Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No Reported cases of Paedophilia say local Catholic Diocese Representative

Archbishop Donald Reese Head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jamaica says there are no reported cases thus far of any pedophilic harm done to minors in Jamaica he was supported by Reverend Carl Johnson General Secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union, both gentlemen were interviewed yesterday March 29, 2010 on radio on the subject of the uproar in Catholic Diocese worldwide on the question of the Pope’ ignorance of several cases of alleged abuse of deaf boys by a priest in Europe while he Pope Benedict was a Cardinal for a diocese.

Worldwide public outrage has been growing on the issue so much so that even GLBTQ activists have gotten involved with noted United Kingdom self styled activist Peter Tatchell of Outrage UK calling for the resignation of the Pope himself for falling to take the necessary actions in dealing with the matter. One of the reasons for covering this issue on this blog is because in the Jamaican context paedophila has always been married with general male homosexuality and is used to justify the anti gay positions even as far as preparation or debate of legislation relating to such matters.

Some historical background

In recent times we have seen the hints being made by talk show hosts and sections of the legal fraternity including the very powerful and active Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship who made several submissions during the Charter of Rights, Sexual Offences and Child Care and Protection Bills and Acts debates in the houses of Parliament, they use lines such as we need to protect our children and so on to infer that adult gay men in particular are only interested in getting into little boys pants while overlooking in some instances the numerous cases of rape and carnal abuse within families by fathers and step fathers of girls with the perennial problem of sex on buses just recently being debated fully. The LCF was quiet on that last issue I might add. There is not a clear demarcation between adult male homosexuality, hebephilia (sexual interest in teens 14 – 17) and paedophilia (sexual interest in children 0 – 13) so the discourse has everyone looped into one as sick people trying to homosxeualise the nation’s children.

This is a clear opportunity for GLBTQ activists to jump in and expose those demarcations so persons understand the differences and highlight that adult homosexuals are only interested in other adult homosexuals in as far as sexual relations are concerned. It was refreshing that just a month ago on HOT 102 FM the issue was discussed and several local psychologists were present where it was clearly espoused that most paedophiles are not gay event though there are instances of homosexual paedophila it was also reiterated that most acts of paedophilia happen in the home by straight men. “We must disentangle paedophilia from homophobia” said one of the persons interviewed on February 11, 2010.

“Paedophilia is a mental disorder where adult persons have attractions to children, there are some homosexual paedophiles but not every paedophile is homosexual,” quotes made during that interview as well with the psychologists which included the esteemed Dr. Aggrey Irons.

The interview with regards to the Catholic Church’s present predicament the gentlemen said that paedophilia is not only confined to the Catholic Church only and that it crosses denominational lines.

Archbishop Donald Reese Head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Jamaica was more focused as to why does paedophila happens and that there should be more in depth work done to unearth the reasons for this kind of sexual abuse to minors. “It is unfortunate that young people don’t find the safety they should have in a church.” He continued that the actions are awful and are not to be dismissed. He referred to an article in the Tablet Magazine entitled Why Does Child Sex abuse Happens? While a crime is committed the accused must be tried and the sanctions applied but he wants more to be done to find out about what makes a person becoming paedophile, he mentioned the psycho social issues that may cause this action. “They must face the music, but we have to go beyond that” he said. “We are now beginning to understand what sexuality is all about and orientations, we are using today’s yardstick and knowledge to judge what happened in past years, that’s why I think we have missed the cue when we don’t go deeper into the matter what cause this to happen, we are not denying the atrocities, we are not denying the person must face the music but we must get to the root of the matter.” He continued.

Meanwhile Reverend Carl Johnson General Secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union said that the problem is not confined to one denomination, he apologized for every instance that any minor may have been harmed by or breached the trust of their offices. He said that some 30 – 35% of child sex abuse happens within the family. No reported cases of abuse has come to their attention he continued but he made reference however to a very public case some time ago where a deacon who had videoed a girl who was gang raped in his presence who was from another denomination which sparked public outrage as the video was circulated via emails worldwide.

Arising from that incident some of the protocols that the Roman Catholic Church were putting in place to deal with such issues if they arise in the Baptist setting. He invited well thinking Jamaicans to guard and protect our vulnerable the elderly and children.

Where it came to the call for the resignation of the Pope, Archbishop Reese said he didn’t think that is necessary as not all the cases are sent to Rome for adjudication. He ended by saying among other things ….”From womb to tomb people must be respected because they are made in the image and likeness of God and must not be violated and must not be abused.”

I just want to separate paedophila from homosexuality and I do wish that JFLAG steps on this matter which I doubt may happen, we must clearly send a message to those out there who misconstrue the issues and embellish their arguments to say gay men are such.

additional audio from June 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

“Let The Gays Promote their Gay-ness” says Vernon Witter (December 10, 1979, Gleaner article)

“Let The Gays Promote their Gay-ness” says Vernon Witter (December 10, 1979, Gleaner article)

The following article appeared in the Daily Gleaner at the time dated December 10, 1979 some 19 years to the day prior to the formation of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays (JFLAG). At that time also the Gay Freedom Movement was the active voice even then public commentators were actively talking about GLTBQ issues. That kind of discourse now seems lowered and certainly with the availability of instant communications we ought to do more. This was filed in the archives of the GFM now held by it's founder Mr. Larry Chang since 2010 after they were successfully transfered to him in The United States. Pity the condition of the archives however when they were held here in Jamaica by JFLAG were not properly managed and kept in good condition. I am pleased they are now in the rightful owner's possession.

The article reads:
So the gays in Jamaica have decided that its time they come out of the closets. Well! Well! Well! Recently they have been rather reticent in jumping on the bandwagon of liberation movements. Now they are coming out into the open writing letters to the press and holding open discussions of homosexuality. They have even set up their own organization called the Gay Freedom Movement of Jamaica.

It is surprising that they took so long to get into the act. Jamaicans are known for catching on last to whatever is going on in the big cities of the world. The ayatollah had his followers here who held hostage the managers of C.M.P and of Cornwall dairies. When the hijacking of airlines was popular we had the hijacking of JOS buses. Now at long last the gays have made a start to defend their status.

Raise Gay consciousness

The aim of Gay Freedom Movement according to that body is to raise consciousness and awareness among members of the gay community in Jamaica and among the general public. How the Gay Freedom Movement plans to go about raising the consciousness and awareness of what it calls the general public, no doubt meaning the heteroes is not clear. Perhaps there will be more letters to the press, more public discussions, maybe even hold parades as their counterparts do in the big cities abroad.

We’ll just have to wait and see. One of the aims of the Gay Freedom Movement should be the decriminalizing of homosexuality. This is one of the absurd laws still on the statue books of Jamaica. What goes on behind closed doors of consenting adults has nothing to do with the state. Obviously the law must protect citizens from being forced into sex acts against their wills. Juveniles must also be protected. But if two men or two women wish of their own free will to do their own thing, let them. The absurdity gets worse when homosexuals are sent to prison.

Coals to Newcastle?

Decriminalizing homosexuality is not the same as approving it, as some will be quick to misunderstand. It is nothing more than keeping the state out of snooping in the private affairs of consenting adults. Homosexuality should no more be a crime than should prostitution.

The right to resent
The Gay Liberation Movement in the United States, Britain and other big countries has gone a long way in promoting the term they chose for themselves, that is gay. I suppose they have a right to resent being called faggots, limp wrists, fairies or whatever in the same way blacks resent being called niggers or Jews, kikes or Italians, wops. Let the locals promote their gay-ness if they will. Why shouldn’t they? Those of us who profess to have Christian charity in our hearts, while not condoning what it patently unnatural can at least try to understand their aberration and offer them our sympathy.

Peace and tolerance


International Planned Parenthood Foundation on Sexual Rights (PDF Download)

Sexual rights are a component of human rights, they are an evolving set of entitlements related to sexuality that contribute to the freedom, equality and dignity of all people, and they cannot be ignored
Sexuality is a natural and precious aspect of life, an
essential and fundamental part of our humanity. For
people to attain the highest standard of health, they must
first be empowered to exercise choice in their sexual and
reproductive lives; they must feel confident and safe in
expressing their own sexual identity.

Today, discrimination, stigma, fear and violence pose real
threats to many people. These threats and the actions they
trigger – ranging from disheartening to life-threatening
in nature – prevent many people from attaining basic
sexual rights and health. IPPF is committed to fulfilling its
goals through an approach that embodies the principles
of universality, interrelatedness, interdependence and
indivisibility of all human rights. We will do all we can to
ensure that sexual rights – human rights – are respected
through our own service provision and advocacy, and also
in the wider public sphere.

Sexual Rights: An IPPF Declaration represents the
culmination of more than two years of work that spanned
the globe. Its development was guided by a diverse group
of individuals: internationally-renowned experts in sexual
and reproductive health, human rights, law and public
health; senior IPPF volunteers, each of whom brought
unique regional perspectives and who together represented
a range of experience and strengths; and three senior
directors of the IPPF secretariat. The Declaration developed
through regional meetings and events that took place
across the Federation and built on the IPPF Charter of
Sexual and Reproductive Rights. While there has already
been some progress toward meeting the Millennium
Development Goals and the targets of the 1994 ICPD
(International Conference on Population and Development)
Programme of Action, there is still much work to be done.
(Excerpt from)
Jacqueline Sharp

Cardinal rejects link between celibacy and sexual abuse

Agence France-Presse

VATICAN CITY -- A leading Vatican prelate on Monday rejected any link between the requirement of celibacy for priests and the spate of paedophilia scandals rocking the Roman Catholic Church.

“Celibacy has nothing to do with the sexual abuse of minors,” Cardinal Walter Kasper said, as calls for the Church to rethink the tradition grow.

“Paedophilia has no connection with the very old tradition that prevents priests from marrying,” the German cardinal said in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa published on Monday.

“All the experts agree that the vast majority of cases occur in families, not in the Church environment,” said Mr. Kasper, who heads the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Mr. Kasper’s comments come amid questions within the Church over whether priestly celibacy may contribute to paedophilia.

Two Austrian archbishops earlier this month urged the Church to reexamine the issue of priest celibacy when considering the possible causes behind the current sex abuse scandal.

But Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the former archbishop of Milan, denied on Monday having told an Austrian newspaper that he wanted priests’ celibacy to be re-thought.

Die Presse “did not speak to me directly but used a letter of mine to Austrian youths”, Mr. Martini told the ANSA news agency. “The text of the letter I approved said: ‘Priests’ lifestyles should be rethought.’”

He was not referring to celibacy, Mr. Martini said, but wished to stress “the importance of promoting greater... fraternity among priests to avoid as much as possible situations of loneliness.”

Mr. Martini added: “It is a stretch to link the obligation of priestly celibacy to the scandals of violence and abuse of sexual nature.”

Pope Benedict XVI on March 12 defended celibacy, saying it was a “sign of full devotion” and of an “entire commitment to the Lord.”

Response to the Shelter issue from a concerned advocate

In a response to the coverage of the Homeless MSM shelter issues on this blog as it relates to Jamaica AIDS Support for Life mainly in the post named The Homeless Project, the meeting and more. Here is a response to the issues from another point of view that of the concerned advocate. He wanted to share his own views and in fairness to allow all views contending on the issue I have allotted space so to do.

Concerned advocate writes

1. While everyone agrees that the set up of such a project was a great idea, the processing of it was not fully analyzed before implementation. The former E.D. should take huge credit for the funding supplied etc but she did not come up with the idea on her own. I don't see it highlighted in many quarters that the last GLABCOM Steering Committee also pushed for such an idea. In fact, not many people know that initially a spot in the rural area was being targeted for the programme and so when the grounds of the office ended up facilitating the programme, it caught a lot of people off-guard...including the neighbours who the E.D. did not--nor the co-ordinators of the programme--even do the curtesy of alerting them to such.

2. Initially, the programme worked until the first set of inhabitants felt that the entire grounds was open to them to flaunt certain risky behaviour, with no regard for the two neighbours who--and I must stress--are NOT affiliated with JASL in any way and have persons who frequent them who were/are not gay or necessarily gay-friendly et al. Many of the guys started in a manner of caution until they became 'relaxed' and that is when their behaviour became more and more 'erratric'. For example, some would wear women's high heels in broad daylight on the compound, sashay the hips in a very obvious effeminate manner or hurl expletives at each other loudly so that no matter what, others must hear them (i.e, 'you girl, come suck out mi pussy, ect).

3. As this behaviour unfurled, the former E.D. was clearly encouraging of this behaviour and that is the main source of her popularity with them. I have spent a lot of time with her so I know that she champions the rights of gays being freely who they are but I questioned her on this point many times after the programme started. This is a tricky topic to get into but the fact is that the organization does not cater to homosexual needs only and as gay-friendly as it is, the specific clientele in the programme were not stressed on that enough and she openly encouraged it. This was a huge vexing point and may very well have been the initial step in what eventually 'forced' her to leave the organization.

4. The micro-management of the programme eroded quickly because of a few points. The most obvious was the number of boys (12) that were cramped in the unfurnished (initially), three bedroom house. Now, anyone reading this section will find that hard to believe but its true. With such a high number, the inner-fighting was bound to happen swiftly and while the handlers of the programme tried their best to calm them (morning prayers, strict counselling, meetings, ect) the boys needed more than that. Now, what more they needed is a question I'm sure everyone tried to answer but no clear disciplinary action worked, not even being banished from the house as they would resurface any way. In many ways, the organization must shoulder blame for this because if the foundation of a programme is optimistic at best and shaky at worst, then it is bound to fail. Alas, the programme had run its course long before the official end came.

5. Which leads to another point: the purpose of the programme. At times, the former E.D. herself seemed at a loss to explain what was actually being done. The boys in the programme, lured by her easy charm, eventually decided that they would 'run' it themselves. So, the organization could barely get them to volunteer. They ran up the light bill, have visitors way into the night, parade themselves loudly and disturbed the neighbours...all of this while staff members looked the other way. What the former E.D. did not see coming was the growing opposition to the running of the programme, spearheaded by the neighbours who, while friendly, were not willing to put their own safety in jeopardy just so that the boys could sleep at night. The E.D. began to get bogged down by concerns she apparently hadn't thought of earlier: security issues/ conflict resolution/ methods of selection, ect. By the end of December, I'm sure it became apparent to her that the end was near. The boys did not help matters by openly soliciting heterosexuals that visited the compound among other things. I want to stress here that while there were a few well-behaved guys in the programme, there were quite a few who exuded self-destructive behaviour that would make any liberal blush. The former E.D. took too long to weed them out and that was a critical factor to her demise.

6. With her gone, the programme sputtered until it ended. It was at that point that a lot of the guys realised the value of the programme and I'm sure if they could do it over again they would behave better. The organization has failed them in this regard and so has all the hangers-on who came around as their friends...where are they now in a time of need? Who will take in these boys in need? Of course, they continue to hang around ---a situation the organization needs to monitor but that is the least they can do. With the demise of GLABCOM and the lack of programmes and office personnel being dedicated to tasks, it is left to see how the boys will be assisted in the future. As for the organization itself, it is still trying to regroup but that process remains in tatters. It's at a critical juncture and the next few months will be critical.

Barbershop chat: Perception that Buju is set up by Gays still real

Barbershops in Jamaica like hairdressing parlours are rife with gossip and have become known for hosting sometimes heated exchanges on the latest opinions of the day usually led by the technicians who serve customers needs even as newspapers, magazines and pamphlets and other paraphernalia adorn the centre tables of shelves for customers’ perusal, a television set or radio may also be blaring showing the latest news from CNN or a local television.

One such news item sparked a heated discourse last weekend to which I was privy to be there while waiting my turn to be groomed by my favourite barber. A customer arriving brought with him a set of newspapers where amongst them was the Star News with a headline which on Saturday March 27th read that Buju Banton was denied bail at his hearing in Florida. See the article below or here. The conversation was sparked by the said customer who caught the attention of the barbers who obviously like when customers and themselves chat about the latest news. The comment however that launched a crushendor was voiced by an older barber when at the time the Lotto cash pot draw was being broadcast on television the conversation temporarily stopped as many of the men waiting pulled out their tickets to see if their chance purchase had won for the five o’clock draw, the second of three daily draws that are televised, the number 26 was played as the winning number and the lucky mark as is customarily linked to all numbers played in this case was white man, then came the comment that white men were gays who were putting pressure of Buju Banton the inference also came from the number two that was played at the one o’clock draw and the Jamaican perception for the number two which means gay. Many started to speculate what was going to be drawn at the seven o’clock lotto draw as is always done as numbers are always linked to some superstition or current happenings and thus informs the gamblers’ purchase of said numbers. A few of the men agreed that something gay may be played so 26, 2 would have been replayed or some other number for black men or something sexual.

After that exchange the main matter at hand on Buju was resumed and many believed he was the victim on discrimination from the gays because of the song Boom Bye Bye. “Dem white bo deh deadly” (those white boys are deadly) one barber said loudly he went on to express he felt Buju was set up, many others present agreed. I was quiet during the whole thing as I wanted to hear the views, my barber who by this time was shearing my head prompted me to speak I quickly dismissed it and said I don’t know what to think. One customer introduced the fact of the alleged evidence the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) had on Buju Banton on tape tasting the cocaine he was alleged to have been trading, he was promptly rebuffed by nearly all concerned at the time he retreated and barely spoke again during the exchange. They didn’t believe that the DEA had anything on Buju and that it was fabricated, one man believed as I do that Buju’s lawyer didn’t seem as if he was genuine as he was more of a public relations specialist than a lawyer, he questioned why it took so long for him to ask for bail and why was he, Buju Banton was allowed to be moved to a maximum security prison from general population. The others listened intently as he openly posed the questions, he seemed to be well read on the issue more than the others who were in the exchange.

The erudite speaker continued for a good while concluding that he didn’t believe Buju Banton was going to get off that easily as he is being used to teach other DJs who have anti gay songs a lesson, he also tied in the conversation the extradition matter with Dudus Cooke and said since the United States government cannot get their extradition request for the reputed gang leader honoured they may use this trial as diplomatic leverage, the recent attempt at embarrassing the Jamaican government by revoking the visa a prominent business man that had close ties to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party administration was compared to as well by another barber tying in all the current issues into one.

This clearly shows to me that we must never underestimate the views of the ordinary citizen; People are talking and are expressing their views and sifting through the clouds of information floating out there. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of reasoning from the men in the shop I must admit I wanted to speak so badly but I didn’t want to prejudice the moment so I bit my lips. So the negative perception of gaydom being a white import is still an underlying issue just by virtue of this example of an exchange in public. But also as one man put it there are black men who are gay too which suggests that people know their reality in Jamaica and worldwide. The issue of tolerance in a sense was not lost as well one man expressed that he doesn’t care about peoples choice so long they don’t come to him with it as he knows that some men who have women or who are married also are batty man, as he puts it.

I like outdoor talk like this as it gives me a chance to get a feel on the ground.

Maybe I may develop the courage and tools to go out and do a poll in public places on homosexuality and related issues.

Any ideas?

What do you think?

Peace and tolerance


Fairness Please (Writer complains to Observer about homophobia letter series)

Dear Editor,

I appreciate the latitude you permit for letters and commentary in your newspaper, but remain a little perturbed at the amount of space you allow certain regular contributors.

The debate about homosexuality, homophobia and buggery, as it relates to Jamaican culture and the constitution, has been allotted more than its fair share of column space in your letters section.

From the writing style, language used and issues raised, I believe that the writer of many of the letters and subsequent responses is the same person. I am curious to know why this person, operating under pseudonyms and aliases is being allowed so much time and space in the Observer.

I firmly believe that the paper encourages and upholds the right to freedom of speech and expression, but I am beginning to wonder whether the Observer is quietly positioning itself to become the platform for the promotion of gay rights and the right to freedom to participte in buggery.

I believe that what may be perceived as the preferential treatment shown by you to contributors who seek the advancement of gay rights, (but who may be too cowardly to come out of the closet and campaign openly), is starting to cloud the once stellar transparency, truthfulness and unbiased image of the Observer.

Peter Myers


Buju Banton denied bail (Star News)

Arthur Hall

A United States magistrate yesterday rejected a bail application for reggae superstar Buju Banton.

The magistrate also denied a request from lawyers representing Buju that he be ordered moved to a non-maximum security penal institution.

US magistrate Anthony Porcelli said he would not order Buju's release because he believes there is a risk he could flee to his home country, Jamaica.

The magistrate also said he would not interfere with the operations at the Pinellas County Jail where Buju, whose correct name is Mark Myrie, is being held.

Attorney-at-law David Markus had gone to court claiming that Buju had lost 40 pounds because he was denied the vegetarian diet he requires for religious reasons, and that his mental and physical health had been rapidly deteriorating.

Marcus also claimed Buju had been transferred to a maximum security section of the jail and this was hindering his ability to prepare for his trial, which begins in weeks.

But a federal prosecutor told the court that the claim that Buju was being treated inhumanely was a lie.

gained 11 pounds

Assistant US Attorney General James Preston presented evidence which showed that instead of losing 40 pounds Buju had gained 11 pounds since being in custody.

The court was told that Buju was 150 pounds when he was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on January 5, and when he was weighed recently he tipped the scale at 161 pounds.

Markus challenged those records, asserting Buju's weight when he was booked was just an estimate.

But a jail official said the numbers were supported by records kept by jail medical staff, who have weighed Buju several times during his detention.

Markus complained he hadn't seen the records before the hearing.

According to the prison official, Buju never asked the jail chaplain, who handles such requests, if he could be placed on a vegetarian diet.

The official said he reviewed records of Buju's commissary transactions and found purchases of meat and fish, including chicken, tuna and mackerel.

According to the jail official, he has since directed that Buju be given a vegetarian diet. Markus said Buju gave other inmates the meat he bought in the commissary and had filed a diet request with the chaplain.

The prison official also rejected claims that Buju was being housed in a maximum-security section.

He said Buju was being kept in an older part of the jail where the security arrangements were different, but not punitive, because he argued with a prison official who told him not to give his food away.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mr. Anthony Gomes on Redefining moral values

The US capital, Washington DC, is the latest jurisdiction to liberalise the national moral code by permitting same-sex marriages along with five other states in the Union. Similarly with the marijuana issue, same sex-marriages are not recognised by the federal government and are prohibited by the 1996 Defence of Marriage Act that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Paradoxically, however, same sex-marriage is legal in three states - the result of court rulings - and in two other states through legislative vote. Conversely, 30 other states have passed constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriages. The issue remains highly divisive in the US.

President Obama is reported to be personally against same-sex marriage, but says that individual states should be left to decide as they think fit, in accordance with the Defence of Marriage Act. Internationally contracted same-sex marriages are recognised in five states. It is not yet clear if Washington DC would eventually grant similar recognition. So far, same-sex marriages are recognised in Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. Twenty other countries recognise civil unions and registered partnerships that usually provide the same legal consequences of marriage. Same-sex marriages are declared illegal in the UK by the 1973 Matrimonial Causes Act that states a marriage is void if the parties are not respectively men and women. However, civil partnerships that provide the same consequences of marriage are legal under the 2005 Civil Partnerships Act.

Redefining matrimonial characteristics, especially mental and moral which distinguish marriage as a union of one man and one woman, has deeply disturbed Christians universally. Redefinition by legislatures also raises the related controversial issue of homosexuality that is also the subject of worldwide debate. In 2000, the Netherlands legalised homosexual marriage, allowing same-sex couples to adopt children that incurred the condemnation of the Catholic Church, the world's largest Christian religion, which called the law "a serious affront on human dignity and the family". Pope John Paul II criticised any law "which would do harm to the family, striking at its unity and its indissolubility, or which would give legal validity to a union between persons, including those of the same sex who demand the same rights as the family founded upon marriage between a man and a woman".

It was also reported by the Vatican newspaper that "the Catholic Church contests these revolutionary innovations, which in the name of freedom, seek to legitimise a union regarded by the universal consciousness as going against nature". The Catholic Church definitively states: "Since homosexual relations cannot reflect the complementarity of the sexes intended by God and openness to the transmission of life; they are contrary to the creative designs of God. A person who engages in homosexual behaviour acts immorally. The Catholic tradition teaches that homosexual acts are intrinsically disorder. Under no circumstances can they be approved".

Generally, female same-sex relationships do not attract the same degree of opposition as compared with male interactions. First, lesbianism is not illegal as Queen Victoria declined to accept the inclusion of females in the act prohibiting homosexuality. Further, lesbianism is widely considered to be among the safest sexual experiences due to the absence of penetrative intercourse, and reduced risk of STD transmission. The elimination of a pregnancy risk is also a supporting factor. Morally, however, lesbian relationships still carry the stigma of homosexuality.

In Jamaica same-sex marriages and other forms of same-sex relationships are prohibited. Male homosexual relationships specifically identified in Section 76 of the Offences against the Person Act, reflects the contents of the original Buggery Act of 1533 which is reported to be the first ever legislation against sodomy, that was defined as an unnatural sexual act against the will of God and man, which included anal penetration and bestiality.

Prime Minister Golding has forcibly denounced same-sex marriages thus: "I make no apology in saying decisively and emphatically that the Government of Jamaica remains irrevocably opposed to the recognition, legitimisation or acceptance of same-sex marriages or same-sex unions." Also in 2008 Attorney at law Shirley Richards reported that the Declaration on Human Rights and Sexual Orientation, tabled in the United Nations, sought to expand the existing human rights concept to include "sexual orientation". The Declaration was not supported by Jamaica. Simultaneously, a contrary proposal stated that the Declaration was an "attempt to introduce to the UN, notions that have no legal foundation in any human rights instrument". There appears to be no UN consensus on including sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights. "Obviously, the power brokers at the UN are hell-bent on imposing a new version of human rights on the rest of the unwilling world. It is an attempt to assert the moral equivalence of all forms of sexual preferences and to harm moral and sound discernment, all in the name of 'human rights'."

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a caution to deviants that the gender theory blurred the distinction between men and women and could thus lead to "self-destruction" of the human race. "Saving humanity from homosexual and transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rain forest from destruction. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection, but the human being does not deserve less". Sound advice in a rapidly changing world, which appears focused on the dissolution of all forms of Christian morality and traditional values.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Buju Banton’s Lawyers file for Bond and or alternative relief.

Filed in a Florida court on Sunday March 21, 2010 the main lawyer Mr. David Marcus and the team presented a motion to the Middle district court of Florida due to concerns for Mark Myrie’s health and incarceration conditions as he was moved to a maximum security center due to having allegedly sharing his food with another inmate at the previous open population low security facility. It is unclear as to rules of engagement with inmates sharing their food with other inmates however or if Buju himself is being victimized as is made out to be the case here by his council.

An emergency motion for Bond and alternative relief was filed, some of the sections read as follows:

“We did everything to avoid filing this instant motion but the most recent actions carried out against Mark Myrie require us to seek assistance from this court, because Mr. Myrie had the audacity to share his food with a hungry inmate he was sent out of general population to the maximum security wing of the prison when Mr. Myrie told the officer that he did not believe he was doing anything wrong he was told he could contest her finding if lost he would be sent to the hole knowing how that would turn out Mr. Myrie waved his opportunity to contest the hearing and was sent to maximum security for the next thirty days, the most crucial thirty days of Mr. Myrie’s life as he prepares for trial. ”

Parts of the factual background:
“Even though he is not a danger to the community or a risk of flight mark Myrie a Grammy nominated Jamaican Reggae artist also known as Buju Banton has been in federal custody sine December 2009 awaiting trial, Mr. Myrie is being detained because assistant US attorney Jim Preston advised council that the magistrate court that Mr. Myrie had an immigration detainer and was ineligible for release to avoid the inconvenience of Mr. Myrie being transferred into immigration custody council stipulated to detention with the right to revisit the issue of bond if it became necessary.”

The trial date is set for the nineteenth of April 2010 the claim continued that Buju Banton has lost more than fourty pounds since December 9, 2009 and has not been able to adequately meet his Rastafarian diet although he has been able to purchase and prepare food from the commissary while he was staying in the open population section of the Jail. His lawyers want to have him moved to an immigration jail instead as he is not a flight risk. The living conditions are unbearable as the showers and other amenities are not functional.

In a subsequent radio interview Mr. David Marcus lead council for Buju Banton said the claim will be heard on March 26, 2010 following this motion. The lawyer said he Buju Banton showed kindness to another inmate and the jail is punishing him for it.
I am very skeptical about these hot shot lawyers who take high profile cases. I do not believe that it is a simple matter of him sharing his food with another individual that led to his transfer, the rules in any or observance of policy were never mentioned during the interview there must have been something else that caused the authorities to move someone Buju Banton from general population to a maximum security facility. His public utterances have proven he is very adept at public relations and painting a nice picture of situations. He continued that here is no special diet prepared according to Mr. Myrie’s religious views.

He complained that the when council went to visit Buju at the maximum security facility they had to wait for two hours and that he was not cheap as they shouldn’t have to wait around needlessly spending Buju Banton’s money as they have to do what they have to do to prepare for the trial, so the money motive may be peering through here it seems. I am also sure that to visit a maximum security facility as a lawyer requires some knowledge before hand and verification prior to seeing the person(s) one intends to visit, this was not mentioned in the interview either.

He accused the informant as being paid millions of dollars to set him up and that he has learnt new information which will be brought to bear in the trial when it commences.

Peace and tolerance


Monday, March 22, 2010

Audio Posts Temporary Setback ... New Audio Player

Souncloud Account here:

Latest tracks by glbtqja


Find more audio posts like this on GLBTQ Jamaica Members' LINKUP, send an email to lgbtevent@gmail.com to be approved

Sad news for my audiopost followers on Snapvine. (See new player above embedded from GLBTQJA NING Membership page)

Snapvine was shut down on March
31, 2010 the Snapvine.com website and all its
content were deleted so like other account holders we had to back up our stuff and move.

Therefore my audio commentary will be on hold for now till I can back them up and find a suitable replacement platform.

Only the audio sections of my previous blog posts will be temporarily affected everything else stays put.

Ugh! @ the rigors of blogging man

Peace and tolerance


African, Caribbean & Pacific Countries refuse to include declaration of gay rights in Brussels.

As part of a revised development agreement with the European Union African, Caribbean and Pacific country representatives refused to agree to include a declaration to include gay rights as part of their respective territories. In discussing trade and other economic matters calls were made for improved development aid to member states and reduce trade barriers to African, Caribbean & Pacific countries. Ahead of the talks however the European Union called for illegal immigrants in each state to be returned to their homelands and an end to discrimination against gays.

A compromise was however reached on elements on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which forbids discrimination on race, opinions, sex and all other considerations.

The European Commissioner for development in a radio interview with the BBC Caribbean report said essentially that gay rights issues were particularly sensitive for some on the African, Caribbean and Pacific states as he understood it. Hence the failure to agree on the gay rights declaration presently. The treatise however will treat with whatever comes as political matters and will be dealt with through dialogue. African, Caribbean and Pacific countries however should know it is an issue important to the EU and gay discrimination is of concern.

No action or sanctions will be taken at this time on any of the member ACP states who may breach the understanding of sexual discrimination but dialogue will be employed to resolve said issues. If dialogue does not work however then they may move to the next step, he didn’t explain those steps in the interview.

The problem with this is that many states especially Jamaica may walk away from this thinking that the European Union is dictating what it wants and using economic might and aid to impose the homosexual agenda as had been repeatedly said by some local economists, politicians and commentators. Many have actually said that if aid or economic assistance should come from the European Union or by any other foreign body that included any hint to or demand for gay rights that Jamaica in particular should reject such assistance. The ordinary man is made to believe that the European Union and others are trying to homosexualize predominantly black nations and the rhetoric associated with this believe is often pushed by those who ought to know better, many in a bid to popularise themselves on radio, television or other mediums including parliament are used to push the anti gay agenda.

The Rastafarian community too has often used this belief in their rhetoric as well often combining the Catholic Church hinting at the recent set of paedophile cases with priests worldwide. They often juxtapose it to the biblical prophecy that the anti Christ will come from Europe and will be gay and want to enforce homosexuality on the rest of the world. I am sure that as this news makes its way to the mainstream media the discourse will commence on the very beliefs as hinted to above reinforced.

These European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries development agreement discussions have been happening since 2002 under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, today’s discussions were to update the agreement as the gay rights issues was never actually really agreed upon at the previous sessions.

Most African, Caribbean and Pacific countries use this issue of gay rights to hold on to political power as we have seen here in Jamaica and other states. No sooner had the Jamaica Labour Party come to power in 2008 the Prime Minsters utterances on the BBC’s show Hardtalk where he went on the offensive outlining “Not in my Cabinet” hinting to no gays in his government when he was questioned by the then host whether he would have a gay person in his team. This act helped to sure up some lost ground post the election, but it was short lived as his own member Ernie Smith on his side lambasted gays as violent and rude at first it looked like a wonderful public relations gimmick to further portray the new administration as carrying the popular view but it did not go down well and soon backfired as the public, commentators, newspapers through their editorials and members from academia found it repulsive by virtue of his behaviour, choice of words and using the protection of parliament to discriminate against a group of citizens.

A little history folks

Peace and tolerance


see also:

Second revision of Cotonou agreement, signed on 19/03/2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

AIDS Fight Targets Laws Against Homosexuality, UN’s Sidibe Says

By Bill Varner

March 16 (Bloomberg) -- The battle against AIDS will include a push to overturn laws that criminalize homosexuality in 85 nations, said the head of the coalition of United Nations agencies formed to fight the disease.

Michel Sidibe of Mali, the executive director of UNAIDS, said transmission of the HIV virus that causes AIDS can be up to 10 times greater in countries with repressive laws against homosexuality compared to more open societies. Laws that criminalize homosexuality make it less likely that gays and lesbians will seek treatment, so fighting AIDS can become a “force for social transformation,” he said.

“We cannot accept the tyranny of the majority,” Sidibe told reporters in New York yesterday. “We must insist that the rights of minorities are upheld. If we don’t, the epidemic will grow again.”

The global economic crisis and “growing conservatism” in some countries have combined to stall movement toward overturning colonial-era laws against homosexuality, Sidibe said. The trend, demonstrated by an anti-homosexuality law being debated in Uganda’s parliament, is “very scary,” he said.

Sidibe said he wants to highlight repression of homosexuals at the international AIDS conference scheduled for Vienna in July. He said Islamic nations and many others among the 192 UN member governments oppose such political and social activism.

Only 66 nations backed a declaration in the UN General Assembly last year urging the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Transition Stage

Sidibe said the fight against AIDS was in a “transition” stage where gains could be reversed. New HIV infections have declined by 17 percent globally during the past eight years, showing efforts to curb the spread of the world’s deadliest infectious disease are working, the UN said in November.

About 2 million people die from AIDS-related causes each year, making it a bigger killer than tuberculosis or malaria, according to World Health Organization figures. About 2.7 million people became infected with the AIDS-causing virus in 2008, compared with 3.2 million in 2001.

The coalition of 10 UN agencies known as UNAIDS also needs to enhance efforts to confront what Sidibe called “complacency” among young people. They haven’t been exposed to as much information as other age groups about AIDS and how it is transmitted, he said.

Sidibe said one result was that the rate of transmission among homosexuals in the U.S. was higher in the 19-to-25 age bracket than the national average.

“We failed somewhere,” he said.

--Editors: Edward DeMarco, Don Frederick

To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Varner at the United Nations at wvarner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jim Kirk at jkirk12@bloomberg.net

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Repeal buggery law (Observer Letter)

Dear Editor,

Along with the rest of the world, Jamaica celebrated International Women's Day, Monday, March 8. However, this government has failed to demonstrate leadership in reducing the scourge of HIV/AIDS affecting women by not repealing the buggery law.

The National Aids Committee, UNAIDS, and other local and international agencies have consistently pointed out to the prime minister and the minister of health that the buggery law spreads HIV/AIDS to heterosexual women as:

* The homophobia caused by the buggery law "forces" some gay men to marry or have girlfriends as a cover for their sexuality. When these men can't hide anymore, they engage in short, risky same-sex activity (usually without a condom) which leads to HIV/AIDS infection that they take home to their wives or girlfriends.

* The buggery law prevents the distribution of condoms in prisons where men engage in unprotected sex, either from necessity or choice, and once infected they take the disease back into the general population upon their release.

*The stigma caused by the buggery law causes same-sex male lovers to shy away from treatment and thus the disease becomes embedded in the society.

It is irresponsible for the government, when faced with this and other data about the causes for the spread of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, not to repeal the buggery law. Tolerance for homosexuality does not have to mean acceptance of the lifestyle. However, intolerance is definitely killing our women.

Maurice Tomlinson


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Star News Reports - GAY STORY KEEPS JAMAICAN IN USA - Says he was being attacked here

A Jamaican man who was staring in the face of imminent deportation from the United States of America (USA) after overstaying and being convicted of crimes in that country was spared the embarrassing trip home after telling American authorities he was a homosexual and would killed if was sent back home.

According information contained in a Miami, Florida court document dated March 2 which THE STAR perused, the local man, 28, grew up in St Ann. He, however, left that parish for St Catherine in 1997 after a run-in with friends.

The document read: "When he was attending Marcus Garvey High School, he was stoned and beaten when they found out he was gay. He was on his way home from school, and he was hugging his friend (name omitted), when some other friends saw him and they beat him and stoned him."

After fleeing to St Catherine to live with an aunt, the court document states that the alleged gay man had another life-threatening encounter all because of his sexual preference. The file read that while living in Bridgeport, a group of attackers confronted him and "held a knife at his throat and told him it was because he was gay. He was lucky that someone came along who knew him and saved him".

vistor's visa

Information continued that following that incident, the man's mother, who was in the US, flew down and filed for him and he obtained a visitor's visa and went to that country in April 1998.

Reports further stated that he was never granted permanent resident status and remained in American beyond the six months period he was authorised to stay.

Close to five years later, he was convicted in February 2002 for unlawful use of a false name or Identity. He was also convicted of burglary of a dwelling and escaped on October 3, 2008.

Subsequent to the convictions, immigration authorities ruled that the Jamaican man be deported for violation of sections of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, particularly staying beyond the time authorised, being convicted of a crime involving a controlled substance and being convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct.

However, legal representation for the reportedly gay man filed an application for withholding of removal (a staying of the deportation order), "arguing that the (Jamaican man) would be persecuted and/or tortured in Jamaica because he is a homosexual".

Although the document stated that the man did not file for asylum until his troubles with the law started and that application was denied, the Florida court ruled: "While the respondent has committed crimes in this country, and did come to the United States with the intent of staying, facts which might cause a denial of asylum as a matter of discretion, there is no discretion with regard to withholding of removal. Therefore, the court will grant withholding of removal to Jamaica."