Gareth in the news….

TORONTO, June 30 (UPI) —
The closing parade for Toronto’s 28th annual gay and lesbian pride festivities was attended by at least 1 million people, organizers said.
The downtown core was choked with men and women in wildly elaborate costumes, and in some cases, nothing but body paint, the Toronto Sun reported.
The parade wound through the city for three hours. There were no police reports of major problems, the newspaper said. For that matter, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and four other police forces had recruiting booths set up, the Sun said.
A first for this year was the inclusion of the Canadian armed forces, with about 18 soldiers, who has said they are gay, marching in the parade.
Politicians from the local up to federal level also marched, with the exception of anyone from the federal Conservative party, the Sun said.
The parade’s international grand marshal was Gareth Henry of Jamaica, who is seeking refugee status in Canada. He has told various local media he fled Jamaica because of police intimidation and says 13 of his friends have been killed there since 2004.
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The Words of a Victim of Disrimination, JUNE 2008

“In the first weeks of January two thousand and eight (2008) I was neglected by my family because they felt that I am not living in there eyes as the Christian believe and they strongly disagree that I cannot stay there anymore so immediately I have to dismiss the premises of my home and community,

It all started when my dad took away my phone and started on began to be inquisitive and saw things which contain my personal life and begin to act blusterous in a manner which he say that I should leave his house while I was in the back room he use a broom to hit me back on say that I should leave is house (Com out a mi hous an go live wit u dutty batty bwoy them, u nasty old reptile) and push me out of the house and through my thing out of the house and said that I should not come back and I must leave now, then went and started showing members of my family and community members my phone, to show that he has a prove to say that I am gay.

The members of the Church that I use to attend have all forsaken me and turn there backs as they don’t want any homosexual in there church as the bible does not support homosexuality.

The members of community are saying that they don’t want me in the community as I am a batty man and they don’t want no batty man in the community, and all batty boy fi dead.

Sence then I am in need of a place to live and I am also out of a Job.”

Admin – one of our new cases that has been documented, a young man, 20 years old living in Western Jamaica, now finds himself staying with friends because his family wants nothing to do with him. Another typical case of a young gay man left to fend for himself.

Preventive detention wrong

Dear Editor,
Preventive detention has existed in Jamaica for centuries. The colonial British, for example, detained thousands on plantations, in an effort to prevent them from exercising rights as human beings.
Since Jamaica’s independence, we have had preventive detention in different forms for much the same reasons as in colonial times – to restrict rights of those deemed to have no rights in the first place.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding, supported by people such as Professor Don Robotham, seems to be planning to enshrine in law the practices that have exacerbated social divisions for the past 500 years. Preventive detention has for years followed a pattern that looks like this:
. The police raid a community and hold 30 to 100 or more youth. The police may know they are looking for someone called “Fishface”, for example. However, they have no further information on this person, and no description.
. Most of the youth are released after “processing”, but two or three are further detained.
. The police say the youth are detained in connection with “crimes committed in the parish”, but provide relatives with no specifics on charges.
. Weeks or months pass during which the detainees remain in lock-up, often “awaiting identification parades”.
. The detainees may face several identification parades till one is finally identified, usually on charges of illegal possession of a gun or ammunition.
. The detainee is transferred from the police lock-up to the Horizon Remand Centre. He remains there for two or three years while trial dates are deferred because no witnesses turn up in court, or no gun or ammunition is produced.
. At the end of the lengthy detention, the judge may throw out the case because of absence of evidence, or the detainee may be found guilty despite lack of evidence.
One of the effects of preventive detention is to tarnish an innocent youth’s reputation and cause him to lose his job if he has been employed. Another effect is to convince a young offender that the police are not competent to ferret out his crimes, and that he can outsmart them because they seem too often to throw out a net and hope for an incidental catch.
Preventive detention had very limited impact on the plantation – lowering fear a bit between slave rebellions while increasing the hostility that arose from the social injustice in the first place. Some members of our present government have far more recent experiences of the trauma of preventive detention.
Hopefully, before our decision-makers yet again try to use gas to put out fires, they may realise the insanity of re-introducing past mistakes and expecting different results.
Yvonne McCalla Sobers
sobersy@yahoo.com

Sex, lies and videotapes….Interesting Piece

Sex, lies and videotapes
Lloyd B Smith
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

“I did not have sexual intercourse with that woman.” – Former United States President Bill Clinton during the heat of the Monica Lewinsky affair. The rest is history! Or his story?
The proposal that government should legalise prostitution then tax the proceeds of commercial sex workers has sparked much debate and controversy. Most stimulating if not titillating…………………..
Interesting observation Mr. Smith

Muzzled – Public officials face sanctions for unapproved utterances

A NEW debate has emerged on whether public servants should be allowed to express a personal or professional view on an issue that may run counter to government policy………………….

Click the post title for the full Gleaner article or HERE

Why does Mr. Golding thinks he has to to be this moral kingpin for everyone is there some deeper or other reasons for this particular attack it seems on the good Dr.?
It is not the first time that an official from the Ministry of Health has expressed views on decriminalizing Commercial sex work but it has never garnered such a quick and tersely worded response, who the hell Bruce Golding thinks he is. Do what you were put there to do and stop meddling in Ministry affairs let the relevant people see it fit to sanction where sanctioning is required.
Is he afraid that if the commercial sex workers acts are decriminalized that gays will join in next for the cry, he is late that cry has been out there and since the formation of JFLAG it has gotten louder and more organized.
Face up Prime Minister it takes all kinds to make the world go round your dream of being this all righteous Moses, just forget it.
So if an official sees something that can be changed then they can’t speak out………….is wah dis?
then we talk about a democracy……….a joke wi a joke, wi nuh ready yet
Damn you…….looking to gain political mileage at any cost, hmph!

Howie seh so………….one luv

Detain us, if you can, Interesting piece

Detain us, if you can
published: Tuesday June 24, 2008

by Vernon Daley

The police force, perhaps unwittingly, has given the best argument against the much talked about proposal for ‘preventive detention’.

Last week, the police released the names of 77 of the most wanted men in Kingston and St. Andrew alone. That’s a whole lot of wanted men walking about free among us, and when we consider that these fellows are drawn from only two parishes, the figure is even more alarming. Some 36 of those men are said to have committed dangerous gun crimes since the start of the year while the remaining 41 are wanted for crimes committed last year.

CLICK THE POST TITLE FOR THE FULL STORY

or HERE

An oldie but what u think ……………No to JFLAG intimidation

No to JFLAG intimidation
published: Friday February 8, 2008

The Editor, Sir:

I do not condone violence of any kind. However, I must comment on the letter ‘Govt urged to support JFLAG’, published on Thursday. Jamaica isn’t Canada, neither England nor the USA. We wish to differ from all European practices of morality. We will not be intimidated by special interest groups from the outside, trying to twist our arms. That is what the homosexual movement is trying to do, imposing their will on the rest of the world.

There is no such thing as trans-sexuals. No scientist can change the sex or gender of a person. Our sex and gender are determined by our sex chromosomes, not our anatomy. Men have XY chromosomes and women XX. Stop the deception. Satan used the same kind of deception on Adam and Eve. Rights groups, mind your own business.

Jamaica and other countries that do not accept the homosexual lifestyle will be like this forever. Stop imposing your will (values and morals) on us. We are Jamaicans, we love everyone, but we will not sell out our moral principles to pagans.

What next, appeal to the govern-ment to take prayer out of schools? Give me a break!

I am, etc.,

BRUCE GAYLE

brcygyl2@yahoo.com

Interesting …………………Balance of probabilities for release of prisoner

House of Lords

Published June 24, 2008

Life Sentence Review Commissioners v D

Before Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood and Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

Speeches June 11, 2008

The standard of proof to be established when the Life Sentence Review Commissioners were considering whether a prisoner who had served his tariff was no longer a risk to the public was the balance of probabilities.

The House of Lords so held, allowing an appeal by the commissioners from the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland (Lord Kerr, Chief Justice, Lord Justice Campbell and Lord Justice Higgins) (\ NI CA 33) who allowed the appeal of D from the dismissal by Mr Justice Girvan in the High Court of Northern Ireland (\ NI QB 33) of his application for judicial review of the commissioners’ decision not to release him on licence.

Mr John Larkin, QC and Mr Donald Sayers for the commissioners; Mr Gerald Simpson, QC and Mr Desmond Hutton for D; Mr Paul Maguire, QC and Mr David Scoffield for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, as intervener.

LORD CARSWELL said that the applicant was convicted in 1982 of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was released on licence in April 1996.

On March 5, 1997, he was arrested in consequence of an allegation by his niece, G, then aged 13, of buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency. On March 7, 1997 his licence was revoked by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Further allegations were made by G’s younger sister, L, and charges were brought against the applicant in respect of G’s complaint. Those charges were withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions on January 1998, apparently on the ground that it was not in the best welfare interests of the girls to require them to give evidence.

The applicant remained in prison and his suitability for release received periodic consideration. The Life Sentence Review Board declined to recommend his release, on the ground that they considered that he had committed the offences of which his nieces had complained and there was a continuing risk that he might commit further similar offences if released.

The Life Sentences (Northern Ireland) Order (SI 2001 No 2564 (NI 2)) came into force on October 8, 2001 and the commissioners were appointed to advise the secretary of state on the release or recall of life prisoners.

A panel of commissioners considered the complaints made by G and L. Both had been interviewed by social workers and the interviews recorded on video which the panel viewed. The panel received evidence from police officers, social workers, a forensic scientist, psychologists, the probation service and a prison governor.

The applicant gave evidence on his own behalf and called witnesses in his support. Neither G nor L was called to give evidence.

The panel was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the applicant sexually abused both G and L. The panel then considered the element of risk of the applicant committing further serious harm if released and decided that he should not be released at that stage.

The main subject of the appeal was the standard of proof applicable in such cases. Only two standards were recognised by the common law: proof on the balance of probabilities and proof beyond reasonable doubt. The latter standard was that required by the criminal law and in such areas as contempt of court and disciplinary proceedings brought against members of a profession. The former was that standard applicable to all other civil proceedings.

It was quite apparent that the panel had devoted very careful and anxious attention to the question. They went about their task in the proper manner. The evidence against the applicant was clear and cogent and pointed very strongly to the conclusion reached by the panel.

Lord Brown delivered a concurring speech; Lord Bingham, Lord Scott and Lord Neuberger agreed with Lord Carswell.

Solicitors: Cleaver Fulton Rankin, Belfast; Madden & Finucane, Belfast; Treasury Solicitor.

Advocates for Youth International Youth Leadership Council

By Dwayne Brown
Advocates for Youth International Youth Leadership Council, APRIL 2008
“We don’t know who to trust…only your ‘best friend’ knows your secret and only he/she can reveal it” said Bob Marley, a renowned reggae artist. Politicians, health care providers, guidance counselors, teachers, parents and pastors–are these individuals truly our ‘best friends’?
In Jamaica, HIV/AIDS has become an irreversible, non-competitive inhibitor to the standard of living, social viability, and ecology of the body and composure of young people regardless of sexuality, ethnicity, class, race, or culture. Even at present, the thought of being infected scares me. The reality for my friend was different. An intelligent young man, who was ready to take on the world, never knew what was in store for him around the corner. On July 15, 2004, his exuberance, dreams and aspirations were robbed by his aggressors who raped him at the age of 18. Four months later he was diagnosed with HIV.
According to the UNAIDS 2006 HIV/AIDS statistics, throughout the world, almost 6,000 youth ages 15 to 24 are infected with HIV every day. What does this statistic portray about the young people of the world? Far too often we are uneducated and mislead by our parents and the leaders of our society about sexuality, sexual intercourse, and HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, Jamaica is seen as a Christian country, yet the churches fail to educate the young people within their congregation and surrounding communities about HIV/AIDS. As a result, we are not informed about how to make right and responsible decisions about our sexual health and we become more vulnerable and susceptible to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
The proliferation of HIV/AIDS among Jamaica’s young people is alarming. Being sexually active is common among our peers. I can vividly recall the silence around discussing sex and sexuality issues in school and church. It was in 1999, my final year in junior high school, when almost all the girls that I had grown up with in school had dropped out because of pregnancy. Who are we to blame?
Contemporary Jamaican society is one of disparity, confusion, and obscurity. The government has said that youth are the priority of the nation, but clearly we are not number one among the long list of government priorities. The breach of confidentiality by health care providers and the lack of youth-friendly services is a crucial concern among young people. The fear of the repercussions of being stigmatized and discriminated against is reflected in the young people’s reluctance to seek health care.
Although the Jamaican National HIV/AIDS policy’s non-discrimination clause states “In respect for human rights and dignity of persons infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, there should be no discrimination against workers on the basis of real or perceived HIV status,” this is not the reality in practice in the Jamaican work environment.
Homophobia also plays a detrimental role once you are perceived as a ‘batty man,’ or gay, by wider society. Research indicates that homophobia in Jamaica is a powerful cultural influence which forces HIV/AIDS infected and affected young gay men from accessing medical care. I strongly believe that the political and wider Jamaican society needs to reform its approach to homosexuality in order to reduce the HIV transmission rate among young gay men.
When I look within my society, I see a lack of unity and a lack of understanding of the immense amount of struggles and suffering young people undergo. Which leads back to the question, “Where are our best friends?”