JFLAG – Gays Reaffirm Jamaica’s History is anchored in tolerance

 

Friday October 29th by the Police Officer’s Club The J had a quiet protest which was originally scheduled for heroes day weekend but was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. Personally I have taken a decision after much contemplation not to take part in these public agitations AT THIS TIME given the sensitivities of my work on the ground and contacts etc, as a blogger and grassroots person I operate along very fragile lines.

Well it is refreshing to see these long awaited public outcries about our problems, sad that we didn’t do it when I was there but let us watch and see the impact if any these will have noting that this is the fifth such public protest in one year a historical feat thus this post will also be included in the LGBT History category. Respects to Mr. Maurice Tomlinson for pushing this as it seems he is the one really getting the work done by putting his career, life and reputation on the line.

The media however has barely recognized the previous agitations thus the real impact is not really seen or can be measured but the radio ads are currently being run.

Here is the Press Release from JFLAG along with the photo above of the placard bearing supporters.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GAYS REAFFIRM JAMAICA’S HISTORY IS ANCHORED IN TOLERANCE

Kingston — October 29, 2010
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.

Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS Free World clarified his organisation’s participation by stating that
“intolerance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons only serves to drive the HIV
epidemic underground”. He encouraged the nation to “Follow the lead of our heroes who fought
for the rights and dignity of all Jamaicans”.

Christine Smith, Chairperson of the all women group “Women For Women”, said that WFW’s involvement in this initiative was to remind Jamaicans that they can tolerate diversity and respect the rights of all Jamaicans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

J-FLAG and its supporters will continue to mount advocacy initiatives aimed at securing the
human rights of LGBT members.

~30~

Contact: Dane Lewis -Executive Director

Peace and tolerance

H

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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