J-FLAG Responds to Police’s Assertion About Gays & Organised Crimes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kingston, Jamaica —July 12, 2011

J-FLAG notes with great concern the assertion made by Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, on TVJ’s Prime Time News on Monday, July 11, 2011, that young homosexual men are the main perpetrators of organised crimes in Jamaica.

While J-FLAG is concerned about increasing levels of crime across the island, we question this statement and its validity and caution the police from using stereotypes, such as dress and material lifestyle in their pronouncements regarding perpetrators. This is an irresponsible and incendiary pronouncement, coming from a senior police office. Furthermore, this broad brushing feeds directly into assumptions about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, an already marginalized and vulnerable group, and perpetuates social prejudice, inequality, harassment and violence.

Like all Jamaicans, J-FLAG is concerned about the high levels of crime and violence that exists in our country with organised crime being a major problem facing Jamaica over the last fifteen years. Furthermore, based on reports by the police, criminologists and other experts, Jamaican organised criminals function through gangs whose activities exploit the human condition, utilise extortion and protection rackets, supply illegal goods, and attempt to maneuver and camouflage their ill-gotten funds. This is a feature of a broader societal problem and limiting this to gays appears to diminish the intensity of the problem.

Given that organised crime threatens citizen safety and security and undermines democracy, retards economic development and can contribute to government instability, J-FLAG strongly believes that improving general awareness is critical to Jamaicans understanding their role in combating the various threats and reducing the harms they cause. While we fully understand that an individual’s sexual orientation does not absolve them from being involved in any type of crime, this type of profiling does more harm than good to an already stigmatized, disadvantaged and marginalized community.

J-FLAG also calls on SSP Bailey to furnish more information on the research to which he alluded so that the public can be much clearer on the parameters around which this “research” was conducted and can determine for themselves the validity of the findings shared.

J-FLAG fully supports the efforts of the Government and police to arrest all crimes and mitigate its impact on Jamaicans. We stand ready to partner with the police to reduce the incidence of crime. We invite SSP Fitz Bailey and his team to meet with us to share the types of organized crimes perpetrated by homosexuals, in order that we can support the effort of the police.

ENDS

there is talk since that maybe Superintendent Bailey’s comments were edited as he meant to say that the homosexuals were involved in the infamous lotto scam but when one listen to the television clip the reporter actually specified that he didn’t specify what type of crime under the organized crime umbrella the homosexuals were in. This sounds like some damage control attempt here to tackle JFLAG’s pretty worded press release from the conveyor belt.


He was speaking at a handing over ceremony of the newly refurbished Organised crime investigations office. Just when the community was in a way settled or settling from problems with the security forces and a seeming cordial relations now reached, sadly the reality is there are some in the LGBT community who may be involved in illegal activities and that may put an ugly face to the community in the eyes of the police and by extension the public but to simply label generally gays as criminals I am not so sure the other non gay underworld bosses are going to take kindly to this assertion.

As for the J’s press release it’s far too wordy and leaves some doubt in my mind as well on the last paragraph where they said:

“J-FLAG fully supports the efforts of the Government and police to arrest all crimes and mitigate its impact on Jamaicans. We stand ready to partner with the police to reduce the incidence of crime. We invite SSP Fitz Bailey and his team to meet with us to share the types of organized crimes perpetrated by homosexuals, in order that we can support the effort of the police.”

I was expecting the word “alleged’ in “crimes perpetrated by homosexuals” how does Mr. Bailey know the men involved are gay? and is it JFLAG’s business to be helping agents of the state to out persons? One wonders if this is a sellout too as this sounds like they will point out if needed these alleged gay or bisexual men. Very disturbing posturings from the J here.

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon

Observer cartoonist Clovis weighed in with this some what damning piece, I am not aware that the JFJ Jamaicans for Justice were opposed or expressed any such opposition to the issues as expressed by SSP Bailey. Sadly this is what many maybe thinking now as well as profiling and stereotyping has always been an issue with associated the vilified effeminacy in males which is also not only a part of Jamaica’s homophobia but also a stinging effemophobia within the LGBT body politic.

This matter is not dying anytime soon it seems

UPDATE July 14

JCF apologises for ‘gay crime’ statement

Apology Accepted JCF but some questions on several fronts still linger …

Peace and tolerance

H

UPDATE July 26.07.11

Jamaica Observer Cartoonist Clovis has been doing some mixed pieces incorporating effeminacy with machosim or machismo and the recent murders possibly suggesting gay culture in the underground or underworld as well. The toons have been receiving mixed reactions from the LGBT body politic.

Miss Gay Caribbean Pageant 2011 ……………..

 CONGRATULATIONS TO JAMAICA we placed third in this year’race see more on GLBTQ Jamaica on blogger



Here are the preview pics of our representative this year in the Miss Gay Caribbean USA pageant, sadly the reighning queen Jennifer Banks who became a leading transgender/transsexual figure since her winning the crown hailing from Trinidad passed away from liver failure in June 2011.

See more on that sad issue on my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica where I dedicated an entry to her:


Jennifer Banks in happier times when she performed at last years competition and won
Read here to see the original pics from the competition in NY September 2010 from the WordPress Edition

The female impersonator Charley Marie was born after watching a live drag show. Now with four years of performing experience under her belt, she is the proud ambassador for Jamaica at the 2011 Gay Caribbean USA Pageant.

Charley Marie wants to show off her creativity and many talents at the pageant. She also hopes that her presence at the pageant will open more doors of opportunity for her as an entertainer. She is inspired by the likes of RuPaul and Harmonica Sunbeam.

Miss Jamaica Lyana Grey seen here in swim wear did not place last year

XXXXTTTRRAAZZZZZ Videos

Part One – Hemish Gervis chats with contestants vieing for the crown of 2011 Miss Gay Caribbean USA. In this interview are Miss Jamaica, Miss Barbados, Miss Haiti and Miss St. Lucia.

Hemish Gervis interviews the first ever lesbian pageant contestant, Stefon Iman who is a Male Impersonator and represents Puerto Rico.

Part Two – Hemish Gervis chats with contestants vieing for the crown of 2011 Miss Gay Caribbean USA. In this interview are Miss Guyana, Miss Trinidad & Tobago and Miss Dominican Republic.

Gay cruiser suffers broken arm after tussle

As we continue to look at homophobic incidents covering the LGBT spectrum with particular interest in the active gay cruising communities this time a more masculine brother had an altercation some two weeks ago in downtown Kingston after he was accused of being a battyman by a group of thugs who wash cars on an open lot. The victim in this case is a known cruiser to the community and has been doing this kind of expression for some time, he is also personally known to me. My concerns became apparent recently when at a party where he attended his left arm was in a sling and was bandaged at some points with plaster of paris over the fingers. I inquired as to what had happened and he proceeded to explain.

I took his word for it and have no reason to doubt him, he said that one of the men had recalled an older altercation some years ago when a section of downtown in the west Kingston region was an active hunting ground for hook ups and partnered masturbation sessions for a quick release. He was apparently caught while trying to get the attention of a man who was urinating by a post just infront the active spot. The man who caught him at the time recognized him as he passed by raised an alarm at the time but he made good his escape the man turned out to be one of the washers who saw him and made the alarm as he walked passed them on that faithful afternoon around 2pm they launched their attack inflicting some blows but due to his physical built he was able to manoeuvre around them, being four men with one joining later in the struggle however it was when he was tripped he said that he landed on his arm with all the weight of his own body plus two others almost in a football/rugby typed tackle also landed on him that caused his arm to break, he said they inflicted blows then but he fought out of  it and rose again to take them on. It was an unsuspecting taxi driver who came by apparently to have his car washed that caused a distraction so he could move away slowly from the scene, the thugs pointed him out to the taxi driver as a battyman but in disbelief probably due to the masculine presentation of our victim here he didn’t buy the story and concluded it may have been something else. Thankfully it ended as it did and he says he won’t be taking the matter to the police when I asked him.

Maybe if it weren’t for the previous incident that long time ago this would not have happened I am assuming and he would have been assumed straight as our profiling standards and as was proven by the reaction of the taxi driver, another clear indication yet that effeminate behaviour in public by men is the main marker used to determine a gay person and subsequent phobic responses.

The active cruising community has been having serious fallouts as of late especially since the Tivoli Incursion and a section of town that was a long time pick up and make out spot I might dare say has been transformed into a parking lot and with the rolling out of the trains in recent months that section has also been physically changed leading to the men having to find other spots. It seems however there are psychological issues associated with these radical changes as their behaviour patterns seem to be causing some unneeded attention.

See this previous post: Lewd conduct Some Cruising Challenges ……….

Sadly this part of the MSM population that also includes homeless brothers and commercial sex workers does not get the scrutiny they deserve as there are no sustained outreach programs for them save and except if they are in trouble and call JFLAG they maybe get some assistance if it falls on the right ears or if some others like myself who understand the street in a small way other than that they are out in the cold. It was also some weeks ago than an exhibitionist was chased by a mob for openly masturbating in public (after a downpour) allegedly whilst staring at a man urinating at a light post in Kingston. Certainly we all want to get release of have our kicks but to go to such lengths to get them requires some more in-depth psychological analysis perhaps to help us understand the reasons for a need for outdoor sexual activity, this is in no way to suggest the men are mentally challenged or have any such issues.

Sadly too they do not probably get to read blogs such as this or access to online LGBT discourse as this hence highlighting them.

The discussion goes on.

Peace and tolerance

H

Proposal to decriminalise homosexuality in Zimbabwe

Source: 

BY JENNIFER DUBE

 

A consultant hired by the National Aids Council (NAC) to review Zimbabwe’s response to the Aids pandemic has recommended a review of the Sexual Offences Act to deal with “homosexuality and prostitution in a pragmatic way.”
The law in its present form criminalises homosexuality and prostitution.
Zimbabwe, which is predominantly Christian, also considers both practices alien.
But the study carried out by the consultant who cannot be named for professional reasons encourages Zimbabweans to be open-minded about homosexuality and other sexual practices if the pandemic, killing thousands of people every week, is to be brought under control.
The same document calls for the review of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council Act so that “contraceptives should be made available in schools,…stipulates placing condoms in hotels, night clubs and beer halls.”
The recommendation on condoms in schools, first reported in The Standard, has sparked a fierce debate but it is likely to be paled by the suggestion that the country must have a relook at its anti-sodomy laws.
Men having sex with other men (MSM) have been singled out along commercial sex workers as some of the most vulnerable groups in HIV transmission in Zimbabwe.
A recent study on the modes of HIV transmission in the country indicated that MSM accounted for 4% of new infections and 0,4% for female partners of MSM.
Commercial sex workers account for 1,4% of new infections.
The Zimbabwe National HIV and Aids Strategic Plan (ZNASP) also calls for “a review and update of the national regulatory framework to reflect the latest developments in the HIV situation and response to the epidemic.”
NAC said the consultant was hired to review all the Acts, declarations and protocols that deal with the fight against HIV and Aids.
The council says it is not actively advocating for the recommendations, such as the decriminalisation of homosexuality, but would encourage debate around the issues.
Tapuwa Magure, the NAC CEO said the organisation was yet to consider the recommendations and come up of with a position, especially on the controversial issues such as placing condoms in schools and homosexuality.
“We hired a consultant who made those recommendations but we have not yet sat down to go through them as an organisation so we currently do not have a position regarding them,” he said.
“We however believe that all populations, be it the disabled or prisoners, should have access to interventions and as a country, we are doing well in this regard.
“It was a bit premature to present those recommendations to the media but we will be having a position in due course.”
The country’s HIV prevalence rate in adults currently stands at 13,1% and is considered to be among the highest in the world.
President Robert Mugabe once labelled homosexuals as worse than dogs and pigs.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also angered civic groups last year when he strongly spoke against homosexuality.
Zimbabwe has also resisted calls to provide prisoners with condoms despite widespread reports that inmates engage in sexual activities. South Africa is the only African country that has decriminalised homosexuality.

 

‘Gays forced underground’

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) said the criminalisation of homosexuality and the prevailing homophobic climate was driving most gay people underground.
“Service providers such as doctors and nurses also tend to develop negative attitudes when dealing with LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gendered) people as a result of lack of information,” GALZ said.
“In terms of HIV prevention this is serious, particularly as GALZ is the only organisation in Zimbabwe providing services specifically to the lesbian and gay community; and very few other HIV/Aids organisations even consider MSM/ women having sex with women (WSW) in their intervention work.”
Zimbabwe has no data for sexual minorities, but studies done in Botswana and Malawi among other regional countries estimate that HIV prevalence among MSM is between 20% to 33%.
The studies also concluded that the risk of men acquiring HIV during unprotected receptive anal sex is 10 times higher than during insensitive anal sex or unprotected vaginal sex with a woman.
GALZ said while HIV/Aids issues were being “heterosexualised” in Zimbabwe, minority groups were even more at risk of contracting HIV through anal sex and some MSM had female partners thus, expanding the HIV network.

“The right to health should be accorded to everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, sex or creed,” GALZ said in response to the recommendations by the NAC consultant.
“Decriminalising consensual same sex practise will reduce fear, stigma and discrimination as it has to be accompanied by education, trainings and sensitisation of all stakeholders including the police.
“Availability of information and proper protective barrier methods for MSM will go a long way in preventing further new infections among MSM who do contribute to the generalised epidemic in Zimbabwe (and) reduction of sexual networks or multiple concurrent relationships among these groups through education and empowerment without fear or persecution (can help).”

Gleaner EDITORIAL – Discrimination Against Gays: A Great Folly

Jamaica Gleaner Company

WE WONDER what background checks, if any, Prime Minister Bruce Golding caused to be conducted on the members of his new Cabinet, and whether prospective ministers were required to provide the PM with any assurances about their lifestyles.

Or, perhaps it is that Mr Golding has changed his mind since his May 2008 “not in my Cabinet” remark to a BBC interviewer about the capacity of homosexuals to serve in Jamaican governments.

Mr Golding’s homophobic bigotry, of course, was largely a populist play to the political gallery – a cheap and easy grab for votes that would tax neither leadership nor the imagination.

By now, however, Mr Golding, and the administration more broadly, must be aware that such declarations as the prime minister’s, giving legitimacy to anti-gay discrimination, not only fly in the face of the respect for human rights, but have negative social and economic impact on communities and run counter to the direction of progressive societies.

Division with New york

New York, the city and the state, are places to which many Jamaicans would like to emigrate, as several thousands do every year. Indeed, tens of thousands of Jamaicans live in the state. Last month, the New York state legislature, with the backing of the governor, Andrew Cuomo, who is married with two daughters, passed a bill approving same-sex marriage in the state.

New York, in the process, joined six other states – Iowa, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, DC – that allow same-sex marriages. Significantly, with New York’s population of 19 million, its law more than doubled to 35 million the number of Americans who live in states that recognise such marriages. Additionally, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and Rhode Island recognise civil unions between gay couples.

Such moves not only expand the right of individuals, but have other benefits, such as the estimate by many informed observers that New York’s decision will lead to the inflow of upwards of US$400 million of business to that state.

Ja losing out

It is attracting this kind of economic activity that Jamaica has limited, if not proscribed by the global projection of its homophobic stance. For instance, in the United States the buying power of the gay community is estimated at US$743 billion. And gays tend to have a greater capacity of discretionary spending. Few, for instance, have children to support, which means, calculating based on a singular child, around US$20,000 a year of discretionary cash.

In that regard, gays are in a better position than heterosexual couples to spend on leisure, including on travel, which can benefit tourist economies such as our own. It is not surprising that American businesses are now openly targeting the gay community, such as the the wealth-management podcasts and symposiums promoted by the investment bankers Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

For Jamaica to attract some of this wealth, people have to be assured of a greater level of tolerance, especially from the Jamaican state. In that context, archaic laws, like the one against buggery, have to be repealed.

But as we noted before, this is not purely an economic issue, but respect for individuals’ rights, which is what the Obama administration recognises with its repeal of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ stipulation for gays entering the military, and in ending its defence at the federal level of the Defence of Marriage Act.

The opinions on this page, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Gleaner. To respond to a Gleaner editorial, email us: editor@gleanerjm.com or fax: 922-6223. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all responses will be published.

ENDS

My two cents

This article seems timely as the Jamaica Labour Party is regaining momentum following the Manatt issues and the protracted wage negotiations that at one point looked as if they were about to be the ruin of the party now all seems clearer, a reshuffled cabinet but a disgruntled former Minister and General Secretary of the party who had crossed the floor before question is will he cross again? Meanwhile the opposition PNP has its set of issues where a Sharon Hay Webster may very well be courted to cross the floor as well given her recent resignation due to the dual citizenship matter that she is being blamed for the recent fall in ratings of the party. She did not disclose earlier that she was a US born politician.

The surprise news of a marriage on the weekend by the council member from the Jamaica Labour Party who earlier this year was accused of same sex activity is also leaving questions in the minds of a few, why marry now? was he under pressure from the party’s hierarchy as is believed to “straighten up” his public image following the damning accusations? There is never a dull day in the life of Jamaican politics

see: Ruling “Not In My Cabinet” JLP Politician Suspected Of Buggery

Is this a pink jab well orchestrated by the contacts in media with the advocates that we are not privy to or a real concern for rights based issues for LGBT people? although the paper has given space to tolerance issues etc but if we are to speak on such issues there has to be some ethical and moral footing on which to stand, not some timely article to play into the political fortunes or misfortunes of the day in order to bring in another party to power, a party by the way that has a greater LGBT support but has sided with the governing party and the anti gay Lawyers’s Christian Fellowship conveniently to avoid been seen as supporting battyism and playing to popular public sentiments. Should we really vote for these two parties or take the lesser of the evils and push harder?

Interesting times lie ahead friends

Also see the “LINE IN THE SAND series found exclusively on my sister blog GAY Jamaica Watch on blogger

Here is an example of the pounding the “Driva” has been getting from sections of the media

Peace and tolerance

H