Homosexuals and buggery law (Star News Legal Wranglings)

An incident I had hinted to in a previous audio post has made it to the Star News but thankfully it has been dealt with in a proper legal fashion by the attorney who wrote the piece, not the sensationalism that usually obtains from the tabloid. Some men were chased and nearly beaten but were saved basically by other concerned citizens and police who were summoned from nearby patrols. As the nation still reels from the call of the United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron to withhold aid from countries that have anti sodomy laws on their books, our aid is used in the prison and deportee rehabilitation efforts and if withdrawn we do not have the resources to carry these activities out according to the Minister of National Security Dwight Nelson on a recent interview on Nationwide Radio.

Have a read of the piece from the Star:

 Homosexuals and buggery law

A group of young men who were described as homosexuals escaped a severe beating last month when some men began chasing them in downtown Kingston.

The young men had to run for their lives when their attackers told them to leave the area because they were encouraging schoolboys to be homosexuals. Women also joined in and began cursing the young men and described them as being very dangerous to the society.

One of the men commented that he overheard discussions on the radio that the British prime minister had threatened to cut off aid to countries that do not uphold human rights, including the oppression of gays and lesbians.

 

“I am not saying that people should abuse them, but my fear is that they have no right to indoctrinate the young schoolboys or lure them into sexual activities,” one of the men said.

He said he was aware that people had sexual preferences but warned that “homosexuals must keep their activities to themselves and be discreet about it”.

“Yes, they have no right to come out here looking young schoolboys to spoil them,” a woman said.

“I observe gay men forcing themselves on the schoolboys all the time and are even offering them money,” the woman added.

“I will beat them if I see them bringing arguments to schoolboys,” the man said.

“Although I am definitely against homosexuals, I am not going to break down a house and interfere with two consenting adults. Once they are in the privacy of their home, they should not be disturbed, but if I see them soliciting schoolboys on the street then they must be beaten,” the man said.

The recent announcement by the British prime minister has led to groups in Jamaica calling for the government to repeal the buggery law. Some Jamaicans are opposed to the abolition and have pointed out that even if the Government is minded to repeal it, there should be no accommodation for same-sex marriages or unions.

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays ( J-FLAG) said recently that “It is clear that as a country we can no longer ignore the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. J-FLAG stands ready to support the Govern-ment in demonstrating its commitments to protect and promote the human rights of all Jamaicans, regardless of their socio-economic status, sexual orientation, health status, disability, work, and political and religious persuasions.”

It is against the law for persons to attack or beat homosexuals and they can be arrested and charged. If homosexuals are caught breaking the law, then the matter should be reported to the police for them to investigate the matter and make arrests, if necessary.

ENDS

The sad part however is that LGBT people who do not have any insulation and are stereotyped due to physical misconceptions about us are the first to suffer on the frontlines and our advocacy systems have very little interest to provide any support in that regard to preempt such attacks instead it’s always a knee jerk reaction and intervention after someone has been beaten or stabbed or chopped then a few thousand dollars are given and mostly nothing more after that. We need residential, psycho social services for these persons and also educational and self defense training for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters and transgender folks out there. Bearing in mind however they are the ones who remind the rest of the nation we are here via there aesthetic presentations.

Peace and tolerance

H

Bisexuals need not apply: A comparative appraisal of refugee law and policy in Canada, the United States, and Australia

By Sean Rehaag, Osgoode Hall Law School

This paper offers an analysis of refugee claims on grounds of bisexuality. After discussing the grounds on which sexual minorities may qualify for refugee status under international refugee law, the paper empirically assesses the success rates of bisexual refugee claimants in three major host states: Canada, the United States, and Australia. It concludes that bisexuals are significantly less successful than other sexual minority groups in obtaining refugee status in those countries.

Through an examination of selected published decisions involving bisexual refugee claimants, the author identifies two main areas for concern that may partly account for the difficulties that bisexual refugee claimants encounter: the invisibility of bisexuality as a sexual identity, and negative views held by some refugee claims adjudicators towards bisexuality as well as the reluctance of some adjudicators to grant refugee status to sexual minorities who differ from gay and lesbian identities as traditionally understood.

International refugee law and sexual minorities It is well settled in international refugee law that non-citizens facing persecution abroad on account of their sexual orientations are eligible for refugee status?4 The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees,25 however, does not explicitly include sexual orientation.

The Convention defines a refugee as any person who owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.

Some sexual minority refugees have – with varying degrees of success – attempted to argue that their fear of persecution stemmed from their ‘political opinion’. The argument has, thus far, proved to be particularly effective for human rights activists who encounter heteronormative persecution as a result of their efforts to enhance the rights of sexual minorities.

Political opinion, however, has been interpreted vel)’ broadly in international refugee law to cover ‘any opinion on any matter in which the machinel)’ of State, government, and policy may be engaged’. As a result, one could plausibly argue that ‘political opinion’ covers sexual minorities who face persecution for challenging both traditional gender norms as well as the inevitability of heterosexuality. With respect to the former (i.e. traditional gender norms), the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Guidelines on Gender-Related Persecution state that political opinion ‘may include an opinion as to gender roles. It would also include non-conformist behaviour which leads the persecutor to impute a political opinion. , This is significant because persecution targeting sexual minorities often aims to ‘foster and maintain “appropriate” gender role behaviour’ .

Meanwhile,with regard to the latter (i.e. challenging the inevitability of heterosexuality), the argument would find some support in the commonly made claim that the heterosexually structured family is the fundamental socio-economic unit, one that is supported through a variety of state policies?2 Sexual minorities, by their vel)’ existence, may be understood as challenging both the heterosexual family and the state policies that support it. In other words, sexual minorities may have political opinions regarding gender roles and the heterosexual family imputed to them, and may be persecuted on that basis?

One might also plausibly contend that hetero-normative persecution sometimes involves not only persecution on grounds of ‘political opinion’ but also persecution on grounds of ‘religion,. The UNHCR Guidelines on Gender-Related Persecution, for example, state that………..