How To Avoid Negative Thinking

Optimism:
by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist, 2001.

“…in spite of everything I still believe that people
are really good at heart.”

~ Anne Frank, 1944

Have you ever wondered why some people feel down and defeated when faced with difficult situations, while others feel challenged and hopeful? Or why some people get all worked up and angry over small inconveniences and disagreements, while others respond more positively? These different reactions are due to how people interpret events – whether they view things from an optimistic or a pessimistic viewpoint.

While we can learn from both optimists and pessimists, most of us need help being optimistic. This article explores both ways of thinking, and gives some suggestions on how to become more optimistic.

The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, undermine everything that they do, and are their fault. Optimists, confronted with the same situations, believe that defeat is a temporary setback, its causes are confined to that one situation, and it’s not their fault. While a pessimist may give up, an optimist will try harder to change the situation.

Pros and Cons To Both Optimism and Pessimism

There are pros and cons to both optimism and pessimism. Extreme optimism can be off-putting and invalidating because it seems phony and can be a denial of reality and pain. Extreme pessimism can be depressing because it seems to only focus on the negative and catastrophizes events. A healthy dose of optimism can be uplifting and hopeful, while a healthy dose of pessimism can be realistic and wise. Achieving a balance of being realistic and hopeful can be a challenge.

Differences Between Optimists and Pessimists

There are many reasons why people become pessimistic, including child trauma, losses, or highly critical parents – yet many optimists have also experienced great hardships and traumas; Anne Frank is a good example.

The difference between optimists and pessimists isn’t a difference in life experiences, but rather in how people perceive and respond to adversity. For example, an optimist who is going through a hard time assumes that life will get better, while a pessimist believes life will always be difficult and painful.

These different approaches to life impact on health. People who are optimistic generally have better health, age well, and live more free of many physical problems associated with aging. Fortunately, optimism can be learned.

Ways To Be Optimistic

The first step to optimism is to identify the thoughts and beliefs running through your mind after something unpleasant happens. How did you interpret the event? Write out all of your beliefs and read them over. Then separate your feelings from your beliefs, because you won’t be challenging your feelings; what you feel is what you feel.

Next, write down all your feelings about the event and how you responded. Do this for a few unpleasant situations, such as an argument with your partner, a work conflict, and getting a parking ticket. You might begin to see a pattern in how you interpret and react to events, and this will help you to become aware of and to change patterns.

If you do have pessimistic thoughts, it can help just to be aware that you think that way. Next time your thoughts jump to something like “I never get my way,” “Nothing ever gets any better,” or “People are always mean to me,” try to notice that a pessimistic way of thinking is present for you.

The next step is to distract yourself from your pessimistic beliefs or dispute them. Disputing pessimistic beliefs will bring deeper, longer lasting results than distracting will, but distraction can also be effective, and sometimes easier.

Disputing pessimistic beliefs involves replacing them with alternative, kinder, and more realistic explanations. For example, if you have an argument with your partner, you might immediately think: “S/he never understands me! I’m always the one who ends up apologizing. This isn’t working out; we should split up.” In the heat of an argument, it’s hard to think rationally. But if you step back and think about the situation more realistically, you might find that your thoughts become more positive, and you may even be able to work things out faster. For instance, you might tell yourself, “We just had an argument, and while s/he wasn’t very understanding, neither was I. S/he’s understood me lots of other times, and will probably understand me again once we’ve both cooled off. We’ve always been able to work through our problems before. I know we can again.”

Maintaining a hopeful, positive, yet real perspective in the face of adversity can be a real challenge – one many are facing right now in the world – but it is essential to living peacefully and happily. Just as it is important to recognize what is unjust and unfair in our lives and the world, it is equally important to see the beauty, love, generosity, and goodness as well. Being gentle and loving with ourselves when we make mistakes, or when bad things happen is key to being hopeful and optimistic. And even if you’re not sure it’s possible, you can do it!

Homophobic Yet Homosocial (Repost)

Originally published in the Star 26.11.08 by Playwright and actor Paul
“Blakka” Ellis, this a popular piece so I decided to repost it and is worth re-reading, it’s one of those instances where someone takes a good look at ourselves without prejudice just straight facts and reasoning.

Some Jamaican brethren love to run off mouth about how dem love woman and brag ’bout dem nuh pet man. Yes, big man, start counting the number of activities that you participate in, exclusively with other ‘man friends’. Calculate the amount of time you spend with members of your own sex.

Now, compare that with your quality engagement and time spent with the opposite sex. I’ll bet all the money I lost in Cash Plus that when the situations are objectively compared, many men will find that they spend more time and energy dedicated to activities with other men than with women. Isn’t that funny? But, as I’m never tired of saying, we are a case study in contradiction. Is true, man! Many Jamaican men seem to be violently homophobic, yet passionately ‘homosocial’ at the same time. Check it, dem burn fire on men who sleep with men but di only company dat dem keep is men.

Some roughneck, macho men seem totally happy to spend 20 hours of one day socialising with a bag a man and then share the remaining four hours with a woman. And, those four hours are likely to involve maybe 15 minutes of talk, 45 minutes of sex and three hours of sleep. In fact, one man made it clear to me that, as far as he’s concerned, the main thing to do with the opposite sex was sex.

Strip poker

When asked if he talks or plays with his lady, he said he hardly talks, he mainly sends text messages. Quoting an old joke, he said the only game he plays with his girlfriend is strip poker, with the aim being for her to strip and for him to ‘poke her’. He went on to seriously assert that men, who spend a lot of time with women, are sissies. What do you think?

I think it’s kind of sad. Plenty men just don’t treat social, emotional or intellectual engagement with women as a central part of their life. It’s like they marginalise their dealings with women to the extent that any relationship with a woman that doesn’t involve sex, gets minimal time, limited space and zero value. And, the women, with whom we share conjugal relations, sometimes only get personal attention when it’s time for them to ease our sexual tension.

Potential conquest

You know, there are men, who have no genuine women friends? You realise that there are men out there, who can only see women as objects of potential conquest? And, some of those same men love and idolise other men, who they describe as their ‘God, dads and general’!

Some men work all day with men, spend evening chilling and talking with other men, then spend the weekend playing with men again. They eat and drink with men, ‘par and link’ with men, then smoke and joke with men again. That’s how I see it yah and I don’t care who vex. Some men do every single thing with other men – except sex – and the one deggeh-deggeh thing dem do with women is sex.

But, guess what happen in the process? We miss out on opportunities to learn, grow and build mutual respect with our sisters. Look nuh, I love sex, I adore women and I value the many things I can share with them. Yeah, man, that’s one of the reasons why I’m a big fan of co-education. If it does nothing else, mixed-sex schooling helps boys to learn, from early, that there are many fulfilling experiences to share with girls, including, but not limited to sex!

box-mi-back@hotmail.com

We need to speak up against homophobia in music

By V King Macdona

Several concerts by reggae artist Buju Banton were recently cancelled in America, amid controversy over notoriously homophobic lyrics which incite the murder of gay people. The cancellation was brought about following a campaign organised via website change.org. Six hundred and fifty people complained to Live Nation, who own the House of Blues venues where Banton was scheduled to perform next week, and his planned shows were scrapped as a result.

But the fight against anti-gay lyrics in rap and reggae music has been going on for some time and this is simply the latest chapter in a tale involving the blurred boundaries around notions of freedom of expression, the right to express personal opinion through music, and what counts as homophobic hate crime with the potential to influence listeners towards a homophobic set of beliefs. While some lyricists argue that their words have been misconstrued and defend their music, there is no doubt that some artists are effectively committing criminal offences with the abusive content of their songs.

The recent pressure for the cancellation of Buju Banton’s shows was not the first time that action has been taken against performers who use music as a weapon. In 2003, reggae star Bounty Killer was forced to cancel concerts in Birmingham and London after OutRage! gay rights group spoke out in opposition. They wrote a no-holds-barred letter to the Metropolitan police, urging them to arrest Bounty Killer on charges of inciting violence with his lyrics, which advocate the burning, drowning and stoning of gay men. Police then warned the concert venues’ owners that they may be aiding and abetting a criminal offence if the reggae star performed his homophobic lyrics on their premises, and his gigs were duly abandoned. Peter Tatchell, who helped bring about the cancellations said at the time: “Our aim is to make Britain a no-go area for singers who incite violence against gay people and other minorities. We hope this victory will encourage people in other countries to campaign for the cancellation of these singer’s concerts. Hit them in the pocket where it hurts financially. Once they start losing money they’ll soon drop their homophobic lyrics.”

Another successful reggae artist, Beenie Man, who has duetted with Janet Jackson amongst others,has also been accused of verbally abusing gay people with his choice of lyrics. Via his music, he has not only expressed his wish to cut the throats of all gay men, but also suggested hanging lesbians with a piece of rope. A planned UK performance in 2004 was cancelled directly due to his lyrics, after he was prevented from entering the country by police. Beenie Man had also been expected to perform at the MTV Music Video Awards the same year, but was dropped from the line-up of possible acts after protests from anti-homophobia campaigners. Fearing that more cancellations might follow, he issued an apology, which was subsequently dismissed by gay groups as insincere. The Stop Murder Music campaign organised a petition entitled the Reggae Compassionate Act, which Beenie Man allegedly signed, and by doing so agreed to stop writing and performing songs with homophobic content. He was praised for this new stance, but later went back on his word by denying that he had ever made the agreement.

Perhaps the most mainstream rapper in the world, Eminem, has also been criticised in the past for his homophobic lyrics. In a song entitled Criminal on his second album, The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem’s lyrics include: “My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/ That’ll stab you in the head, whether you’re a fag or lez/ Or the homosex, hermaph or a trans-a-vest/ Pants or dress? Hate fags? The answer’s yes”. The fact that much of Eminem’s audience is under the age of 18 has called into question how much influence his words could be having on young people. However the rapper has since appeared on stage with Elton John, apparently to dispel rumours of his homophobia.

Censoring artists is always a controversial act, but campaigns like Stop Murder Music and change.org are crucial in helping to police the actions of lyricists whose words have the potiential to wield a great deal of influence amongst listeners. If a person who homophobically abuses or threatens a gay person in the street can be arrested for it, then it is only right to confront musicians whose homophobic abuse reaches hundreds of thousands of people every day.

Amdist the PM’s claims here is a letter to the Gleaner editor – Gay psychology and Jamaica’s homophobia

The Editor, Sir:
As a heterosexual (straight) man, I have always wondered why would another straight man hate a gay when our interests do not conflict. I have heard some psychologists attribute the basis of homosexuality to heredity and the environment. In other words, a person can be born gay or nurtured into a gay environment and both attributes must be present for a person to ‘become’ totally gay.

According to these psychologists, one attribute without the other, and a person could lead a quasi-normal life. Essentially, this means that a half-gay person can, and do get married and bear children. Under the mentioned circumstances, the misery of these individuals can never be discounted in the ways that they live their lives. Because: (1) they don’t make good fathers because, deep down, they never wanted children; (2) they make even worst husbands, as they tend to be physically and verbally abusive; (3) they are confused and hence run from women to women trying to find themselves; and (4) they just do not like women.

Self-hate

Here is where the rubber hits the road – homophobia is an expression of self-hate. Some Jamaicans harbour serious hate for gay men because they internalise homosexuality – they imagine themselves doing the acts to other men and vice versa. Hence, they tend to feel dirty and rotten by the thoughts thus, by beating and even killing overtly gay persons, they are killing that aspect (the other half) of themselves.

It’s rather interesting to hear the main reason given in Jamaica for homophobia, “the Bible says it’s wrong”. Yet, the very same people who quote the Bible will admit that they and those around them are not without sins – yet they are not as loathed and hated.

Trapped in straight cocoon

That should tell you, that not following all the precepts of the Bible is not the basis of the hate and homophobic behaviour that exist in Jamaica.

Put the pieces together, people. The only person who should hate a gay person is one to whom a gay person has done wrong, or one who does not want to imagine that deep down he is himself gay or not sure. In other words, he is a gay man trapped in straight cocoon, and wanting to get out.

Have you ever wondered why is it that whenever social stigma laxes, more gay people come out of the ‘closet’? It is because they have always been gay, and rearing to get out (no pun intended).

Jamaica, as a society, should let its homosexual citizens be free to exercise their liberties, or the repercussion could be far-reaching. What would you rather see gay people do, marry each other or marry our daughters? If they marry each other, that’s the end of the story. If they marry our daughters, they could invariably make a whole lot more little gay girls and little gay boys, walking around in straight cocoon, waiting for liberation.

As Jamaicans, let’s ask ourselves, which scenario do we like best?

I am, etc.,

Everton Eastwood

everton.eastwood@bge.com

Maryland, USA

Appalling fixation on gays

The Editor, Sir:

It’s appalling to see a minister of government and attorney-at-law so fixated on homosexuals, and so certain, that he makes not only ludicrous, but unintelligent accusations at the Jamaica Constabulary Force and gay people. He also proved that he is unsuitable to hold his office as a minister of government. In truth, I hope he speaks only for his own personal lack of sensibility, and not as a minister of government using his own prejudices to seek public support.
Indeed, Jamaicans don’t live in a theocracy – yet. It’s none of Smith’s business what sexual shenanigans anybody gets up to in their private lives as long as this doesn’t hurt anyone else. The root cause of the anti-homosexual agitators is simple personal distaste. And personal distaste is not of itself a good reason for making anything illegal.

There is something pathetic about people who pore over history books or legislation seeking support for their prejudices. Doesn’t Smith have anything better to do, like getting the roads in St Ann fixed? Helping to create better opportunities for people in his constituency? Proposing measures to lower the murder rate?

Times and customs
After all, the legislations of 3,000 years ago are not always justifiable today in the civilised world. All ancient holy books (including the Old Testament) report the ancient gods or God’s approval of slavery, rape, racism, sexism and mass slaughter. But times and customs have changed.
It is evident by Smith’s utterance, that he rejects civilised standards of tolerance, and wants discrimination to be allowed as long as it’s justifiable. Indeed, two generations ago discrimination against blacks was justifiable in the United States, South Africa, and half the nations of Europe.

The ruling classes decreed that it was not natural for blacks and whites to eat together, sleep together or sit next to each other on the buses. The governments of those places despised blacks, gays, liberals and outside agitators. Today the Governments have changed; but many of their people haven’t changed their prejudices – and have even added some to the list.
As racism was eroded other prejudices slipped into its place. Prejudice is as prejudice does. This discrimination that Ernest Smith would want to see perpetuated is a very risky enterprise because it confirms Jamaica’s steady retreat from the Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights specifically forbidding discrimination against minority groups, either explicitly or implicitly.

I am, etc.,
L.LOPOMA
lapoma_uk@yahoo.com
London

P.E.A.D ??? A man’s attitude changes after ejaculation

Well, I did some searching online and found nothing close that could describe a trend that I have seen over some time now. I call it P.E.A.D, you know, they always have an acronym for some illness, disease or disorder but here it is.

P – Post

E – Erotic

A – Anger

D – Disorder

Gay men here in Jamaica have spoken of it before and 2 days ago it happened to a friend of mine. He picks up a thug who he has met before but no sexual contact, this thug suddenly wants something sexual to go down so, they caress and intercrurally get to it (fake penetration or leggings as we call it here) then masturbate, they both ejaculate and almost instantly after the “nut”(climax) the thug demands money, doesn’t want to be touched and is a totally different person, boisterous and physically threatening, he hits my friend and proceeds to rob him of cash and his bank cards.

While the incident is unfortunate it’s not the first time I have heard of this when men almost instantly become a different personality and change their behaviour after ejaculation,
str8 women complain of it too.

If someone reading this post can explain it, please do, but for now I call it P.E.A.D, the acronym has other meanings according to Wikipedia.

There was an incident some time ago where another young man had sex with a guy in bushes then immediately after climaxing the guy gets angry and almost severs the ear of the young man with a knife when he tried to hug him, he wanted none of it, no touching, caressing or any intimate contact.

Strange, anyway Peace to everyone.

Howie seh so

Interesting Letter to the Gleaner’s Editor – Misreading Human Behaviour

A letter published in your Saturday Gleaner, on October 18, edition signed by S. Richards, took issue with the suggestion by a United Kingdom government minister that discrimination against gays should be halted as part of the efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The writer, I believe, is correct to suggest that a false “health link” argument is being used as the plank to end “discrimi-nation”. The writer went off the rails, however, with two other subsequent points.

Higher health risks

First, the health authorities do suggest and have emphasised that anal sexual activity carries higher health risks and so should be avoided or mitigated by the use of condoms.

I don’t know if reader S. Richards is so naive as to believe, however, that this kind of activity is exclusively male/male. The influence of pornography has presented this as an acceptable activity for men and women to engage in and anecdotal stories suggest that it does take place among heterosexual couples and may even be increasing as a practice.

Usefulness of the buggery law

Therefore, the second point made in the writer’s letter about the usefulness of the buggery law is irrelevant. Does the buggery law apply to a man engaging in anal sex with his female partner? If so, when has this ever been enforced? And if not, then there is discrimination against men and is, therefore, gender-biased. Also, the existence of the law, by itself, has not stopped people from engaging in their ‘kinky’ activities, whatever the law says.

People often know or suspect their behaviour and, apart from snide comments or the some-times derogatory remarks, for the most part, let them be. And that is how it should be. People should not be excluded from jobs or denied access to health care (if that is happening) because of what they do in the privacy of their homes as consenting adults. Where they are violating moral laws, God will deal with them in His own way, as He does with others who violate His many other strictures.

I am, etc.,

CHAD BARNSWELL

barnswellc@yahoo.co.uk

Kingston

SEE THE ORIGINAL LETTER HERE by Shirley Richards of The Anti Gay Group Lawyers’ Christian Fellowhsip or

Another view of reaction to gays
published: Saturday | October 18, 2008

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I write regarding the news item in Tuesdays Gleaner, under the heading, ‘Stop discriminating against gays’.

As you reported the story, this was a call made by a United Kingdom minister of trade and development and was made as a part of discussions regarding the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Caribbean.

If the eating of oranges was thought to be the most dangerous activity where malaria or any other infectious disease was concerned, would there be any outcry about the banning of oranges?

Three local health consultants have confirmed, in response to questions posed by the writer hereof, that anal sexual activity is the most dangerous type of sexual activity where sexually transmitted infections are concerned.

In view of the problems with HIV/AIDS, why have our local health officials not warned the population about the dangers of engaging in anal sexual activity?

Standards

Where allegations of discrimination are concerned, the fact is that the law judges behaviour, which is either detrimental to individuals or to the society as a whole. Thus, standards are set, based not on the thoughts or desires of the individual but on the behaviour of the particular individual.

Maybe then, standards and criteria, generally, could be said to be discriminatory in nature. Amazingly, one would have thought that the HIV/AIDS epidemic would have made us glad that we have the buggery law in place! Instead, we are being hoodwinked into thinking to the contrary! Don’t be fooled, Jamaica, it’s the same argument under a different disguise!

I am, etc.,

S. RICHARDS

Also SEE ‘Stop discriminating against gays’

 

 

‘Stop discriminating against gays’
published: Tuesday | October 14, 2008


Gareth Thomas, minister of state for trade and development, United Kingdom. – Junior Dowie/Staff Photographer

A BRITISH government minister wants Jamaica and other Caribbean countries to stop discriminating against homosexuals.

Gareth Thomas, United Kingdom’s minister of state for trade and development, made the call yesterday while discussing the impact of HIV/AIDS on Caribbean economies.

“That discrimination is undermining the fight against HIV,” he charged at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, noting that about 250,000 people across the region have been infected with the virus.

Thomas was speaking at the launch of the Department for International Development Caribbean Regional Development Strategy.

He called for regional govern-ments to challenge discrimination against gays.

Thomas said the Caribbean with the second-highest number of HIV/AIDS infections has been dealt an economic burden because of the prevalence of the virus.

In May, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, responding to questions on BBC’s talk show ‘HARDtalk’, said he would not be pressured by outsiders to recognise homosexual rights.

Attitude changing

Pressed by the host of the show, Stephen Sackur, to declare whether gays would be included in his Cabinet, Golding said: “Sure they can be in the Cabinet – but not mine!”

Despite a strong resentment to homosexual lifestyle in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Grenadian sociologist Claude Douglas, in a recent interview with the Caribbean Media Corporation, argued that the region’s attitude to homosexuality was changing

Peace.

Jacqui has left this comment on our post Homosexuality 101

Members of the so called “ex-gay” movement like NARTH (from which this article was taken),and EXODUS are thinly veiled religious organizations. (Though NARTH plays down its “religious” affiliations under the pretext of being a psychiatric organization it still demands that members regard the Bible as interpreted by the organization as the final authority).

It should be noted that the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association regard these “reparative therapies” (i.e. the attempt to convert individuals to heterosexuality ) as not being effective and in fact being potentially harmful to those they attempt to treat. The attempt to cure non- heterosexual orientation, in my opinion, has it’s genesis in homophobia.

see label below for original link to the post
Thanks Jacqui

Is your child a homosexual?

HOMOSEXUALITY IS a strong taboo in Jamaica, and although many persons condemn the practice, it appears to be on the rise.
With that seeming increase, homosexuality could reside closer to you than you expect.
So, if as a parent you found out that your child is uncertain about his or her sexuality and may have the tendency to become a homosexual, how would you deal with it? Would you condemn, ridicule or seek counselling for him or her?
Psychologists say it is common for parents of homosexuals to blame themselves. Others resolve to disown their children, some try to ‘pray it away’, while some others resort to over involvement in activities or seek to be distracted.

Difficult situation
It is difficult for a parent to understand a child when he or she is active in the gay lifestyle, they argue. It is even more painful when the child ignores and rages against the parents when they are not supporting their choice or even seem to understand.
What advice is there for the parents whose children are gay? How can they put aside their dislike of the behaviour and still have hope of a loving and productive relation-ship with their children?
The American Psychological Association has stated that “There are probably many reasons for a person’s sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.” It also stated that for most people, sexual orientation is determined at an early age. However, The World Health Organisation has listed homosexuality as a mental illness.

Tips for parents who are struggling with a child’s homosexuality
1. Try not to get defensive or angry when your child says, “I’m gay.” This only fuels the fire. Realise that some children go through stages of self-doubt about their sexuality. Some go though experimental stages and sexual fluidity. While you may not condone your child’s behaviour, getting in his or her face about it will only confuse him or her more and push you further away from him or her.

2. Do not blame yourself for your child’s homosexuality. Some children struggle with same-sex attraction, which is not necessarily due to familiar influence. Remember, it’s not up to you to convince them of anything. Your healing can come from forgiving yourself for any misperceptions they may have about you. Your child’s healing may come from confronting you or working with a therapist.

3. Once you have discovered that your child is struggling with homosexuality, get professional advice before engaging in a discussion with your child about these issues.

4. Focus your energy on loving the child, being there, and being sincere. It could very well be a phase he or she is going through due to the environment he/she is in. Don’t be so quick to abandon them.

5. Once you have done your part, give them the opportunity to come through. Letting go means letting something that is greater and higher than you take control of the situation. The first step in recovery is to accept that we are ‘powerless’. Another step is changing what we can change, and accepting what we can’t.
James E. Phelan, psychologist

Jamaica government has no plan to repeal buggery law (Flashback)

“We find the approach of this organisation unacceptably insensitive,”
Information Minister Burchell Whiteman said in a statement issued to the media yesterday. (Wednesday November 17, 2004)

Read FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE and others

He added: “To link the homophobia issue to the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is inappropriate. The Government of Jamaica, through various ministries and agencies, has taken measures to arrest the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”

Government yesterday dismissed claims by the international body, Human Rights Watch, that the authorities have been soft on police abuses on homosexual males and persons affected by HIV/AIDS. “We find the approach of this organisation unacceptably insensitive,” Information Minister Burchell Whiteman said in a statement issued to the media yesterday. “We also as the duly elected representatives of the people feel that it is the people who must set our agenda in respect of the legislation which we pass or the repeal of any existing laws. We are certainly not about to respond to any organisation, external to this country, which may want to dictate to us how and when to deal with the laws of our land,” said Senator Whiteman. He added: “To link the homophobia issue to the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is inappropriate.

The Government of Jamaica, through various ministries and agencies, has taken measures to arrest the HIV/AIDS epidemic.” The findings of the Human Rights Watch Report were released to the public during a launch at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday. The report accused both the Government and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) of turning a blind eye to what they claim is a “rampant abuse of homosexual males and persons living with HIV/AIDS.” The international body also criticised the Government’s stance on legislation (the buggery law) on homosexuality, which they say is a ‘discriminatory legislation’. Speaking in support of the sentiments expressed by the human rights group, Delroy Chuck, Opposition spokesman on Justice said, “I find homosexual behaviour quite reprehensible but I believe it is a moral issue and not one that should be prohibited by the legislature.” Some clergymen, however, fiercely defended the law and insisted that it should be upheld. Rev. Courtney Richards, of the Missionary Church Association, pointed out that Human Rights Watch was mixing up the issues. “It is not the law itself that is the problem.

They are making a leap here. I see no reason to change the law, it is to be upheld,” he said. DISCRIMINATION Turning to the charge of discrimination against persons affected by HIV/AIDS in the church, Rev. Phillip Robinson, president of the Jamaica Council of Churches, said, “they need to substantiate it. They have not given us the facts and the grounds in which they have made the allegations.” In a quick response to allegations made against members of the police force that they were derelict in their duties and turning a blind eye to documented cases of physical and verbal abuse of HIV positive persons, Superintendent Ionie Ramsey, head of the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), said that the police High Command had ordered a probe into the allegations.

Let us retrace our steps people – Admin