In this section, I will provide information found on the Internet connected to homophobia depicted in dancehall music
plus the evolution of the topic in the Caribbean context from 1976 to present time
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January 24, 2007: A blog tarnishes the image of a Martinique dancehall artist Lieutenant
A letter posted on blog, signed 'Lieutenant' put the Martinique dancehall artist in hot water. The artist has been known for expressing his homophobic views in songs. In the letter, the author mentionned that he was seropositiv, that he receiving sexual favours as a child and wrote a list of people that he suggest of being 'battyboys' (homosexuals) to be executed. This message was circulating on Martinique blog website Blogsome entitled 'Lieutenant Terorriste', since November 18, 2006. In an interview for the BondaManJak website on January 24, Lieutenant said that he wasn't the author of the message circulating on the blog and that he would make the appropriate effort for this blog to be removed and to press charges. The same day, the story made the news of France RFO Radio along with various other media. The list of personalities originaly sited on the blog are: Vincent McDoom (variety television), Magloire (TV animator, actor), Jean-Emmanuel Emile (animator), Yves Bussy (annimator), Serge Letchimy (Fort-De-France mayor) et Alfred Marie-Jeanne (president of the regional council). Dancehall fans have criticized the message originally posted on the blog and seriously doubted that it was originated by the artist himself. On February 4th, 2007, a blog conversation state that the author of the blog, a 38-year old man from Martinique was arrested. The author of this 'joke' face five years of prison and a 45,000 Euro fine.
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NewMedia) (BondaManJak.com) (An Nou Alle letter) (LieutenantTerroriste.blogsome.com) (DOM Actu.com) ENGLISH: (HeraldTribune)


February 27, 2007: 'Batty Man' a documentary on black homophobia broadcast on Channel 4
This documentary was initially broadcasted during 'Gay Teens Week' on UK Channel 4, on February 27 2007. Channel 4 description: 'Comedian and actor Stephen K Amos uses his own experiences as a black gay man to explore why homophobia still exists in his own community. This observational documentary – the title of which is a derogatory term for homosexuals – follows Amos on a journey from his childhood homes in Brixton and Tooting, South London, all the way to Jamaica, where he tries to discover why prejudice, intimidation and violence against gay men remain so prevalent. Amos canvasses the opinions of young people in London, and of audiences on the comedy circuit. In Kingston, he talks to several young people who are living in fear of their lives, and to some of the dancehall musicians whose lyrics preach hate and violence against gays. Will he learn something on this journey about how attitudes might be changed for the benefit of the next generation of young, black gay men?' Features interviews with straight teenagers from England, gays from England and Jamaica. Also features interviews from dancehall acts Elephant Man and Heavy Steppaz, a group of Jamaicans Seven-Day Avendists, Lawrence Burke, archbishop of Kingston. The 48-minute documentary was filmed in late 2006 (probably November) and was produced by Clare Paterson and Paul Blake for Maroon Productions. It was nominated for a Chilldren's Award in September 2007 in the cathegory 'Learning Secondary'.

NOTE: I don't think this documentary was available for retail. I was able to see trough a friend who has an extensive reggae/Jamaican DVD collection.
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Channel 4)

March 1, 2007: British TV show dealing with black homophobia
The second season of the British TV show Hotel Babylon made an excursion into black homophobia and dancehall. The scenario deals with coming out and self respect. It's not the first time that homophobia is dealt on TV, but what makes this one particulary interesting is that the scene features members of the black community gathering in a private party where an homophobic dancehall song is playing in background. The scene was part of the episode No.3, broadcasted on March 1, 2007. Seems that some people appreciated the scene as it is now featured on YouTube. The spot is entitle: Is This Homophobia? Watch.
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Spot: IS THIS HOMOPHOBIA? WATCH) (Hotel Babylon)

March 19, 2007: An Nou Alle objects the nomination of Admiral T and Lieutenant for SACEM prizes
After receiving a price in November for his music, An Nou Alle questioned another nomination for the Admiral T, a musician that promote hatered and murder towards the gay community. Two dancehall artists Admiral T and Lieutenant were nominated for the SACEM prize. On March 22, they wrote that Lieutenant didn't win any prices in Martinique, but Guadeloupean artist Admiral T is listed in four cathegories. On April 2nd, they wrote that SACEM and the culture ministery chose to honorate Admiral T. On April 19, they reveiled the results of an internet poll stating that 84% thinks that the SACEM was judged 'unforgivable' for not listening to gays and lesbians concerns and allowing a reward to someone who never apologied for his hatered message sent towards the LGBT community. Over the same periode, An Nou Alle also questionned the right for Krys to performed at Le Zenith, on April 6th, because the concert hall belongs to the public found

NOTE: More information will come soon. The An Nou Alle website was not working at time of visiting.
(
An Nou Alle: March 19) (An Nou Alle: March 21) (An Nou Alle: March 22) (An Nou Alle: March 30) (An Nou Alle: April 2) (An Nou Alle: April 5) (An Nou Alle: April 19)

More on 'Les Cesaires de la Musique' prize: (
An Nou Alle: March 13) (An Nou Alle: March 19)

March 20, 2007: Elephant Man new homophobic single/video 'Lef Dem To Time'
A new Elephant Man single was issued on March 20, on the Church Heathen riddim is (label: Big Yard). The video is mockering gays and transgenders. With the outro of this video, Elephant Man is trying to dilute all violent homophobia that he has spread over the years, by showing a man that is about to beat up the gay character portraid in the video, but then, the actor turn up to the camera and say that it's only a joke.

NOTE: The video was brought up to my attention in September 2007, but it was probably issued at the same time of the single.
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VIDEO: Lef Dem To Time) (LYRICS: Lef Dem To Time)

March 23, 2007: Beenie Man signs the 'Reggae Compassionate Act'
In order to avoid cancellation for his current tour, Beenie Man has signed an official document stating that he will no longer performed homophobic songs in Europe and America as well as in the Caribbean. His signature to the document states that he will completely stop writing homophobic songs and will not re-issue any of the past homophobic songs. By signing the document, the artist agreed to not pass any homophobic statement in interview. In February 2005, a deal was established between the dancehall records companies and gay and lesbian organisations, but that deal didn't imply the artists. This time, the Reggae Compassionate Act has to be signed by the artist themselves. Back than, Beenie Man didn't completely stop performing homophobic songs after the 2005 agreement, but his attitude did change, probably because of the pressure from the dancehall industry and the numerous boycott his tours suffered. This time, the artist should feel more responsibility once he signed that document.

NOTE: Unfortunateley, Beenie Man later said in an interview that he never signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. Is he bluffing or simply telling the truth... See lower under June 18, 2007. For more info on the Reggae Compassionate Act, look under MAY 11, 2007.
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picture of the Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Beenie Man)

April 10, 2007: Caribbean follows up Europe & USA: officials wants to ban Sizzla from entering St.Lucia
CASTRIES, St. Lucia (CMC): Director of the St. Lucia-based Caribbean Drug Abuse Research Institute, Dr. Marcus Day, has called on law enforcement authorities to refuse permission for Jamaican dancehall artiste Sizzla to perform here at a May 5 show. Dr. Day, in a letter to Police Commissioner Ausbert Regis, called for the artiste to be prevented from performing here because of what he said was his violent, anti-gay lyrics. He also lashed out at Jamaica for what he claimed was its culture of violence which is being imported into St. Lucia. Dr. Day requested the commissioner to pay particular attention to this "delicate legal matter" and called on the police to warn the promoters and producers of the show that they might be guilty of aiding and abetting criminal offences by giving a platform to Sizzla. "This guy should not be allowed to enter St. Lucia as far as I am concerned. These guys who sing this kind of crap should learn that if they want to do that in Jamaica and the Jamaica Government does not want to do anything about it, that's fine; but when they come out in the real world where people are supposed to be civilised then that stuff doesn't cut," he told a news conference Friday. (taken from Jamaica Gleaner) The show went on as scheduled.
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St.Lucia Star 1) (St.Lucia Star 2) (Jamaica Gleaner) (original letter) (St.Lucia Star: comments)

April 15, 2007: Sizzla signs the 'Reggae Compassionate Act'

It's the turn to Sizzla to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act, an official document stating that he will no longer performed homophobic songs in Europe and America as well as in the Caribbean. His signature to the document states that he will completely stop writing homophobic songs and will not re-issue any of the past homophobic songs. By signing the document, the artist agreed to not pass any homophobic statement in interview. In February 2005, a deal was established between the dancehall records companies and gay and lesbian organisations, but that deal didn't imply the artists. This time, the Reggae Compassionate Act has to be signed by the artist themselves. Although he felt pressured by promoters and the Dancehall Industry after the February 2005 deal and altered his concert list in order to performed in North America and in Europe, Sizzla never stopped to voice his oppinion on homosexuality. This time, the artist should feel more responsibility once he signed that document.

NOTE: Unfortunately, Sizzla was unable to respect his signature, see lower on JUNE 13, 2007. For more info on the Reggae Compassionate Act, look under MAY 11, 2007.
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picture of the Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Sizzla)

April 22, 2007: The Rasta View On Homosexuality?
Jamaica Observer ran an interview with an elder of the rastafarian community, which wanted to express his view on homosexuality. He is university educated and is considered an authority on certain aspects of our cultural heritage especially our music and politics. He had a burning desire to present a Rasta view on homosexuality especially in light of the recent mob actions (Half-Way-Tree and Montego Bay) against men said to be 'openly homosexual'. (look under CONSEQUENCES for more details on these mob actions – February 14, 2007 and April 1, 2007).
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Jamaica Observer)

NOTE: What could have been a revealing interview from someone with university degree trying to shed light on a deplorable situation (read discrimination, hatred and violence), end up being the usual point of view that we are so much accustomed by extreme religious groups. Mocking the equal rights quest, criticizing union, child adoption and gay pride, linking bestiality and incest with homosexuality... The only thing that is constructive in this interview, is the denunciation of violence, but then again, he claim for 'freedom of speech' without defining the boundaries that music should evolve in and excuses the attitude of Jamaican DJs. Is this really representing the view of the majority of the rastafarian community? Probably. But I'm positive that there are some rastafarians that have come to a greater level of overstanding, compassion and love and that's their oppinion that we want to read.

Ironically he dubbed himself 'Soul Rebel'... ;-). During the interview, instead of using the word 'gay' to talk about homosexuals, he preferred to used the antonym 'sad' (duh!). Well what is really sad, is to evolve in a world filled with narrow minded people like this.

April 27, 2007: Two videos of a mob beating a Jamaican transvestite posted on YouTube & JumpCut
On the morning of April 27, a crowd of people gathered around a man who was dress as woman, waiting for public transportation. The mob stoned him, beat him severly with batons and machets until the police came for rescue. In a severe condition, the young man was admited to the hospital. This incident occured in Falmouth, Jamaica. Although this type of incident seems to be less frequent, it still occur. Someone was able to film a part of the beating with a celular phone and made two video montages with it and posted them on YouTube and JumpCut. These videos are more than just capturing images from the beating, they bring the viewer to reflect upon the consequences of extreme homophobia leading to violence and put those beatings in parallel with black history. The first video recalls the beating incident, using Sizzla's extreme homophobic song 'Head Out' for background music, while the second video uses disturbing archive images of mob lynching.

NOTE: I usually place the information regarding these verbal and physical violence in the CONSEQUENCE section of this website, but due to the nature of the videos they belong also in this section. According to my research, due to it's extreme violent lyrics, this Sizzla song was never issued on any album or compilation, it was only available through unofficial DJ compilations in June 2006. I am unshure if these two videos were made by the same person.
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VIDEO: Battyman gets beaten in Jamaica Part One) (VIDEO: A Bashing In Jamaica) (VIDEO: different excerpt) (ARTICLE: Jamaica Observer)

May 6, 2007: Two Beenie Man concerts are cancelled in UK
The concerts that were scheduled for May 4th in Bedford at Chapel 29 night club and on May 6th in London at the Coronet were cancelled. The Luton gig sheduled for May 7th (or May 8th?) seems to happend as it was planned.

NOTE: I will bring more details soon.
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Inform.com) (PinkNews.co.uk)

May 7, 2007: Mélange Lavonne release the video 'Gay Bashing'
The 28 year-old Hip-Hop lesbian artist Mélange Lavonne released the video 'Gay Bashing in May 2007. She is part of growing Hip-Hop genre cristened HomoHop. The song 'Gay Bash' depicts her outrage toward the death of her friend Kevin at the hands of gay bashers and the judgment she faces for being gay from many Christian groups. The video premired at The OutFest in July 2007, but was online on YouTube since May 7, 2007. It was also featured in several movie festivals in 2007. Born in California, Mélange Lavonne was part of the historical HomoRevolution Tour, when several gay Hip-Hop groups performed in the Southwest of The United States in March & April 2007 (California, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota, Georgia and Texas). More dates were later added to the tour. The Hip-Hop gay and lesbian artsits that were featured on the tour: Deadlee, Johnny Dangerous, Tori Fixx, Q Boy, DaLyrical, Shorty Roc, Bigg Nugg, JFP, FoxxJazell, Salvimex, Delacruz, Mélange Lavonne, Feloni, Miss Money, Best Inda Game, UNECC, W.L.R. (White Lesbian Raper), MZ. Fontaine, MC Flow & SOCE T.E.W.

NOTE: This is Hip-Hop and not dancehall, I agree. But I decided to make an exception as this is a fantastic example of what dancehall is needing to make things progress. Take four minutes of your time and watch that challenging video. I whish that one day that video will be included on the regular rotation of every music video channels.
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VIDEO: Gay Bashing) (Melange Lavonne website) (HomoRevolution Tour) (Deadlee Interview)
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INTERESTING ARTICLE: Why gay Hip-Hop?)

May 7, 2007: German TV special: Homophobia in Jamaica
German special on homophobia in Jamaica broadcasted on May 7, 2007. Interview with Gareth Henry (aka Gareth Williams) of J-FLAG (Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays), Maria Carla Gulotta of Amnesty International, an homosexual that tells how he was badly beaten up named Victor, a pastor named Amen Campbell and a music promoter named Dennis Howard. The video was aired by German-Austrian-Suisse TV channel "3sat" in their regular evening programm called "Kulturzeit" (Time for Culture).
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KulterZeit Special: Homophobia in Jamaica) (info on KulturZeit special)

May 8, 2007: Two Capleton concerts are cancelled in Italy
Beenie Man, Sizzla, Capleton and Elephant Man are planned to play Italy this Spring/Summer. Italian gay and lesbian organisations are preparing some protests to let the concert goers know that anti-gay lyrics are not welcome in Italy. On April 30th, the LGBT Italian groups protest the venue of Capleton in four different cities. They were able to cancelled two of the four concerts: the one in Torino, scheduled for May 8 and the one in Rome, scheduled for May 12, 2007. Several pictures of the demonstration that occured in Rome can be seen on the link below, among them one Capleton poster, disguise with make up. The associations are also protesting against Elephant Man two performances: Milano on May 15 and Rome on May 16. The two concerts went as scheduled, but there was only a few people that attend the Rome concert, due to demonstrators.
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Nonsoloreggae Italian Blog) (Concerts Cancelled) (SOS Jamaica.org)

May 9, 2007: Amnesty International launch a petition against homophobic violence in Jamaica
Stand Up For Jamaica along with the italian division of Amnesty International are joining forces and launching a petition addressed to Portia Simpson-Miller. Giving examples of three recent homophobic mob violence, the petition ask for immediate actions along with the reform of the Jamaica Sodomy Law: "We urge you, as a leader, to publicly condemn these acts of violence, to call on the police to investigate speedily and thoroughly those incidents, and to send a strong message that abuses against LGBT people will not be tolerated anymore... We also urge you to use your power to call for law reforms, including the repeal of the Jamaican sodomy statutes (Art. 76 and 79 of the Jamaican Offenses against the Person Act), and the adoption of additional legal protections that would protect LGBT people from discrimination. " In early October 2007, 870 people had signed the petition so far. The petition will close on April 27, 2008.
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Reggae.it: PETITION (Electronic Document)) (SOS Jamaica: PETITION (Word Document))

NOTE: The petition start by " We are Italian citizens concerned" but I asume that anybody from any country can sign the petition, as there is a specific place to write down your city and country. I have seen a few people from other countries signing it so far.
NOTE: You may also sign the petition for a universal decriminalisation of homosexuality, provided by the IDAHO website (International Day Against Homophobia). The petition will be presented at the United Nation (date unknown). It was launched on November 20, 2006:
PETITION...(article)

May 10*, 2007: Capleton signs the 'Reggae Compassionate Act'

After Beenie Man and Sizzla, it's now the turn to Capleton to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act, an official document stating that he will no longer performed homophobic songs in Europe and America as well as in the Caribbean. His signature to the document states that he will completely stop writing homophobic songs and will not re-issue any of the past homophobic songs. By signing the document, the artist agreed to not pass any homophobic statement in interview. In February 2005, a deal was established between the dancehall records companies and gay and lesbian organisations, but that deal didn't imply the artists. This time, the Reggae Compassionate Act has to be signed by the artist themselves. Capleton felt pressured by promoters and the Dancehall Industry after the February 2005 deal and altered his concert list in order to performed in North America and in Europe. In June 2005, while facing several concerts cancelled in France, Capleton signed a vague aplology statement that wasn't addressed to LGBT. In July 2007, he had a hit with the song HITS PON TOPPA HITS, a song where he enumerate several of his homophobic songs, stating that no one can touch his hits. Let's see if the artist feels more responsibility to act properly on record, on stage and in interview after signing the Reggae Compassionate Act.

NOTE: He also released the homophobic song TOPPATING in June 2005, but that was before he signed the document in France. He might have wrote and performed more homophobic songs, but I don't follow his career, so it's impossible for me to confirm. It seems he adapted his concerts after the February 2005 deal, at least in Europe and North America.

NOTE: I am unable to confirm the date that Capleton signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, as no date appear on the contract. It would probably be in early May 2007, as Peter Tatchell wrote his article congratulating Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton on May 11 for signing the Reggae Compassionate Act. I would guess that Peter Tatchell might have waited to get Capleton's signature prior to make a press release. So probably to say that the document would be signed on May 10 would be appropriate. For more info on the Reggae Compassionate Act, look under MAY 11, 2007.

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picture of the Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Capleton) (picture of the 2005 apology statement)

May 11, 2007: OutRage! congratulate the artists for signing the 'Reggae Compassionate Act'

Over the years, dancehall artists that spread homophobic messages in their songs faced a close door to the worldwide accalimed Italian reggae festival: Rototom Sunsplash. This year marks a new beginning as Sizzla and Beenie Man will be featured among the headline of the festival as they both signed important documents stating that they will no longer performed or write songs that discriminate gays and lesbians. Peter Tatchell:"The Reggae Compassionate Statement’s rejection of racism, homophobia and sexism is an important milestone. We rejoice at its commitment to music without prejudice. We are delighted that the Reggae Compassionate Statement* has been signed by Beenie Man, Capleton and Sizzla. Their disavowal of homophobia and other prejudices is a very welcome move. Although some artists did not stick to previous agreements, we accept that these three singers want to move on and put homophobia behind them. By signing the Reggae Compassionate Statement they are stating that, in future, they will not release new homophobic songs or authorise the re-release of previous homophobic songs. Moreover, they also agree that they will not make homophobic public statements.*In other words, they recognise that prejudice, hate and violence have no place in music – that singers should unite not divide, and uplift not put down, people of all races and sexualities. This agreement applies throughout the world – not just in Europe and the US, but also in Jamaica and the Caribbean". Rototom Sunsplash organiser: "We believe that these two letters are an extraordinary event. A great opportunity for all those who campaign for better reggae in a better world. We are conscious that they can retract everything, and of course we know that these documents will not make homophobic violence magically disappear from Jamaican society. Machismo, religious integralism and fanatism sink their roots in the island’s culture and society and will require many years to die out. But already the availability of two famous and important artistes to sign a clear and explicit document is, in our opinion, an extraordinary event: it is not only a great victory but also an opportunity of dialogue, that we cannot neglect."

THE STORY BEHIND THE REGGAE COMPASSIONATE ACT: Peter Tachell recalls: "Negotiations over the RCA began in March this year," he said, recounting how, "Eddie Brown of Pride Music U.K. - not a gay company despite the name, but a straight reggae promotion and PR firm - approached me expressing concern that the 'murder music' tag was harming the Jamaican music industry. He admitted the SMM boycott campaign had hit the artists hard financially and also damaged promoters like him. He offered to try to broker a deal to end the singers' incitements to murder LGBTs . Our aim is to stop murder music, so we agreed to cooperate. Eddie acted as the go-between." Then, Tatchell said, "Within the framework agreed with J-Flag, OutRage!, and BGMAG, Dennis Carney of BGMAG and I drafted the statement, and I sent it to Eddie Brown. Our draft consciously pitched it to reject all hatred and violence, and to appeal to reggae's tradition of one love, peace, and justice." After that, Tatchell told me, "Eddie forwarded our version to the singers and to his fellow reggae promoters. The artists rejected our first draft and we rejected the revised version they sent back to us. The title Reggae Compassionate Act was the idea of Eddie and his fellow promoters. Eventually, Eddie and his colleagues accepted our second draft, which was a slightly softer-worded version than the first. Nevertheless, it included all the essential points we wanted. He then put our new version to the singers on our behalf. One by one the four artists agreed to sign it." According to Tatchell, "Eddie arranged the actual signatures with the artists while some of them were in Jamaica and while others were on tour. He negotiated face-to-face with some of their managements. The four signed agreements were delivered to him. He then sent us PDFs of these signed documents, which I have put on my Web site." Tatchell added, "Eddie is totally confident that all four artists have signed - and we have their signatures, including Banton's and Beenie Man's, to prove it. The Reggae Compassionate Act was negotiated by Eddie Brown of Pride Music UK, with the support of the promoters Michel Jovanovic (Mediacom France), Klaus Maack (Contour Germany), Peter Senders (Panic Productions Holland), Fabrizio Pompeo (Tour de Force Italy), Julian Garcia (Roots and Vibes Spain) and Tim Badejo (Dubble Bubble Scandinavia).

NOTE: After learning that Sizzla, Beenie Man and Capleton signed the 'Reggae Compassionate Act' in March/April/May 2007, I whish that gay and lesbian organisations around the world would give these three artists a break and see how they behave. If the artists stick by their commitments, we should let them have their concerts all across Europe and North America without any protest. If we stop cancelling their concerts, our gesture will welcome more artists to sign the 'Reggae Compassionate Act', and this will shurely be one giant step in the right direction. See below on MAY 11 for more details on the statement.
(OutRage! and Black Gay Men Advisory Group letter to Rototom Sunsplash) (letter from Rototom Sunsplash organiser) (The Guardian) (Jamaica Observer) (Yardflex) (GayCityNews)

June 1, 2007: Jamaica selectors say no to 'murder music'
Some sound system selectors and radio disc jockeys are taking a stand against violence in music. Lyrical violence has slowly spread throughout the dancehall, resulting in feuds that incite fans and ruin dances. However, members of the Bembe Squad, and at least one radio DJ say they are not into promoting the violence. Selector Jigsy made his first announcement last Saturday on CVM TV's Hitlist, where he reportedly said he has stopped playing songs that "make no sense". "Certain music dat misleading people, me, Razz & Biggy, Richie Feelings and Rolexx (members of the Bembe Squad), we taking a stand in de music. Like certain cuss music we not playing, certain controversy song, we not playing dem," Jigsy told the Star. MORE ON LINK BELOW.
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The Jamaica Star)

June 13, 2007: Sizzla sings 'Nah Apologize' to no battybwoy in Berlin
Not even two months after signing the 'Reggae Compassionate Act', Sizzla proves that he has no intention of respecting his signature. On June 13, during his concert in Berlin, Sizzla performed the song 'Nah Apologize', his 'I will never apology to no battyman' anthem. While it was time to sing the chorus, he made a sing-along with the crowd, avoiding ironiaclly the use of the word 'battyman', leaving the crowd singing it for him. Other source says that he also performed the same sing-along in Paris on June 17, in Milan on June 20, in Bari-Modugno on June 22, at the Summerjam in Cologne on July 7, in Belgium on July 12. A similar sing-along seems to have occured in Zurich, on June 30, but the song was censored this time. According to the french website Reggealution, the setlist of his performance at L'Elysee Montmartre on June 17, 2007, Sizzla also performed the homophobic songs: 'To The Point'.
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FORUM: Compilation Statements) (ARTICLE: Sound System) (LYRICS: Nah Apologize)
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VIDEO: excerpt of 'Nah Apologize', performed live (July 3rd, 2007)) (LYRICS: To The Point)

June 16, 2007: Beenie Man: 'I never signed the Reggae Compassionate Act'
Being interviewed by 876Entertainment, Beenie Man says that he never signed the Reggae Compassionate Act.“I never signed it, maybe the promoters signed it, because every promoter have to sign if dem want dem concert fi keep, but if yu nah sing about dem, there is no need to sign it,” Beenie told Xtratainment over the weekend.“A guy come fi my sign paper inna Spain and tell we say we must sign, and mi tell dem mi nah sing no song about them so mi nah sign it. Ah politics dem a deal wid, me know that, so dem caan trick me,” he said. Beenie Man insists that he signed no such document.“Maybe the promoters dem sign because dem want to promote dancehall in Europe and if dem have to sign so that the man dem ease up offa we, then that dem a go do. They know that is Jamaica we live and how we feel about that lifestyle, but it is about getting dancehall out there, and to the world,” Beenie Man said. “Why would I sign when I am going to continue to perform these songs I have? I know that if the vibes lick me, and me decide fi do a song, mi not going to be able to do it, because mi dun sign already so that is why me nah go sign. No compromise. My ting ah my ting. Me know about me. Mi already tell dem at dem big press conference in Spain, fi dem lifestyle ah fi dem lifestyle, and that is not wholesome to my lifestyle. Mi love woman, mi no love man, Jah,” he said. Beenie Man declared that he was no ‘sell-out’ “Mi caan sell out dancehall, ah that mi sing, straight,” Beenie Man said. “The gays dem no have no visa power, dem no have no police power, demo no have dem power de fi stop dancehall, dem caan get me fi sign nothing fi compromise my beliefs.”Peter Tatchell answer to these allegations was: "What is absolutely certain is that these artists (Buju Banton and Beenie Man) have signed the Reggae Compassion Act, we have their signatures on the agreement. "The signatures have been authenticated as genuine. "Any attempt to deny that the artists have signed this agreement will just make them look dishonest, duplicitous and downright ridiculous." Mr Tatchell said that the deal had been brokered by reggae promoter Eddie Brown, of Pride Music, who knows the artists and flew to Jamaica to get their written agreement to the Act. "We have total confidence that Eddie Brown has got their signatures," Mr Tatchell said. "The insinuation that Mr Brown or anyone else forged the signatures is a mark of desperation, it reflects very badly on the character of the people making these allegations."
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One 876 Entertainment) (ClaudeMills.com) (picture of the Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Beenie Man) (PinkNews.co.uk)

NOTE: Would Beenie Man really signed the Reggae Compassionate Act and later playing hypocrite while being interviewed to save his ass in front of his Jamaican audience? Unless his mananger took the freelance to forge his signature.... than he could say that he did not signed the contract (more a pact for peace and common sense). The Reggae Compassionate Act doesn't look like an usual contract, so Beenie Man cannot go away with the fact that he signed several paperwork without paying too much attention to what he signed. Look upper, under MARCH 23, 2007 and MAY 11, 2007 for more details.


June 19, 2007: Elephant Man is not against signing the 'Reggae Compassionate Act'
In an television interview, Elephant Man express himself why he would probably sign the Reggae Compassionate Act. Altough his moral value doesn't accept homosexuality, he would likes to see an end to the war between LGBT organisations and be able to make his concerts freely accross North America and Europe.
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Elephant Man interview)

June 28, 2007: BBC Reports: Coming Out in Jamaica

"What happen when someone comes out in a homophobic country?" An excellent audio documentary about the situation for gays and lesbians in Jamaica. Several interesting interview with regular people, prists and activist working at the human rights group Jamaicans For Justice. This is Part One of a two-part documentary serie. The second part is about Coming out in South Africa.
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BBC report: Coming Out in Jamaica)

June 29, 2007: Does the Reggae Compassionate Act needs revision?
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: While it has been reported that reggae stars, Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton have all signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, which renounces homophobia and violence against lesbians and gays, other artistes have shown no compassion for the act, as they say it is not representative of their music and/or beliefs and therefore will not sign. Freddy McGregor, one of the more established reggae artistes in the business says his biggest problem with the act is that it is misleading and misinformed. "Di part a it weh me nuh really into is that dah act deh haffi guh re-write. Jamaica has developed two genres of music, reggae and dancehall. Wi all embrace dancehall, because is a part of our culture, but di problem is dat it seems like every time there is a problem wid di dancehall community, dem waan get reggae involved an eradicate. But there is no reggae artiste signature there, and mi nuh hear nuh gay a advocate 'gainst we. Me want dem people deh fi first an foremost change di word 'reggae' to 'dancehall'," he says. (more from the link below)
(Jamaica Star)

July 7, 2007: Golding says 'no' to homosexuality
Opposition leader Bruce Golding has come out strongly against any change in legislation to sanction homosexuality in Jamaica, even as members of that community are moving for greater acceptance among locals.. "Let us be very clear. There are some countries that are prepared to overturn tradition and culture in the interest of what they regard as individual freedoms and to do so at the instance of the homosexual fraternity, which comprises a minority in the population. You will find this pretty prevalent in Europe. We (the JLP) are not prepared to go in that direction," he told the Sunday Observer. "We intend to uphold the laws of the country." At the same time, he made it clear that the JLP was not prepared to intrude on people in the privacy of their bedrooms, even as the party sought to ensure that the laws of the land are upheld. "We don't believe that the state should be pushing down people's bedroom doors to find what they do there, because, if you push it down today to enforce laws that relate to sexual activity, you will push it down tomorrow for some other purpose. So we are not going there," he said.
(
Jamaica Observer)

NOTE: The Jamaica Observer article also includes interesting analysis coming from two Jamaican psychologists and one sociologist on Jamaican homosexuals becoming more visible.

July 20, 2007: Beenie Man denounced violence against homosexuals
After that he denied signing The Reggae Compassionate Act, Beenie Man denounced violence against homosexuals, but made it clear that he did not support that lifestyle. The deejay was responding to questions about an alleged deal with international gay rights groups, including the UK-based OutRage, in which he was said to have agreed to renounce violence against gays. He denied signing any such deal, which Outrage last month announced as the Reggae Compassionate Act, but at the same time said that violence against gays was wrong. "We don't need it," he told reporters shortly after closing Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest's Dancehall Night at approximately 7:15 Friday morning. "We don't need to kill dem. We just need fi tell the people dem the right ting because I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it's not wholesome to me." MORE ON THE LINK BELOW
(
Jamaica Observer)

July 23, 2007: Buju Banton signs the 'Reggae Compassionate Act'
Would fifteen years of battle between LGBT organisation and Buju Banton come to an end? At least the fact that Buju Banton accepted to signed the the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA) is a sign that he might want to move on with his career. He is the fourth signatary, after Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton. The RCA is an official document stating that he will no longer performed homophobic songs in Europe and America as well as in the Caribbean and the rest of the world. His signature to the document states that he will completely stop writing homophobic songs and will not re-issue any of the past homophobic songs. By signing the document, the artist agreed to not pass any homophobic statement in interview. In February 2005, a deal was established between the dancehall records companies and gay and lesbian organisations, but that deal didn't imply the artists. This time, the Reggae Compassionate Act has to be signed by the artist themselves. Let's see if the artist feels more responsibility to act properly on record, on stage and in interview after signing the RCA.

The very same day that Peter Tachell and The Guardian newspaper announced that Buju Banton had signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, RadioJamaica.com was publishing on their website that Banton's manager was denying the news: "speaking with RJR news, Buju's manager Donovan Germaine dismissed the report out of hand. He added that the management team would not comment further on the issue as it was being used by the gay rights group to gain mileage for their cause". Peter Tatchell answer to these allegations was: "We are not sure whether this is a case of misreporting, spin by their management, or a genuine recantation," said Mr Tatchell. "What is absolutely certain is that these artists (Buju Banton and Beenie Man) have signed the Reggae Compassion Act, we have their signatures on the agreement. "The signatures have been authenticated as genuine. "Any attempt to deny that the artists have signed this agreement will just make them look dishonest, duplicitous and downright ridiculous." Mr Tatchell said that the deal had been brokered by reggae promoter Eddie Brown, of Pride Music, who knows the artists and flew to Jamaica to get their written agreement to the Act. "We have total confidence that Eddie Brown has got their signatures," Mr Tatchell said. "The insinuation that Mr Brown or anyone else forged the signatures is a mark of desperation, it reflects very badly on the character of the people making these allegations."

NOTE: It may be possible that Buju Banton signed the Reggae Compassionate Act as early as June 7, as the picture of the document available on PeterTatchell.net have the date 'JUNE 7' written in the title of the JPG picture. But it wouldn't make sense to me that Peter Tatchell would have waited six weeks to write an article on Banton signing the act, unless Tatchell became aware of the signature only in mid July.
(
picture of the Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Buju Banton) (The Guardian) (Peter Tatchell) (GayCityNews) (RadioJamaica.com) (PinkNews.co.uk)

August 8, 2007: Talking With Tatchell: 'Jamaica, homophobia and murder music'
Peter Tachell host the weekly program 'Talking With Tatchell' on the Internet television station 18 Doughty Street. On August 8, he made a special on the Stop Murder Music campaign and interviewed Dennis Carney from Black Gay Men's Advisory Group and Brett Lock from OutRage! The half-hour special is entitled: 'Jamaica, homophobia and murder music'. Description posted on the website: 'Is Jamaica is the most homophobic country in the world? Does reggae/dancehall 'murder music' contribute to anti-gay violence? Campaigners Dennis Carney and Brett Lock discuss with Peter Tatchell. Leading Jamaican reggae stars like Buju Banton and Beenie Man sing songs advocating the murder of queers. Are they reflecting Jamaican homophobia or helping to create it? Anti-gay violence is widespread in Jamaica and the government and police are doing little to stop it.'

NOTE: The special last 28 minutes. It worth listening. Story and updates on the Stop Murder Music campaign by the organisations that lauched it. Answering the accusations of wrongly being labeled a 'racist' campaign. Defining 'freedom of speech' and more.
(
TV SHOW: Jamaica, homophobia and murder music)

August 25, 2007: protest at New York's Reggae CariFest
LGBT has protested the performance of Buju Banton and Bounty Killer at the Reggae CariFest concert on Randall’s Island, New York, on August 25. The Reggae Carifest is describe as "an explosion of West Indian exhibitionism" by the promoters, who are "doing our part to break down cultural barriers and to showcase the overwhelming richness of Reggae music and culture". Let's recall that Buju Banton has signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, therefore he should not be bothered to appear on the bill. The LGBT organisation objecting the two artists appearances include: Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), Queer Justice League, People of Color in Crisis, The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce and the New York City Anti-Violence Project went as far as to make a call for the artists to be thrown off the bill and have asked Clear Channel to withdraw the sponsorship of its Power 105.1 radio station from the Aug. 25 event. The City Parks Department, which operates Randall's Island, said in a statement yesterday that all performers signed a code of conduct agreeing to refrain from performing anti-gay lyrics at the promoter's request. "This is a city that values the free speech of all artistes, but we also are a city that does not accept intolerance. We are glad that the artistes have agreed to refrain from hateful messages". Buju Banton's microphone was shut off for a few minutes during the concert, when he stated the first sentence of the song 'Boom Bye Bye'.

NOTE: There is also a video montage of several News coverage of the demonstration, available on YouTube (see lower). Plus the excerpt of Buju Banton's perormance being cut off when he sings the first line of 'Boom Bye Bye'.
(
One876entertainment) (Jamaica Observer) (VIDEO: protest on the news) (VIDEO: Buju Banton's Mic Shut Off "Accidentally")

September 3, 2007: Bruce Golding of the Jamaica Labour Party is voted Prime Minister
The JLP defeated the People's National Party after eighteen years of unbroken rule. On 3 September 2007, Bruce Golding of the Jamaica Labour Party was voted in as Prime Minister-Designate after achieving a 33 - 27 seat victory over Portia Simpson-Miller and the PNP in the 2007 Jamaican general election. Portia Simpson-Miller conceded defeat on the 5 September 2007. On 11 September 2007, after being sworn in by Governor-General Kenneth Hall, The Hon. Bruce Golding assumed office as Prime Minister of Jamaica. Golding is the nation's eighth prime minister since independence. He was elected leader of the JLP, and also the leader of the opposition, on February 20, 2005, succeeding former leader Edward Seaga. (text from Wikipedia). Two months prior to the elections, Golding clearly stated that he had no intention in removing the Bugery Laws. "Let us be very clear. There are some countries that are prepared to overturn tradition and culture in the interest of what they regard as individual freedoms and to do so at the instance of the homosexual fraternity, which comprises a minority in the population. You will find this pretty prevalent in Europe. We (the JLP) are not prepared to go in that direction," he told the Sunday Observer. "We intend to uphold the laws of the country."
(
Jamaica Observer)

NOTE: The Jamaica Observer article also includes interesting analysis coming from two Jamaican psychologists and one sociologist on Jamaican homosexuals becoming more visible.

September 3, 2007: Greensleeves Records is still releasing 'Murder Music'
A double CD compilation named 'From Dubplate To Download' was issued on September 3rd by the UK label Greensleeves Records. Promotional text available on their website: 'This is the ultimate Greensleeves collection that everybody has been waiting for - 'From Dubplate to Download' - this is THE best of Greensleeves Records, celebrating 30 years in business.This collection features 30 tracks, one track from every year of Greensleeves history - 1977 to 2007'. Representing the year 2001 is the violent homophobic song 'Log On' by Elephant Man. Greensleeves is breaking the comitment they have made in February 2005, stating that they would no longer release homophobic songs that advertise violence. (See February 4th, 2005 for more information on the deal between gay rights groups and the dancehall industry).
(
Greensleeves.net) (2005 article published in The Guardian)

NOTE: I also found 'Bullet Proof Skin' by Bounty Killer, issued on The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2006 issued in November 2006. There is a possibility that such song have been issued on other Greensleeves records, as I don't check their releases. Similarly, I've found out that VP Records, which have agreed on the same deal, is also distributing a compilation name 'Bill Back', issued on May 11 2007. The compilation includes an extremely violent song by Sizzla named 'Head Out'. The compilation, marketed by a label named E.21st Production, is available through VP Records website. On December 18, a 7-inch single for TOK's 'Chi Chi Man' song (from 2000) was advertised on the New Releases list of the reggae store Ernie B, which clearly indicate that these hate songs are still being repress even eight years after they were mass produced. This single was released a label named Loy.

September 14, 2007: Stop Murder Music vs Elephant Man's Canadian Tour
The Stop Murder Music campaign was proven effective in Europe and USA, but very few dancehall concerts were cancelled in Canada since the campaign was launched in July 2004. On September 14, The Working Group of the Canadian Caribbean Human Rights Group (CCHRG) allong with several other Canadian LGBT organisations are asking for government officials to deny Elephant Man's visa for Canada. Elephant Man's Let's Get Physical tour date is scheduled to start on September 21st in Edmonton and will bring performances in thirteen Canadian cities. The artist still haven't signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. The coalition sent an official letter to the mayor and to the chief of police for every cities were Elephant Man is supossed to perform live. Akim Ade Larcher, spokesperson for the Canadian Stop Murder Music address the following concerns: "This incitement of violence and murder offends Canadian law and values. In particular, we would like to highlight Sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code which make it a criminal offence to advocate killing members of a group based on their sexual orientation or to publicly incite or promote hatred based on a person’s sexual orientation. In addition, Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits communication of messages that are likely to expose a person to hatred on the basis of their sexual orientation. Because Elephant Man has become a symbol of pro-gay hatred in Jamaica and elsewhere, his presence in Canada can be perceived as a license to incite violence... The federal and provincial government has a legal obligation to protect the rights of its citizens, especially those who remain vulnerable to stigma, fear, discrimination and hate". Elephant Man got his visa and started his tour as sheduled. Jeff Wuite, Edmonton police spokesman said one the day before Elephant Man started his Canadian tour in Edmonton: "City hate-crimes cops will keep a close eye on Jamaican dancehall artist Elephant Man's show at Gingur Sky Lounge, to see if he breaks the law and incites his fans to go gay-bashing". Larcher said having them promise not to perform their anti-gay songs in Canada isn't good enough. Larcher, a Caribbean immigrant, said that Canadian authorities would never allow someone who advocated the slaughter of racial minorities into the country, even if they promised not to propagate that message here. Elephant Man, acting that this is past history, said in an interview: "What you do in your life is what you do... Those songs are from 10 years ago*. I'm on a different road now, making people enjoy themselves and just dance". Three concerts were cancelled: Toronto, Ontario (September 28), St. Catherines, Ontario (September 29), Ottawa, Ontario (October 4) and Sizzla's performance scheduled in Toronto on October 5th. The St.Catherines concert was re-sheduled at a different club.

NOTE 1
*: These songs are not from 10 years ago. Some of them were written in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Although Elephant Man has probably adjust his setlist while performing in Europe and America after the Stop Murder Music campaign was launch in 2004, homophobic songs were still performed in Caribbean. When was the last time Elephant Man performed his homophobic hit songs onstage in the Caribbean, only a fan would be able to answer this one. My guess would be 2005 or 2006. Thinking that hopefully the artist has really moved on.

NOTE 2: On September 28, the promoters that brought Elephant Man to Canada are striking back with a press release fillled with lies. Rahim Risram of Ultimate Entertainment.ca states: "
The 13-city tour has been attacked with several twisted reports that have misrepresented the artist... The songs were written in a early stage of Elephant Man's career, he has since realized that all human life is important and he agreed not to perform or record any new anti gay material"... "We always do the proper research on every artist that we choose to tour and we did the same with Elephant Man, realizing that he has already apologized for his actions several times when asked, we decided to support him"... "why so many of our successful balck reggae entertainers are persecuted in this manner?" The only good thing about that press release is that the promoters are inviting reporters to interview Elephant Man about his homophobic songs and where he stands now in the conflict. If you do so, don't forget to challenge him with the Reggae Compassionate Act, and that he must repair the wrong he has done by publicly condemning violence against gays& lesbians and specially in Caribbean interviews.
(
Hour Magazine) (Edmonton Sun) (Toronto Star) (National Post) (365Gay.com) (xtra) (Letter to the Ministers) (gaiecoute.org) (Let's Get Physical tour dates)
PRESS RELEASES: (
CCHRG No.1) (CCHRG No.2) (Ultimate Entertainment) (Elephant Man Statement)

September 23, 2007: Caribbean International Network report on anti-gay lyrics and cencorship
TV report where the interviewer goes backstage at a reggae festival and interview Pat McKay (Sirius satellite New York radio personality and programer), Justin Hinds from British group Steel Pulse and Jamaican artist Luciano. The interviewer chose to minimize the debate by asking her question from the sole angle of censorchip. Description of the channel found on Internet: ZYNC TV NEW YORK LINKZ is a New York-based news and entertainment television magazine that broadcasts on Sundays at 1:30pm on the Caribbean International Network (Channels 73/26 [Cablevision, Time Warner/Verizon FiOS]), reaching a potential market of 19.8 million New Yorkers within the five boroughs of the city, two million of whom are Caribbean nationals. The same program re-broadcasts on the following Saturday night at 11:30pm on BCAT in Brooklyn to a potential market of 500,000 households.

NOTE: It was posted on YouTube on Sept, 24, 2007. As the show is broadcast on Sundays, It's possible that the air date was September 23rd os they are refering to New York Reggae CariFest that occured on August 25, 2007. (Lenght 4m47)
(
ZYNC report)

September 26, 2007: Tjenbé Rèd request the cancellation of Admiral T performances
The french Caribbean LGBT organisation Tjenbé Rèd is requesting the cancellation of the guadeloupean artist Admiral T performances, scheduled at the Bataclan in Paris on November 2 and 3. The organisation recall that Admiral T has never appologized for the murder music he wrote, enumerating five homophobic songs: Makoumé (aka: Brilé Yo, Batty Boy Dead Now) (2001), Gwadada (2003) and Burn Pédofil (2004). In 2006, An Nou Allé requested the withdraw of the prestigious prize he won on October 23, 2006 at les Césaire de la Musique. Today, Tjenbé Rèd along with more than 30 LGBT organisations, call for the cellation of Admiral T upcomming performances in France, Gouadeloupe and in Martinique. The tour will start at Limoges on October 26 and will be finishing in Martinique on December 14, 2007. On October 12, Tjenbé Rèd released statements of political, cultural and economical leaders that voiced their oppinion on Admiral T upcoming tour. On October 17, the concert scheduled for Rouen at Exo 7 was cancelled. On October 30, the concert scheduled at Ramonville-Saint-Agne (near Toulouse) at the Bikini was cancelled. A petition requesting that Admiral T formulate a real apologize for promoting homophobia and requesting that the concert hall drop the artist for his performance scheduled in Paris on November 2 and 3 was made available by Tjenbé Rèd. A demonstration was organized in front of the Batacan on November 2 and 3rd.
(
Press Release 1) (Press Release 4) (Press Release 7) (Press Release 12) (PETITION)
(
Admiral T Tour) (Tjenbe Red: Admiral T file)

September 28, 2007: Sizzla concert is cancelled in Toronto
Sizzla was sheduled to perform at Toronto's Kool Haus on October 5th. The canadian coalition for the Stop Murder Music campaign was able to make the artist performance being removed from the bill. The concert will go on with Munga and Asher. Sizzla has signed the Reggae Compassionate Act in April 2007, but haven't respect his signature. The Kool Haus apologied for booking Sizzla and Elephant Man. Both artist performances were cancelled on September 28. Elephant Man's performance was scheduled for September 28. Akim Larcher, founder of Stop Murder Music Canada - a coalition made up of 20 organizations that promote human rights - says that the federal government has remained silent.“They shouldn’t have been allowed to get visas to perform in the country. It’s not about censorship or artistic freedom. That stops when hate propaganda is involved... No one should have that platform to speak... There are artists who are profiteering the songs about death and violence against gays and lesbians”. Larcher says the focus of his organization is to bring awareness and support against homophobia in Jamaica. According to Amnesty International, attacks and threats on gays and lesbians in Jamaica are on the rise.
(
The Star 1) (CNW Group)(The Star 2) (365Gay.com)

September 29, 2007: Dr. Evil concert is cancelled in Trinidad
In early August, SASOD (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination) tried to cancelled the performance of Dr. Evil in Guyana. Jamzone Summer Break took place on August 12, 2007, like it was originally planned, with Dr. Evil. But a month and a half later, the artist performance was cancelled in Trinidad. SASOD statement: 'Recently, the Senior Management of the St Augustine Campus of the University of West Indies recently canceled a concert for performer “Dr Evil” which was carded for Saturday, September 29, 2007. The performance was canceled after a number of complaints were issued by members of the University community who protested that Dr Evil's music threatened the human rights to life, liberty, safety and security of person for university students and staff who may be perceived to be gay or lesbian. SASOD applauds the UWI St. Augustine Campus Senior Management for taking a principled and ethical stand against murder and violence and the ignorance and prejudice which breeds bias violence'.
(
Stabroek News) (SASOD statement 1) (SASOD statement 2) (LYRICS: J.A. Don't Like Gay)

October 1, 2007: Jahcoozi's song on Jamaican homophobia
Jahcoozi is a trio from Berlin that decided to express themselves on Jamaican homophobia on one of their song: 'Rainbow Coloured Rizzla'. The song is part of their Blitz 'n' Ass album, released on October 1st 2007. Their bio in Wikipedia describe the trio's sound as 'consisting of abstract electronic beats within ragga, hip-hop, blip-hop, re and electronica'. Interview on Stand & Point (Cargo.tv) in April 2008, they discuss the writing of this song, which is available for dowload on Amazon.com and can be listen to on their MySpace website.

NOTE: So far, I found three songs that challenge Jamaican homophobia: Do You Still Care? (by Tanya Stephens, August 2006), Homoriginal (by K2R Riddim) (September 2006) and Rainbow Coloured Rizzla (by Jahcoozi) (October 2007). If you know any others, let me know:
irieites72 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

There is also one song that I suspect to be addressing the conflict, at least partly: Lock It Down (by Freddie McGregor) (May 2005).
(
Listen to: Rainbow Coloured Rizzla) (YouTube interview) (Lyics) (official website)

October 2, 2007: Elephant Man's press conference to sign the RCA is cancelled
Facing several protest and very bad newspaper coverage during his Canadian Tour, Elephant Man finally agreed to signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, but the press conference was cancelled at the last minute as the Canadian coalition for the Stop Murder Music campaign refused acnowkledge the signature if it wasn't done in Jamaica. This condition as been express by the Canadian. The press conference for Elephant Man signing the act was initially organised by the Carlton University Students' Association (CUSA) and would have take place on the university campus on October 3rd. The association was responsible for bringing Elephant Man at Ottawa's Captial City Music Hall on October 4th. The show and the press conference were cancelled on October 2nd. According to Akim Larcher, spokesman for the Stop Murder Music campaign in Canada, signing the act outside of Elephant Man’s homeland, Jamaica would “not be worth the paper it’s signed on.”“It has to be [signed] in a Jamaican context,” he said. Larcher said that in the past, other artists, such as Beenie Man, signed the Reggae Compassionate Act outside of Jamaica only to later claim their signatures were forged. He said he believes Elephant Man would do the same thing, even if he signed the document publicly. Shelley Melanson, CUSA president said she disagreed. “We were planning to have all major media sources [at the press conference],” she said, and added there would be no way for Elephant Man to deny it afterwards. “He wanted to do this,” said Maynes. Larcher said he also felt CUSA rushed its decision to have the artist sign the act, and were not within their right to do so, as they did not contact members of the GLBT community of Jamaica. Maynes fired back. “They say it has to be signed in a Jamaican context, but what about a Caribbean context, and the rest of the world?” he said. An chance to combat homophobia, said Maynes, has now been wasted. “To have someone come out and actually say that being homophobic is wrong would have been a great opportunity,” he said. But the SMM remained steadfast in its stance. The 'Stop Murder Music' campaign is effective in several countries. Akim Larcher insist that the Canadian coalition is the only one that have requested the RCA to be signed in a Caribbean context, followed by a press conference. "As it stands OutRage!, BGMAG and J-FLAG have not changed their positions and have not requested that the RCA be signed in Jamaica".
(
The Charlatan) (Xtra 1) (Xtra 2) (Ottawa Citizen)

October 7, 2007: How does the Jamaican music industry perceived the pressure made by LGBT groups?
Three years after the lauch of the Stop Murder Music campaign, Jamaica Gleaner interview Jerome Hamilton (from Headline Entertainment, booking agent for TOK), Clyde McKenzie (from Shocking Vibes Limited, booking agent for Beenie Man), Lloyd Stanbury (entertainment lawyer), Desi Young (from the Jamaica Federation of Musicians), Craig T and Alex (from dancehall group TOK). According to Jerome Hamilton of Headline Entertainment, the constant bans could mean bad news for the music on a whole. Hamilton said that the industry needs to tackle the issue and to define what the problem is, whether it is that these artistes have sung homophobic lyrics or continue to sing and perform homophobic lyrics."No one can stop the artistes from saying it's wrong. However, spouting violence as a solution to the problem of homosexuality is wrong. There are issues in promoting murder music, which is wrong. Some of the messages are too strong and a lot of it is misunderstood. We don't want people to equate our music with homocentric issues and think there is nothing more to these artistes... They should not be judged by that," Hamilton said. He added that "there are not enough artistes crossing the threshold into American music and right now, with record sales and ticket sales down, we don't need that distraction". (more on the link below)
(
Jamaica Gleaner)

October 24, 2007: Jamaican lesbian on The Oprah Winfrey Show
Staceyann Chin, a young Jamaican lesbian activist that lives in New York was invited on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She was interviewed on October 24 for a special named: 'What is it like to be gay around the world'. The promotion text for that show ran as: 'The Oprah Winfrey Show travels the globe for a look into the lives of gays and lesbians in the U.S. and worldwide. Go behind the headlines to see the secret lives of gays in Iran. Meet an Indian prince whose coming out caused a controversy in his homeland. Plus, meet inspiring gay couples and families from around the world'.

NOTE: Take 9 minutes to watch this very nice and intelligent interview. Staceyann Chin can also be seen on the News at the Reggae Carifest (see upper on August 25, 2007)
(
VIDEO: The Oprah Winfrey Show)

October 27, 2007: Buju Banton sings part of 'Boom Bye Bye' at Guyana Music Festival
Buju Banton was the headliner of the much anticipated first Annual Guyana Music Festival. The promoter of the event, GT Entertainment group, have committed to ensuring that Guyana Music Festival is not discriminatory to any Guyanese citizen. In a public statement, SASOD, a guyanese LGBT, question the choice of the promoters to include Banton as an headliner and requested that Banton publicly condem violence made to gays and lesbians before behing allowed to perform at the festival. Three months after signing the Reggae Compassionate Act, Buju Banton showed that he had no intention to put his homophobic past behind him. The Guyanese newspaper Stabroek writes: 'But the night certainly belonged to the dreadlocked, still very much homophobic Jamaican dancehall star, who had no apologies for his discriminatory lyrics lashing the gay community. "Buju nah like no batty boy and dem batty boy attack Buju", the singer said to an adulating audience who seemed to have been waiting for that exact moment. And perhaps feeling the vibes of the embracing crowd and the urge to sing his controversial song, 'Boom Bye Bye', the singer belted out a few of the lyrics nearing the close of his performance. But Buju was not the only performer to have walked that line. When Peter Tatchell was interviewed by UK Newspaper The Voice, "We offered Buju Banton a deal. We agreed to call off our campaign if he agreed to stop performing songs advocating killing gay people. Buju has now broken this agreement so we will be consulting with our human rights allies in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. I suspect they will want to resume the campaign. Most black and gay and human rights groups will now insist there is a world wide boycott of him."

(
Stabroek News 1) (The Voice)
(
SASOD statement) (Buju Banton management letter: answer to SASOD) (Stabroek News 2)
NOTE: On October 21, the Guyanese Newspaper Stabroek was publishing an open letter from Buju Banton management company, saying how Buju Banton has moved on since he wrote 'Boom Bye Bye' and how great he is as a citizen. Tracii McGregor omitted to talk about his trial for beating up gays in June 2004. He was found not guilty, for lack of evidence in January 2006. Let's pretend that Banton was not guilty, than why did he covered Peter Tosh song 'Them A Fi Get A Beaten' in May 2005, in the middle of his process? A statement that speaks for itself. By the way, the original Peter Tosh song has nothing to do with gay bashing. If Banton is so great for humanity, why did he denied signing the RCA, a contract that state 'there is no place in music for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia'. If Banton is so tired of the violence in Jamaica, (reference to his hit duet with Anthony Cruz 'Too Bloody') why doesn't he condom homophobic violence, a logic step after all the hatered and violence his song 'Boom Bye Bye' has caused? This song is not just a hit song, it has become an anthem to homophobic violence everywhere in the Caribbean. The reaction of the crowd at the Guyana Music Festival is a testimony to that statement. It is extremely sad to realized that even after all the efforts that are made by all the people involved with the RCA, Banton has no real intention to moved on with this conflict. He made it a personal and egocentric battle to never admit that he have done something wrong by writing and performing this song. Violence against any community is unacceptable, whatever your beliefs are. Adopting an unmature attitude like that, he will have LGBT on his back for the rest of his career. If you are a fan of his music and happen to be in a city where his concert was (or will be) cancelled, don't be pissed off at LGBT organisations. The only one you should be pissed off at is the artist himself for refusing to moved on when several opportunities were offered to him. These organisations work very hard daily to ensure that EVERY human beings have the rights to live without fear, discrimination or violence. Even if Buju Banton has written some conscious songs and done some great things with his career, he has become and chose to remains a symbol of anti-gay violence in the Caribbean and around the world.

October 27, 2007: Kiprich sang out against the gay community at Guyana Music Festival
Not only Buju Banton used the stage of Guyana Music Festival to promote hatered against gays and lesbians on October 27. Another Jamaican dancehall singer named Kiprich, who is known for his hit song 'Telephone Ting', made nasty comments about gay people while performing. The Guyana newspaper Stabroek wrote: "Kiprich, another Jamaican star who appeared much earlier in the night also sang out against the gay community and the audience largely enjoyed it".
(
Stabroek News)





Reggae Compassionate Act
(
click here to see the difference between VERSION 1 and VERSION 2)

November 17, 2007: Baby Cham incites violence against gays while performing in Guyana
Baby Cham performed at the National Park in front of 12 000 people in Georgetown, Guyana on November 17. According to an open letter written in December 2007, SASOD (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination) pointed out that Baby Cham sang homophobic songs during the evening. Unfortunately no articles that review the concert could be located on the Internet. Prior to the event, the guyanese gay & lesbian organisation has requested that the promoter make shure that the artist's performance whould be free of discrimination. In the same letter, SASOD writes: "we have long recommended that preventative measures and sanctions be put in place to achieve this end. In a request dated December 2, 2005, to the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), SASOD recommended that any licences granted for the use of state-owned venues include clearly-written provisions prohibiting lyrics which promote hatred, violence and murder against any section of the population, including LGBT citizens and that stringent sanctions, which may include fines and custodial sentences, are meted out to performers and promoters who breach the terms of the agreement. To date, the Commission (which is the body mandated to "encourage and create respect for religious, cultural and other forms of diversity in a plural society" under Article 212D, paragraph (f) of the Guyana Constitution) has failed to effectively address these concerns. Similarly, official silence in response to anti-gay, hyper-violent lyrics performed by Buju Banton and Baby Cham in Guyana recently indicates apathy on the part of the state in protecting all Guyanese citizens from violence.
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SASOD letter published in Stabroek News 1) (SASOD letter published in Stabroek News 2)

November 22, 2007: Elephant Man signs the Reggae Compassionate Act
This news was never publicised, but Elephant Man signed the Reggae Compassionate Act in November 2007, probably on November 22, 2007. A copy of the document was posted on Peter Tatchell website only in 2009.

NOTE: It's only on 23 months later (October 25, 2009) that I learned about the document being signed by Elephant Man, by visiting Peter Tatchell website. At first, I tought it was a new document signed in Autumn 2009, As I only visit Peter Tatchell website a few times a year, in might have be there since Spring 2009. By making a research on the net, I coundn't find any article that talk about the signature.... then in January 2010, by mistake, I found an email exchange between an European promoter and a LGBT group posted on a forum. The conversation, which took place on November 22, 2007, included a copy of the signed document. Why Elephant Man's signature was never publicised? My theory: probably because it felt at a bad timing, after Bennie Man, Sizzla, Capleton and Banton all publicly denied singing the Act. I remember that the document authenticity was questioned if it wasn't signed with eye witneses. It was also mentionned that it should be signed in a press conference in order to be considered valid. Those two conditions were not met with Elephant Man's document. During the same period, a second version of the RCA was also made available, so why not use it? Elephant Man did not respect his signature, see March 26, 2008 for the video 'Our Word', where he promote (again) violence to the gay community.
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Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Elephant Man)

November 22, 2007: Baby Cham, Beenie Man and Capleton removed from concerts in Canada
Three acts know for their anti-gay lyrics were removed in three different upcoming concerts in Canada. The three concerts will still go on, but without them. Capleton was supposed to perform in Woodbridge on November 24, Beenie Man was supposed to performed in Waterloo on December 7 and Baby Cham was supposed to performed at Toronto's Sound Academy on December 8. "All three are gone," says Helen Kennedy, the executive director of queer lobby group Egale Canada, a member of SMM. "None of the artists who violate our criminal code will perform, which is good news. Our objective is to raise the awareness of the human rights violations when these artists come to this country." The canadian coalition for Stop Murder Music campaign met with the promoters of the Baby Cham and Beenie Man shows and demanded the artists publicly sign — in Jamaica — the Reggae Compassion Act, a contract in which the artist apologizes for writing and performing homophobic songs and pledges not to perform them any more. Kennedy says she thinks the artists probably didn't take well to the demand as there was no follow back to the request.
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Xtra) (EGALE CANADA: Open Letter to Minister of Citizenship)

December 4, 2007: Jamaica bans school books that mention gays favorably
Jamaica's Ministry of Education has ordered a ban on any book that mentions homosexuality in a favorable light. The directive followed a decision to remove a book on home economics that has a four sentence mention of families headed by same-sex partners. "It is unfortunate that four sentences on page four in the text under the sub-heading family forms, were used to label the total text as a gay book; we are very angry about that because that was not the intention," author Rita Dyer told the Caribbean Media Corporation. "It says there is much discussion about what constitutes a family, there seems to be a broadening of a traditional definition of a family structure and when two men or women live together in a relationship as lesbians or gay they may be considered as a family; they may adopt children or have them through artificial means," Dyer said. Education Minister Andrew Holness has issued a warning to all schools instructing them to submit to the government any book they were uncertain about. Holness said that schools would be held accountable for breaches of regulations governing the use of textbooks.
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365gay) (Jamaica Gleaner)

December 13, 2007: City votes for 'murder music' ban
Venues in Brighton and Hove which allow musicians or other acts to incite violence face losing their licences. The city council has approved a policy to prevent pubs and clubs allowing so-called "murder music" that incites hatred against gay people. The move was prompted after protests from the gay community led to a concert by Jamaican artist Buju Banton being cancelled at Concorde 2 last year. MORE ON THE LINK BELOW
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BBC News) (Outaroad.com) (PRESS RELEASE 2004: Brighton & Hove Council) (PRESS RELEASE 2006: Brighton & Hove Council) (Transsexual Testimony)

December 14, 2007: Ras Frazer 'bun' battyman at Jamaica's Guiness Sting Road Show
Even if they were informed that indecent language would not be tolerated onstage, Ras Frazer and a new artist express their desire to kill homosexuals during their performances. This occured at one of the Sting Road Show in Portmore, Jamaica, on December 14, prior to the main concert, sheduled for December 26. The identity of the second signer wasn't revealed in the article... (NOTE: was it intentionally, in order no to mess up his career?) The article describe the incident as follow: 'After Ras Frazer had asked the crowd for support "from yu a bun battyman an' sodoweak" at the Sting Road Show outside Ken's Wildflower Lounge, Port Henderson Road, Portmore, early Saturday morning, his brief performance did not last much longer. And there was a tussle with a member of the Supreme Promotions team, organisers of Sting, after the microphone was snatched from his hand when he walked to the back of the stage... However, the next performer, another in a slew of younger artistes for the road show, after deejaying that "inna de ghetto we grow, suffaration we know", declared his desire to "shot some battyboy"... "Dem no put my face fe go pon poster fe go Sting," he said. When he finished, instead of exiting at the back of the stage he stepped off the front and walked briskly through the audience and out of the venue.
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Jamaica Gleaner)

December 25, 2007: Capleton homophobic performance
On December 25 2007, while performing at Magnum GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza (Black River, Jamaica), Capleton sang the homophobic song 'Fire Time' and promoted violence agaisnt gays and lesbians with sentences like 'Battyman fi dead di yuth em right bout that'. By doing so, he breakes his signature of the Reggae Compassionate Act, an official document that he signed in May 2007 in order to move on with his violent homophobic past and be able to tour in Europe. By promoting violence towards gays and lesbians onsatge in Jamaica, the artist proves that his signature of the RCA was a fluke and was done strictly for financial purpose. Video Proofs were found on YouTube by Stop Murder Music Bern in October 2008. (see October 28, 2008 for more details)
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YouTube – clip of the concert) (Transcript Of The YouTube segment)

December 26, 2007: Several more artists 'bun' gays at the final Guiness Sting concert
The guideline for the 2007 Guiness Sting concert was to make it the 'cleanest' Sting ever.The musicians have been warned: all profanities would be cut off and the artists that would break the rules would not get the rest of their pay check.What was suppose to be a 'clean' concert eventually turned out to be a disaster when the majority of the musicians that took the stage that night expressed their disaproval with homosexuality with violent lyrics and sometimes advocating the murder of gays and lesbians. The event took place at Jamworld Entertainment Center in Portmore, Jamaica on Boxing Day. According to the article published in the Jamaica Star, Harry Toddler was the first singer to start the profanities. 'Harry Toddler demanded just after 1 a.m. that "all who a shot ban tun on yu lighta", some strong language in the mix, he was quickly called off stage'. Then the MC reminded to the crowd and the remaining artists the rules of the sponsored event. It seems that every artist that performed after took the freelance to express themselves in a negative way towards gays and lesbians: Mikey Pelpa, Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killer, Fantan Mojah, Warrior King, Bodyguard, Lutan Fyah and Chuck Fendah. 'Assassin (the group) showed his scorn, but did not advocate death. Queen Ifrica and Turbulence expressed dispproval of homosexuality without the lyrically deadly component'.
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Jamaica Star 1) (Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Star 2)

NOTE: Sounds like several artists don't feel like touring Americia and Europe in 2008. They clearly states that they are not willing to respect a contract. I hope that American and European promoters will remember this specific evening when it's time to make their choices for the upcoming outdoor festivals. As a music fan, If you are tired of this unrespectful and unmature attitude, I strongly suggest that you go back to the roots of reggae. Here is a short list of true Jamaican pionneers that craft reggae music: Bob Marley, Burning Spear, U Roy, Third World, Israel Vibration, Culture, The Itals, Dennis Brown, The Heptones, Junior Murvin, Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs, Toots & The Maytals.