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 2, 2010: Bounty Killer's homophobic speach at Jamaican charity concert
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Shaggy hosted the first annual Shaggy and Friends 'I Dare You' concert on the lawns of Jamaica House in Kingston. The proceeds for this fund-raiser were in aid of the Bustamante Hospital for Children... Shaggy who was scheduled to bring the curtains down, however, what would transpire would cast a shadow, if only for a moment, on an excellent evening of entertainment for a great cause. Having introduced Mavado, who was supposed to make a pledge, the Gully God then called on his 'father', Bounty Killer. Bounty Killer then entered the stage to a cheers from the crowd. Those cheers would easily die away and make for a moment of relative silence and a few dropped jaws as the deejay came out blaring, "batyman and battyman we nuh waa dem aroun mi " part of the chorus to his 1997 hit, Eagle And Di Hawk on the Showtime Riddim. "Sorry but me haffi talk," he then said before continuing, "nuff a dem a battyman dats why dem nuh have nuh pickney ..." Wrong move, The concert would come to an abrupt end when Killer made statements alluding to homosexuals. (more on the link below)
(
ReggaeMe.com) (Jamaica Star) (Jamaica Observer) (YardFlex) (OutRoad)

January 6, 2010: Santa Cruz article 'One Hate, One Fear'
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Andy Samberg’s brilliant Saturday Night Live character “Ras Trent” navigates a day in the life of a reggae-loving college student, from the “shanty dorm” to his part-time job at “Jah Cold Stone Creamery” and, of course, his DVD of Cool Runnings. The skit is hilarious because everyone knows a suburban “rude boy,” complete with the blonde dreadlocks and Bob Marley silkscreen, who smokes way too much weed. Reggae music is pervading our culture like never before, from annual festivals to skanking reggae remakes of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Dark Side of the Moon. But even the clownish Ras Trent can’t escape the ugly side of modern reggae. “Oh, fire pon Babylon,” he croons in an exaggeratedly American accent, “and fire pon a batty boy.” The satire gains surprising accuracy with the term “batty boy,” a Jamaican slur for a gay man that’s appeared in many incendiary songs over the past 20 years, each shifting further the genre’s image of love and harmony toward a reality of violence and bigotry. (more on the link below)
(
SantaCruz.com)

January 17, 2010: Dancehall in the center of German debate: 'regulating' homophobia in art
On January 17, in an article named 'Gay German MP campains against Jamaican music', The Jamaica Observer present the upcoming panel discussion 'Sustainable Mesaures Against Homophobia in Art' that will occure in Berlin, Germany on February 23. The discussion will include representatives from politics, gay lesbian associations, artiste managers, representatives from the Jamaican artiste fraternity (to be announced) and German promoters. In the same article, the Jamaica Observer author state an answer from the German Federal Goverment dated June 2008. The documenmt addresses 'minor interpellation tabled by the members of the German Bundestag -- Volker Beck (Cologne) and others in the Alliance 90/Green's parliamentary group'. That campaign is said to promote Jamaica with a very negative image.
(
Jamaica Observer) (JUNE 2008: Replly of the Federal Gov. of Germany concerning the status of homosexuals in JA)

NOTE: I wasn't able to find the results of that discussion. If you have an english link...

January 19, 2010: What is the situation of gays and lesbians in Ethiopia?
On January 19, I received an email that promote ILGA's new project: "What's Your Activism?" By browsing through the answers, I found out a link that introduce the very sad situation of gays & lesbians in Ethiopia. As reggae music is closely bounded with Ethiopia, I decided to include it on this webpage. The text that I wrote on "What's your Activism" can be found by clicking on 'OLDER' at the bottom of the page. You will find it when you reach the texts posted in January 2010.

TEXT FROM ZEGA WEBSITE. Like other oppressive homophobic governments & society homosexuality remains illegal & totally taboo in Ethiopia. Ethiopia's government took a strong move to ban same-sex relationship even between consensual same sex adult in the criminal & penal code of the country chapter 600/601 from 5-10 years hard imprisonment. Any acts of showing this behavior will end in imprisonment with sever corporal punishment & torture. This in turn violate Ethiopia’s own Constitution and the analogous provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (i.e. articles 2, 3, 11, and 28) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (i.e. articles 2, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 26). The legislators called homosexuality an affront to Christianity and Islam. Since, this sexual orientation does not conform to the legendary tale & primitive ideology of ultraconservative society; gays & lesbians of Ethiopia prefer to live hidden behind the curtains with lack of confidence & constant fear. Ethiopia has an ever growing gay & lesbian's population from time to time; the society thinks homosexuality as a western influence (foreign import) & inexcusable sin. Therefore, gays & lesbians of Ethiopia are suffering a lot from the government's hostility. Stigma, violence, discrimination, hatred, disrespect, intimidation, abuse, harassment, negative attitude, economic deprivation social injustice, kangaroo court trial, extra-judicial killing & even worse murder. The refusal of the Ethiopian governments to address violence committed against LGBT people creates a culture of impunity where such abuses can continue and escalate unmitigated. (more on the link below)
(
ZEGA Ethiopia) (DESMOND TUTU'S text in Washington Post)

January 31, 2010: Grammy Doesn't Honor Buju Banton
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Buju Banton lost the Grammy for Best Reggae Album Sunday night amid protests from gay rights groups over his hate-filled lyrics. The award instead went to Stephen Marley, the son of Bob Marley, according to early reporting from MTV. Banton, who couldn't attend the ceremonies because he's currently in jail in Florida awaiting trial on cocaine-related charges, recently told the media he "sees no end to the war" between him and the gays in his music. His 1988 song "Boom Bye Bye" advocated brutal violence against gays and lesbians. Last week gay rights groups, including the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, took out an ad in Daily Variety denouncing Banton and urging the Grammys to denounce homophobia in music and any art "that promotes or celebrates violence against any group of people." In a reply, the Recording Academy said that it honors artists "regardless of politics" and that "artists of a variety of political or cultural perspectives have been nominated or featured on the telecast."
(
Advocate.com) (PinkNews)

NOTE: The five nominees for 'Best Reggae Album': 'Mind Control Acoustic' (by Stephen Marley), 'Rasta Got Soul' (by Buju Banton), 'Brand New Me' (by Gregory Isaac), 'Awake' (by Julian Marley), 'Imperial Blaze' (by Sean Paul).

January 31, 2010: Some paying Tribute to Buju Banton... by promoting intolerence towards gays
TEXT FROM ARTICLE No.1. Performances are good for a night, but going on record is another thing entirely. Two performers, Cocoa Tea (who remade his Eighteen and Over with Buju Banton in the mid-1990s and on whose 'Original Dancehall Jam Jam' Banton has performed) and Anthony B have recorded songs calling for his release. Cocoa Tea has released Buju, using the melody and music of The Heptones' Country Boy... Cocoa Tea alludes to Buju Banton's hit and album title Destiny when he sings "this couldn't be your destiny". He also pledges his loyalty ("no matter what they say/you're still my friend anyway") and goes as far as to say "for me you're still innocent/all when them find you guilty". The usual suspects get mentioned with "them likkle fish deh a fry/cause dem a some Satan spy", which Cocoa Tea sings at three points in Buju. On the final occasion, he adds "set up trap an' tell lie/an come come lock up the I/But Rasta know dem ago die". And Cocoa Tea rests the case with a higher power, singing "you must get justice/if not from man then Jah".

TEXT FROM ARTICLE NO.2: During the concert Rebel Salute (held in St. Elizabelth, Jamaica, on January 16th). ...Peter Metro linked his legal troubles with views on homosexuality, deejaying: "When Buju Banton was a school guy Him do a tune name Boom Bye Bye An' from that them a fight 'gainst the I" He was not the only performer to make a direct connection between Buju's arrest and the homosexual community. In the early morning hours of Pepsi Rebel Salute, I-Wayne declared "sun to moon, male to female. We nuh inna di cow dung ting. No guy cyaa cow Rasta down". "Look how dem promote dem gay man, talk bout yu cyaa understan' dem, yu illiterate," he said, going on to sing "from dem fight gainst Buju dem get bun too"
(more on the links below).
(
Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2)

February 2, 2010: Tjenbé Rèd actions against Sizzla tour in France
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE. Sizzla, a singer characterised by his homophobic and racist comments and lyrics, is returning to France. Tjenbé Rèd sends out an alert to human rights organisations in Strasburg, Nantes, Brest, Paris,Villeurbanne, Lyon and Lille. Tjenbé Rèd is an Afro-West Indian association dedicated to the fight against all forms of racism, homophobia, and against AIDS. It is also the French section of the international network Stop Murder Music. It makes this appeal to all groups who defend human rights in Strasburg, Nantes, Brest, Paris, Villeurbanne, Lyon and Lille: It is up to you to demonstrate, to warn elected representatives, to instigate legal proceedings if necessary to put a stop to hatred. (more on the link below)

(Tjenbé Rès Press Release ENGLISH 1) (Tjenbé Rès Press Release FRENCH 1) (Tjenbé Rès Press Release BILINGUAL 2) (Tjenbé Rès Press Release ENGLISH 3) (Tjenbé Rès Press Release FRENCH 3)

NOTE 1: On February 25th, the website Reggae.fr announced that the entire French tour was cancelled. Garance Productions issued a press release for the concert in Paris, saying 'the concert was cancelled due to reasons that were against our will'. Some people suggested that the French tour was cancelled due to Sizzla's arrestation in Jamaica on January 27th, related to a shooting incident that occured in August Town, St. Andrew, Jamaica. Four days later, he was released without charge'. According to the website Reggaeville.com, the following concerts were cancelled: Strasbourg (February 25), Nantes (February 26), Brest (February 27), Paris (February 28), Lyon (March 2) and Lille (March 11) The webiste doesn't mentionned Villerbanne (March 1), but I assumed it was also cancelled, (YardFlex 1) (YardFlex 2) (Reggae.fr) (Sizzla's concerts)..

NOTE 2: I am not in accordance at all with the list of 100 singers that Tjenbé Rèd published in the second press release (page 37) as being 'concerned' with the Stop Murder Music' campaign (see the link upper). I have written to the organisation, but until the moment of writing these lines, my request to remove or modify this list was ignored.

February 3, 2010: Jamaica Observer colum: Why are Jamaicans so homophobic?
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Dear Editor, I recently returned from an International Human Rights conference where I was bombarded with questions about Jamaica's human rights situation which I proudly defended. However, one question stumped me. Participants wanted to know the source of Jamaicans' fear and contempt of gays. Sadly, I could not provide an intelligent reply. Those participants just couldn't reconcile Jamaica's warm, welcoming, "one love, live and let live" reputation with the virulent homophobia as expressed in the February 1 Observer article in which President of the Islamic Council of Jamaica Mustafa Muhammed advocated death for homosexuals.'As a secular state we are obliged to recognise, among other things, rights to freedom of expression and privacy as long as those rights do not represent a serious danger to public health, morality, or public safety, yet we appreciate the threat of unchecked fundamentalism of the type advocated by this Muslim leader. So why are Jamaicans so concerned by what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms? What do we fear will happen? (more on the link below)
(
Jamaica Observer: Open Letter) (Jamaica Observer: Muslim Leader Blast Gay Lifestyle)

February 12, 2010: Four Capleton concerts cancelled in California
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Capleton, the controversial Jamaican reggae singer whose lyrics glorify killing gay people, has been booted off the bill of this weekend's Ragga Muffins Festival, organizers said. Capleton was scheduled to appear on Sunday's portion of the two-day concert (February 20-21), which takes place at the Long Beach Arena. "We can't put people on the show who are advocating violence against any group of people," said Moss Jacobs, co-producer of the Ragga Muffins Festival. Following Jacobs decision, other reggae promoters have cancelled Capleton concerts scheduled for Feb. 15 in San Diego and Feb. 20 in Oakland, Jacobs said. Michael Petrelis: "Capleton made cosmetic changes (after signing the Reggae Compassionate Act) because he wants American cash. We in the gay community are not satisfied with cosmetic changes. I applaud the promoters for cancelling Capleton's engagement and not profiting from homo-hate." (more on the link below)
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PressTelegram) (Ragga Muffin Festival) (Capleton's list of concerts)

NOTE: According to my research, the four concerts that were scheduled in California were canceled: San Diego (February 15), San Louis Obispo (February 17), Oakland (February 20) and Long Beach (February 21). Read Capleton's phony Press Release. Remember that he did not respect the RCA and that he called for the killing on gays onstage in Jamaica, in December 2007. Look under December 25, 2007 in this section for the YouTube clip and transcript.

February 17, 2010: Gully, Gaza, gays, gender part of Int'l Reggae Conference
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. The second International Reggae Conference begins on Wednesday evening with an opening ceremony at The Ruins, Mona Visitors' Lodge, UWI (Kingston Jamaica). Then over the following three days, various persons will present papers and there will also be performances and a visit to August Town. Topics specific to dancehall music are part of the conference, organised under the leadership of Reggae Studies lecturer Dr Donna Hope Marquis. Gaza and gully, gays and gender are all part of the mix and Marquis will present on the first panel dealing specifically with dancehall. She will speak on 'Dancehall, Violence and Jamaican Youth: An Empirical Synopsis' while Fania Alemanno will present 'Dancehall, Women and Sport: A Preliminary Overview'. (more on the link below) (second article on February 20th)
(
Jamaica Star)

February 17, 2010: Voices from the New Generation: wonderful article
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. In Jamaica a country known as one of the most homophobic places in the world, young people are challenging the status quo of intolerance. A young man from a conservative family in rural Jamaica recently confided to me that five of his close friends are gay. He observed that although he did not share their sexual preferences, he understood that their sexual orientation didn’t define them. “They are more than gay,” he told me. “They are smart, eloquent and very good friends. There is a lot I can learn from them.” Many young people in Jamaica hold similar views. And while they are not often involved in activism, they maintain a good relationship with their gay peers. It is also common for youth leaders in schools and communities to discreetly promote acceptance of sexual diversity. You will rarely hear them playing gay-bashing music, even though such music is common in Jamaica.It is mainly because of such youth tolerance that a vibrant gay community flourishes on our island. Scores of homosexual men and women bask in the opportunity to live “freely”—important indicators that our island of sun, sea and sand might someday fully allow people to live as they choose without prejudice or discrimination. But in order for that to happen, much more needs to be done. And I am proud to be deeply involved in my generation’s efforts to win cultural and legal acceptance for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. (more on the link below)
(
Americas Quarterly)

February 19, 2010: Guyana cross-dressing lawsuit: Just first step to bring changes
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. On February 19th a motion was filed in Guyana’s high court to challenge a law that criminalized cross-dressing, and under which seven persons were arrested in 2009 and charged with wearing female attire. Four – Quincy McEwan, Seon Clarke, Joseph Fraser and Seyon Persaud – have brought the constitutional challenge, with the support of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) and a group of lawyers, including from the recently established University of the West Indies Rights Advocate Project (U-RAP). Sunday’s Trinidad Express cites local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocates who say this case will have far-reaching effects region-wide. (more on the link below)
(
Stabroek News 1) (Stabroek News 2) (Trinidad Express)
The 2009 articles about this case: (
Stabroek News 1) (Stabroek News 2) (Stabroek News: peoples opinions)

February 20, 2010: In'l Reggae Conference: "Jamaican Music in Europe: The Homophobia Debate"
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: With the 2010 International Reggae Conference heading to a close last Saturday (February 20th) at the Assembly Hall, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, a German tag team of reggae writers did an excellent job of analysing the situation with gays, Germany and Jamaican music. Presenting alternately as they gave the historical, cultural and legal setting of the imbroglio in which Jamaican music has found itself, Pete Lilly and Ellen Köhlings of Riddim magazine summed up just how Jamaican music is being used by both gay rights groups and the performers themselves. "They are looking for cheap forwards, just as the artistes performing cheap gay lyrics are looking for cheap forwards themselves," Köhlings said as she read the final segment of the hour-long presentation. (more on the link below)
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Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Observer)

NOTE: If you are trilled by their analysis of the crisis, you can find other comments by the same team upper on this page in August 2009. Look under February 16, 2010 for an article that introduced the International Reggae Conference.

February 26, 2010: Sizzla vs The Reggae Compassionate Act (Mugabe's 86 birthday)
TEXT FROM TWO ARTICLES. Jamaican reggae superstar Sizzla has been enlisted by President Robert Mugabe’s supporters to kick-off a weekend of celebrations in Bulawayo to mark the veteran leader’s 86th birthday. Sizzla will headline a night of celebration at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Grounds on Friday, joined by a host of regional and local stars including South Africa’s Soul Brothers and acclaimed poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli. In an interview made for the event, he was asked the following question: "I understand you were made to sign some documents that forbid you from singing anti-gay songs when you are in Europe. What is your position on gay relationships?" Sizzla's answer:" The preachings and teachings of the Most High say that it is not right for a man to be with another man or a woman with another woman. All of us wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the union of a man and woman. Family is a basic unit in society. I support the royal family set-up of a king and a queen. I did not sign any papers, it is just an agreement I have with certain promoters — it is their system. I cannot stop singing those songs because there is a message in those songs which people should hear". (more on the link below)
(
New Zimbabwe) (Zimbabwe's The Sunday Mail Leisure) (Mail & Guardian Video Interview)

March 12, 2010: Desmond Tutu: "In Africa, a step backward on human rights"
TEXT FROM ARTICLE. Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity -- or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity. It is time to stand up against another wrong. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God's family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships with other men. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded. (more on the link below)
(
DESMOND TUTU'S text in Washington Post) (IGLHR Statement on the situation of Human Rights Violation in Africa)

RECENT PROBLEMS FACE BY THE LGBT COMMUNITY IN AFRICA: (MAY 2010: Zimbabwe) (MAY 2010: Malawi (part 3)) (MAY 2010: Malawi (part 2)) (MARCH 2010: Kenya (part 1)) (MARCH 2010: Kenya (part 2)) (DECEMBER 2009: Malawi (part 1)) (FEBRUARY 2010: Malawi) (DECEMBER 2009: Rwanda (part 1)) (DECEMBER 2009: Rwanda (part 2)) (NOVEMBER 2009: Uganda) (FEBRUARY 2009: Burundi (part 2)) (DECEMBER 2008: Senegal) (NOVEMBER 2008: Burundi (part 1))

March 19, 2010: Anti-Discrimination walk in Suriname
Suriname has celebrated its 'Anti-Discrimination Week', which was organised by the National Youth Parlement (NJP). One of their activities was the 'Anti-Discrimination Walk' on Friday March 19th. Over 5000 people took part in this walk, mostly schools. This year, the first lady together with the minister of Education and the American Ambassador in Suriname took part. A high level of stigma and discrimination against gays still remains in Suriname. For the first time, a small group of gays and lesbians proudly joined the walk, identified to the Suriname Men United group, which was the only civil society organisation to be present in the walk. (no article – text composed with information found on a newsgoup)
(
Suriname Men United)

March 21, 2010: The clip 'Ricky Trooper Tells All' posted on YouTube
TEXT WRITEN IN DECEMBER 2010: On March 31, The Frraud Prevention Arm of the United States Embassy in Kingston will annonunce the visas of Bounty Killer, Mavado, Beenie Man, Adonia and selector Ricky Trooper will be cancelled. In a December 2010 article, Jamaica Gleaner's journalist Mel Cooke wrote "In one case, though, there seemed to have been a strong possible cause for the effect - in a March 21 post on OvaDiWallEnt's YouTube channel under the title 'Ricky Trooper Tells All', the selector spoke extremely frankly, brandished what seemed to be a real handgun but he later said was a lighter and demanded, "put dis pon YouTube!" The video was duly posted. " Ricky Trooper (Garfield McKoy), is a popular Jamaican music selector (aka: a 'selecta' or a DJ). At the moment of writing these lines, there was no page for him on Wikipedia, but I found the following artcile from
March 2007. For more info about Visas being revoked, look under March 31st and December 26th on this page. Lower you will find the link for 'Ricky Trooper Tells All'. There is also an Interview named 'Put dis pon Youchube' made for Hype TV (around April 17) that can be found on YouTube. The interview is devided in five segments and last 43 minutes... In June 2010, he recorded a clip in front of the Alps, mocking the situation and trying to prove his point.

BEWARE: The following clips use abusive language and promote violence. It's a shame that this kind of material is still on YouTube nine months after it was included. (Ricky Trooper Tells All – PART 1) (9m53) (PART 2) (6m19). This is exactly the type of material that is causing a lot of harm to the Jamaican music industry and specifically to dancehall music. What would be nice is to have a clip on YouTube where Jamaican musicians could tell him how hangry they are about this clip. Now, I'm sure you will agree with me that we need to clean up these vibes. I suggest this beautiful reggae song that I just discovered to counterpart all this hatered: Higher Hights

March 24, 2010: Guyanese gay singer's video 'Love' reach No.1 on MTV
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Gay singer-songwriter Nhojj made music history twice in the past year – first as the only black male ever to win an OUTMusic Award for his song “Love,” and then, more remarkably, hitting the coveted number 1 spot on MTV’s music video chart this month. The “Love” video is a narrative that culminates in two young black men embracing in a bed. Nhojj’s sensual vocals drive the imagery, singing, “Our thighs now meet, our souls are singing, harmony sweet.” But Nhojj’s life’s trajectory was just as unpredictable as the success of his explicitly gay music video. Born in Guyana and raised in Trinidad, Nhojj was brought up in an extremely religious Caribbean family that still struggles to fully understand his homosexuality. Nhojj moved to the United States to attend New York University, where he studied economics. He talks to The Advocate about how he ended up in music and how honesty and “Love” have brought him so much in return. (more on the link below)
(
The Advocate) (videoclip for LOVE) (Trailer for the movie BLUEPRINT)
NOTE: OK it's not Dancehall or reggae... still related. Positive comments and vision. I suggest you take the time to read the 4-page article.

March 26, 2010: Barbados PM says no to Mavado/Vybz Kartel 'peace & unity' show
NOTE: Although these two artists have homophobic songs, this cancelation is not related to homophobic music. It's more about the Gully/Gaza conflict and the gang violence associated with their rivalry, although the two artists are now performing together in what they call a 'peace & unity' concert. For more info, look under September 20, 2009. The concert was scheduled for Saturday March 27.

TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Following weeks of intense public debate and front page headlines in Barbados, the Mavado, Vybz Kartel unity concert scheduled for this weekend has been officially cancelled. Prime Minister David Thompson made the announcement at a press conference held yesterday, exactly two days before the event. Thompson is quoted in the Barbados Advocate as saying: "That quest to do the right thing by Barbadians prompted my request for the meeting with the organisers of the proposed show and I am happy to announce that in deference to the expressed wishes and the anxieties of a very wide cross-section of Barbadians, that the organisers of the Mavado/Vybz Kartel show and Youth Forum have agreed to the revamping of initiatives resulting in the cancellation of this weekend's activities." (more on the link below)
(
Jamaica Observer)

March 31, 2010: Top entertainers visas revoked
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The visas of five of Jamaica’s top entertainers have been revoked. According to information from the Fraud Prevention Arm of the United States Embassy in Kingston, the visas of Bounty Killer, Mavado, Beenie Man, Aidonia and selector Ricky Trooper are now being cancelled. A document obtained through our sources advised airlines not to allow any of the entertainers on flights bound for the United States. The cancellations follow that of businessman Wayne Chen who recently found out his visa had been revoked while he was about to board a flight to America. University law professor David Rowe had predicted that there would have been visa cancellations as backlash for the Government’s denial of the extradition request for West Kingston strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. (more on the link below)
(
Go Jamaica) (Blog: The Petrelis Files) (Jamaica Observer: Dancehall's Decline) (Jamaica Gleaner) (7 News Belize)
(
Jamaica Gleaner (December 2009)) (NOTE: see March 21 2010 and December 26 2010)

(NOTE: I haven't found the reason why Aidonia's Visa has been revoked. I made a quick search and haven't found homophobic songs, but again that was a quick search. There was a song released in September 2011 name 'Badmind Cyah Stop We', that might have a connection with the Visa)


April 1, 2010: Reggay Time: Forum on Jamaica, dancehall music & new LGBT initiatives
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Discussion and dancing. This panel lead forum between Kingston (Jamaica) & San Francisco Bay Area (USA), encourages progressive dialogue and partnerships between Jamaicans and people abroad who are similarly committed to Jamaican self-empowerment, growth, and development. The forum is meant to raise U.S. awareness about dancehall music's current central role in Jamaican culture and society and to present the music in a broader context for our San Francisco Bay Area and LGBT audience. Panelists includes Andrea Shorter (San Francisco), Jonathan Mack (San Francisco), Annie Paul (Kingston), Nic Ming (Kingston). The forum promotes implementing a Jamaica "bUycott": as a socio-politically conscious economic initiative in which LGBT-allied consumers offer their business to Jamaican recording artistes, small exporters, international brands, tourist destinations…etc, with demonstrated progressive human rights attitudes and practices. The forum is to explore some ideas and strategies for organizing and undertaking the LGBT-allied Jamaica bUycott. (more on the link below)
(
Reggay Time Advertisement) (Reggae Time Poster) (Annie Paul Blog)

April 7, 2010: Historic March for Tolerance in Montego Bay
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The Jamaica Aids Support for Life (JASL) yesterday (April 7) headed 13 groups working with persons infected with HIV in a campaign for more tolerance of persons infected with the sexually transmitted disease which has claimed the lives of millions, globally. Amidst much pomp and pageantry, members of groups which included the Jamaica Red Cross; the Sex Workers Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians and Gays (J-FLAG); Women for Women (WFW) and persons living with HIV, among others, paraded to the beat of a marching band along the Howard Cooke highway on their way to the popular Dump Up Beach, along the city's waterfront where they massed under a tent. Speeches were then heard from members of the various groups. There were booths from which condoms were issued and free HIV testing.
Ian McKnight chairman of the board of the JASL was heartened with the turnout at the inaugural staging of the event.
"We expected 100 people, one or two of three from each group -- we did not want hangers-on and we have been successful in getting that," Mcknight said. (more on the link below)
(
Jamaica Observer 1) (UK Gay News) (Go Jamaica) (Radio Jamaica) (Jamaica Observer 2)
(
Jamaica Observer EDITORIAL) (J-FLAG's answer to Jamaica Observer EDITORIAL)
(
JASL interview – Jamaica Observer )

LETTERS: (Observer Letter 1) (Observer Letter 2) (Gleaner Letter 1) (Gleaner Letter 2)

NOTE 1: Congratualtion to everyone that participate in this march! May it teach love, peace, respect and tolerance for people who are uncertain on how to react towards people living with AIDS and all marginalised groups in Jamaica.

NOTE 2: Unfortunately it's not every Jamaican newspaper that is pro-active on promoting the event. I don't know the
Kingston Chronicle newspaper (or is it a newspaper?). It looks like a non-serious publication by the standard of 'articles' published on their webpage. One of the main contributor/writer needed to express his non-acceptance of diversity by promoting violence.

April 23, 2010: Homophobia in Dancehall – Discussion with Clyde McKenzie on Jamaican Radio
TEXT FROM BLOG: Mr. Clyde Williams Atty-at-Law, member of the Peoples National Party Human Rights Group and host of the morning program ‘Today with Clyde” on HOT 102FM interviewed well respected musicologist, Shocking Vibes Entertainment Director, Digicel Rising Stars Judge and Principal of Fimi Choice Productions Mr. Clyde McKenzie on the state of Jamaican music presently given the backlash from Caribbean as well as other countries towards Jamaican dancehall artists with Guyana and Barbados the most recent territories banning several acts from visiting and performing there. Mr. McKenzie’s views are not to be overlooked and when he speaks many in the industry and media listen. He penned a recent article calling for a truce between dancehall and the gay community calling for dialogue as a way forward, here are the posts on GLBTQ Jamaica concerning some of his opinions, he also predicted the doom that we now see where the acts themselves are now in hot water over their violent and homophobic lyrics from as far back as the mid nineties. His stance on tolerance is moderate. He commented during the interview that we as a country need to take an introspection of the situation, the perceptions of how homophobic we are as a nation and how the gay communality elsewhere sees Jamaica as a place where gays are, do we need to self regulate the music industry so as to monitor the output to the various markets? this is an issue that he is known to be passionate about, he continued that at the level of the artist they need to reflect and make certain decisions as to how they want their careers to progress as he coined it the Artistic Freedom vs. the commercial imperative.
(
Jamaica Gay Watch)

April 26, 2010: Trinidad & Tobago authorities: no 'gangster' music
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Gilbert Reyes says artistes whose musical content contributes and appears to influence gang-related activity and behaviour will be debarred from entering Trinidad and Tobago in future. Reyes made the comment yesterday, after he made an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Jamaican dancehall artiste, Romain ’Ryno Di Stinger’ Anderson, from entering the country to perform in a concert on the weekend. He said the country had a lot of issues to deal with regarding gang-related crimes, particularly murders and shootings, and therefore could not accept the additional burden of artistes influencing patrons with their gangster-style lyrics at concerts. Anderson managed to slip into the country even though the T&T Police Service was seeking to block his entry last week, Reyes said. He said he had written a letter to National Security Minister Martin Joseph, requesting that Anderson be debarred from entering the country. (more on the link below)
(
Trinidad Express)

May 15, 2010: Cuban gays and lesbians march against homophobia
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Hundreds of gay and lesbian activists, some dressed in drag and others sporting multicoloured flags representing sexual diversity, marched and danced through the streets of Havana yesterday along with the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro as part of a celebration aimed at eliminating homophobia around the world. Some of the marchers played drums and others walked on stilts as they made their way down a wide avenue in the capital's hip Vedado neighbourhood where they have held a series of debates and workshops ahead of the May 17 celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, which participants say marks the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation stopped listing homosexuality as a mental illness. "We have made progress, but we need to make more progress," said Mariela Castro, a campaigner for gay rights on the island and the leader of Cuba's National Sexual Education Centre. She is also the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro. Cuba has come a long way in accepting homosexuality. In the 1960s, shortly after the revolution, homosexuals were fired from state jobs and many were imprisoned or sent to work camps. Others fled into exile. (more on the link below)
(Jamaica Observer) (Google News) (JANUARY 2011: In These Times)

May 17, 2010: International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
The International Day Against Homophobia, held on May 17 every year, is a rallying event offering an opportunity for people to get together and reach out to one another. It promote and encourages organisations and individuals to highlight this event in their environment. TEXT FROM IDAHO WEBSITE: In 2008, sexual relations between persons of the same sex were punishable by death in 7 countries and considered to be some form of crime in more than 80 others. In most countries in the world, people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, intersex, queer, ... community are being denied their fundamental human rights as defined, inter alia, by the Universal Declaration of Human Right, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Day has been launched with the idea of creating a worldwide community of activists and committed people, sharing the ideal of a world without homophobia nor transphobia in which everyone can freely live their sexual orientation and the gender identity they wish to live in.
Change is happening: From hate to harmony – From exclusion to inclusion – From stigma to dignity.
(IDAHO website)

NOTE: Today, I decide to share with you two important texts that I've read recently. The first one is the story of Jamal Brown, a young Afro American athlete that came out in his discipline (Track And Field) and that is part of the important photography Exhibition: 'Fearless: A series of portraits of 'Out' LGBT athletes on High School and College Sports Teams' (
Jamal Brown story) (Fearless Photography Exhibition). The second Text is about a similar activity to this International Day Against Homophobia. On April 15 2010, a ommemorated a day of silence – vowing not to speak for one 24-hour period as a unified protest action in solidarity with other LGBT and against the treatment members of the community receive from a majority of people. This day of silence was also an occasion to create a crack in the reluctance to speak about depression and its debilitating effects in the Black gay community. In the Black community, there is significant resistance to addressing depression. (Breaking the silence of depression in the Black gay community).

May 17, 2010: 'Stand Against Silence' – Jamaican protest at Emancipation Park
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: "As Jamaicans we remain un-emancipated as long as there are laws which criminalize the private intimate acts of consenting adults."So says the Programme Manager of the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) , Mr Jason MacFarlane, on the occasion of The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) which is observed annually on May 17th. IDAHO celebrates the removal of homosexuality by the World Health Organisation (WHO) from its list of mental illnesses in 2006 . It also marked a major milestone in the recognition of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. In Jamaica, the day was observed with a 30-minute ‘Stand Against Silence' outside the Emancipation Park. Approximately 30 persons converged on the location, some with their mouths covered, depicting the theme ‘Break the Silence! End the Fear."In keeping with the bold words on his placard "Stop the Hate Before Too Late", Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS Free World reiterated his organization's stance on the position "The irrational hatred and fear of gays drives this vulnerable population underground away from effective HIV prevention interventions. The result is that the HIV/AIDS epidemic has become entrenched in Jamaica, representing a direct threat to the health of the entire Jamaican community. This is one of the reasons why we have willingly cosponsored this event." . (more on the link below)
(UNAIDS) (Jamaica Observer)

May 17, 2010: Trinidad & Tobago – 'Gay Rights' in the Election Campaign
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Leading GLBT group reminds electorate and parties that current Government has already signed T&T onto international commitments to gay rights – twice. Responding to the suggestion by United National Congress/People’s Partnership political leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s in a May 16th television interview that her Government would put the matter of “gay rights” to a national referendum and “let the people decide”, Trinidad & Tobago’s leading advocacy voice for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) citizens is calling on the People’s National Movement (PNM) to clarify for voters the nation’s and that party’s existing commitments to full human rights and equality for GLBT people. The Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) is asking Prime Minister Patrick Manning, Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon and Gender Minister Marlene McDonald (all candidates for re-election in the May 24th general election) why they have not disclosed to the nation the PNM Government’s recent support of consecutive resolutions in hemispheric fora that clearly commit the nation to protecting the human rights of GLBT people. CAISO is upset that these pledges have remained invisible in the party’s manifesto, on its campaign platforms, and in recent television interviews by McDonald on gender policy. (more on the link below)
(CAISO Press Release) (CAISO website)

June 8, 2010: Jamaican dancehall artist Ding Dong baned from Trinidad
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Jamaican dancehall artiste, Ding Dong (Kemar Ottey) told the Express on Tuesday that the Ministry of National Security cannot justify its action of debarring him from entering Trinidad and Tobago and deporting him to Jamaica when he arrived last Friday for a performance in Chaguaramas the following night. Ding Dong was scheduled to perform at the Minshall Mas Camp, Chaguaramas at an event titled, Party Cop: The Invasion presented by KR Promotions and Junglest International. When he arrived at Piarco he was informed by immigration authorities that he was on a list of Jamaican artistes barred from entering the island because they were deemed a threat to Trinidad society. He was also told he was seen as a threat because of the nature of the lyrics of his songs and the ban was ordered by the Minister of National Security. ’Right now people on my Twitter and Facebook lash out against the Trinidad Government. Let him (National Security Minister) tell me what I sing so bad. I don’t degrade women, promote violence, sing about race or drugs. I am not saying anything more on the issue until the Minister explains to the media what it was that I have done because this is embarrassing'. (more on the link below)
(Trinidad Express)

NOTE: Although there is no evidence that this decision is regarding homophobic lyrics, someone on a discussion board has pointed out one of Ding Dong song named
'No Man Room' which criticized homosexuality. At first reading, the song doesn't seem to be a vehicule to violence but does start with the line 'Tell chi chi man fi rest', which could be interpreted as 'Tell chi chi man fi dead'. Jamaican artists are now careful of not losing their international market, therefore use subtile mataphore in their lyrics.

June 18, 2010: J-FLAG Remembers Fallen Brother and Calls for an End to Hate Crimes
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE: June is International Gay Pride month and today marks the sixth (6th) anniversary of the mob slaying in Montego Bay of 26 year old Victor Jarrett on the mere suspicion of being gay. Victor was on Dump-up beach with some friends when two police officers approached, accused him of being gay and watching men on the beach. They started hurling insults at him and ordering him to leave the public beach. A mob soon formed and Victor was chased from the beach into his community in Canterbury St. James where he was bludgeoned to death. To commemorate this tragic event, J-FLAG organized a memorial on Dump-up beach under the theme ‘Never Again’ to draw attention to hate crimes which continue to be perpetuated against Jamaican gays and lesbians. While police instigated attacks against Jamaica’s gay community have declined in recent times, there is insufficient prosecution of crimes committed by private citizens.Jason McFarlane, Programme Manager at J-FLAG stated "We are here to honour Victor’s memory, calling to the mind the many brothers and sisters who have suffered at the hands of Jamaica’s intolerance towards gays. It is sad that in 2010 gays and lesbians are still being attacked and beaten because of their sexual orientation". Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS Free World stated “We are proud to stand with this group to call for an end to the intolerance and abuse of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community which is driving them underground and severely undermining the national fight against HIV.”(more on the link below)
(J-FLAG Press Release) (pictures of the commemoration)

June 22, 2010: Two Beenie Man concert cancelled in European Festivals
Beenie Man was supposed to performed at Couleur Café Festival, Bruxelles, Belgium (on Saturday June 26) and at the free outdoor concert at Parkpop Festival, The Hague, The Netherlands (on Sunday June 27). Both concerts were cancelled due to LGBT associations pressure. TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Organisers of the Belgian Couleur Cafe Festival, held annually in Brussels, have cancelled their invitation to openly homophobic Jamaican Dancehall singer Beenie Man. According to a Flemish gay rights group, their efforts to have the controversial singer removed from the bill were supported by Amnesty International. Initially, gay website LaLucarne and the Brussels region secretary for equal opportunities, Bruno Delille, protested to the Belgian senate to no avial. But following a letter from Amnesty and a Facebook protest group which swiftly attracted 1,600 members, the campaign gathered speed. In a meeting last night, the festival sponsors made the decision to cancel Beenie Man's appearance. According to Flemish gay rights group WISH, following the decision a press release was issued by the festival organisers "blaming gay rights groups and casting themselves in the role of the victim."... This latest cancellation comes hours after the Dutch Parkpop music festival removed Beenie Man from their line up. (more on the link below)
(PinkNews 1) (PinkNews 2) (PRESS RELEASE from Couleur Cafe Festival) (FocusVif.be) (DeutchNews)

June 23, 2010: Tolerance TV spot broadcasted in Jamaica
Below is a YouTube link to a copy of the original Tolerance Public Service Announcement produced for TV. This aired three times during the Prime Time news hour on both national TV stations from Wednesday June 23rd to Friday June 25th and was targeted at those persons who were tuning in to get updates on the capture of Dudus as well as the latest World Cup action. NOTE: This version has an error in the names of the penultimate speakers and was corrected in the aired PSA.
(YouTube: TV Spot for tolerance) (Similar commercial in Belize Part 1) (Similar commercial in Belize Part 2)

June 24, 2010: Confessions of a gay man in St. Lucia newspaper
This section of the website is reseved for news. Sometimes I make a few exceptions. I can't help but posting this wonderful article. I think this is, by far, the most interesting description of what is commonly known as 'The Closet' in gay life. Take a few moment to read these articles, specially the first one. So far, there is five articles published by the same author, but there seems more to come.
(ARTICLE 1: Confession of a gay man in St. Lucia) (ARTICLE 2: Could your husband or 'baby father' be a homosexual?)
(
ARTICLE 3: Why gay men live a lie!) (ARTICLE 4: When your life is on the line) (ARTICLE 5: Coming out of the closet: Let's talk about sex!)
Here are other soulful, very well written texts, this time published in Barbados newspaper:
(Guest Column: Homosexuality should be accepted) (I Confess: Full of pride for gay son) (Gay unions 'will come' to region)

June 28, 2010: Inter-Religious Organisation condemns Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Guyana
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Bishop Juan Edghill, yesterday, in his capacity as Public Relations Officer of the Inter Religious Organisation, spoke out against the ongoing Gay and Lesbian film festival being staged by the Society Against Sexual Orientation and Discrimination (S.A.S.O.D.). The film festival has been running for the better part of this month. It will see its last three nights of screening this week. However, the IRO still thought the matter worthy of its attention and as such staged a press briefing yesterday afternoon immediately after a meeting on the subject of the festival.Bishop Edghill noted that one issue lies in the location of the Film Festival. The SASOD Flyer points out that the films will be shown at the Sidewalk Café which is an open venue that also happens to be across the road from a school. The flyer also sports the disclaimer “All films are intended for mature audiences.” According to Bishop Edghill, if this film festival is meant for adults then it needs to be asked, “What arrangements are in place to prevent young impressionable minds from being influenced by this public promotion of the homosexual agenda in Guyana?”(more on the link below)
(Kaieteur News) (Stabroek News) (SASOD answer) (Stabroek News EDITORIAL) (Stabroek News LETTER)
(
SASOD film festival)

July 2, 2010: Tjenbé Rèd request that Capleton's European tour be cancelled
Between July 5 au July 31st, Capleton will be performing in France, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and UK. Tjenbé Rèd reminds that Capleton, who signed the Reggae Compassionate Act on May 10 2007, officially broke his commitment as soon as December 25th 2007. Therefore they request LGBT groups to protest his concerts and call the owner of the venues. Among the actions suggested, they request LGBT groups rto engage in dialogue with people attending the concerts. Tjenbé Rèd is not the only LGBT group to oppose the venue of Capleton.
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Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 2) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 3) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 2) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 3) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 4) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 5) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 6) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 7)
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pictures from protest in Paris) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 8) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 8)

Tjenbé Rèd about Sizzla upcoming performance on August 21st in Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH)

July 4, 2010: J-FLAG protest at Caricom: End anti-buggery laws
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is calling on Caricom member states to immediately repeal anti-buggery laws and to integrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals and Transgender citizens into “the Caricom family”. J-FLAG protested across from the entrance to the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, the site of the 31st Caricom Heads of Government meeting yesterday. In a release to the media Jason McFarlane, Programme Manager of J-FLAG said that “the decision was made to mount this ‘Stand’ because of the continued presence of anti-buggery laws in 11 of the 14 member states in Caricom which contribute to discrimination, marginalization and other serious human rights violations of Caricom citizens.”
(more on the link below)
(
Go-Jamaica.com) (J-FLAG Press Release) (picture of the event)

July 14, 2010: Jamaica blog respond to Sugar Minott on 'Stop taking 'Boom Bye Bye' so serious!'
On Saturday July 10, reggae legend Sugar Minott passed away at the age of 54. The cause of death is said to have been him suffering from Angina pectoris – a severe heart condition. On July 13, Clash Music present the full transcript of an interview they made with him in February 2010. One of the question being where did he stood with the homophobia in dancehall? 'We grew up like that – religion, Rastafari, Christianity – we always against things like that. It's not because people are coming up with it now – we always been like that. Jamaica's like that. Myself – I don't condone violence – people trying to kill people because of their lifestyle – or whatever. We have to live together Anyway. I would say – leave them to Jah. I even recorded a song - just for the fun of it - then we decided 'no man we can't put this out'. It was against... you know what... when all this nonsense came out I didn't bother to release it"...Stop taking it so serious! Jamaicans say 'Boom Bye Bye' just for fun, they're not actually gonna boom bye bye nobody. I'm saying leave it alone. I've never committed violence against anyone who wants to live the way they want to live". JLBTQ Jamaica Blog Watch wrote the following letter following the publication of the interview: 'Unfortunately this is the dismissive tone taken towards the issue of homosexuality and with regards with hate lyrics or murder music, bearing in mind that older acts such as Sugar Minott never recorded such caustic lyrics but clearly from his pronouncements the thoughts were there... Murder music came to full maturity in the late eighties on the strength of several cases of alleged paedophilia and the related sensationlism of those stories by tabloid newspapers where the link was and is still made to homosexuality... In fact Buju Banton’s song “Boom Bye Bye” was supposed to be a response to one of those awful cases where a man allegedly sexually abused a boy who was found dead. The country by right was outraged but the marrying of paedophilia and adult male homosexuality without any serious rebuttal has left the gay community suffering unwanted consequences over the decades. To dismiss this song’s meaning and or prescription for gays as a joke is a clear show of the cynicism that pervades a wide cross-section of Jamaican society. There is a popular saying “What is a joke to you is death to me” maybe in this case we can take it literally... (more from the letter on the link below)
(
GLBTQ Jamaica Blog Watch) (CLASH MUSIC: Sugar Minott interview)

July 16, 2010: Capleton concert cancelled in Villeurbanne, France
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE: Tjenbé Rèd is pleased that CCO Villeurbanne (a French concert hall near Lyons) remains steadfast in respecting human rights. We thank it for its support in the struggle against all forms of homophobia and against AIDS. In fact, the Jamaican singer Capleton was due to appear at the CCO this Wednesday 21 July. Tjenbé Rèd therefore, as part of the international campaign Stop Murder Music (SMM), informed the CCO that this performer was well known for his provocative lyrics, contained in 29 of his songs, such as "Kill queers, slaughter them like pigs!" (from 'Bun Out Di Chi'
Chi), "I’ll shoot those homos and faggots" (from 'Woah!') and "Chain up the queers and hang them till death comes!" (from 'Hang Dem Up'). Capleton wanted to appear without having committed himself never again to call for the murder of LGBT persons (lesbians, gays, bi- and trans-sexuals) whether in Jamaica, France or elsewhere in the world, which he could have done by committing himself publicly and explicitly to sign and respect the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA), a moral charter issued in 2007, following negotiations between SMM campaign activists and the managers of singers addressed by this campain.
(more on the link below) (for more actions taken by Tjenbé Rèd, see July 2nd, 2010)
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Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH)

July 20, 2010: Research results confirsm: Homophobia leads to increase HIV risk
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Uganda made international headlines late last year after lawmakers in the East African country proposed legislation to impose the death penalty for some gay Ugandans — as well as lengthy prison terms for their friends, families, and even landlords. The news, decried by human rights advocates, came amid an ongoing rash of brutal antigay attacks in African nations. Now, the violence is prompting a new wave of warnings from public-health experts. In countries already ravaged by AIDS, the brutality and stigma may be fueling a dangerous surge of HIV infections among gay and bisexual men, according to a study released by Johns Hopkins University and the World Bank at a preconference event for the biennial International AIDS Conference, being held this week in Vienna... The study adds new evidence to what AIDS researchers have long suspected — that homophobia leads to increased HIV risk. “Due to stigma, a significant number of these countries simply fail to track HIV among their MSM,” George Ayala, the Global Forum's executive officer, told The Advocate. “Equally troubling is that such stigma can completely derail lifesaving programming that MSM desperately need: HIV-related services, prevention work, outreach, and even epidemiological studies that would help us understand the full scope of this crisis.”. (more on the link below)
(
The Advocate)

August 18, 2010: Sizzla's concerts cancelled in South of France and Belgium
In a press release dated August 5th, four human rights organizations in France and UK suggested to human rights organizations in South of France that they should, in particular, open up a dialogue with Sizzla’s fans. This dialogue will not now take place as we learned from the local newspaper Midi Libre that the organizers of the concert scheduled for the 21st have decided to cancel it. We were sorry to note on this occasion that Midi Libre had asserted that "Sizzla has never been found in default" after having signed the RCA. In fact, he increased his public homophobic utterances between June and December 2007. The LGBT associations also insist that owner of arenas and clubs should insert a clause in their contract to not have any financial penalities if they decided to cancel a concert once they learn that a singer is promoting violence to minorities. The concert that was scheduled at Palavàs-les-Flots (South of France). In a third press release, Tjenbé Rèd is responding to the false accusation published in an article that the Gay Lobby is still putting pressure on artists that singed the RCA. (more on the link below)

NOTE: Another concert was cancelled in Belgium. Sizzla was scheduled to performed in Messancy on August 25th. Information taken on Reggaeville.com

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Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 2) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 2) (MidiLibre.com) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 3) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 3) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 4) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 4)

August 27, 2010: Caricom LGBT activists to take discrimination complaints to IACHR
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Representatives from 15 Caricom states are currently participating in a workshop to advance the process towards filing complaints about discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation to the Inter-American Commis-sion on Human Rights (IACHR). The workshop, which is organized by the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) in collaboration with Global Rights and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s Latin America and Caribbean Office and Open Society Institute, began yesterday at the Cheddi Jagan Research Institute. The workshop is examining specifically violence and discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons. (more on the link below)
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Stabroek News) (BBC News) (DemeraraWaves)

September 1, 2010: Castro takes responsibility for Cuba persecuting gays
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Fidel Castro has said that he was responsible for Cuba persecuting gay men in the 1960s and 70s. The former president told Mexican newspaper La Jornada that there had been moments of "great injustice" against the gay community. "If someone is responsible, it's me," he said. He added that he did not have any personal prejudice against gays and lesbians but was trying to work out how responsible he was for the persecution. Castro was leader of Cuba from 1959 to 2009 and believed that sexual diversity was a corrupt consequence of capitalism..During his rule, many gay men suffered in Cuban labour camps as the regime 're-educated' homosexuals to rid them of their "counter-revolutionary tendencies". Castro added that he had not paid enough attention to the issue of homophobia, saying: "At the time we were being sabotaged systematically, there were armed attacks against us, we had too many problems." Homosexual sex was partially decriminalised in Cuba in 1979 and an equal age of consent was introduced in 1992. (more on the link below)
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Pink News)

September 10, 2010: Sizzla's concerts cancelled in Paris – not related to LGBT pressure...
Sizzla was scheduled to performed on September 24th, at l'Élysée Montmartre in Paris. Tjenbé Rèd, a local LGBT group in charge of the french 'Stop Murder Music' campaign requested that the concert should not occured until Sizzla respect the Reggae Compassionate Act. On September 10, Garance Productions issued a press release saying that the concert was canceled, stating that it wasn't related to pressure from gay and lesbian activis, but it was due to a disagreement with the agency in England in charge of Sizzla's European tour. Some newspapers put back in spotlight the Stop Murder Music campaign and where Free Speech should draw the line. Tjenbé Rèd is still denouncing Vybz Kartel concert that will coccure on September 26th at l'Élysée Montmartre. (more on the link below)
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ReggaeFrance) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 1) (Le Parisien) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 2) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 2) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 3) (NationsPresse.info) (Tjenbé Rèd answer to ReggaeFrance comment on NationsPresse.info) (Paris-Match) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 4) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 4)

September 20, 2010: Buju Banton's trial for Cocaine charge in USA – An entrapement?
TEXT FROM ARTICLES: Jamaica's reggae superstar Buju Banton's hit single Destiny will echo across the world this week as he faces the court on charges that could see him spending many years in a United States prison. But his lawyers are expressing confidence that at the end of the trial, which is slated to last for just over one week, Buju will be found not guilty and cleared to resume his musical career which has been on pause since his arrest last December. Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is slated to appear in the US District Court in the Middle District of Florida this morning to start answering charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms (11 pounds) or more of cocaine and possession of a firearm during the course of a drug-trafficking crime. An informant met Banton in first class on a flight from Spain to Miami at the end of Banton's European tour last summer. Banton's team contends that it was the informant who raised the idea of the cocaine deal with Banton. The four-time Grammy nominee faces a possible life sentence if convicted. His management company decieded to jump on the promotion made by the trial to launch his new album: 'Before The Dawn', scheduled to be release on September 29th. The album was recorded before his arrests, in autumn 2009. The trial was originally settled for March 3rd, but was pushed back five times: April 12th, April 19, June 21st, September 13 and finally starts on September 20th.

THE 'GAY CONSPIRACY'
David Oscar Markus, his lawyer, will try to prove that Banton was a victim of entrapment. Veteran Jamaican broadcaster Jamaican Winston Barnes, news director at the WAVS AM radio station in Fort Lauderdale, said the initial response from many Jamaicans to Banton's arrest was that it was a 'gay conspiracy'. In December 2009, J-FLAG has taken aim at The Sunday Gleaner and the Sunday Observer for what it says was an unfair link between the arrest of Buju on cocaine charges in the United States and his continuing clashes with international gay rights groups. "We find it unfortunate that an article about a brilliant artiste being charged with such a crime could so disingenuously be turned into one about him being victimised by the so-called gay community," said Jason McFarlane, programmes manager at J-FLAG. "We believe that (by) framing the story against the backdrop of gay organisations' protests against him provides the clear basis for insinuating that Banton's most unfortunate experience could in some way be linked to the international gay community. "Such a link is not only false, it is irresponsible," added McFarlane. (more on the links below)

NOTE: Guilty or not, Jamaican papers truly succeed in painting Buju Banton in the role of the victim. On another note, on September 19h, Jamaica Observer ran an article with the title: 'Gays set up Buju, says Jamaicans in Florida'. I cannot think of a better word than 'irresponsible' to qualify the news paper to ran such a stupid story. This is yellow journalism at his best. It simply can agitate a population that is already unfriendly to the LGBT community. In December 2009, I decided not to cover this trial, as it has nothing to do with the homophobia in dancehall music. 10 months later, I made a retroactive research and read all the articles published in the Jamaica Gleaner regarding his arrest and the trial. I was stunned to realised that people can actually think that this 'possible' entrapment could be set by the gay community. Some people sure have a lot of immagination. I was disapointed to see how many Jamaican articles did focus on the theory of a 'gay conspiracy'. Like heterosexuals, the majority of gays and lesbians are kind, decent and loving people who are not looking for people to fall, even when we disagree with their actions. But we will make sure to stand firm when someone is advertising violence against our comunity. Was also disapointed to see veteran reggae and dancehall artists paying tribute to Buju Banton by jumping on the 'gay conspiracy' theory and promote more discrimination. (see January 31st, upper on this page). Just for the record, in July 2010, a video montage making fun of Buju Banton was posted on YouTube. All the comments I read on a LGBT board were against the diffusion of that clip and didn't even find it funny. The clip was removed the following day, probably due to pressure from the artist's management company, that probably warn YouTube for defamation.
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Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2) (Jamaica Gleaner 3) (Jamaica Observer) (Jamaica Gleaner 4) (The Guardian)
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PDF document of 34 articles published in Jamaica Gleaner)

September 22, 2010: Vybz Kartel sings the RCA
Vybz Kartel will be performing in Paris on September 26. Local groups put pressure because of his violent homophobic songs. Vybz Kartel agreed to no longer perform these songs by singing the Reggae Compassionate Act. The French section of the international Stop Murder Music campaign received a copy of the RCA signed by Vybz Kartel. It was sent from his personal email address at 7:03 pm (Kingston time) on Wednesday Sepetember 22nd. Press Release: "Tjenbé Rèd welcomes this courageous gesture by Vybz Kartel and thanks the council of the 18th district of Paris, which, on the intiative of Mr Ian Brossat (chair of the group of communist and Left Party elected representatives on Paris city council, counsellor for the 18th district), had voted for a formal request to be sent to the capital’s Prefect of Police asking him “to consider the risks to public order which might be provoked by” the singer’s concert in this district on the coming Sunday. Tjenbé Rèd consequently withdraws all calls for organised action in relation to this concert (and asked the Prefect of Police to allow this concert to happen). Vigilance is still required. Several performers of murder music have signed the RCA, then denied having signed it..." (more on the link below)
(Tjenbé Rèd Press Release RCA – ENGLISH) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release RCA – FRENCH)
(
copy of the RCA signed by Vybz Kartel) (Jamaica Gleaner: Statement from J-FLAG)

OLDER PRESS RELEASES (before Vybz Kartel signed the RCA)
(Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 1)
(
Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 2) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 2)

September 22, 2010: New caribbean network for gays and lesbians: Be careful, some warn!
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The Caribbean now has its own social media network for its gay, lesbian and bisexual communities. Caribbean Gay Scene is an underground network and is not open to the general public. The website can only be viewed by members. You must be invited to join and your membership must be approved. The aim of the network is to offer the Caribbean gay community a forum to openly discuss issues related to the gay scene. The man behind the site, Charles Lewis, told the Saturday Sun yesterday that he came with the idea because he recognised there was a need for the gay and lesbian community to have their own social media to discuss issues that affect them. Lewis said though he was not gay, from his work in the sex industry he knows that the gay community is alive and well in the Caribbean and larger than more people would admit.

On a LGBT forum, the following comment was posted:
"Before you rush to sign up for the new GLBT social media site the Barbados Nation reported, read Barbados Free Press blogger Cliverton on its promoter, Charles Lewis. Even more fascinating than the Nation’s reporting on Lewis’s venture is BFP’s point of departure: that we’re a community and a cause worthy of defence and advocacy".
(Barbados' Nation News) (Barbados Free Press)

September 22, 2010: 'It Gets Better' Project
TEXT FROM WIKIPEDIA: 'It Gets Better' is an online video channel founded by Dan Savage in September 2010, in response to the suicide of Billy Lucas and a number of other teenagers who were bullied because they were gay or because their peers suspected that they were gay. Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBT youth by having gay adults convey the message that these teens' lives will improve. The project has grown rapidly: over 200 videos were uploaded in the first week, and the project's YouTube channel reached the 650 video limit in the next week. The project is now organized on its own website, the It Gets Better Project, and includes more than 3,000 entries from adults of all sexual orientations, including many celebrities. (more on the link below)
(
It Gets Better Project) (New York Time) (Facebook employee clip) (Barack Obama on It Gets Better) (Wikipedia)

September 23, 2010: Another Sizzla concert canceled in France – Tjenbé Rèd open to dialogue
Sizzla was scheduled to perform in Montpellier, on Thursday September 23rd at the Festi Plaisir festival. The cancelation seems to be a last minute decision as Tjenbé Rèd's Press Release was written the following day. Tjenbé Rèd recall that contrary to what some reggae fans may write on Internet blog, Sizzla did sign the Reggae Compassionate Act but never respected it. TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE: On 9 May 2008, Tjenbé Rèd - the Afro-Caribbean association for the struggle against all forms of racism, homophobia and Aids, the French co-ordinator of the international Stop Murder Music (SMM) network - warned the mayor, Hélène Mandroux (member of the Socialist Party), about another concert of the singer. The elected representative had then asked the Prefect to cancel this concert “because of the violent and discriminatory tenor, particularly of a homophobic nature, of certain songs”. Last August 21, our association, getting support on 20 September from Mr Michel PASSET, the Chair of the communist group on the Montpellier Municipal Council, warned Mrs Mandroux about yesterday’s concert. She just reaffirmed her position by “solemnly warning the organisers” of this new concert. We learns fortuitously that this concert has been cancelled without explanation. (The artist, it is true, is accustomed to unannounced cancellations, of which his fans complain on diverse Internet forums). We congratulates Mrs MANDROUX and Mr PASSET for their commitments in support of human rights and invites the Municipal Council to vote on a position of principle relating to all of the singers tracked by the SMM campaign.

On September 28th, Tjenbé Rèd wrote a long letter on Makoumé Forum in order to orrecting some of the false information that have been writen on numerous blogs regarding the French SMM campaign. Two days later, on the same forum, they recall the people concern by the cancellations that the LGBT group is open to a dialogue. On October 5th, Tjenbé Rèd, along with 'Le Conseil de Paris', request that the French government put in place a program that would be more vigilenat before according a Visa to singers that have songs that call for murder of gays and lesbians.

(Tjenbé Rèd Press Release ENGLISH 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 1) (Montpellier Mayor's comments)
(
Tjenbé Rèd Press Release FRENCH 2)
(
Tjenbé Rèd on Makoumé forum PART 1) (Tjenbé Rèd on Makoumé forum PART 2)

September 25, 2010: Video Interview with Bruce Golding: Is Jamaica Homophobic?
More than two years after his shocking statement "No homosexuals in my cabinet", Bruce Golding is being asked if Jamaica is an homophobic country. "It is rooted in a number of things. Firstly, we are a predominately a Christian country and a fervently Christian country. It may not be reflected entirely in terms of how we live sometimes, but we are passionately committed to certain basic Christian principles, which [...] homosexuality. But we have become quite tolerant. We are tolerant provided that homosexual lifestyle does not invade our space. And what do I mean by that? Persons who wish, because of their own inclination, to live in a homosexual relationship, do so in Jamaica and there are many such persons in Jamaica. The society in Jamaica in general do not want to be... do not want it to be flaunted. They don’t want it to be sort of thrown into the face, because there are some real fears..." According to Dane Lewis, the J-FLAG executive director, there were approximately 400 cases reported since January involving hate crimes against persons who identify with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. (more on the links below)
(Bruce Golding Interview) (Statement from J-FLAG)

September 27, 2010: Jury unable to deliver a verdit for Buju Banton – New trial in December
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: It might not have been the result they were hoping for, but associates of singjay Buju Banton still welcomed the mistrial ruling in his drug-possession case in Tampa, Florida, yesterday."It's better a mistrial than a guilty verdict. At least he gets a second chance," said Buju's mentor and former manager Donovan Germain. Judge Tim Moody declared a mistrial after the 12-member jury failed to return a unanimous verdict on whether the 37-year-old reggae star was guilty or not guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. The trial started September 20; a new trial has been set for December. (more on the links below)

NOTE: I suggest that you read my review of the trial written on September 20th, upper on this page.
(Jamaica Gleaner) (Jamaica Observer)

October 1, 2010: Busy Signal under fire for song 'I Love Girls Who Love Girls'
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Dancehall artist Busy Signal recently released a new single called “I love Girls Who Love Girls.”The single is a nice track to listen to, but Urban Islandz has learned that its causing a bit of a controversy in the dancehall community. Quite a number of fans told us that Busy is coming under some fire for the song that depicts that he love lesbians.
To find out whats the Brouhaha about regarding the song, we took to fans on twitter and facebook to hear their opinion. We ask if Busy Signal new song “I love Girls Who Love Girls” is controversial and why?

(more on the links below)
(
Urban Islandz) (Gay Jamaica Watch)

October 4, 2010: Alpha Blondy signs distribution deal with VP Records
This topic is not related to homophobia in dancehall or reggae music. I simply included it on this page to show how the monopoly of VP Records is growing bigger inside the reggae industry every year. They just acquire the distribution deal for seven of the best Alpha Blondy albums. The following albums were initially issued on Shanachie Records and EMI/Capitol Records: Jah Glory/Rasta Poué (1982), Cocodi Rock (1984), Apartheid Is Nazism (1985), Jerusalem (1986), Revolution (1987), The Prophets (1989) and Masada (1992).

PERSONNAL COMMENT: Let's simply say that I'm disapointed to see reggae musician Alpha Blondy, from Ivory Coast, signing a contract with VP Records. Considering that a fair percentage of the material distributed by VP records promotes vilolence and discrimination, I would have strongly prefer to see that you choose a different label. Why not Makasound? Unfortunately they had to close doors in February 2011. Imagine it might have changed the destiny of this company to sign with them.
(
VP Records Press Release) (Makasound Press Release)

October 6, 2010: Capleton cancelled in Chicago
The concert was sheduled for Saturday October 9 in Chicago, Illinois and was cancelled three days earlier.
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Reggae artist Capleton is one of many reggae artist currently experiencing fallout from Gay Rights pressures. Urban Islandz was reliably informed that The Gay Liberation Network (GLN) has forced the cancellation of Capleton upcoming concert in Chicago. The Fireman Capleton was scheduled to perform at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago this Saturday. Last week Urban Islandz broke news that Gay Rights group GLN has stepped up pressure on the owner of the venue to cancel Capleton show, claiming violence and hate in the Reggae artist lyrics towards homosexuals. But the club owner Jim Gouskos told the media that he was not aware of Capleton hate lyrics and that he cannot afford the US$11,000 to cancel the concert. However, the GLN in a letter told Gouskos that they will be out protesting this weekend if the show was not cancelled. (more on the links below)

NOTE: Capleton US tour started on September 22nd in Connecticut and finished in Georgia on October 22nd. A second leg was added to his US Tour: From November 17 until November 29th. Tanya Stephens was the open act (!!) for some of the concerts in November 2010.
In mid November, a second concert was cancelled in Santa Cruz, California. The concert was scheduled for November 29th.
(
Urban Islandz) (Jamaica Gleaner) (Santa Cruz Patch)

October 8, 2010: Finally a reggae artist that makes a song about gay rights
Four years ago, Tanya Stephens broke ground by including a gay character in her song 'Do You Still Care?' Now rastafarian artist Mista Majah P push the message much further by devoting a whole song about gay rights. His song is more than welcome. Mista Majah P was born in Kingston Jamaica, but migrated to Canada at an early age. He was the recipient of the Canadian Reggae music award on several occasions. P now resides in the United States (Oakland, California). Hi manager, Tony T, said these are the main issues why Majah P was prompted to release the song 'Rights'.“What my artist hope to accomplish is to start a conversation between the gay community, the reggae artists and the world. The reason is my artist is tired of having door slam in his face and the face of all reggae artist and fellow Jamaican who get blame for what a few do or what they think or believe in. You have to remember that not all reggae artist or Jamaican hate or discriminate against gays. My artist biggest problem is he believes he is being stereotype by certain people or certain organization saying that you got dread and you come from Jamaica, right away they single you out saying there is another Jamaican who is using his music to spread hate and death and that has to stop.”

NOTE: The videoclip for the song was released on October 8th. The song is said to be available soon on the upcoming album 'Baby'. I wasn't able to find a complete bio, but the artists has at least six albums: Jahoviah, The True And Living God (2003), Holy Mount Zion (2004), Genesis (2004), Natty A We Beauty (2006), Jamaica Me Come From (2007), Too Much Funeral (2008), Press Tha Key (2008), Jah Work (2009), Tolerance (2011). His albums can be purchase at Ernie B, Amazon or iTunes. Mista Majah P can be contacted through Facebook.
(Urban Islandz) (Gay Rights In Reggae) (Videoclip 'Rights') (Mista Majah P website) (Gay Rights In Reggae)
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More songs about gay rights)

October 14, 2010: J-FLAG Applauds Kartel On Signing Compassionate Act
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has acknowledged that Vybz Kartel's signature affixed to the Reggae Compassionate Act is a step in the right direction of the dancehall artiste claiming responsibility for his music. However, Dane Lewis, executive director of J-FLAG, said the next step is to hold artistes accountable for their lyrics. "Considering what the act calls for, this is a step, as long as the signature is not just a token.Signing the act is one thing, but it's important to stand up for it." The Reggae Compassionate Act was drafted in 2007 as part of the Stop Murder Music campaign, a human-rights groups coalition, which advocates for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-identified persons. The act speaks to positive social changes and upholding the rights of all individuals regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or gender. (more on the link below)

NOTE: to find out more about Vybz Kartel singing the act, look under Septembre 22nd, upper on this page.
(Jamaica Gleaner)

October 23, 2010: Christians declare war on love in Trinidad – CAISO reply
TEXT FROM TWO ARTICLES: Local Christian groups, under the umbrellas of The Hospital Christian Fellowship, Lawyers for Jesus and the Emmanuel Community, have declared war on the issue of same sex attractions. In what they describe as the first phase of the war to be fought, through media sensitisation, the groups have invited to Trinidad and Tobago, Pastor Phillip Lee of the US for a series of talks on the issue. CAISO, the LGBT group in Trinidad & Tobago, challenged the meeting by making what they could consider the largest and possibly the first LGBT protest in T&T history. Colin Robinson: "While we surely have our homegrown homophobia, the declared reason for Phillip Lee's visit was "to combat what seems to be a growing acceptance of homosexuality in Trinidad" – in other words, a foreign gun brought in to try to undo the work people have been doing locally to challenge homophobia/es. That's why he wasn't simply ignored". The event, titled “Sexual Health: Truth Revealed” and billed as a “sexual health seminar”, was moved at the last minute from Naparima Girls High School (did Naps reject them, and why?) to the pentecostal Prayer and Praise Open Bible Chapel in Cocoyea... They sighed at the headline “Fears Gay Rights Movement Could Take Root” in Trinidad and Tobago... The event wasn’t a health seminar at all, presenters made clear very quickly, but physician Garthyln Pilgrim distributed two pamphlets she had prepared which listed references to studies she said documented the “Physical Health Risks” of homosexuality... CAISO was disappointed that their visionary, history-making action was being shut out of news coverage of the HWOM visit, whilst the media puts youth violence and violence against youth on its pages daily. (more on the links below)
(Trinidad Express) (CAISO answer PART 1) (CAISO answer PART 2) (Washington Post)
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more news from Trinidad & Tobago)

October 29, 2010: J-FLAG: Gays Reaffirm Jamaica's History is Anchored in Tolerance
TEXT FROM PRESS RELEASE: In recognition of Heritage Month and the struggles of our forebears, supporters of J-FLAG stood along Hope Road, south of Jamaica House, this morning Friday, October 29, to remind Jamaicans that tolerance has been a hallmark of Jamaican society and that tolerance for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered Jamaicans is a fundamental part of our diversity. This is articulated in our motto ‘Out of Many, One People’.Under the theme ‘Tolerance is Our Heritage’ participants stood for 30 minutes starting at 8:00 a.m. clad in the Jamaica national colours and carried placards some of which read ‘Out of Many, One People,’ ‘Human Rights for All,’ ‘Equal Rights and Justice’, ‘Teach Us True Respect for All.’ In addressing the gathering, Chairman of J-FLAG Gary Mullings reiterated that “as a people, Jamaicans have a heritage of struggling for our rights. Through the examples of our national heroes, whose dedication, service and sacrifice in shaping this nation we commemorate this Heritage month, we remember our fight for emancipation, workers rights and independence.” The message of tolerance needs to be emphasized, as far too many cases of human rights violations are still being reported to us at J-FLAG, a clear indication that there is a challenge regarding the respect of the rights of LGBT Jamaicans.. (more on the links below)
(J-FLAG Press Release) (Pictures of the event No.1) (Pictures of the event No.2)
(
TV SPOT: Tolerance Publisc Service Announccment) (Jamaica Gleaner: The Violence Of Intolerance)

November 2, 2010: St Kitts-Nevis PM calls for region to repeal anti-gay laws
TEXT FROM ARTCLE: Officials attending the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Pan Caribbean Partnerships Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) in Philipsburg, St Maarten, have renewed calls for the removal of anti-gay laws in the Caribbean The outgoing Chairman of PANCAP, St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister, Dr Denzil Douglas, said that the region could continue to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic by making a renewed commitment to revisit the discriminatory laws... (more on the links below)

NOTE: 12 countries of the English-speaking Caribbean still have laws criminalising sexual and intimate conduct between persons of the same sex: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
(Caribbean News Now!) (OTHER: Jamaica Observer) (YouTube: Desmond Tutu message to United Nations)

November 16, 2010: UN General Assembly Votes To Allow Gays To Be Executed Without Cause
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people were once again subject to the whims of homophobia and religious and cultural extremism this week, thanks to a United Nations vote that removed “sexual orientation” from a resolution that protects people from arbitrary executions. In other words, the UN General Assembly this week voted to allow LGBT people to be executed without cause. According to the International Gay and Lesbians Human Rights Commission, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee on Social, Cultural and Humanitarian issues removed “sexual orientation” from a resolution addressing extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions this past week in a vote that was overwhelming represented by a majority of African, Middle East and Carribean nations. For a UN committee that addresses human rights questions that affect people all over the world, by removing protections for LGBT persons from a category of arbitrary executions, belies the objective and purpose of a committee whose focus this year is “on the examination of human rights questions,” according to its website... Another region that unanimously supported the removal of sexual orientation from the resolution were the Carribean nations. Most noteworthy was the support from the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. Bromley indicated that the U.S. and human rights groups in the hemisphere have opportunities to forcefully advance LGBT rights through the Organization of American States (OAS) and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Brazil and Uruguay are international leaders on LGBT rights and can play a constructive role in bringing Carribean nations into the OAS fold on these issues, according to Bromley. (more on the links below)
(The New Civil Rights Movement) (IGLHR Article) (United Nation Press Release) (Results from the vote)
(
Jamaica Gleaner letter) (article in Guyana)

December 2, 2010: Important article on 'Murder Music' in New York Guernica magazine
TEXT INTRODUCTION: Jamaica’s dancehall music is being blamed for the country’s violent attacks on gays. But there are many who don’t see the music as homophobic, only the battle cry of a changing nation. Here is an excerpt: 'Dancehall is coming out the belly of Jamaican society,” said Donna Hope, a youthful-looking professor in the department and one of the leading voices on the music in Jamaican media. “Daggering, because of its visuals, has opened up a huge discussion about dancehall with a lot of people dismissing it as crass and corrupt. The generational dialogue is there. I see inherent and very visible class biases.” Hope chafed at criticism of contemporary Jamaican music, seeing dancehall as a scapegoat for larger social problems. “Dancehall is not just about gun violence but about poverty. The music is about anti-poverty, social justice. Of course the way it is expressed can sound a little strange and harsh. But we live in harsh times.”“Something is going on,” said Barry Chevannes, the University of the West Indies sociologist. Chevannes speaks in softly measured tones, and he emphasized an explanation rooted in Jamaica’s gun-overrun, hyper-competitive downtown neighborhoods to explain dancehall’s homosexuality fixation, where manhood is an earned status, and a difficult one at that. Jamaican men, said Chevannes, must demonstrate their masculinity to survive in their neighborhoods. “There is a contest for values and dancehall represents a sort of new frontier that frightens some people. What was private has been made public. Boundaries have been transgressed. Jamaica is at a cultural crossroads and the dust hasn’t settled.”(more on the links below)
(Guernica Magazine) (Paper-friendly version)

NOTE: People pointed out some innacurency in the text:
comments

December 22, 2010: United Nations: One step in the 'Right' direction ••• SEE NOV. 16, 2010 •••
TEXT FROM BLOG: The United Nations General Assembly tonight voted 93 for, 55 against with 27 abstaining to reinsert 'sexual orientation' into a resolution condemning extrajudicial killings. The vote followed the United States insistence on bringing the resolution back for another vote.
It was removed last month in a move led by African and Islamic countries. This means that 23 nations changed their vote to yes, 15 didn't vote no and nine more abstained - 47 in total went in a positive direction. This is a quarter of the UN membership. One third of African countries changed their vote positively, including Rwanda and Angola voting yes. Almost the whole of the Caribbean changed their vote positively, including Jamaica.
(more on the links below)
(LGBT Asylum News) (J-FLAG Press Release (DEC 16)) (LETTER: Jamaica Gleaner) The same letter was also publised in several newspaper in the Caribbean: Dominica's News Online, Guyana's Stabroek News, The Barbados Advocate and Bermuda's Royal Gazette.

December 26, 2010: US Visas Still Required
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: With the United States (US) being the major live performance destination for deejays, in a scenario where not only are music sales down worldwide but dancehall seems to have been hit particularly hard, the loss of a US visa can be a deejay's death knell. That bell tolled for four standout Jamaican deejays - Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Mavado, and Aidonia - in the first third of 2010, in addition to popular selector Ricky Trooper. Still, coming up to the end of the year, the afflicted quintet does not seem to have suffered greatly from being barred from entering the US. The news came on Wednesday, March 31, that the entertainers' US visas had been revoked, the American Embassy offering no explanation. In one case, though, there seemed to have been a strong possible cause for the effect - in a March 21 post on OvaDiWallEnt's YouTube channel under the title 'Ricky Trooper Tells All', the selector spoke extremely frankly, brandished what seemed to be a real handgun but he later said was a lighter and demanded, "put dis pon YouTube!" The video was duly posted. (more on the links below)
(Jamaica Gleaner)
NOTE: Ricky Trooper's clip is very violent and is a shame to Jamaican music. If you really want to watch it, you will find links under March 21, 2010.

December 30, 2010: Gay footballer in New Year Honours list
TEXT FROM ARTICLE A founder of one of the first gay football teams said he was "pinching himself" after being appointed an MBE. Londoner Aslie Pitter, 50, was recognised for helping to tackle homophobia after setting up London-based Stonewall FC almost 20 years ago. He told the BBC it was nerve-racking being one of the first openly gay teams to "put our heads on the block" and start playing Sunday football. But he said the team had barely received any abuse over the decades. Mr Pitter, who lives in Balham, south London, now manages Stonewall FC's second team. He said: "Being black and being gay I thought I might come in for a lot of stick. "In our first game we were sharing a communal shower with seven other teams and I was pretty nervous. "But it has never really been a problem." Unfortunately Mr Pitter's father died only days before the announcement. He said: "It is a shame neither of my parents were around to see it." Stonewall FC chairman Liam Jarnecki said: "Aslie is a wonderful guy. People like him are the salt of the earth and the lifeblood of grassroots football. "We're all overjoyed for him.". (more on the link below)
(BBC News)