parliament by declaring the Buggery Law will not change. Not to be forgotten is the CCJ and buggery law baiting deception he committed at a town hall meeting in 2015.

Mr Chuck’s cadence of speech was very sedated than before in his tenure as Justice Minister especially when it came to the matter of buggery, the stridency seems tempered than that of times before. Other antigay religious fanatics want to now bypass the court systems as they now realise that they may have a major obstacle of principle to contend with in their efforts to have the law unchanged locally by way of either influence by the Belizean ruling and or precedent set (pending review of the written judgement). Defence council Bert Samuels had said on the afternoon of the judgement that among other things that the said British are now trying to impose their adjusted moral position on buggery on Jamaica and that we must dance to it, he was speaking in the context of the foreign observers at the trial who commented that the law should go as the Brits have long recognised the law’s irrelevance and have removed it; clearly Mr Samuels is showing his hand here but it was not surprising to some.

Mr Samuels also said:

“The Belize decision is not binding on Jamaican courts, you’ll have to examine whether the laws of Belize is similarly worded as the laws in Jamaica and whether the constitutional provisions are similarly worded for us to able to say that a court would be deeply persuaded by the decision. That’s my lawyers’ perspective.”

Also commenting in that conversation was Westin James from Trinidad a lawyer who represented Caleb Orozco, he said among other things that the ruling was recognition of human rights, he disagreed with Samuels and anti gay voice and past president of the old Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, LCF Shirley Richards that the ruling would be adverse to freedom of speech and the usual victimhood cry by churches specific to the overall discourse of homosexuality. He was clear that the law only spoke to consenting adults in private and that the issue is not over as an appeal by some of the church groups involved is coming.



Caleb Orozco won on all points on his case and the decision drew a line when it came to the question minors and animals, the usual fear mongering and slippery slope deceptive arguments were attempted by Bert Samuels to suggest a changing global morality is somehow married to this ruling with references made to places in Europe and so called “globalization of morality.” Westin James however was quick on the draw to stop the nonsense from going any further.

“No I am sorry, can I say something, that was never part of this case, no one has ever even argued that it will be lawful for anyone to have sex with a minor or with animals, the court made it clear that it is not about that and nor did anyone raise that argument.”

It is indeed sad that these moralists would go to great lengths even intellectually deceptive ones just to win over gullible folks who fall for such in support of the retention of the buggery law. Let us see where this goes, how opportune the timing as well of the legal and credibility challenges for one of the oldest antigay voices in as far as men of the cloth that being Reverend Al Miller. His missing from the present issues is advantageous in my view; Miller has been a source of grief with respect to LGBT rights work from as far back as the early days of the charter of rights bill debate where he was toe to toe in support with the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship and its then president Shirley Richards. His use of his Word power show on television is not to be left out of the mix as he uses that platform to effectively preached homophobia. Yet Reverend Miller seems to now expect the nation to simply forget his involvement in aiding a fugitive to escape the law of the land and has been defiant in doing so when challenged as to the principle of it whilst using the victimhood ploy to say he is a victim of the law.

If he was so concerned about aiding Christopher Dudus Coke then why not take him to the police commissioner’s office if he and Coke were unsure of the actions by the local cops. Instead Miller took Coke or attempted to take Coke to the US embassy but was intercepted. 

meanwhile: 

The Gleaner had much to say via their editorial:


Interesting times lie ahead; let us continue to carefully review what lays before us.

Peace & tolerance

H

Thursday, August 11, 2016

On Rev Devon Dick and the Rev Al Miller dick down

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Rev Al Miller

Rev Devon Dick

I could not be in more agreement with the Reverend Devon Dick, recently appointed to the head of the local Baptist movement and has had some tolerance posturings on LGBT matters (but needs a lot more), his take on Reverend Al Miller's latest legal woes set against his credibility, truthfulness and more so in the middle of the anti gay deluge by religious voices of which Miller is one of the loudest ones.


The timing of this could not be more opportune.

Previous posts can bring some of my posts to bear.

Grrrrr ........... Al Miller could escape with fine




Reverend Dick:



On July 22, flamboyant and charismatic preacher Al Miller was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by transporting Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, a fugitive facing drugs and firearms charges in the United States of America (US), and ignoring three attempts of the police to stop. Parish judge Simone Wolfe-Reece gave a most damning comment, claiming that the founding pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle was "less than candid with the court" (Gleaner, July 23).

This is the second time in five years that Miller has been called out by a judge for being less than candid. The first time was when Senior Resident Magistrate Lorna Williams doubted portions of Miller's account under which he lost his firearm. She found the degree of negligence of such a high degree that it was deserving of criminal sanction. (Gleaner, September 24, 2011).

The implications of these judgments are very serious and far-reaching. If Miller is not truthful, then how did he lose his gun, and what was the motive of Miller in transporting Dudus, and where was he taking him? How did he know where Dudus was, and when did he know? Is he being a fall guy, and why? The use of guns in criminality and murder is a serious problem and the power of dons and garrisons is robbing people of freedom and prosperity. The inferences are frightening.

In addition, one's integrity is very important in the vocation of a pastor. Our word is our bond. Our yea is yea and our nay is nay. That two judges have called into question the truthfulness of statements by Miller is cause for grave concern. Even if he were the owner of Fellowship Tabernacle, he needs to step down and do some soul-searching based on these judgments. It cannot be business as usual.

One can recall Miller being strident in calling on both P.J. Patterson, then prime minister, and Edward Seaga, then opposition leader, to resign. Even in the recent spat between our attorney general and the US Embassy, he was forceful about the US respecting Jamaican law. Clergy persons cannot be seen to be above the law.

There is the issue of what happens when pastors run afoul of the law in a serious way and they own the church. Who administers discipline? It cannot be self-discipline only. If an ordinary member is convicted in court for a serious crime, what happens? What would be the hue and cry of the Church if a politician was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and being negligent in the loss of a firearm? This case has the potential to compromise the Church in being a moral voice if it does not speak clearly and unequivocally about the need for Miller to step aside.

Resigning is not the end of Miller. It could be a beautiful story about our forgiving God when a clergyman can acknowledge sin, repent and be restored. Peter denied Jesus, the Christ, three times and was later restored by Jesus and became a mighty evangelist for God. David was perceived as a man after God's own heart partly because he confessed his sin of adultery and murder and did what God said.

Some years ago, when asked by a Gleaner editor-in-chief who was the most likely pastor to have an impact on Jamaica in the new year, I said Al Miller. Also, some years ago, he preached a powerful and practical message at the Men's Breakfast event at the Boulevard Baptist Church.

Nevertheless, it is now Miller's time to show Christian maturity and do the right thing and step down from his pastoral duties and be rehabilitated.

• Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.

also see:

Anti-Sodomy Laws Across The Region Should Now Tumble - UN, Human Rights Groups

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As we await the written judgement on the matter, the Gleaner carried this one although it was headlined as "Anti-Gay" although homosexuality is not illegal in Jamaica:




The United Nations, local and regional rights groups, and advocates say a train has now been set in motion for colonial laws throughout the English-speaking Caribbean outlawing anal sex to tumble after a Belize court ruled that laws in the country punishing 'unnatural sex' are unconstitutional.

Jamaican defence lawyer Bert Samuels, however, stressed that yesterday's oral judgment issued by Belizean Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin "is not binding on other Caribbean courts", adding, "it (judgment) is of persuasive value only".

The ruling came six years after Caleb Orozco, 42, a gay man, filed an application challenging Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which calls for a 10-year prison term for "carnal intercourse against the order of nature".

The Belize attorney general has not indicated whether it will appeal.

Breaches Rights

Orozco, who heads the United Belize Advocacy Movement, argued that Section 53 breached his constitutional right to human dignity and privacy by criminalising and stigmatising consensual sexual activities between gay men, violating their right to give expression to their sexuality.

In agreeing, the judge reportedly ordered that the offending section be changed to exclude consenting sexual acts between adults of the same gender.

Benjamin also said that the court could not make a decision based on majority and public views, a reference to the strong public views held by Caribbean people against homosexuality, Breaking Belize News reported.

Church groups appeared in the case and had called for experts, including Jamaican HIV/AIDS researcher and professor, Brendan Bain, who ended up losing his job with the University of the West Indies (UWI), to present reasons why the law should be upheld.

Bain, who is suing the UWI, told The Gleaner that he would not comment on the ruling.

Benjamin agreed that removing the section would accelerate the fight against HIV, especially among men who have sex with men, who advocates argue, are stigmatised and refuse to participate in testing and treatment programmes.

Approximately 250,000 people live with HIV in the Caribbean, and while the total number of gay men in the region is not known, the UNAIDS says the prevalence rate among that group is about six per cent. Prevention, the UN says, is affected by socio-cultural and religious barriers.

In a press conference after the ruling, Orozco, who has documented his history of alleged abuse, said the sacrifices he made to bring the case were worth it.

"The people who feel the pain or who feel marginalised must step up and defend their ideals, otherwise nobody else will do it for you."

Meanwhile, Edward Greene, UN Special Envoy for HIV in the Caribbean, said she was delighted by the decision.

"It must give impetus to the Justice for All movement throughout the Caribbean, the struggle to dismantle all forms of stigma and discrimination, and the goal of elevating the principles of dignity and respect for all."

Dr Carolyn Gomes, executive director of the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, said the judgment should mark "the beginning of the overturning of these archaic colonially imposed laws which, as the judgment says, do damage to the dignity, rights, and freedom of expressions of the gay community around the region".

Prosecutions Rare

Most CARICOM countries have laws outlawing anal sex, but there rarely are prosecutions.

Despite that, anti-gay lobbyists and church groups have resisted calls for changes, saying that there is an 'agenda' to impose homosexuality on the region.

"The judge has taken upon himself to rule in such a way that children will have to be taught that homosexuality is normal and same-sex marriage is normal when, as I said before, it is not normal," argued Dr Wayne West, the president of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society.

The Belizean decision comes as a similar challenge by gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson is being mounted against Jamaica's Offences Against the Person Act, which criminalises anal sex.


meanwhile:

leading antigay voice Dr Wayne West upon realising now that he and others may not get their way in keeping antiquated laws wants to play on the public's ignorance to go the route of an obvious uninformed referendum of buggery while ignoring the chief way of the interpretation of law.

West says such an important change in societal norm should have the input of Jamaicans.

West says he believes that any change to Jamaica’s law criminalising anal sex should come from a vote by Jamaicans in a referendum and not from a court.

West notes that courts in the US overturned matrimonial laws legalising same sex marriages despite citizens voting in referenda against gay marriage.


He says Jamaica should seek to avoid such a situation, stressing that a national consensus, through a referendum on buggery, is the right way to go.

flashback audio:

Jamaica Council of Churches response to the Belize Supreme Court buggery law decision

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Gary Hariott

The Jamaica Council of Churches, JCC has responded alongside others to the long awaited decision of the Belizean Supreme Court on the constitutional challenge as launched by UNIBAM as headed by Caleb Orozco. Reverend Gary Harriott JCC’s general secretary said”





“My initial reaction is that we have to respect the ruling of their court that is their position, we know that the direction of same sex unions is taking root and obviously Jamaica is not outside of the influence or impact.”

He went on to supposedly warn of Jamaicans reactions to the court ruling:

“My own concern though is that in the Jamaican context as far as I know both the church and the wider society have not endorsed same sex relationships, so even if it is found by law to go against persons’ rights I still don’t believe that Jamaican society will embrace same sex relations, I don’t see it in the near future.”

The JCC has been soft on the issue of true tolerance for some time now obviously fearing a backlash from its own membership and from rival dividing newly formed church associations who have long thrown the us versus them mantra in the mix. The JCC which is made up of predominantly traditional denominations such as Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists have been accused by newly formed outfits such as the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society that consist of more evangelical denominations such as Pentecostals, Church of God and so on as being or appearing to be pro gay given the establishment connections and political affiliations.

I was hopeful that the JCC was moving towards a more tolerant position in previous years but we were proven wrong recently as a previous post showed with pronouncements made by the very General Secretary Gary Harriot at a recent media forum. The new kid on the block in the form of the Jamaica Umbrella groups of churches, JUG also has this traditional versus evangelical posture but it is not so blaring as JCHS, Lovemarch and the older Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship. The very Supreme Court judge is being labelled as gay by supporters of these various movements given his oral presentation in explaining the judgement, the written judgement was not ready yesterday or at the time of this post’s preparation so as to ascertain if this is really a precedent setting decision or a first instance ruling.

According to Dionne Jackson Miller radio host and an attorney as well she does not see this decision as having precedential value, speaking on her Beyond The Headlines show she said the local challenge can look at it but it may not be binding on our courts and only if the decision was made by our final court which presently is the privy council. Popular lawyer Bert Samuels has also said that the ruling may not be binding as he awaits the written judgement as well and says it may be of some influence only if the legislation is similarly worded and if the constitutions reflect similar sentiments in certain respects.

The difference with our constitution versus that of Belize is that they have sexual orientation included in the definition of ‘sex’ but we do not; that definition in our case was pigeon holed during the charter of rights bill debate which replaced section 3 of the constitution in 2009 finally by the very Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship as far back as 2007/9. That one protection which was clearly stated as a form of discrimination in the draft was purged.

Fear mongering on gay marriage or the slippery slope is on in earnest since the news has come on the ruling, praying on the national ignorance on various fronts to do with sexual orientation, public advocacy and the objectives and the deceptive medicalisation or the HIV is a gay disease ploy. The full paged ad in the Sunday Gleaner of August 7 is for starters claiming that us statistics show increase in HIV rates for gay black men, a point made by past president of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship Shirley Richards. Some like myself are still asking why this obsession with gays and finding huge amounts of money for full paged ads of this sort when other societal matters that require attention get left or ignored. Mrs Richards was all over media into the night with the HIV is a gay disease ploy to include the new show on BEST FM hosted by Rastafarian attorney Miguel Lorne where she got a near hour run where she struggled at intervals when Lorne moved to other matter such as the Mario Deane case to speak with authority in terms of support and real concern. Other antigay voices such as the transphobic Phillipa Davies was also making the rounds pushing the slippery slope mantra and going as far as to suggest bestiality and incest maybe next despite the ruling was clear as to consenting adults is only element which is struck down and challenged in the case. The usual magnification of the charges to make is sound credible is on and deceptively so and what is more egregious is that it comes from persons in the name of morality and God.

I am sure this is not the end of this as local challenges are also on.


meanwhile:

leading antigay voice Dr Wayne West upon realising now that he and others may not get their way in keeping antiquated laws wants to play on the public's ignorance to go the route of an obvious uninformed referendum of buggery while ignoring the chief way of the interpretation of law.

West says such an important change in societal norm should have the input of Jamaicans.

West says he believes that any change to Jamaica’s law criminalising anal sex should come from a vote by Jamaicans in a referendum and not from a court.

West notes that courts in the US overturned matrimonial laws legalising same sex marriages despite citizens voting in referenda against gay marriage.

He says Jamaica should seek to avoid such a situation, stressing that a national consensus, through a referendum on buggery, is the right way to go.

More anon

Peace & tolerance

H

also see:

No gay leaders in Jamaica's churches ..... feat Gary Harriott

Gays are welcomed! oh really now

The Jamaica Council of Churches on Homosexuality thus far 2013

Jamaica Council of Churches still not clear on the buggery law but resolute in opposing gay marriage 2013



Suggestions that court victory in Belize could set precedent for decriminalisation in region

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As we await the written judgement, GAY rights activists in the Caribbean nation of Belize are celebrating a landmark Supreme Court ruling there which has overturned the country’s anti-homosexuality law, deeming it unconstitutional.

This brought to a head a court battle between openly gay lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights activist Caleb Orozco and his United Belize Action Movement (UNibam).

Caleb Orozco

It was not clear yesterday if the Belize Government would be appealing the ruling.

“We won on all counts. Speechless. OMG. Speechless,” Unibam tweeted yesterday just after the ruling.

The group was backed in its three-year court battle by former United Kingdom attorney general, Lord Goldmith, and Belize’s former attorney general, Godfrey Smith, against the law which dates back to the days of British rule.

Specifically, Section 53 of the country’s criminal code criminalises “carnal intercourse” between consenting adults of the same sex, stating anyone who has carnal intercourse “against the order of nature with any person or animal” could be jailed for 10 years.

There were suggestions yesterday that the ruling could strengthen efforts to do away with similar laws in several other former British colonies in the Caribbean, including Jamaica.

“The feedback from the community is that the win is a win for the region. We are very proud of Caleb Orozco, who was very bold in his claim to be recognized as an equal citizen in his country,” executive director of Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), Dane Lewis, said.

He pointed out that the Belize case will serve as a reference in terms of jurisprudence for any case in the rest of the region, especially given the similarities of the laws across the countries.

Reacting to the development, founding member of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, Dr Wayne West, said Jamaica needs to be concerned. “But it depends on the judges and the approach they take. I would argue that the judge in the Belize case, like the judges in the United States, have operated in the framework that this buggery law represents some sort of a human rights construct. I disagree with that because homosexuality is abnormal. The American Psychiatric Association ruled that it was not abnormal, but they were pressured to do so,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

He also characterised the turning back of referenda against gay marriages in some states in the US as “a sort of tyranny of the judiciary”.

Lewis said, however: “It is a human right. At the root of it we are all human beings first, with the same dignity and rights that should be recognised by the State. Government’s responsibility is to look out for any minority group”.

Dr West stressed that India’s Supreme Court’s approach was different from the approach taken by the US and now Belize. He said India treats the LGBT movement as a political one and that the judgement had therefore been referred back to the legislature. “The Belizean judge is removing the political component by making that ruling,” he insisted.

Dr West argued, too, that the study that was used to justify the American Psychiatric Association’s position was flawed because it did not look at the substantial issue of the health-related consequences of the behaviour of male homosexuals compared with that of male heterosexuals. “The practice of buggery is what accounts for the high rate of HIV among them. They also have high rates of syphilis and gonorrhoea,” he argued.

In Belize, which has a population of just over 330,000, churches have been on the front line of the resistance against Ozrozo’s legal challenge.

In Jamaica, head of the Jamaica Council of Churches, Rev Gary Harriott, was measured in his response to the ruling.

“It’s not surprising because we see the trend taking place in other places It is clear that that is the direction in which the world in general is going (but) Jamaica has to make a decision as to what it will embrace as the normative way of existence. In Jamaica, there are strong views against same sex relationships and I do not see that changing in the near future. It will be interesting to see how the (buggery) law will interface with people’s positions. There is a strong view in the Jamaican culture, and people are not prepared to embrace that way of life,” he stated.

At least one challenge to Jamaica’s buggery law is now before the local court. Gay rights activist and attorney-at-law Maurice Tomlinson filed a constitutional motion against the Attorney General in 2015 to have the anti-sodomy law revoked in relation to adult consensual sex. Tomlinson has also had an immigration case rejected by the Caribbean Court of Justice. In that suit, Tomlinson said Belize and Trinidad and Tobago’s immigration laws include homosexuals among the category of people who are prohibited from entering these Caribbean Community countries.

The Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party, which won the February 25 general election, said that the buggery law would be one of several issues that would be put to the people in a referendum. However, there has been no indication since the Government took office in March if it still planned to go that route.

The previous People’s National Party Government had suggested but see as a promise, when it took office in 2011, that it would review the law but it remained on the back burner during the life of that Administration.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Belize Supreme Court overturns sodomy law for consenting adults

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BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) – The Belize Supreme Court Wednesday overturned the country’s sodomy law with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruling that Section 53 of the Criminal Code which criminalizes consenting intercourse between adults of the same sex contravenes the right granted by the Belize Constitution.

Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) activist Caleb Orozco and his United Belize Action Movement (UNIBAM) had in 2010 challenged the law claiming it contravened the country’s constitution of no interference with a person’s dignity and personal privacy, as well as equality and equal treatment of all persons before the law.

In a statement on his Twitter account, Orozco said “we won on all counts. Speechless.

“The Chief Justice of Belize. Kenneth Benjamin have found that Section 53 of the criminal code is unconstitutional and must be struck down”

“He said sex extended to sexual orientation in our constitution, amplifying our rights,” Orozco tweeted.

Belize has had the law in place since its days as a British colony and the President of the National Evangelical Association of Belize, Pastor Lance Lewis, in an immediate reaction, said Christians must now resist the coming changes to the society.

““We have come to the bottom. The only way out is up, and we will get up when we get down on our knees,” he said.

Patrick Menzies of BelizeCan Patriots and the Alliance of Church Leaders and Ministers of Belize held the Belizean flag upside down, declaring that it was “all over” for Belize.

The written judgement in the case was not immediately available but the Chief Justice said that the Court had an obligation to amend the law to bring it in conformity with the Constitution, and ordered an amendment specifying that the section does not apply to consenting sexual acts between adults of the same gender.

In his new two hour ruling, Chief Justice Benjamin said the Court could consider, but could not act on majority and publicly held views, particularly religious views.

He also said that removing the section would help accelerate the fight against HIV, especially among men who have sex with men (MSM), and who are stigmatized and thus refuse to participate in testing and treatment programmes.

Meanwhile:


Lisa Shoman, SC - Attorney for UNIBAM via her Facebook profile

"I think we won on all the points that we had asked the Chief Justice to rule on. The offending section for 53 has been read down which means it will be amended to exclude any acts between consenting adults in privacy. That is the essence of the ruling so the look of section 53 will change; the court has the power to do that."


That law reads, "every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years."  Orozco told the court that the law criminalizes intimacy between gay men who are consenting adults, and it violates their rights.

Today, the Chief Justice handed down the momentous decision – planting a stake for gay rights in the country's first culture war which featured public morality on one side, and individual freedom of choice on the other.

Indeed, very high stakes, and this morning the courtroom was packed with personalities from both sides of this divisive issue. He read the entire judgement which took him a whopping 1 hour and 29 minutes. The judge has ruled that Section 53 of the Criminal Code has on a homosexual man is disproportionate. It contributes to prejudice, and lends itself to the stigma that all gay men should be treated like criminals. The judge says that as a consequence, it degrades and devalues gay men, by offending their right to human dignity.

He ruled that Section 53 is in breach of the constitutional rights of gay citizens, and it needs to be amended. To fix the offensive legislation, the judge has made an order that there will be an additional clause which will be added to the law. That new clause reads quote, "This section shall not apply to consensual sexual acts between adults."

The fix preserves its intended use to criminalize the sodomy of boys who are under the age of consent, and it also criminalizes rape committed by one male on another.

It is a landmark decision which will be read worldwide, and studied very closely in the Caribbean.

7News had a front row seat for this morning's decision and we got the reaction from all sides. Daniel Ortiz reports:

Martha Carrillo - Excited About the Win
"We have arrived, we have arrived, we have arrived. The judge has ruled in our favour and there is no one who can take this moment away from us."


Caleb Orozco - Victorious Against Sodomy Law
"I have to say I am extremely laded and I'm saying laded, I'm speechless right now but because today is really really important I will as you guys to join me at UWI for 2 o'clock to do a more extensive discussion and I would hope that you all could make it for 2 o'clock. This is huge for me!"

That was the mood of elation from those within the local LGBT community and their sympathizers after hearing that the judge had ruled in Caleb's favour. Consensual sex between gay men is legal and no longer punishable under Belizean law. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Homeless trans & MSM clash with public on waterfront

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downtown Kingston waterfront scene

August 9 2016, the day before the possible game changing decision on the sodomy legislation in Belize as brought by UNIBAM and its face Caleb Orozco homeless and displaced MSM and transgender persons came into some confrontation with members of the public yet again on the waterfront.

The matter was made public via the radio talk show circuit and on social media for a short time as the Belizean court ruling made the rounds and distracted the interest. As per usual the least amongst us get very little attention when compared to more ‘pressing matters’ as seen by some as a priority. Around 11am some near fifteen transgender and MSM individuals who were gathered by the waterfront downtown nearing the old Pirate’s Cove building and the Edna Manley public statue found themselves the brunt of anger for simply gathering but displaying gender non conforming behaviour and or effeminacy, the persons were accused of ‘bursting bumps’ on each other’s faces in full view of others, while others who were clearly identified as men but wearing makeup and dresses according to a male caller on Power 106FM’s Cliff Hughes Online and describing himself as a fisherman was furious among other callers on other shows expressed the same outrage.

The melee lasted for some twenty minutes before the upset trans/msm persons who were defiant did not back away as they felt they had a right to be there and repeated reportedly that they were not interfering with anyone. Bad reputations over time though has not helped their image as residual and present accusations of inappropriate public advances to total strangers asking or soliciting ‘business’ in exchange for some sort of payment is still an issue. Downtown on the waterfront is an old haunt for not only homeless, displaced or their friends of LGBTQ persons but with the sharp increase in numbers and visibility accompanied by elements in the group(s) showing rowdy behaviour, a recent video that made viral status of some persons described as gays (some formerly homeless in Jamaica) as successful asylum seekers in Amsterdam with similar rowdy behaviour with a security guard, despite this is a country seen as far more open and free has made their image the target of disdain.

The rainbow flag and ‘rainbowing’ actions by the United States Embassy in Kingston in support of JFLAG’s pride activities a week ago has not gone down well with some members of the public and as per usual the ripple effects accompany the raised visibility. The comments by some on this latest incident reflects such sentiments and is being combined with the slippery slope paranoia of gay marriage and such in the aftermath of the aforementioned Belizean court ruling. The actions of the US embassy have also irked some LGBTQ members as they have expressed some concern regarding the same ripple effects of the most exposed being the homeless; they have no or very little defence when it comes to backlash typed incidents.

With still no residency response some seven plus years after the dubious closure of the only shelter pilot, with the truthful reasons are yet to be told the various populations island wide have been struggling with very limited interventions by some who harp on registration status more so than any strong momentum to address one of the oldest outcomes of stigma and discrimination specific to MSM/trans. Bear in mind we have never had a residency in all the near forty plus years of combined organised LGBTQ activity. If it were not for the conscientious interventions of private individuals and party promoters or the unfortunate involvement of some in illegal activity such as lotto scamming then homelessness would have been much larger than it is; and it is already bursting at the seams. So called feeding programs which only last at the time when they are held and are then held up as satisfactory is simply not enough. Those of us who want to move in a different direction are seen as shaking the status quo or upsetting the apple cart. It is clear that some only want to keep the displaced at a certain level for use as data collection materials; as I commented some years ago how convenient that when studies are to be done the homeless are readily found but when said studies are completed and published professional profiles get boosted while the same homeless is left as they were.

The few who break through and move on to betterment is a drop in the bucket when compared to those left behind but who cares really?

Other such clashes have occurred in New Kingston as before and have become so numerous I have simply lost count. Then there are the encounters with the police even at the now infamous Shoemaker Gully despite their removal in December 2014, some of the guys still use the space at nights or near it to gather and in some instances allegedly sell sex. A recent shooting incident of a legendary queen in New Kingston shows us that not much has changed in terms of challenges. A fight almost leading to a brawl on Grenada crescent in the adjacent car park to Victoria Mutual is another such example that occurred in July. Sister Blog Gay Jamaica Watch is replete with reports prior that have been confirmed, unconfirmed issues near equal said confirmed reports.

The usual carnival challenges were also a feature this year as well, persons were blocked from entering some venues while skirmishes with homophobic individuals continued as they do year in year out.

Help where you can, I and others are doing what we can given limited resources and lack of funding as the usual constraints despite some fund raising efforts; some persons simply have stopped as well, claiming they are burnt out which is understandable as well.

Peace & tolerance

H

also see:



Homeless impatient with agencies over slow progress of promised shelter from December 2012

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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


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

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

hear recent pods as well:

Information & Disclaimer


Not all views expressed are those of GJW

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

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

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

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

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: 1-876-799-2231 (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: 1-876-799-2231
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