Florida Attorney Helps LGBT Jamaicans Seek Asylum

Originally posted on GLBTQ Jamaica Blogger 

Homophobia still runs rampant around much of the world, but the global LGBT community is experiencing change as human rights advocates like Grace Gomez fight for change.


Grace Gomez, a lawyer working with LGBT asylum seekers in the United States, has been making some progressive changes working with displaced LGBT Jamaicans in Florida.


Grace Gomez


Homophobia is a prominent mindset throughout the country and the United States serves as a haven for some refugees who Gomez has helped to seek asylum. Their stories of hardship are heart-wrenching, as the possibility of being beaten, stabbed, or jailed is an everyday reality for LGBT Jamaicans.


Gomez specializes in immigration law and has become a passionate champion for LGBT asylum seekers globally. When she began her immigration work, she knew nothing about the injustices facing LGBT communities around the world, and she definitely didn’t expect to become so involved in her work. The passion for her work was inevitable; after hearing the stories and gaining the trust of her clients, her mission became to change the lives of even just a few immigrants. 


According to Grace, once she won the trust of the Jamaican LGBT community it became much easier to understand the innate and ingrained fears that they had of their government, families, and country.


Many LGBT Jamaicans in the United States seeking asylum have been completely shunned and outcast. It was hard for Gomez to even get her clients comfortable saying the word “gay” as they more often claimed to “be on the other side;” a term coined out of fear and socially learned prejudice. This violent discrimination, from beatings to murders, is a reality instilled in the community dynamic. Even harboring someone suspected of being gay has violent repercussions.


A client of Gomez, who out of fear for his life would like to remain unnamed, was emotional as he explained his conditions and that of his fellow Jamaicans who were “lost” prior to meeting Gomez. He said that she “helped put things into perspective for me, and told me I could file for asylum or withholding.”

As defined by the United Nations persons claiming asylum must establish a “well-founded” fear of persecution, based on one of five grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion. The asylum seeker must prove their case and the courts are obligated by law to protect the refugee.


Withholding is defined under Article 3 and requires applicants to establish that it is more likely than not that they would be tortured if removed to a specific country. It is truly up to an Immigration Judge to decide if the candidate for asylum meets the standard. The notable difference is that asylum is discretionary while Article 3 protection is mandatory.


Relief from deportation under Withholding of Removal is found in the Immigration and Nationality Act under §241(b)(3) and 8 U.S.C. §1231 (b)(3). Under this section, the Attorney General “may not remove an alien to a country if the Attorney General decides that the alien’s life or freedom would be threatened in that country because of the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”


Furthermore, a grant of withholding of removal under INA § 241 (b)(3) provides for amandatory prohibition against removal of a person to a country when that person has met the burden of proof, in contrast to the discretionary relief available under a grant of asylum.


An application for asylum under 8 U.S.C. §1158 is generally considered an application for withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. §1231(b)(3) as well. Thus, if the determination is made that a person’s life or freedom would be threatened if returned to Jamaica because they are homosexual, they are entitled to mandatory relief from removal to that country.


As Gomez’s client describes his feeling about being in court he explains, “[I]t felt like I went in there with a mask on, and when I came out, it felt like I could take my mask off.” That liberating moment is one that many gay Jamaicans trapped in their home country will never experience.


Jamaica gives no protection to its gay citizens as the law clearly denounces homosexual acts between men as illegal both publicly and privately. Law enforcement officers actively partake in the discrimination and turn a blind eye towards hate crimes. The judges and court system seem are unaware of the depth of the issue and discriminate just as law enforcement does.


Since protection under the law does not exist locally for LGBT Jamaicans, human rights advocates like Gomez are vital to not only creating a safe place within Jamaica but also changing the perspective of LGBT rights and rule of law in our global community. It is vital to recognize the imbalances of equality that exist around the world in order to demand change and more importantly affect it.

Angela D. Giampolo is an attorney, avid entrepreneur, and advocate for the LGBT community. Her column informs readers about changes affecting the LGBT community and provides expert advice on varying topics. As Founder and Principal of Giampolo Law Group, her goal is to provide a safe place for the LGBT community to service their legal needs and have their business and entrepreneurial questions answered. To learn more about Giampolo Law Group visit www.giampololaw.com and to read more articles, you can visit the firm’s two blogs at www.phillygaylawyer.com and www.lifeinhouse.com. To contact Angela directly with your business and legal related questions email her at: angela@giampololaw.com.

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More readings for Bisexuality month, Day – September 23

Here are some more resources for your perusal from the above captioned site on bisexuality, help to recognise our Bi individuals locally.

also see EXCLUSIVELY ON THIS BLOG:

“LGBT” advocates – nonengagement of bisexual issues = Biophobia by default

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid (or KSOG) is a system for describing a person’s sexual proclivities in a way more detailed and informative than previous methods. It was introduced by Dr. Fritz Klein (1932-2006) in his book The Bisexual Option.

The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid is shown in the table below. For each person, it sets out the seven component variables of sexual orientation, listed as A through G down the left side. The three columns indicate three different points at which sexual orientation is assessed: the person’s past, their present, and their ideal. The person then receives a rating from 1 to 7 for each of the 21 resulting combinations, one rating for each empty box in the chart below. The meanings of the ratings are indicated just below the grid itself.

For variables A to E:

1 = Other sex only
2 = Other sex mostly
3 = Other sex somewhat more
4 = Both sexes
5 = Same sex somewhat more
6 = Same sex mostly
7 = Same sex only

For variables F and G:

1 = Heterosexual only
2 = Heterosexual mostly
3 = Heterosexual somewhat more
4 = Hetero/Gay-Lesbian equally
5 = Gay/Lesbian somewhat more
6 = Gay/Lesbian mostly
7 = Gay/Lesbian only

Definitions helpful in using the Klein scale*:

Past: Your life up to 12 months ago.
Present: The most recent 12 months
Ideal: What do you think you would eventually like?

The Variables:

Sexual Attraction: To whom are you sexually attracted?

Sexual Behavior: With whom have you actually had sex?

Sexual Fantasies: Whom are your sexual fantasies about? (They may occur during masturbation, daydreaming, as part of real life, or purely in your imagination.)

Emotional Preference: Emotions influence, if not define, the actual physical act of love. Do you love and like only members of the same sex, only members of the other sex, or members of both sexes?

Social Preference: Social preference is closely allied with but often different from emotional preference. With members of which sex do you socialize?

Lifestyle Preference: What is the sexual identity of the people with whom you socialize?

Sexual Identity: How do you think of yourself?

Political Identity: Some people describe their relationship to the rest of society differently than their personal sexual identity. For instance, a woman may have a heterosexualsexual identity, but a lesbian political identity. How do you think of yourself politically?

Note that the Klein Grid takes into consideration the fact that many people change their orientation over time. Where a person is today is not necessarily where she or he was in the past — or, for that matter, where he or she will be or would like to be in the future. The concept of sexual orientation as an ongoing dynamic process is necessary if we are to understand a person’s orientation properly in its entirety. A more detailed explanation is found in Chapter 2 of Dr. Klein’s book The Bisexual Option.

Please note that although it is entirely possible for an individual to utilize the Klein Grid for the purposes of better determining self identification through a process of self assessment, if you are in the process of coming out as bisexual, the best option is to seek the guidance of a professional therapist who understands bisexuality.

http://kleingridonline.com/

 

The Bisexual Option was originally published in 1978 by Haworth Press, with a Second Edition published in 1993 by Routledge, and is today published by Taylor And Francis, who also publish the Journal Of Bisexuality. Written by Fritz Klein, The Bisexual Option not only offers an in depth exploration and a detailed overview of bisexuality and an explanation of the bisexual, but it also shatters many commonly held myths about this mostly “unseen” but in reality very prevalent segment of society.

Now in its second edition, this intriguing book gives an overview of bisexuality. The publisher, Taylor And Francis, says that “there is still no book that covers the subject like this one, it is must reading for establishing a contemporary view of bisexuality and those committed to a bisexual lifestyle.”

The book is divided into three “parts”. Part One, entitled, “What Is Bisexuality?” begins with the first chapter entitled “The Threat” by discussing the reality that many homosexuals and heterosexuals view the bisexual as a “threat” and goes on to dicuss the myth of the “non existence” of bisexuals still held by many in society and the sense of “either/or”.

Chapter Two moves on towards a definition of bisexuality, as the various dimensions, facets, and aspects of the bisexual’s definition are given andThe Klein Sexual Orientation Grid is explained in detial. An analysis of cultural and biological factors of sexual orientation is also presented.

Chapter Three offers a discussion and study of bisexual intimacy, beginning with the differences in between sexual and emotional intimacy, and the connection between intimacy and hetero- and homophobia, including a profile of a heterosexual male who is able to be emotionally intimate with men. Chapter Four offers a new look at and an explanation of the of the Oedipus complex and the view that both homosexuals and bisexuals are able to resolve it successfully, accompanied by an example showing how one bisexual male has resolved it.

Part Two, “Bisexuality and Health“, is comprised of the next three chapters, which detail the differences between “The Healthy Bisexual” and “The Troubled Bisexual”. This begins with a definition of neurosis and the various types of troubled bisexuals, as well as the healthy functioning of the bisexual and then offers profiles of four troubled male and female bisexuals and three healthy male and female bisexuals.

The last three chapters form Part Three, “The Bisexual In Society“. Chapter Eight, “Sociological Findings” offers further discussion of the mistrust and misunderstanding of the bisexual by the heterosexual and homosexual communities and Chapter Nine, “The Bisexual In History And The Arts” will lay to rest any thoughts off bisexuality being something “new” as it gives a list of famous bisexuals both past and present including profiles of Alexander the Great, Oscar Wilde, Somerset Maugham, and Colette as well as a review of Greek civilization and the Bloomsbury Group. A list of examples as well as a discussion of three works in which the bisexual “ideal” and “truth” are portrayed is also given.

The tenth and final chapter regarding “The Bisexual Future” is a discussion of nine factors influencing bisexuality: AIDS, sex roles and stereotypes, androgyny, friendship and lovers, family, “gay lib,” the women’s movement and feminism, myths, and dilemmas. The book also offers 2 Appendices, “The Bisexual As Portayed In The Arts”, the results of a Bisexual Survey, and a full Bibliography.

Bruce Golding on “Is Jamaica Homophobic?” (Repost)

FOR THE READER WHO REQUESTED MY TWO CENTS ON THIS

Is Jamaica Homophobic? (transcript)

Originally published on BigThink.com

Video also available via the link above

Question:

Why are homosexual acts illegal in Jamaica?

Bruce Golding: 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.

There are some real fears.

The basic unit of a society is a family, and there is a passionate concern in Jamaica about protecting the integrity of the family.

And it is felt that encouragement or recognition of the appropriateness of the homosexual lifestyle is going to undermine the effectiveness of that family unit and, in that process, undermine the basic fabric of a society.

But I think much of what has been carried in the international media in terms of homophobia in Jamaica is grossly exaggerated. Homosexuals in Jamaica, they live and they enjoy their relationship.

They are intermingled with heterosexuals, they have normal relations with heterosexuals, but they do have their private relationships.

And so long is that is so, I don’t believe that the people in Jamaica are going to be particularly perturbed.

What is illegal in Jamaica is buggery, which is in fact making homosexual acts illegal. There have been very, very few prosecutions; very, very few. And in most instances, there are prosecutions because there is a complaint by a victim. So that it’s not the flashpoint issue that many people in the international media claim that it is.

Recorded on September 25, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman

ENDS

The Prime Minister is right when he says that homosexuality is not illegal but Buggery is but this business of persons flaunting is what the hell is that?

As for buggery prosecutions there are indeed few prosecutions as it relates to consenting adults it’s mostly same sex paedophiles that go to full trials as nationally paedophilia is loathed by both same gender loving persons and the mainstream alike but the fallout that comes with such a charge hanging over a consenting couple who were barged in by cops after nosy neighbours call the police or persons caught in public the more egregious charge of buggery is applied instead of gross indecency until it can be proven via a doctor’s report where certain things must be found to be present on either the perpetrator and or the “victim” or passive partner. For example spermatozoa cells which are present in all normally sexually active males are the main items listed on the report and if a condom was present spermicides etc must be present in or on the passive partner. With DNA testing now in vogue other things such as skin cells maybe considered and used by ones own private investigator if one can afford it while the examination of the doctor is being done. The difficulty is that the consenting adults caught in the act or charged with buggery are left displaced, ostracized from their family and so called friends and have to rebuild their lives piece by piece often times without real support from anyone or the advocacy structure which woefully lacks pyscho-social interventions or counseling resident services.

If we are such a predominantly christian principles how comes we have such a high crime rates?

Does he think that homosexual lifestyle as he puts it means effeminate or masculine behaviours coming from the opposite gender of the individual expressing same?

How dare he says that most of what is carried by the international media is over exaggerated when the evidence on the ground

Where does Mr. Golding get the notion that same gender loving people somehow are going to destroy the family unit or structure when we have strong evidence overseas where gay couples raise either adopted or fostered children or surrogate birthed children from a sperm donor usually one half of a two male relationship or sperm from a gay donor or sperm bank for two female relationships. The children do not turn out “damaged” as the fear is planted by the anti gay lobby when they refuse to accept the evidence right before our eyes. In fact there maybe ways to have same sex couples produce offspring as I had posted on Gay Jamaica Watch – (pic taken from post)

Sexual Reproduction for Same Sex Couples?

Gay Couple

Clearly the fear of the unknown and the playing to the gallery is what is of importance here to win votes and stay popular as the politics of the day demands. Politicians fear touching this subject directly or seeming to be remotely tolerant as persons may view it as supporting “nastiness”

PM Golding seen here gesticulating in a documentary called “Taboo Yardies” where he said among other things “…… I have challenged the gay community to explain, when they insist that we must change our laws to recognize and accept homosexual relations as a normal thing and we must do it because people should be free to choose, that’s the philosophical argument ….” 

Peace and tolerance.

H

Will J-FLAG, Other Rights Groups Support Paedophiles? (Gleaner Letter 10.09.11)

Readers yet another hint to the supposed confusion between adult same gender loving relationships importantly with consent versus paedophilia which are NOT one in the same. Over these many years we as a community and the advocates namely Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG (yet again we have to see the failings) in their proper role as such have poorly rebutted these misconceptions of the two from mainly the tabloids presenting sensational stories of rapes, abuses on children and teens as done so by supposed gay men when we know that most paedophiles including those who carry out same gender paedophilia are heterosexual and the motivator for such crimes is psychological control of the victim(s) more so than sex. Homosexuality has not been linked to paedophilia in any scientific way or any studies that can stand.

But we lack again another element urgently needed which falls under the psychological interventions to be incorporated into LGBT activism, we are eons away from there it seems as the recent homeless MSM civil disobedience and fallout has proven as it is those very glaring missing frontline elements that led to it to have happened a second time.

An article on the issue elsewhere comes to mind from 2010 where the Vatican’s number two linked paedophilia to homosexuality, prompting strong condemnation from gay rights advocates and several governments, including France’s. As a result, the Vatican distanced itself from the remarks. Is this latest spat an illustration of the mindset within the Vatican, or is it evidence of the media’s hounding of the Catholic Church? see the link for the video

http://www.france24.com/en/20100415-church-paedophilia-is-homosexuality-to-blame and http://glbtqjamaica.blogspot.com/2010/04/pedophilia-linked-to-homosexuality-says.html

Have a read of the letter from the Gleaner, my two cents continues below that: 

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I’m inviting J-FLAG to explain to Jamaica what ‘all-sexuals’ means in its name. Does it mean persons with all kinds of sexual preferences, such as persons who prefer (or rather, as J-FLAG would put it, are orientated) to have sex with animals, children or family members?

I would like to hear J-FLAG’s position on paedophilia because of a recent article in the United States which showed that there is such a group called the National Man-Boy Association and another called B 4 U ACT, which are both organisations for paedophiles. One of their aims is to normalise adult sex with pubescent and pre-pubescent children. They are encouraged by the removal of homosexuality from the list of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the 1970s. They acknowledge that it was staunch lobbying and political will that led to this removal, and so also want paedophilia to be removed from the DSM.

Sexual pleasure and confidence

Interestingly, The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has as one of its goals: “Young people must be able to have pleasure and confidence in relationships and all aspects of sexuality.” IPPF identifies young people as being from the age of 10-24. Does IPPF mean by “all aspects of sexuality” that young people should welcome or participate in sex with animals, children or family members? Or is IPPF a cover for the legalisation of paedophilia?

Finally, note the trajectory we are on in Jamaica of seeking to legitimise homosexuality and see where it leads. I read recently an article which referenced an essay called ‘The Overhauling of Straight America’ that strategies put forward to normalise and mainstream homosexuality, included talking about gays and gayness as loudly and often as possible; portraying gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers; giving protectors a just cause; making gays look good; making victimisers look bad; and launching media campaigns.

We can see this pattern in the pro-gay movement in Jamaica. So I just want to know what J-FLAG stands for, and if protecting tolerance for ‘all-sexuals’, particularly the all-sexuals who prefer children, will be part of their objectives.

I also invite Families Against State Terrorism, the Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights and all the other groups which support J-FLAG to let me know if they would support those who maintain that sex with minors and animals should also be a recognised and legalised0 right.

MOTHER OF TWO

ENDS

The way the letter writer groups the other human rights groups in the bag with the J has made them tainted and I fear there maybe some withdrawal of support if only for the short term as many of the boards of these groups have  homophobes on them who may not want the organizations that they have oversight for to go down that road. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) which is being debated and put together for May 2013 it seems disingenuous that the writer did not bother to double check before putting pen to paper as the proposed DSM 5 site is up and running and clearly states the present circumstances despite the agitations from the so called pedo groups.

See

Pedohebephilic Disorder

Rationale

[1] The Paraphilias Subworkgroup is proposing two broad changes that affect all or several of the paraphilia diagnoses, in addition to various amendments to specific diagnoses. The first broad change follows from our consensus that paraphilias are not ipso facto psychiatric disorders. We are proposing that the DSM-V make a distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders. A paraphilia by itself would not automatically justify or require psychiatric intervention. A paraphilic disorder is a paraphilia that causes distress or impairment to the individual or harm to others. One would ascertain a paraphilia (according to the nature of the urges, fantasies, or behaviors) but diagnose a paraphilic disorder (on the basis of distress and impairment). In this conception, having a paraphilia would be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for having a paraphilic disorder.

This approach leaves intact the distinction between normative and non-normative sexual behavior, which could be important to researchers, but without automatically labeling non-normative sexual behavior as psychopathological. It also eliminates certain logical absurdities in the DSM-IV-TR. In that version, for example, a man cannot be classified as a transvestite—however much he cross-dresses and however sexually exciting that is to him—unless he is unhappy about this activity or impaired by it. This change in viewpoint would be reflected in the diagnostic criteria sets by the addition of the word “Disorder” to all the paraphilias. Thus, Sexual Sadism would become Sexual Sadism Disorder; Sexual Masochism would become Sexual Masochism Disorder, and so on.

In general, the distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders is reflected in the format of the diagnostic criteria for specific paraphilias. Paraphilias are ascertained according to the “A” criteria, and paraphilic disorders are diagnosed according to the “A” and “B” criteria. The distinction between paraphilias and paraphilic disorders is discussed in the context of specific diagnoses by Blanchard (2009b, 2009c). CONTINUE HERE

Pedophilia

A. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger).

B. The person has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.

C. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion A.

Note: Do not include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12- or 13- year-old.

Specify if:

Sexually Attracted to Males

Sexually Attracted to Females

Sexually Attracted to Both

Specify if:

Limited to Incest

Specify type:

Exclusive Type (attracted only to children)

Nonexclusive Type

CONTINUE HERE
also see:  Why most “pedophiles” aren’t really pedophiles, technically speaking or Crowds gather at Mandeville Courthouse for Trade show man charged with indecent assault on 13yo boy

Paedophilia, the predominant sexual aberration says Psychiatrist and the church’s response.

The Homo-Negativity Surrounding Paedophilia …….

Ephebophilia vs Paedophilia & Male Homosexuality (REPOST)

On the 13th of September Executive Director Dane Lewis responded in a letter to the Gleaner

J-FLAG Clarifies Controversial All-Sexuals Tag

Peace and tolerance

H

Rev Al Miller says gay lobby is using the guise of tolerance to get the nation to accept the “gay lifestyle”

Restorative advocate and Pastor for that church on Constant Spring Road Al Miller who is also still in the courts for his mysterious gun disappearance, imagine a pastor who is so forthright in believing God carrying a firearm? plus the controversial issue of assisting known fugitive Christopher Dudus Coke a charge to which he has not provided any sensible answer for when he was deemed to be circumventing the local laws by assisting Coke to go to a foreign power that being the United States Embassy where he was said to be taking the reputed area leader when they were stopped via a police cordon. These kind of double whammies and hypocrisy from supposed men of the cloth just makes the issue of contradicting or proposing reparative therapy for homosexuals weak in my eyes. Let us not forget this is the same pastor who was present alongside the anti gay Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship during the amended Sexual Offences Bill and Charter of Rights Bill debates where sexual orientation were removed for a basis of discrimination.

Yesterday September 10, 2011 on his regular television program called Word Power which has been off the air for some time due to his legal woes and supposed financial problems as many sponsors had pulled from the show and his ministry, he returned putting on a strong show of force and of course using the gay issue which we all know emotes emotional responses easily and has been used as a tool to rile up audiences and church congregants time and again he commented on the recent furor over the rejected Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG tolerance ad number 2 by the major television stations this is while their first ad has been aired albeit late at nights but was a start, I think the J has rushed the gun but anyway

He said in his remarks

“Nothing is wrong with loving someone but disagreeing or disliking their lifestyle and the issue is the lifestyle we are not against, the Christians the word of god is not against the individual cause we are all sinners but we must recognize sin as sin, wrong is wrong and so although we may accept and embrace the person but we must say that the conduct is not right  and what the gay agenda is about is wanting the society to accept the lifestyle as being right but they are using the guise of tolerance, of course we can be tolerant with the individual but we must have the right to be intolerant to a practice that is not right it is in the same vein as anyone who practices a lifestyle that is inconsistent with correct behaviour or good for a society, if it is stealing if it is murder or any other kind of crime that is not good for society. We must embrace the indivdual but we must reject the lifestyle the behaviour and it is the same, it is the behabviour, when we talk about the protection of rights the protection of rights if gays already exists because all their natural rights are there but what they are crying for is not protection of rights against harm in as much as crying for the acceptance of the lifestyle so that we will elgitimise a lifestyle which is contrary to moral law to natural law to social order and all that certainly is good and decent and wholesome and will ensure our fulfillment of the mandate that we were given by our creator.

So it’s a matter for continued prayer and we must be very active and yet very positive and confident and we want to make it clear that we must not, we are not against the persons we’re against a lifestyle and the lifestyle is wrong and there are even some in the church who don’t believe that, the human rights movements are out there cause they are asking the question that who determines right and wrong? right and wrong for us is determined by God and the word of God who created us and gave us a manual The Bible how to live in society and so hence when right and wrong is in God then we stand upon the basis of the word but many want right and wrong to rest in the thing that makes us feel good and if I don’t mind doing it and if it’s alright with me then it’s alright, no, right and wrong does not begin in us sinful men right and wrong is in the creator who created us in his image to bear his likeness and anything that’s contrary to his likeness is out of his order, so that’s our approach and our thoughts on the matter.”

ENDS

also see a recent Gleaner article:

Church Head Says He Is Open To Talks On

Bigotry, Intolerance

also see Anti gay pastor and restorative therapy advocate in trouble with the law again from sister blog GLBTQJA on blogger

and A word to the reverend (anti gay Al Miller) ……..

Observer’s Clovis captures quite comically depicts the entrapment that caught the Rev carrying the area leader in full drag to the United States embassy to supposedly bypass local security.

Some questions for the goodly Rev from all that above:

If we are to understand this latest position then are you then espousing tolerance by accepting the individual?

isn’t this argument about lifestyle a cop out?

Lifestyle is one but what about the individuals orientation?

Are we to simply ignore that matter of choice and freedom of choice of the individual?

Who are we to judge others?

Do you know the difference between lifestyle and orientation and or sexual preference?

Are you struggling with your own sexual urges towards men?

What are you afraid of regarding this matter of same gender love?

UPDATE September 24th

Al Miller Guilty – Judge Rejects Pastor’s Unsworn Statement

 

Unmoved! – Rev Miller Remains Active Preacher

Reverend Al Miller has insisted that he would remain in the pulpit despite his criminal conviction yesterday.

Within minutes of the guilty verdict handed down by Senior Resident Magistrate Lorna Williams, Miller declared: “It does not in any way affect me.”

“It does not affect how I approach things, what I do and how I do it. I continue to do what I have to do,” insisted Miller, pastor of the St Andrew-based Fellowship Tabernacle church.

He seemingly acknowledged that his conviction could trigger widespread debate about his continued role as head of the popular church, but argued that everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.

“Like anything in life, people will have their perception and those perceptions may vary,” he told The Gleaner.

My readers you decide how to interpret this latest counter from the goodly reverend.

here is an older interview

Aug 23, 2011

Rev. Al Miller Fellowship Tabernacle (Church) and Arlene Harrison – Henry ( Independent Jamaica Council for Human Rights I.J.C.H.R.) Debated about Sexual Equality

Peace and tolerance

H

The K12 threat came and went …was it real or used as a diversion to more pressing matters? (repost)

Originally posted on GLBTQJA Blogger

From as early as August 14th to the 15th messages such as those below were circulated all over the internet but mostly on Facebook via various groups with a frenzy being kicked up and almost a state of panic which was unbelievable as the very advocates themselves sounding afraid, then to think that a similar rumour several years ago sans the network pages and blackberry services for instant messages in late 1999 (purported JFLAG march) when angry persons mostly men bought out every machete and cutting or chopping implements they could find to wait for would marchers in Half Way Tree to chop them up. It became apparent as early as midday to some especially me that this K12 threat however was going nowhere. But take a look at some of the postings from the scouring advocates;

Circulated messages to include those from the illusive K12 group

“What is happening..? Me a see too much Battyman and Lezbian in a HWT and Barbican, how the fuck dem a move so daring!? Dem naw hide nuh more..man a look man and gal a suck out gal tongue In a public, the upcoming generation a see dem ting ya an a get confused! We need to take a stand..we need to start beat dem again and run the waste material dem. Bargain Mall has become the main hang out spot for them, we need to take that step in getting back our country.. send this BC and let us Unite!! On 19/8/11 K12 group will be beating all Homosexuals that visits the Bargain mall! We are taking back our country step by step! Play your part and Re-Broadcast to all “straight” contacts if u wish to participate contact the K12 unit at 372-0290.. –K12– –K12– –K12– –K12– Make K12 apart of your name if your against homosexuality.”“Our plan is to attack and beat any boy who dress,look fishy or we suspect or know seh a fish. Just by their action (walking,talking,movement)… Also we will be using the silver metal ring and black and colour hand band to identify the battyman and lesbian them”- Inside Source of K12 Group The group calling itself K-12 has begun attacking community members. We want to encourage persons who frequent the Half-Way-Tree area to beef up personal security. Be aware of your surroundings and those sharing the space with you. If you see anything please alert 119 or the nearest police stations HWT 926-8184-5 and New Kingston Police Post 926-3508People on the street are angered…bad…I dont think I have ever seen it like this…any feedback on the reports to the police…this fall out was anticipated…can you advise of the ‘plan’ (I think I asked this before) what do we tell ppl to do? (the advocates did not respond to this question)

a group calling itself K-12 has begun attacking community members. Members that frequent the Half-Way-Tree area and the Jamaica Aids support for Life Compound are urged to beef up personal security. Fem boys and butch lesbians seem to be especially vulnerable to attacks. if possible please utilize On Time or El-Shaddai taxi service until the threat level has receded.

ENDS

My comment at around midday on social network Facebook hinting to a lower threat level than banded about was greeted with cold water as well as it came apparent that this was no usual threat and I hinted it could be a hoax either by some weirdo who in the midst of a public debate on a the rejection of the JFLAG ad or someone else trying to divert the attention of the homeless MSM issue which just about made the news at the same time via a letter to the Gleaner editor complaining of their behaviour at a certain spot in Kingston much to the dismay of many and I fear until proven otherwise that some move was made to spread this as fast as possible as no member on the streets in particular knew of this K12 even as late as Friday night when myself and others walked the Bargain Mall where this doom was to have started and surrounding areas.
At one point a misguided individual clearly inexperienced referenced the injured man (photo to the right) as a victim from K12 where it turned out to be an incident that occured on the other end of the island totally unrelated to the K12 phenomenon, this of course was where some red flags started to go up for some persons. Why this rush to judgement without proper verification? meanwhile all of Friday night myself and others were on the lookout none the less for this K12 and we saw no suspicious moves to suggest the threat was real in the area named, the phone number listed rang on some attempts and went to voicemail at other times
some questions come to mind:
were we duped?
who did the duping?
were these K12 persons linked to a major university?
why was it that the only persons who knew of this were from the advocates on Facebook not on the ground?
are you surprised that such a major community threat did not reach the homeless men who sit openly in New Kingston despite their high visibility in the news?
was this used as a convenient distraction to over shadow the homeless MSM issue that the advocates feared would have led to an embarrasing situation as it has now become since today?
Bargain Mall in Half Way Tree where the beatings were to have commenced on August 18th
Speculation is rife but may soon die as the homeless issue has become centre stage now following the damning Jamaica Observer article finally bringing to public attention the rejection of the advocates in serving the most marginalized of the community.
here is an earlier audio commentry I did on the issue:
As the Jamaica Observer piece is digested and the focus now goes to that K12 remarks are now basically dead as very little if any references have been coming forth from the very persons who were frantically warning before. Very suspicious in the eyes of some including myself but I did not come up with this speculation on my own, the very persons who were in the Half Way Tree area and the homeless men some of whom I spoke to on Friday night after CVM TV interviewed some of them for a feature they are preparing.
Let us watch closely my friends meanwhile here is my account from walking the block on Bargain Mall and its surroundings:
Peace and tolerance
H

Gleaner Poll on JFLAG’s new PSA airing results in the negative

So the recently closed Gleaner newspaper poll confirmed what some of us already knew by virtue of how the public responded to the new ad campaign as launched by the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG albeit decided by a bunch of folks in a room and not subjected to the approval or participation of the wider LGBT community, so much for forumatic activity and engagement of the LGBT citizenry. The previous ad that called for tolerance which had a mix of persons from all walks of life and hue was far more representative of a Jamaican makeup than this new ad that has Jamaicans of Scottish heritage who are far removed from our realities of homophobic violence meted out to persons from a lower socio economic persuasion. The look of the new advert was also critiqued by professionals in the media industry despite some suggestions of their own sexual preference and or orientation.

Also given the current uproar of the HEART Trust NTA training institution in its job programs are demanding so called high coloured or “brownings” to fill those vacancies with politicians from all stripes hypocritically crying out discrimination of all things, all apart of the “two Jamaica” syndrome or problem that has been with us for such a long time that even advocacy has been infected by it.

See:  Politicians Furious Over Demand For Brownings

See some of the poll numbers below, the poll ended on September 7th after being run for three days on the Gleaner’s front page with the question asked:

  

The issue of the rejected ad by the television stations was also kept alive and deliberately so to overshadow the recently embarrassing expose by the Jamaica Observer of the homeless MSM ban placed on so called bad behaving men where the entity and its parent organization Jamaica AIDS Support for Life now have a canine team on the property to stop the men some of whom are HIV+ from entering the property thus depriving them of the care and treatment hinted to in the old ad below

Also see other related posts
Hypocrisy, Continued damage control via stands or a genuine call for inclusiveness in western Jamaica?

Settle the Score on CVM TV’s Live @ 7 (26.08.11)…the JFLAG ad campaign

Attempted censorship from the advocates towards views on the JFLAG Ad campaign??

Rowdy gays banned by J-FLAG, JASL ………. (Jamaica Observer)

Blow to gay ad – TVJ rejects J-FLAG’s PSA ……. J-FLAG says rejection of PSA unfortunate

Doing ‘business’ in New Kingston … Jamaica Observer on MSM Homelessness ….. JFLAG should be ashamed

Complaint of “Freaky Gays” Harassing New Kingston Residents ……..

JFLAG/AIDSFREEWORLD unimpressive show at community meeting (where the ad was discussed on August 3, 2011 & volunteers came forward but lost interest and no follow up done since to re-shoot a new ad with them)

also hear audio commentary on the other sides to the homeless matter 

and

More on the JFLAG AD campaign

Our advocacy seems to be just wobbling infront of us without any proper scanning of the happenings in the public domain.

Peace and tolerance

H

From the pen of one of our homeless brothers ……..

Some background to the homeless issue
As we continue to highlight a dark chapter in our LGBT history that on the face of it some would rather kept hushed this matter of homelessness among our same gender loving males and teens has created deeper rifts between supporters of the established LGBT organizations Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays its parent Jamaica AIDS Support (for Life) and others in the trenches both NGOs were set up originally to deal with and included in their mission aspects of front-line activism for seriously marginalized individuals or groups, sadly the systems have seriously fallen down in that department with a glaring absence of psycho social interventions and at least a resident social worker to deal with the psychological and behavioural problems that has beleaguered the aforementioned NGOs from the men but what does one expect if there are no behaviour change mechanisms in place?
J-FLAG, among other things:1. provides support in the event of a crisis or impending crisis; emergency housing assistance, counselling and assistance with medical bills2. does significant personal development and community building in the gay community;3. offers counseling and referral services to gay people and their families;

4. has consultations and collaborations with noted local and international figures and human rights/health/political interest groups, in the process of working for constitutional and other legislative changes;

5. has made written submissions to the Joint Select Committee of the Houses of Parliament for the inclusion of “Sexual Orientation” as a basis on which the Constitution of Jamaica prohibits discrimination;

6. has provided documentation for asylum cases based on sexual discrimination and violence in Canada, Great Britain and the United States;

7. maintains a library and archive of resource for academic research

According to their website:J-FLAG’s mission is to work towards a Jamaican society in which the Human Rights and Equality of Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays are guaranteed. To foster the acceptance and enrichment of the lives of same-gender-loving persons who have been, and continue to be, an integral part of society. J-FLAG holds the vision to move forward in a spirit of oneness, love, dignity and respect towards the establishment of a Jamaica, and world, devoid of prejudice, injustice, discrimination and oppression. And, furthermore, to ensure the human rights of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, as set out in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This vexed issue of homelessness which has driven an even sharper wedge between present and former advocates close to the populations has been of concern for some including yours truly who saw the trouble of the rapid growth of the group some two and half years ago with the outright closure of a pilot Safe House homeless project in 2010 due to “bad behaviour” as the given reason, remember all this with the long standing absence of sustained resident social services towards the population and the subsequent displacement from a gay party DVD that ended up on our streets for sale thus exposing persons to violence many fled their homes to other parts of the island and finally landing in Kingston adding to the already displaced .
August 23 and 24 has gone down in history as the second civil disobedience action by this group (this time they had no allies) (the first being in January 2010) and was spontaneous which leaves us to ask what are the NGOs whose remit this population falls under are doing? given the ban is still in effect and no public utterances on the matter since the damning Jamaica Observer article some say deliberately as the focus is transfixed on the rejected tolerance campaign advert concerned persons have lashed out at the ineptitude of the advocacy groups towards this population in particular and the insular way business is conducted. In the midst of all this was a protest in western Jamaica as seen below by the groups combined and joined by AIDSFREEWORLD who sometimes seem to be the public relations arm for JFLAG:
Please also see:

Hypocrisy, Continued damage control via stands or a genuine call for inclusiveness in western Jamaica?


 The dark side to the homeless issue ………….

Maurice Tomlinson (right), legal adviser, Marginalised AIDS-Free World Group, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, and Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays representatives staging a peaceful stand in front of the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay during the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network, Caribbean Cytometry & Analytical Society (CCAS), Centers for Disease Control Third Joint Meeting and Eighth CCAS HIV/AIDS Workshop last Wednesday morning. -  Photo by Janet Silvera
To ban the men is one thing which has caused strong reactions in opposition to the decision from some quarters but  then to turn and protest “exclusion” from  a conference on HIV in Montego Bay (photo above) using of all things “homelessness” which was never used as a reason for previous protests and stands before when they knew all along they were not apart of that conference, the timing of this is most inopportune and hypocritical and smacks of an unethical culture that seems to permeates the groups as more and more strange posturings have been brought to bear. At the very top of this post is a scanned hand written summary of how one of the homeless men felt entitled “Homeless Homosexuals” as penned on Tuesday August 31, 2011, barring the slight grammatical errors it is clear this nineteen year old man is not off with his expression and given the right assistance can assimilate into society to make something of himself:
Our brother wrote (abbreviated and errors corrected):
“It’s difficult being homeless and a homosexual in Jamaica an anti gay country first you have to be dealing with homelessness and its hardship then secondly being a homosexual people look down on you for being gay and to top that homeless being gay and on the streets means you have to keep an open eye out for the police, straight men, cocaine addicts. We are all Jamaican citizens that are entitled to our rights like everyone else but yet society looks down on us, sometimes we are attacked by men and when we go to the police to seek rescue we are then beaten again and sometimes shunned. It’s hard to know you can’t even run to the police for safety when that’s what they are there for “To Serve, To Protect, To Reassure” is their motto and we get the opposite, even they themselves beat and assault us at times and there is no one to say stop and show some sympathy. We are not having sex in the public and whatsoever we do in private is our business.  

We are living in a civilised world and should be treated civilised. At times we behave boisterously and indecent because because of things happening but the citizens say we are good for nothing and should be got rid of. Being in the streets require street behaviour to survive sometimes we use the boisterous behaviour as protection and to let our voices be heard, I think that the Prime Minister needs to do something about homosexuals being mistreated in the country as is we are alienated. We as gay people aren’t the ones bringing in the guns and cocaine in the country and we are not the ones forming the garrisons. We are amicable people and it’s full time society looks at us for what we are. 

The Prime Minister needs to decriminalize the country by dismantling the garrisons so that we can go home back to our family and friends and feel more comforted and love. The Prime Minster accepts dons and garrisons but not us and it’s sad. Lots of us on the streets are educated,  creative and talented it’s just the helping hand we need to become someone meaningful to society and show that we are human beings and we can be successful and contribute to society in a positive way. My message to country is to stop and listen we have issues that need to be dealt with.”
ENDS
audio commentary on homelessness
the homelessness saga part II
Other commentary about the homelessness
Other commentary about the homelessness
Monitoring the K12 matter and the threat to the community
I hope who has ears to hear let them hear or who have eyes to see let them see.
Peace and tolerance
H

“LGBT” advocates – nonengagement of bisexual issues = Biophobia by default

As September is viewed as Bisexuality month and the 23rd to be exact as Bisexuality Day in most sections of the world with particular emphasis in the United States probably with the exception of the United Kingdom that incorporates bisexual issues in the LGBT history month of February while outside in the rest of the LGBT history is reviewed in October the “B” in the seemingly overused coinage LGBT to represent a farcically unified front seems missing in the agitations around the globe for gay marriage rights, buggery law challenges and or repulsions and basic recognitions for same gender loving visibility and respect but what about fluidity and freedoms of sexual expressions?. The cry even from more established territories on same sex matters is also loud as bisexual activists complain of invisibility or oversight by the more cemented and vocal gay and lesbian advocates that inadvertently put their issues infront of the other groups including transgender and intersex persons as well.

Are these gay and lesbian groups guilty including our local one JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays of bi-phobia by default by simply overlooking (bi-invisibility) the “B” in our supposed alliance when confronting the opposing mainstream mob who are bent on cementing their view of morality on the world? 

The answer to this question is a resounding YES in my book but as a concerned gay activist and blogger that tries to incorporate the groups on two of  my three blogs it would be presumptuous to think I can speak for bisexuals and their issues definitively and forthrightly when they are quiet as well or feel they won’t be heard or acknowledged by us as our agenda is tantamount to theirs. The best I can do is to encourage the discourse while sharing facts on that side of the fence and how some of their issues cross cut with ours. There is a feeling that bisexuals can simply morph into the heterosexual mainstream and rid themselves of the stigmatization that exclusively same gender loving folks face barring the effeminate or masculine behaviours and aesthetics presented via the respective opposite sexes. The views in the few places where the issues relating to bisexuality and how the gay community relate to our double gender loving brothers and sisters have come up for mention show some serious backlash with all kinds of presuppositions about them, everything from them being disease carriers to wanting too much or having their cake and eating it too. The deep mistrust issues that abound are disturbing to me and with some issues stereotyped as gay issues to include the downlown or clandestine homosexuality as gays hiding as straight individuals when they very well could be naturally attracted to both sexes. The gay versus straight debate takes up so much time in the public domain that we forget that there is a link to our bi folk who have their own sets of issues to contend chief among them our stigma towards them.

JFLAG certainly over the thirteen years of its existence has not tackled or represented this group under their “Allsexuals” umbrella but if we can’t get engaging, frontline and a democratically developed solutions in moving forward then what are we to expect from them? Bisexuals are going to have to speak up and loudly for us and by extension the mainstream to hear and this is sad. Groups like JFLAG ought to realise that it has to step up to the plate and do what is says it’s here to do or don’t bother at all but when others try to branch out and diversify the work the politics of the day and the incestuous systems obstructs the attempts so our advocates are also our impediment as well. Sad.

Some of the most famous and accomplished black bisexual people in history as suggested by a writer from the UK paper the Examiner. Everyone who made the list has had an impact on society in their respective field to include our very own Grace Jones although she does not like to be categorised.

1. Alvin Ailey – choreographer/dancer (autobio Revelations)

2. Josephine Baker – singer, actress, dancer (bio by Baker & Chase)

3. Countee Cullen — poet (library named after him in Harlem, Lavender Lists by Fletcher & Saks)

4. Lee Daniels — director/producer of Precious and producer of Monster’s Ball (out, NY Times Magazine Oct 25, 2009)

5. Michael Jackson – singer/songwriter (bio by Ian Halperin)

6. Grace Jones – singer (out)

7. June Jordan – writer, activist (out)

8. Orlando Jordan – pro wrestler (out)

9. Hattie McDaniel – actress (“Mammy” in Gone with the Wind. Bio of lover Tallulah Bankhead by David Bret, bio of Paul Newman by Porter.)

10. Me’shelle Ndegeochello — singer/songwriter (out, former relationships with father of her son and bi writer Rebecca Walker, daughter of bi writer Alice Walker)

11. Prince – singer/songwriter/producer (most likely: see lyrics to Controversy, Sexuality, and Jack U Off)

12. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey – singer (Lavender Lists by Fletcher & Saks)

13. Little Richard – singer/musician (out, autobio)

14. Roy Simmons – pro football player (out, Out Jan 2006, autobio)

15. Bessie Smith – singer (bio by Chris Albertson)

16. Alice Walker – writer/activist, The Color Purple (out)

17. Rebecca Walker – writer, daughter of Alice Walker (out

Continue reading on Examiner.com 

There are certainly a few other local personalities that come to mind but for now let us stick to Grace Jones as she has hinted to it on a few occasions publicly here is Grace subtly addressing bisexuality on an Australian current affairs program “Day by Day” in 1985.

Here is my two cents on the issue in audio format:

see more on sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger:  Bisexuality Day is September 23 ….

Let us hope in the near future something can be done about that either by them despite the insulation or some other group, organization or individuals. Celebrate yourselves anyway my BI-FRIENDS.

“Bisexuality erodes the border between homo- and hetero-sexuality, but it is a boundary that society is heavily invested in maintaining” — Stephanie Fairyington “Bisexuality and the Case Against Dualism” The Gay & Lesbian Review, Summer 2005

Peace and tolerance

H