Internalized homophobia glaring since the elections …. a worrying trend

Internalized Homophobia is something that virtually all gays have to confront (or have yet to confront) in their lives.

The simple definition is that internalized homophobia refers to negative feelings that we have towards ourselves because of our homosexuality. The forms it may take can vary from outright shame, denial, or self-injury, to hating on other gay people and more unconscious behaviors as well.

Internalized homophobia happens for some of the same reasons that straight people are homophobic – namely ignorance, often because of religion and then of course, because of negative stereotypes and misinformation that we hear about in our families, schools, and society.

However, with gays, negative attitudes become “internalized” because we are the subject of these prejudices! Whether we realize it or not, we are affected and hurt by hate and discrimination. It’s never a conscious choice to have internalized homophobia, but it must be a conscious choice to change it.

Here is a general overview of the spectrum of behaviors that exhibit internalized homophobia. Everyone has a unique life history, personality, and set of circumstances that inform their place either on or totally off of this list!  :

1. Aggressive Denial. Some people feel so strongly that they should not be gay that they will repress their feelings and desires and speak out with some of the most hateful and homophobic language you will ever hear. You often see this happen with fundamentalist religious figures, like Ted Haggard. This never ends well. (Usually it ends with a gay sex scandal, talk show appearances and a lot more denial.) This is the worst kind of internalized homophobia because the hateful rhetoric and actions that these “aggressive deniers” exhibit really hurt other gay people and the movement.

2. Denial. Some people simply deny that they are gay, try to lead a straight life, may even get married and have a family. Many of these gay people in denial lead secret gay lives, or possibly worse, spend their lives feeling unfulfilled, lonely and unknown to everyone they love.

3. Closeted. A closeted person is someone who has gay relationships, but hides that fact from everyone that they know and love. In Beyond the Closet; The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life, being in the closet is described as a “life-shaping pattern of concealment.” Being closeted is linked with high-anxiety, low self-esteem, increased risk for suicide and general lack of fulfillment (though closeted people rarely admit to not being fulfilled while they’re in there, though they always remark about it when they finally come out!)

4. In the closet with the door open. Many people are only partially closeted. They have gay relationships, and don’t completely hide their sexuality, but they make a point to not talk about it with family, friends, co-workers or, if they are public figures, the media. Sometimes gay people do this for their own safety, for example, if they know they could face possible violence at work or lose their home if they are living with homophobic family members.

There can be a practical side to being careful with your disclosure. However, many gays have gay friends, gay friendly (or at least loving) parents and still they remain silent. Often they say things like “it’s not anybody’s business,” or “we don’t talk about those kinds of things,” when questioned. The root of this avoidance and secrecy is shame, fear to disappoint, fear to face actual homophobia from people or to not be accepted. This kind of internalized homophobia really encourages subtle and systemic discrimination in our society.

It makes a statement that even gay people believe that gays should be marginalized and gives straight people permission to ignore us. When we do not advocate for ourselves and others who need support, we are weak as a movement. Additionally, the people found in this part of the spectrum are often the most avid deniers of the existence of ‘internalized homophobia.’

5. Out, and generally fine with other gays, but really dislikes ‘dykes’ and ‘flamers’. Many gay people are out and open and educated and “perfectly wonderful” gays, except for the fact that they vocally dislike flamboyant gay people. If you are this person, there are a few things you should consider.

  • These outspoken, visible minorities (a.k.a. someone who does not or cannot pass as straight) have been on the forefront of the gay rights movement from the very beginning. They take the brunt of the homophobia, face the most violence, and through their differences have created greater visibility for LGBTQ people in the world. After all, if no one could see us, how could they know we existed?
  • Every group of people has extreme examples and stereotypes. We encounter straight people all the time who are so ridiculous, they could be cartoons. And yet, we accept these differences to be within the acceptable range of human weirdness and expression.
  • It is important to distinguish between a flamboyant person and an annoying person. The reason you dislike someone may have everything to do with the fact that they are irritating, and not as much to do with the fact that they are queer.
  • Some of the hate directed at extremely masculine lesbians or extremely feminine gay men, is actually a form of gender discrimination. We need to take into account that gender expression is something that happens in conjunction with sexuality. Many people with non-traditional expressions, are experiencing the brunt of internalized homophobia and transphobia, even if they’re not trans. Lots of straight people want to put sexuality in a box, but lots of straight and gay people want to put gender in a box. Gender, like sexuality, is a spectrum of expression.

Since the elections and the strong feelings on the issues especially since the wrench that was thrown in the mix of the review of the buggery law by the opposition People’s National Party, PNP in the leadership debate who have since won the poll on December 29th, the JLP who since the mention of the suggested buggery law review by the PNP leader and Prime Minister designate Portia Simpson Miller have employed  devious homophobic methods on the campaign trail to capture the Jamaican audience’s attention which seemed to have led to voter non interest and a low voter turn out with core party supporters returning the PNP to power while the undecided basically stayed home.

For purposes of this post let us exclude the outness of persons but zoom on on the community conflicts pre and post the election results, LGBT persons who openly supported the Jamaica Labour Party before the buggery law review suggestion have found themselves the object of serious scaving bordering on homophobic slurs and innuendos some with very threatening tones as if to suggest if those who support the JLP must be crazy and they can stay and be killed in the process by the systems. The social network spaces especially Facebook have become ablaze with persons trading insults and long argumentative threads with the very words used against LGBT people by homophobes also being employed to psychologically intimidate persons. The cynicism to those persons has remained high since the results and smacks on a kind of elitism that seemed to have been hidden but making its way to the fore as the opportune time presents itself.

The contemptuous tones are worrying to myself and a few others and speaks to the overall struggling health of our LGBT community, how can we ask the rest of the nation for tolerance when we can’t even tolerate each other with differing views? I firmly believe we have to get our act together and express opinions and thoughts without descending into the very bowels of nasty homophobia that we are all wanting to escape I hope from the religious right and sections of the mainstream. It is shocking this kind of intolerance so much so that persons find the time to carefully prepare several well worded posts and blackberry messages/broadcasts two or three times a day cursing swearing and aiming venomous putrid hate at other LGBT people just because they supported the JLP, I too have come in for some slight criticism which I welcomed but my critics and I argued the issues based on my open view of the situations in this election and then agreed to disagree but others have not been so lucky, trouble is the posts as mentioned are sometimes open and directed at unnamed persons but it is clear who the intended targets are, to even be so vaguely loose and contemptuous is also troubling and smacks on a kind of psychological manipulation to influence thoughts and professional hypocrisy. The IH does not only come from individual profiles but also several LGBT Facebook groups as well including several where members of the advocacy structure are a part of, these vitriolic exchanges go unchecked with these members obviously seeing them and no reprimand or call to a check on how we are treating each other.

Are we ready then to embrace rights and or privileges when we are at this stage of our community lacking moral fibre, scruples or just basic respect for each other? seeing that we can’t be out relatively speaking and the perils of homophobia is this the release mechanisms we resort to by castigating each other in anger?

Is it insecurity within oneself here that causes these outbursts even from persons who wouldn’t normally be involved in such activity? after all Jamaica politics usually brings out the animal in some persons.

Time will have to tell.

Peace and tolerance

H

 

 

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Shirley Richards: No to reviewing the buggery law …..

Dear Editor,

Mrs Simpson Miller’s recent comments on the matter of homosexuality and sexual orientation have caused many of us to be seriously concerned. One wonders if Mrs Simpson Miller is aware of the following:

* In Europe, Canada and the USA pastors and others are punished for expressing disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle.

* Harry Hammond, the 69-year-old street preacher in England who was beaten by a group of homosexuals, was charged with inciting violence against himself.

* A middle-age Jamaican couple living in England, who had fostered children many times before, were recently denied the opportunity to foster because they could not tell a young child that it’s okay to be a homosexual.

* In Canada, kindergarten children in the public school system are exposed to homosexual teaching as if it were normal behaviour and their parents have no power to do anything about it.

* Catholic adoptions agencies in England have closed because they rightly refused to place children in homosexual households.

* Gary McFarlane, a solicitor of Jamaican descent living in England, who is also a professional counsellor, was sacked from his counselling job for refusing in principle to offer sex therapy to homosexuals.

* Buggery is the most efficient way to spread HIV/AIDS. Over the last two years the Government has spent over $590 million to fight the disease.

Shouldn’t Jamaica be doing everything in its power to discourage the disease? Why then review the buggery law?

Who are Mrs Simpson Miller’s advisors?

Jamaica is accustomed to standing on its own to defend principles. We are little, but we tallawah. Our success cannot be based on economics alone. Whilst we say no to physical violence against all persons, we also say no to reviewing laws and policies which currently block the acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle.

People of Jamaica, be warned!

Shirley Richards

St Andrew

meanwhile: Portia Simpson Miller – SIMPSON MILLER DEFENDS GAY COMMENT 23.12.11

also see previous Observer Letters linked below

Where was the church all along?

Dear Editor,

This is an open letter to all the organised groups of churches in Jamaica.

My name is Jevon Minto. I am currently in my second year at Northern Caribbean University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in religion and theology.

Jamaica is one of those countries where the church still influences the decisions of the State. And while this opportunity exists, no other group of people is more unconcerned about social life than the church. Every other group is speaking out, except the church. I think you all deserve a beating from God for rejecting the prophetic ministry that He has called you to, especially where it concerns politics.

If secularism takes over Jamaica you all should be blamed! If Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller did not propose to review the buggery law — if she is re-elected — would Jamaica hear anything from you [the church] at this time?

Imagine, three national political debates and not one of the panellists represented the church. Not one question was asked regarding the church. Why speak now and talk ill of the proposition made by the Opposition?

I am definitely not in support of homosexuality, but if the church did not assume such a passive role in the affairs of the nation, then we would not have a leader even thinking about making such a proposal in public.

It leads me to question your integrity. Are you Christian, or are you Christian excused? Did Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, behave in such a passive manner where the issues of the nation were concerned? Was He hypocritical, or was He a self-aggrandiser?

Did He not care for the entire man instead of just the Spiritual man? Until you care more about Jamaica rather than the church, reserve your comments. They only make people laugh at you and make God disappointed in you!

Jevon Minto

jminto10@stu.nuc.edu.jm

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Where-was-the-church-all-along_10447129#ixzz1hpPpGe5a

and

Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner

Dear Editor,

Mrs Simpson Miller’s statement regarding the buggery law was a brave and commendable act. I openly applaud her for exercising her right as a Jamaican citizen to speak freely about her views on the topical issue of homosexuality.

I believe that every Jamaican has the right to decide for himself or herself what sexual orientation he or she is comfortable with and wishes to pursue. This is why I believe that the uproar from the Council of Churches is just ridiculous. Firstly, she did not say she was about to legalise homosexuality, and secondly, how can the Christian bodies in this country advocate the continued marginalisation of a small fraction of our society?

Correct me if I am wrong. Wasn’t Jesus Christ the one who said that He came to save the lost and isn’t it also the belief and hope of every Christian to be like Jesus? So if they feel so strongly about the homosexual minority being ‘lost’ why not try to ‘save’ them by showing them the same love and compassion Jesus would?

Is it that those who choose to enter into same-sex relationships are less human than Jamaicans who are heterosexual? Homosexuals are people too. This I-am-better-than-you-and-so-have-the-moral-authority-to-bash-you mentality was the driving force for the enslavement of our beautiful black race for over 400 years, and it is definitely not Christian-like.

Jesus urged us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. As much as the Council of Churches dislikes it, homosexuals are our neighbours. Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner. It is full time for Jamaica to move away from homophobia. That sort of thinking is more crippling to our society than homosexuality is because it engenders abject disgust, hate and intolerance to our fellow Jamaican brothers and sisters who are exercising their freedom of choice.

Claudelle Maitland

 UWI Mona

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Jesus-hates-the-sin–not-the-sinner_10448020#ixzz1hpQH3bBy

also

Why a conscience vote on sodomy, Mrs Simpson Miller?

Dear Editor,

Baggaley et al of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Paddington, London, UK, reporting in the International Journal of Epidemiology of August 2010 in the article: “HIV transmission risk through anal intercourse: systematic review, meta-analysis and implications for HIV prevention”, stated that among both heterosexuals and homosexuals, “Unprotected anal intercourse is a high-risk practice for HIV transmission”.

Also, local media reported that the Jamaican Government found it necessary to set aside a total of some J$594 million for HIV prevention during the 2009 to 2010 and 2010 to 2011 fiscal years.

In light of this data, why would Mrs Simpson Miller consider bringing the decriminalisation of sodomy to a conscience vote ?

Wayne West

 Kgn 6

 wayne_west@hotmail.com

Buggery law backlash – Blair: The church has been sleeping – Blair warns review could lead to same-sex marriages

NADINE WILSON of the Observer reported:

BISHOP Hero Blair has warned that Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller’s pledge to review the buggery law if her party is elected to office on Thursday could lead to the legalisation of same-sex marriages in Jamaica.

At the same time, Blair, the political ombudsman and founder of the Deliverance Evangelistic Association Inc, advised his congregation on Sunday to get their candidates’ views on moral issues before voting in the general election.

BLAIR… we have to stop it in its bud

“My concern is not with reviewing a law, my concern is that next year this time, if you as Christians don’t go out and listen to the voice of God — not Herro Blair now — to direct you, because we don’t know who is who… my concern is that next year this time, the next thing that is going to happen in this country is an approach to same-sex marriage,” Blair said during his Christmas Day message to about 2,000 members at his church on Waltham Park Road in Kingston.

“Unnu build a prison for me, because I’m not doing it,” the bishop said, echoing the sentiments of some pastors who told the Observer last week that they would never accept the lifestyle of the gay, transgendered and lesbian community.

Last Tuesday night during the national leadership debate between Simpson Miller and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Simpson Miller said her People’s National Party (PNP), if elected to form the Government, would review the buggery law and ask for a conscience vote on the issue in Parliament.

Her pledge has reignited what has traditionally been a hot-button issue in Jamaica where homosexuality is frowned upon by the majority of the population.

For years, local and international gay lobbyists have been trying to get Jamaica to repeal the buggery law, but have so far been unsuccessful in their bid.

Recently, the United Kingdom said it would cut aid to countries that uphold laws against homosexuality, while the United States indicated that it would ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons.

Bishop Blair, in his message on Sunday, pointed to that kind of international pressure, saying: “God not dead, God not asleep, God will look out for his own and Jamaica don’t want no English man, and we don’t want no Spanish man, and we don’t want nobody from Europe or China to tell us how to live; and what they are doing is that they are putting pressure on our politicians to yield.”

He urged his congregants to call the candidates seeking their votes and ascertain their individual views on homosexuality, ahead of Thursday’s general election.

“You are going to vote on Thursday [but] before you vote, don’t call Portia and don’t call Andrew, call your candidate and ask your candidate what are their moral beliefs, what they defend,” he cautioned during the service, which was attended by the PNP candidate for St Andrew East Central Dr Peter Phillips and his JLP contender Beverly Prince.

“My problem is not with reviewing the law, I am going to review it tomorrow (Monday), I have it in my office. I am going to look at it, that’s a review,” Blair said. “But when you get a government — any government out of the two elected — and one have three here and the other may have six or seven over there, that is 10 out of 63. We have to stop it in its bud, you are going to have to kill it in its bud,” he said.

“I will go back to country and I will plant yellow yam and cocoa and dasheen and I will start a dasheen factory or a cocoa factory; I will sell tamarind ball, but this country is God’s country,” he said.

The pastor, who reminded the churchgoers that God had destroyed two cities before because of immorality, was equally vocal about what he believes was the silence of the church community on the issue.

“The church has been sleeping in this nation. The whole church has been sleeping in this nation because the church of the living God has given up its responsibility and that’s why they cuss us off whenever they want to,” said the pastor.

In an obvious attempt to demonstrate his point that the church has a responsibility to preach the word of God, Blair asked for a lighter or a match to burn his Bible. The request was met with silence.

“Then if I can’t burn it, why I can’t preach what in it?” he asked.

Last week, several pastors made it clear that they could not endorse the homosexual lifestyle as it goes against the teachings of the Bible.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Buggery-law-backlash_10460197#ixzz1hmXT8kpz

also see the Gleaner:

Repealing Buggery Laws A Return To Moral Depravity

A response came from a blogger:

Which Hat Is Blair Wearing?

THE EDITOR, Sir:

THE FAITH-BASED community seemingly takes pride in demonstrating an aversion to objectivity and inclusiveness. This position is apparently supported by Bishop Herro Blair’s recent pronouncements from the pulpit that parishioners should quiz their political candidates about their moral beliefs and “what they defend”.

Implicit within the context of this instruction is a prejudice towards a Judeo-Christian moral code and an exclusion of those whom Christians misguidedly claim God burnt down two cities to eradicate. I wasn’t aware that political representatives had an obligation to their constituents to espouse the value system of evangelical Christianity, but as evidenced by the frenzied applause and ‘amens’ such diatribes usually receive, I am apparently in the minority.

clarify stance

I urge Bishop Blair to clarify what exactly he means by “we have to stop it in its bud, you are going to have to kill it in its bud”. This to me sounds like a thinly veiled incitement to some sort of violence in order to protect this ‘good Christian nation’ from the infiltration of the iniquitous. Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war?

In response to these views, I expect to hear that criticism of what comes from the pulpit is the first sign of the end of times and that next “they” will want to stop prayer in schools, marry their goats, and walk naked in the streets. Clerics such as Blair are, of course, the most entitled to freedom of speech because they are conduits for the infallible word of God and as such any opposition to whatever nonsense they may spew is opposition to God and is, therefore, anti-christian.

I wonder which skin the good Bishop was in when he made these recommendations to his parishioners in the presence of the incumbent member of parliament and his rival. Was he bishop first and political ombudsman second?

Bishop Blair ought to be responsible with what he says, where he says it, and must be aware of the conflicts of interest his pronouncements as bishop may bring about with his position as political ombudsman. If there is incompatibility with the two then he should do the honourable thing and resign from the latter.

Brian-Paul N. Welsh

brianpaul.welsh@gmail.com

Time to revisit the law on buggery (Observer)

Dr Derrick Aarons MD

THE reported opposition by Rev Anglin of the Jamaica Coalition of Churches and others to the statement made by Mrs Portia Simpson Miller in the leadership debate that the buggery law in Jamaica should be revisited and put to a conscience vote in Parliament (after members of parliament do consultations in their constituencies) could be deemed a knee-jerk reaction of opposition, if not reflecting double standards!

Laws by their very nature need to be and historically have been re-visited periodically in all societies and updated if necessary to make them more relevant to the period in which persons live. The buggery law in Jamaica may or may not be repealed if considered and voted on by Parliament, but to instantly object to any such deliberation of the matter smacks of prejudice and double standards.

Whilst many persons object to homosexuality for various reasons, biblical teachings regard adultery, fornication, and sodomy as sins. Our current law that dates back to the 19th Century and our days of British colonialism criminalises sodomy but not adultery or fornication. Religious leaders in Jamaica have not been agitating for the criminalising of adultery and fornication although such laws exist in some Muslim-dominated countries, yet some persons in Jamaica oppose the removal of a law that would make criminals out of persons having same-sex preferences and sexual activity between consenting adults. We should note that adultery and fornication also involve sexual activity between consenting adults.

The biggest ethical issue in countries of the south, including Jamaica, is injustice. How do we treat our fellow human beings? Are we fair and just? Most countries have a written charter of rights which purport the equality of all inhabitants, and their right not to be subject to any discrimination. Jamaica’s declaration is no different in this regard.

Research done by specialists inform us that human sexuality is a complex issue, which reflects the influence of various hormones on the developing foetus in the uterus, the influence of developmental hormones in growing children and the prevailing environment of their rearing, as well as the type and nature of eroticism that is learnt and experienced throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

How then, in this presumably enlightened period of our history and development, can we deny the need to take a fresh look at our laws on this subject? Science and knowledge about ourselves and the functioning of our bodies have increased greatly over the 200 years since our buggery law was written, and as our laws that regulate science and technology have been guided by research discoveries in, for example, forensic medicine, DNA sequencing, and epidemiology, then fairness dictates that we also revisit laws that were written to address moral issues in human sexuality and sexual choices in light of the research and knowledge we have gained in this subject over the past 200 years.

Some articles written in our local press over the past two months have sought to examine the issue of homosexuality from the perspectives of public health and policy, presumed acceptable behaviour, defence of sovereignty, survival of the tradition of the heterosexual family, and HIV transmission.

No article, however, has had a comprehensive approach that looks at all relevant factors in the discussion of this issue, as is required by any sound ethical analysis. Further, where health issues are concerned, we have to be guided by the research done by the public health specialists, and not by the views expressed by persons who may present one side of the ‘statistics’ on an issue without stating the limitations as is required by ethical research requirements.

Space does not allow a full ethical analysis of this issue at this time, but we should consider several factors when we discuss this matter. Are we not engaging in double standards and being unjust when we maintain a law against buggery but do not impose any law against lesbian sexual activity, fornication, or adultery? Are we denying persons their basic human right to choose who to love and how to express their love? Do we have a right to seek to find out what activity goes on in people’s bedrooms?

We would need to do so to properly enforce the current buggery law on our books. Our current public decency laws do not allow sexual activity (whether heterosexual or homosexual) in any public place, and so why should we go any further to legislate what sexual activity is permissible behind closed doors?

A good, ethical analysis of any issue requires a balancing act between many considerations, including ethical principles and codes, law, religious considerations, culture, values, emotions, personal beliefs, adequate information, social and political realities, consequences, and rational arguments. To leave out any of these important considerations in discussing this very emotive issue without informing readers of their absence or relative importance is to be shallow in analysis, self-serving, or intentionally misleading.

It is time for our Government, which has responsibility for the welfare of all our inhabitants (and conversely collects taxes from these inhabitants), to drive the public discussion of the scientific and social issues surrounding same-sex preferences, and for the relevant Church leaders to expound on why they think one sin is greater than another, or why one should be prosecuted over another.

Dr Derrick Aarons MD, MSc (Bioethics), PhD is a consultant bioethicist, palliative care and family physician providing specialist advice in ethical issues in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and is a member of the Executive Council of RedBioetica UNESCO.

http://www.derrickaaronsbioethics.com

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Time-to-revisit-the-law-on-buggery_10453111#ixzz1hYK0Qpj8

Patterson the wrong damage control agent at this time?

In light of the furor now on in earnest after the opinions expressed by Portia Simpson Miller successor to former People’s National Party leader and Prime Minister Percival James Patterson (PJ) in answering a question on her position on Bruce Golding’s Not In My Cabinet declaration and gays in the leadership debate all kinds of damage control methods have been employed so far to soften the rising tensions as she suggested that the buggery law be reviewed while disagreeing with Mr. Golding’s position. A press release first came from PNP central just hours after the interview and the public reaction.

(also see On Buggery and gays in cabinets with politics ………… some responses) 

The press release read:

PNP HAS GIVEN NO COMMITMENT TO REPEALING THE BUGGERY ACT

Kingston, December 22, 2011: The People’s National Party notes that following Tuesday’s leadership debate, some persons have been suggesting that PNP President Portia Simpson Miller, has given a commitment to “repealing” the Buggery Act. The PNP uses this opportunity to state clearly that Mrs. Simpson Miller gave no such commitment.
The PNP President said it was time that the Act be “reviewed” and all members of the House of Representatives provided with an opportunity to vote on the matter based on their conscience.
It would be expected that in such a vote, Members of Parliament on both sides of the House, would take into consideration the views of their constituents.The PNP President remains committed to her pledge to make appointments to a Cabinet led by her on the basis of competence.

Even in the LGBT community there is a split it seems on the position taken by the opposition leader in that some ask why did it take so long for her to express this publicly given the many opportunities over her life in politics and also given the labelling of the party as a “fish tank” over the years as well while others are in support mostly in blind it seems as they are too young to recall or even have experienced those years of convenient political grandstanding and playing to the gallery, mostly the religious right.

Similar to the previous days when PJ Patterson was constantly fingered as being a gay man in secret and his own denial of same in the nineties when he was Prime Minister the perception still exists. Last evening in a Hairdresser/barber shop I frequent as the news was being read on Television Jamaica (TVJ) and his video clip was played warning persons not to allow the Jamaica Labour Party to win the reactions just by observation was curious to me as persons surmised that he was trying to defend Portia in a roundabout way given the “battyman issue” it may not be a reflection of the entire nation in response to Portia’ s position on buggery now (whether she is true to her word or not is yet to be seen) but some say she is trying to win gay votes, even persons in orange t-shirts who were either on their way or coming from a PNP event expressed some concern, one woman who was getting her nails done said she does not want battyman around her but she also lamented that gays run the world and we are going to have to give in some how, a sentiment by the way was seconded by other patrons and even my own barber as he trimmed my hair while leaving me unattended for several minutes to express his view said that he suspects many of the persons including a certain newcomer to representational politics who is a flaming as they come (my words) but he sided with Portia on the privacy issue as long as it doesn’t impose on others, the common man’s views I say must NOT be overlooked.  He postured that PJ should be silent now as it may appear as the PNP may really be “freeing up faggot” as everybody knows he is gay but that sooner or later we have to “free up de ting.”

Patterson

Mr. Patterson was speaking at a rally for the PNP on a campaign tour in Portmore – The Gleaner reported: DECLARING THAT Thursday’s general election is crucial for the future of the country, former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has warned against giving the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) a second term.

Speaking at a People’s National Party (PNP) mass meeting in Portmore, St Catherine, Thursday night, Patterson criticised the handling of the economy by the JLP and said the country must change course from the Labour Party.

Pointing for example at the Global Competitiveness Index which ranks Jamaica 142 out of one 142 countries in terms of its macroeconomy, Patterson said it contradicts the Government’s claim that it has done a good job at managing the economy.

“They dare to say they have managed the economy when it is shrinking, when we are more indebted, more people are below the poverty line …,” Patterson said.

He then proceeded to lecture the receptive band of Comrades on the components of the macroeconomy and how it impacted their daily lives. Concluding his presentation, Mr Patterson declared that it was time for the JLP to go.

“We don’t need in this country at this time, leaders who are delusional or who are trying to hoodwink the people, whether deliberately or unintentionally, and that is one of the reasons why I believe that ‘Sister P’ (Portia Simpson Miller) must return to the helm of leadership in this country,” Patterson said.

The report was however silent on the gay issue as far as he said anything on it. We must not simply forget the track record of the persons in the PNP which is clearly political expediency and hypocrisy at the highest level,  the former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson one year at a People’s National Party (PNP) conference in Kingston declared that not under his watch would there ever be the repealing of laws as it relates to homosexuality. Mr. Patterson again raised eyebrows when on a live radio programme he saw it fit to declare his sexuality to the nation. “My credentials as a life-long heterosexual person are impeccable,” Mr. Patterson said. “Anybody who tries to say otherwise is not just smearing but is engaging in vulgar abuse.” Now his coming from left field in this campaign while ignoring the present clear and present danger for the opposition in wining the election is so lame. The PNP has always had a larger LGBT majority support and as it turns out the ruling JLP has sought to capitalise on the arguments by mounting the homophobic horse. Vaz has clearly stated his position, Daryl Vaz, did not mince words as he made it clear that he did not support the views of Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller, who suggested that the buggery law should be reviewed.

Simpson Miller, who was responding to a question during Tuesday’s national leadership debate, also said she would judge her cabinet on merit and not on their sexual preference. However, Vaz, who was addressing party supporters at a mass meeting in Annotto Bay, St Mary last night, said he was prepared to make his stance public even before the debate reaches Parliament.

“Since I am going back to Parliament I am going to talk about it and I don’t want to be taken out of context,” he said.

“People of Portland ask me to tell you say we don’t buy pool in a cash pot and since it is going to be a debate in Parliament I am going to say God created Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve,” he said.

Now another JLP stalwart has lashed out, Clive Mullings Armed with a Bible, a stone-faced Mullings urged scores of Labourites at a mass meeting in Montego Bay’s historic Sam Sharpe Square on Thursday night to unite against the repealing of such a law. “We must understand that for a nation to be blessed, for a nation to grow, we cannot depart from God’s words. No nation, no nation that seeks to move away from God’s words can succeed,” he declared.

Quoting scriptures, Mullings pointed the large gathering to Genesis Chapter 19: verse 24, citing the reason why “the Lord poured down sulphur and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Mullings, an attorney, urged the horn-blowing supporters on Thursday to take a stance, arguing that the United Kingdom’s position is contrary to what we have learnt and know under the word of God.

“We are no longer a colony of Britain, so if that’s the way they want to go, let them go, but let us not depart from God’s word,” he argued.

He told the jubilant supporters that next Thursday’s general election should not be viewed only as it relates to the creation of jobs.

“We must understand carefully that the choices we make must not be only as it relates to employment, it should also be regarding the moral direction of your country and the future for your children,” the JLP candidate argued.

“So Labourites, Jamaicans, when we go out to vote think seriously about the direction of your country. I implore you to understand that while we are here at this point before general election, don’t misunderstand what we are facing. It is not just the economy, it is in regard to the future of the country for our children and you must now decide whether you want a nation that will be overtaken by those who have punitive lifestyles or whether you are serious about building our country.”

Earlier this week during a mass meeting in Annotto Bay, St Mary, JLP candidate for West Portland Daryl Vaz also criticised the opposition leader for suggesting that a future PNP government will review the buggery law.Several other speakers, including JLP deputy leader Desmond McKenzie, also blasted Simpson Miller for her stance on the buggery law during Thursday night’s meeting.

The PNP all in all has a credibility problem in my view why again has it taken so long for their leaders to finally come forward despite the hints more pronounced than ever of who is gay and who isn’t with all kinds of ads and pictures floating around in the ongoing social network war for votes. PJ maybe the wrong man at this time to speak, the full party in an endorsed statement needs to speak on the issue and definitively but with some powerful dissenters in the mix such as A. J. Nicholson former Attorney General who is on record for his anti gay position, I do not see how that is possible. I still say it is a dance with the growing and more vocal gay community and the pressure from the UK and now the US from the PNP with that question neatly planted in what many describe as a rehearsed leadership debate., even Dionne Jackson Miller, All Angles host, the woman who posed the million dollar question has been lambasted as a lesbian decoy to plant the issue as a platform item. With the PNP suffer because of this latest bump on the road ?

The letters and opinion pieces come flying now from all angles, yet when other important issues arise these persons are silent.

Hypocrisy all over I say…………..

Peace and tolerance

H

Church angry, gays happy PNP on collision course with Christians ………………. but some of us are not impressed

THE perennially controversial issue of homosexuality appears to have set the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) on collision course with some sections of the Christian Church.

PNP Leader Portia Simpson Miller shocked the television audience watching her debate with Prime Minister Andrew Holness Tuesday night, with her suggestion that the buggery law should be reviewed and that she was not opposed to having gays in a Cabinet led by her.

“That is very concerning for me [reviewing the buggery law] and I am disappointed that we are still insisting to go back in that direction, because the matter was dealt with in the amended Bill of Rights earlier this year,” said Rev Al Miller, pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle in Kingston.

Miller said he was equally disappointed with the Opposition Leader’s stance that she had no problem admitting anyone to her Cabinet once they were qualified to carry out their duties.

“I am seriously concerned about that, because it is saying that moral values becomes secondary to ability to perform,” the pastor said, adding: “That kind of approach would be difficult for Christians to support because character and integrity takes precedence over ability.”

Associate pastor of the Tower Hill Missionary Church, Rev Mark Dawes also took offence at Simpson Miller’s stance: “If we remove the buggery law, then we might be opening the floodgate for sexual anarchy,” he cautioned.

He said, however, that he understood her belief that no one should be prevented from being apart of a Cabinet once they were qualified to do so, even if they subscribed to the gay lifestyle.

“If the person is not promoting that lifestyle, then I could grow to be comfortable with them in the Cabinet, but if it is somebody who is championing the lifestyle and advocating for it, then I’ll have a problem,” Dawes said.

In the debate, Simpson Miller said: “We should have a look at the buggery law,” distancing herself from Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding who told a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) interviewer he would not allow a homosexual in his Cabinet.

The Seventh-day Adventists also rejected the call to revisit the buggery law, while saying they had no problem with gays in a Cabinet.

“The issue is with reviewing the law, that’s where the church has an issue. Like any other faith-based organisation, we are concerned because it goes against the biblical side of things,” said SDA director of communication, public affairs and religious liberty, Nigel Coke.

But general secretary of the Jamaica Baptist Union, Rev Karl Johnson commended Simpson Miller for tackling the issue head on when asked by a journalist in the debate. Reviewing the law did not necessarily mean that a change would occur, Johnson argued.

“I think it is a commendable thing to always review our laws to see whether they speak to current realities, whether they are still informed by values and norms that we can sustain both as a country and I would say as a religious community,” he said.

President of the Jamaica Association of Full Gospel Churches, Bishop Rohan Edwards said he believed that a review of the buggery act would not affect the way the church viewed the homosexual lifestyle.

“We don’t have a problem with the revisiting buggery law, but we know the law that we have to answer to which is the word of God. So they have the right to revisit anything they want to,” he said.

For its part, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) welcomed Simpson Miller’s position. Executive director of the lobby group, Dane Lewis, said: “We are very encouraged by the statement, it was a very bold statement by a political leader knowing the history of statements which our leaders have made and so we look forward to seeing what is to come if they certainly do form the next government.

“It really speaks loudly to a respect for the human rights of all Jamaicans, including those who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender,” he noted.

He said he was disappointed with the response given by Holness who was very cautious in his response when he stated that his “sentiment must be the sentiment of the country”.

“We are disappointed that the prime minister, even though he had another opportunity to make certainly a bold statement, he didn’t,” he said. “It is very clear that he is going to pander to the religious community and vaguely step around the issue,” Lewis asserted.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Church-angry–gays-happy#ixzz1hH2S6qYH

Meanwhile

Dr. Lentworth Anglin, Convenor of the Umbrella Croup of Churches said on CVM News 21.12.11 “We consider homosexuality, lesbianism, same sex marriage to be anti scripture and therefore we oppose that kind of behaviour, we are not necessarily dictating to individuals how they should live, we’re just stating a position, we are not trying to necessarily trying to deprive persons of opportunity for service to the nation but we are just simply presenting our position.”

HERE IS MY TWO CENTS IN AUDIO:  On Buggery & Gays in Cabinets ……… 21.12.11

Also see on sister blog GAY JAMAICA WATCH –

On Buggery and gays in cabinets with politics ………… some responses …………

Peace and tolerance

H

Jamaican Anglican head on ….. Money, power and sexuality

THERE is perhaps no other subject that can get a Jamaican audience as worked up as that of homosexuality. Consequently, the airing of the subject is usually accompanied by many irrational and emotionally driven responses which do not lead to any advancement in the understanding of the same, but a reinforcement of previously held positions.

Recent declarations by foreign leaders on the subject as it relates to the future development of Jamaica seem to have gone relatively unnoticed by many people, and may indeed belie the notion that the subject is as important to us as we often assume, as politics and the current election campaign seem to have dispelled any such notion.

This may indeed be a fortuitous development as it may allow for some rational engagement surrounding the significance and meaning of these recent pronouncements for us as a people. Several weeks ago, there was a report in the media that British Prime Minister David Cameron indicated in a television interview that his Government will be linking certain forms of overseas aid to nations based on the level of legal protection which they offer to gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgendered people as a guarantee of their human rights.

In more recent days, President Obama has issued a directive to heads of US executive departments and agencies concerning the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons (LGBT) by foreign nations. It arises out of what the president describes as his deep concern for the violence which is directed against these persons, through various means “whether it is passing laws that criminalise LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation”.

He argues for such protection to be seen as a guarantee of their human rights. This directive mandates United States agencies to target nations which criminalise sexual behaviour among these groups of persons. The directive was issued to departments of state, the Treasury, Defence, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the United States Agency for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank and the United States Trade Representative.

Among other things these agencies are to ensure that the United States’ policies are effected in their relationship with foreign governments and to report to their government on the status of these developments. It is clear that foreign aid will be used as a tool toward compliance by foreign governments.

While it is not clear what prompted the utterance from the British prime minister, the president of the United States of America has made it clear that he is concerned about the level of violence that is directed toward LGBT persons and the consequent violation of their human rights. There is no question that the president is correct in pointing to violence which is expressed in relation to these persons and is very much in evidence in Jamaica.

It is also clear that the religious and philosophical basis on which persons find these expressions of sexuality objectionable do not justify the violence which is unleashed against LGBT, and it does not help to distance oneself from the violence when public discourse by these objectors finds expression in vitriolic language.

In addition, there has been, over the years, a tendency to treat crime against gays as not deserving of thorough criminal investigation, a development which has only improved in recent years with the prosecution of high-profile cases and pressure from external agencies.

Equally, the way in which we have dealt with the issues related to the LGBT population has also been clouded by much confusion and irrationality. There is an immediate association in the minds of some people with sex offenders and child abusers, a position which has no support in terms of statistics, as most of these categories of offenders are heterosexuals.

At the same time, the preoccupation with sodomy and the retention of this act as criminal, deserving of incarceration, is a misplaced priority and focus. There is no need for the police or the society as a whole to direct our attention to a voyeuristic pursuit of what adults choose to do in the privacy of their sexual expressions of affection.

We must be clear about our personal values and how these find expression in our personal lives. We must therefore be careful how we seek to make matters of personal values into laws which criminalise others who operate with a different value framework.

The articulation of the directive in the framework of human rights cuts as a kind of two-edged sword. On the one hand it is unquestionable that everyone is entitled to the same basic human rights enjoyed by all citizens, the LGBT group being no exception. Violence against the person, including that sanction by the state through silent consent and complicity, constitutes an intolerable violation of the human rights of an individual or people.

In the case of the LGBT population it is not only violent expressions which count but discriminatory laws which are embodied in the legal system of the nation. To this end, we must take note of the efforts of the lobby and subsequently, the Government, in passing a Bill of Rights which intentionally excluded these persons from some of the rights which are enjoyed by the rest of the citizenry. Such expressions of exclusion must be regretted and must, in time, be rectified.

Perhaps the other side of the sword is connected to the motivation behind some of the actions of the lobby and which arises in relation to the current directive from these external leaders. It has to do with the definition of anything as a human right and how it becomes translated into consequential activities and lifestyle.

For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the definition of individual rights as “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion”, and “freedom of opinion and expression” but, as is evident to all and sundry, how these are expressed differs across the globe, and is informed by such things as political philosophy, governance and religion within specific national contexts, the United Kingdom and the United States of America being no exception.

We can therefore expect that the way in which these rights are interpreted can be subject to varying interpretation by different countries and cultures. Western nations have consistently pursued a line that cultures which are different from their own are not only primitive but unenlightened and in need of the light they bring to bear on our situation.

In the case of the United States of America, it has exercised this perspective by unilaterally arrogating to itself the position that its laws have universal application and are to be enforced accordingly. Notwithstanding the fact that among the rights of nations embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right to self-determination.

The subject of homosexuality is one which is informed by cultural and religious values within the framework of the guarantees of the human rights of individuals. In this regard, it is interesting to note that in the United States — where there are laws which protect LGBT from acts of violence, and where attempts are made by legislators to push the button in redefining marriage and other aspects of family definition as a further development — these have been rejected when taken to the people by way of the ballot, no doubt informed by their values and religious beliefs.

In a similar manner then, I would expect that any external involvement in how we handle such matters as a nation would afford us the same respect as is afforded the electorate in their country. So beyond the issue of violence, we must decide what constitutes a “marriage” or “civil union”, and we must decide what constitutes “a family” and what is the appropriate environment within which to raise our children.

Beyond the issue of sexuality, however, I have a great sense of unease, if not repugnance, at the notion that international aid from donor nations, which by its very nature has to do with the bread and butter issues of a nation’s life, will be used as a means of gaining submission. Actually, some persons may be wondering about the relevance of this subject at a time when we are caught up in the political campaign leading up to a general election.

The truth is that it has much to do with our understanding of our nation as an independent one, shortly to embark on the celebration of 50 years of independence, and the extent to which our democracy allows us self-determination. Already it is clear that whichever party wins the next election will have to function at the dictates of the International Monetary Fund, regardless of the semantics we may use to describe our relationship to that body.

For external nations to add to that situation the use of aid as a big stick to control how our culture, values, and religious beliefs can influence the laws and way of life in our nation, is another matter.

So may all our people vote as we go to the polls in the maintenance of our democracy and sense of self-determination, and may we elect leaders who are prepared to engage others with a similar commitment to the preservation of those values dear to us and not compromise us for a “mess of pottage”.

Christmas greeting

Although the timing of the general election has tended to overshadow the celebration of Christmas, which is so central to the life of Christians, it is my hope that we will still be able to keep in focus the birth of the Christ-child and the message of hope, joy and peace which He brings to the life of humanity. May this message be kept alive and incarnated in our homes and nation as a whole, in spite of the fact that we are so prone to divisiveness over the issues of party politics.

This may indeed be a fortuitous development as it may allow for some rational engagement surrounding the significance and meaning of these recent pronouncements for us as a people. Several weeks ago, there was a report in the media that British Prime Minister David Cameron indicated in a television interview that his Government will be linking certain forms of overseas aid to nations based on the level of legal protection which they offer to gays, bisexuals, lesbians and transgendered people as a guarantee of their human rights.

In more recent days, President Obama has issued a directive to heads of US executive departments and agencies concerning the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons (LGBT) by foreign nations. It arises out of what the president describes as his deep concern for the violence which is directed against these persons, through various means “whether it is passing laws that criminalise LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation”.

He argues for such protection to be seen as a guarantee of their human rights. This directive mandates United States agencies to target nations which criminalise sexual behaviour among these groups of persons. The directive was issued to departments of state, the Treasury, Defence, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the United States Agency for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank and the United States Trade Representative.

Among other things these agencies are to ensure that the United States’ policies are effected in their relationship with foreign governments and to report to their government on the status of these developments. It is clear that foreign aid will be used as a tool toward compliance by foreign governments.

While it is not clear what prompted the utterance from the British prime minister, the president of the United States of America has made it clear that he is concerned about the level of violence that is directed toward LGBT persons and the consequent violation of their human rights. There is no question that the president is correct in pointing to violence which is expressed in relation to these persons and is very much in evidence in Jamaica.

It is also clear that the religious and philosophical basis on which persons find these expressions of sexuality objectionable do not justify the violence which is unleashed against LGBT, and it does not help to distance oneself from the violence when public discourse by these objectors finds expression in vitriolic language.

In addition, there has been, over the years, a tendency to treat crime against gays as not deserving of thorough criminal investigation, a development which has only improved in recent years with the prosecution of high-profile cases and pressure from external agencies.

Equally, the way in which we have dealt with the issues related to the LGBT population has also been clouded by much confusion and irrationality. There is an immediate association in the minds of some people with sex offenders and child abusers, a position which has no support in terms of statistics, as most of these categories of offenders are heterosexuals.

At the same time, the preoccupation with sodomy and the retention of this act as criminal, deserving of incarceration, is a misplaced priority and focus. There is no need for the police or the society as a whole to direct our attention to a voyeuristic pursuit of what adults choose to do in the privacy of their sexual expressions of affection.

We must be clear about our personal values and how these find expression in our personal lives. We must therefore be careful how we seek to make matters of personal values into laws which criminalise others who operate with a different value framework.

The articulation of the directive in the framework of human rights cuts as a kind of two-edged sword. On the one hand it is unquestionable that everyone is entitled to the same basic human rights enjoyed by all citizens, the LGBT group being no exception. Violence against the person, including that sanction by the state through silent consent and complicity, constitutes an intolerable violation of the human rights of an individual or people.

In the case of the LGBT population it is not only violent expressions which count but discriminatory laws which are embodied in the legal system of the nation. To this end, we must take note of the efforts of the lobby and subsequently, the Government, in passing a Bill of Rights which intentionally excluded these persons from some of the rights which are enjoyed by the rest of the citizenry. Such expressions of exclusion must be regretted and must, in time, be rectified.

Perhaps the other side of the sword is connected to the motivation behind some of the actions of the lobby and which arises in relation to the current directive from these external leaders. It has to do with the definition of anything as a human right and how it becomes translated into consequential activities and lifestyle.

For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the definition of individual rights as “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion”, and “freedom of opinion and expression” but, as is evident to all and sundry, how these are expressed differs across the globe, and is informed by such things as political philosophy, governance and religion within specific national contexts, the United Kingdom and the United States of America being no exception.

We can therefore expect that the way in which these rights are interpreted can be subject to varying interpretation by different countries and cultures. Western nations have consistently pursued a line that cultures which are different from their own are not only primitive but unenlightened and in need of the light they bring to bear on our situation.

In the case of the United States of America, it has exercised this perspective by unilaterally arrogating to itself the position that its laws have universal application and are to be enforced accordingly. Notwithstanding the fact that among the rights of nations embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right to self-determination.

The subject of homosexuality is one which is informed by cultural and religious values within the framework of the guarantees of the human rights of individuals. In this regard, it is interesting to note that in the United States — where there are laws which protect LGBT from acts of violence, and where attempts are made by legislators to push the button in redefining marriage and other aspects of family definition as a further development — these have been rejected when taken to the people by way of the ballot, no doubt informed by their values and religious beliefs.

In a similar manner then, I would expect that any external involvement in how we handle such matters as a nation would afford us the same respect as is afforded the electorate in their country. So beyond the issue of violence, we must decide what constitutes a “marriage” or “civil union”, and we must decide what constitutes “a family” and what is the appropriate environment within which to raise our children.

Beyond the issue of sexuality, however, I have a great sense of unease, if not repugnance, at the notion that international aid from donor nations, which by its very nature has to do with the bread and butter issues of a nation’s life, will be used as a means of gaining submission. Actually, some persons may be wondering about the relevance of this subject at a time when we are caught up in the political campaign leading up to a general election.

The truth is that it has much to do with our understanding of our nation as an independent one, shortly to embark on the celebration of 50 years of independence, and the extent to which our democracy allows us self-determination. Already it is clear that whichever party wins the next election will have to function at the dictates of the International Monetary Fund, regardless of the semantics we may use to describe our relationship to that body.

For external nations to add to that situation the use of aid as a big stick to control how our culture, values, and religious beliefs can influence the laws and way of life in our nation, is another matter.

So may all our people vote as we go to the polls in the maintenance of our democracy and sense of self-determination, and may we elect leaders who are prepared to engage others with a similar commitment to the preservation of those values dear to us and not compromise us for a “mess of pottage”.

Christmas greeting

Although the timing of the general election has tended to overshadow the celebration of Christmas, which is so central to the life of Christians, it is my hope that we will still be able to keep in focus the birth of the Christ-child and the message of hope, joy and peace which He brings to the life of humanity. May this message be kept alive and incarnated in our homes and nation as a whole, in spite of the fact that we are so prone to divisiveness over the issues of party politics.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Money–power-and-sexuality_10404569#ixzz1gv5544jr

Situational homosexuality, Substitutional sex, Experimentation or what? ……… sensational story yet again

A headline in the Star News dated December 16th blared “Buggery attack at boys’ home – Youngster accused of molesting younger wards” which again brought into sharp focus for me the issue of situational homosexuality and or substitutional sex in places of safety, prisons and other same gender populated areas and buildings where in our highly sexualized context contact is made every now and again be they forced or unforced, control maybe the motivator in some instances as previous cases have shown us that the perpetrators of such forced sexual contacts are not homosexual although the assault or play is same sexed. Of course the way the story is presented is with a sensationalistic twist by the Star News typically to sell papers which leaves far more questions than answers for the active mind who wants to examine these issues more profoundly and fairly. Situational, or “emergency” homosexuality is commonly defined as sexual activity with partners of the same sex that occurs not as part of a gay life style, but because the participants happen to find themselves in a single-sex environment for a prolonged period.

Some single-sex environments that frequently become venues for situational homosexuality include prisons, military bases, ships at sea, convents and monasteries, athletic teams on tour, and boarding schools and colleges. Situational homosexual behavior is so common in these venues that in some cases nicknames have been created for those who indulge in it; for example “rugger-buggers” on rugby teams, “jailhouse turnouts” in prisons, and “lugs” for “lesbians until (college) graduation.”

The idea of situational same-sex sexual activity is not a modern one. An essay by Josiah Flynt, published in 1899, told of situational sex among the male American hobos with whom he traveled. From the armies of Alexander the Great to the trenches of World War I to Desert Storm, male soldiers have taken comfort in each other’s arms; and from harems to convents to boarding schools, women who were forcibly separated from men have been finding each other for centuries.

Situational homosexual experience can range from the frightening, such as prison rape and sexual domination, to the comfortable, such as the lesbian experimentation that occurs within the relative safety of a college campus.

The Relationship of Situational Homosexuality to Homophobia

In many cultures, situational homosexuality is tolerated, while homosexuality as a life style is not.

Some social analysts believe that the concept of situational homosexuality is used to reinforce homophobia and biphobia by allowing those who perform homosexual acts in same-sex environments to continue to define themselves as heterosexual.

Often participants in same-sex activity in single-sex environments are differentiated between “true homosexuals” and those who retain the assumption of heterosexuality. In such cases, it is usually the “true homosexuals” who are stigmatized, while their partners are not. In making such a distinction, homophobia is reinforced even as same-sex sexual activity may be tolerated.

Although situational homosexuality is often both tacitly expected and to some degree tolerated, it is also expected to remain clandestine. When such homosexual activity is made public, even in venues where virtually everyone knows it is happening, punishment is usually swift and severe, though often the brunt of punishment is borne by the participant who is considered the “true homosexual” rather than the presumably heterosexual partner who ostensibly participates in same-sex activity only because of his or her situation.

also see:
Situational Homosexuality or Behavioral Bisexuality … a recap … subsequent discourse so far

First here is the very short article as with recent gay tinged articles from the former respected evening version of the Gleaner turned trashy tabloid but which unfortunately has a large following both online and in traditional hard copy.

 Buggery attack at boys’ home – Youngster accused of molesting younger wards

A ward of the state at a boys’ home in St Elizabeth has been charged with buggery.

Information reaching THE WEEKEND STAR is that the boy was taken to the Junction Police Station in the parish earlier this month where he was questioned and later charged.

On Wednesday, the matter was brought before the Black River Resident Magistrate’s Court where it was transferred.

The accused is scheduled to appear in the St Elizabeth Children’s Court today.

Allegations are that on Friday December 9, the accused forced other wards of the state into the act.

The court heard that about 9:45 p.m., an assistant manager at the home saw the accused and the other boys in compromising positions.

However, the boys allegedly ran when they realised they had been caught.

Furthermore, the court heard that one of the boys was held and he reported that he was forced into the act by the accused.

The boy also alleged that when he refused to participate, he was forcefully dragged by the accused to bushes behind one of the dorms and assaulted.

ENDS

Now the questions:

What is the age of the accused?

Did the other party run as or cry fowl as he wanted not to be viewed as complicit in the act as well?

Why was there any monitoring of the grounds so much so that shrubbery is available for hiding?

Is this a case of substitutional sex given the boys are in those years of heightened sexual awareness?

Could this be a case of experimentation given the same reasons above?

Are the rules and or guidelines of that facility so rigid that conditions become ripe for this kind of activity? 

What aren’t there any policies to deal with same sex attracted teens and their issues?

Why didn’t the Star News give us more relevant information such as the next court mention date and if there was any evidence available such as a doctor’s report that is used for cases such as this that involve penile penetration?

As per usual our advocacy structure has not been responding to these repeated stories that come in tabloids such as this or the now defunct XNews, EXcess or the older Enquirer which painted some same sex crimes as the perpetrators being sex hungry freaks who will stop at nothing for some booty, thus steadily stoking the homophobic pysche the many years and keeping anti gay support well fed on a diet of paedophile typed articles hence our castigation permanently marked on the men who have sex with men populations. These issues are not raised when we defend our positions on decriminalization of buggery and or fending off the notions from the Christian right community that homosexuals will basically spread our gayness to boys in particular. A fear expressed over and over again by their leading spokespersons.

see a recent symposium report as hosted by some anti gay leading voices:

A Rebuttal of the Foolishness Touted at the Lawyers Christian Fellowship symposium

We have seen problems with early initiation before and with some strange consequences such as this one as carried on this blog:

Experimental sex again ???

The homo-negativity surrounding paedophilia …….

Teen beaten, accused of being homosexual

Latent homosexuality & misconceptions creating havoc?

Jamaica Observer: Gay vs Paedophile, they seem not to know the difference

Crowds gather at Mandeville Courthouse for Trade show man charged with indecent assault on 13yo boy

and this one:  Teen accused of molesting 11-y-o – in the case of the latter where the accused was set upon and beaten until the police arrived to rescue him it was surmised that Both are minors in the eyes of the law. More pertinent to the case, what was the nature of the alleged molestation? It may have been simple experimentation, or it may have been an act of aggression. In either case the reaction of the residents is simply WRONG. Mob violence cannot be condoned, not against an adult and especially not against a child. Were any of the adults involved in the attack on the 15 year old taken into police custody? Had the police not arrived and taken the adolescent into custody, what would his fate have been? I think as Jamaicans we are so mortified by issues of sex and sexuality, that we fail to see the real moral issues at stake in the society… and in this case, it is the mob attack on a minor which needs to be urgently addressed (Or have we all become so barbaric and ignorant that we fail to see this as the crime?)

More to think about readers.

Peace and tolerance

H

FDA ASKED TO APPROVE NEW HIV PREVENTION METHOD, PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS (PrEP)

 

For Immediate Release                          Contact

December 15, 2011                                  Mark Aurigemma; 646-270-9451mark@aucomm.net

                        Pedro Goicochea; 415-490-8350pgoicochea@gladstone.ucsf.edu                                                                                                      

 

FDA ASKED TO APPROVE NEW HIV PREVENTION METHOD, PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS (PrEP)

 

An application from Gilead Sciences, Inc. has been filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration toapprove an HIV antiretroviral therapy to reduce the risk of HIV infection among uninfected men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexual women and men. The application to approve the new HIV prevention method called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is based partly on data from the Global iPrEx study, the first human efficacy study to prove that PrEP reduces HIV infection risk inpeople (http://www.iprexnews.com).

 

The PrEP drug is a single-tablet once-daily combination of emtricitabine (FTC 200 mg) and tenofovir (TDF 300 mg), marketed under the brand name Truvada®. The iPrEx study found that MSM who were prescribed a single daily FTC/TDF tablet experienced an average of44% fewer HIV infections than those who received a placebo pill. Among a study sub-set those who took the tablet frequently enough for drug to be detected in their bodies, the rate of protection against HIVinfection was more than 90%. All participants in the iPrEx study received condoms and comprehensive HIV prevention support. The HIV prevention benefits of PrEP were in addition to the benefits obtained from other prevention methods.

 

iPrEx study results were first reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in November, 2010 (http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa1011205).

 

Data supporting the use of PrEP to reduce HIV infection risk in heterosexual men and women were provided by the Partners PrEP study, which involved 4758 HIV serodiscordant couples (couples in which one partner is HIV-infected and the other is not) at nine trial sites in Kenya and Uganda. Both the iPrEx and Partners PrEP studies found that PrEP is safe, with very low levels of sideeffects and limited risk of HIV drug resistance.

 

“With 2.6 million new HIV infections occurring each year, and fewer than half of people with HIV receiving treatment, the world needs new and effective HIV prevention strategies,” said iPrEx Protocol Chair Robert Grant, MD, MPH of the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California at San Francisco. “Men who have sex with men have borne an enormous burden in this epidemic, and have also beenconsistently at the head of efforts to help reverse it. The 2,499 men and transgender women who participated in the iPrEx study Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, Thailand and the United States have made an historic contribution to the effort to help end this epidemic.”

 

“The data are clearly strong enough to warrant FDA approval of Truvada for HIV prevention,” said Dana Van Gorder, Executive Director of the AIDS advocacy group Project Inform. “The decision about whether to approve Truvada for prevention should be made with compassion, based on science rather than ideology, and without judgment regarding the behaviors of people at risk for HIV. We firmly believe in the right of people at risk of becoming infected with HIV to choose PrEP, which has been shown to be effective when used with condoms, as an additional method of HIV prevention.”

An Open Label Extension of the iPrEx study (iPrEx OLE; http://www.iprexole.com/index.html) is currently underway at 11 clinical trials sites in the United States, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa and Thailand. iPrEx OLE is designed to provide additional information about the safety of PrEP and the behavior of people taking PrEP over a longer term.

 

The iPrEx study was sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a grant to the Gladstone Institutes, a non-profit independent research organization affiliated with the University of California at San Francisco. Additional support for iPrEx was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Mark Aurigemma
212.600.1960 (office)
646.270.9451 (mobile)


OHCHR: Discriminatory Laws and Practices & Acts of Violence Against Individuals Based on their Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

The United Nations has produced its first ever report on LGBT rights. The UN Human Rights Council requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to prepare the report in a resolution in June of this year.

That resolution was led by South Africa and the brave Cameroonian lawyer and LGBT rights defender Alice N’Kom said:

“I am so proud that this breakthrough was initiated by an African country, and that South Africa is standing up for human rights. Not only were they leaders at the United Nations in pushing for the passage of this historic resolution on LGBT rights, they are also setting an example for all African countries and sending a simple message : homophobia is not an African value.”

The pro-LGBT Ugandan Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo said:

“They have created an “indaba” – a listening process that is familiar to Africans. They have provided the safety for many thousands of people to open deep wounds again and share their stories, experiences and aspirations.  Their courage is to be commended in the hope the next generation may not have to suffer the indignities of our blood-stained past.”

“This work represents the possibility that we can to learn to respect each other, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  We can learn to forgive each other for our complicity in silence or for acts of violence in word and deed against LGBT people.”

“There is another African tradition whereby the spilling of the blood of another is regarded as a major taboo and should be avoided by all faithful people. The spilling of blood caused by homophobia should become our global taboo. This report is a small step towards new possibilities and hopes.”

The findings of the report are due to be presented and discussed by governments at the Human Rights Council in March 2012.

Among its most important recommendations is a call for the decriminalization of same-sex relations between consenting adults. It also notes the particular experiences of lesbians and other women who suffer violence, killings, rape and abuse, often at the hands of family and community. The report includes a call for protection and recognition of the self-identified gender of trans persons.

On refugees and asylum seekers:

  • The UN urges governments to recognize persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for refugee status, and to train asylum adjudicators and government officials to be sensitive to the unique challenges faced by LGBTI refugees.
  • The report recognizes the extreme vulnerability of LGBTI refugees at risk of violence both before they flee their homelands, and during the refugee status determination and resettlement process. It also calls for a more consistent approach for safeguarding the human rights of LGBTI refugees.
  • The report urges governments not to return LGBTI refugees to countries they have fled where their freedom will be threatened because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Jessica Stern, Acting Executive Director of The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said;

“The report is a tribute to all of the activists who have fought for recognition of homophobic violence and transphobic discrimination over decades, often in the face of extreme hostility. It will serve as an invaluable aid to each one of us who seeks to advance LGBT rights – not only at the United Nations but in cities and towns around the world.”

The release of Pillay’s report follows another landmark at the United Nations, which was the 10 December international consultation organised by UNESCO to address bullying against LGBT students in educational institutions. This took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and brought together experts from UN agencies, NGOs, ministries of education and academia from more than 25 countries around the world.

All participants of the consultation agreed on a joint statement. Chinese and African representatives at the event noted the importance of both sharing experience as well as evidence gathering to develop a “solid foundation when approaching schools and policy-makers.”OHCHR: Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence Against Individuals Based on their Sexual Ori…