Betty Ann Blaine’s arrant nonsense request of Peter King Tapes

When I saw this today in the Jamaica Observer the fumes were visible emanating from my ears, how can a children’s advocate be so dumb to make such a call even if the allegations of homo-paedohile acts on supposed tapes previously owned by the murdered Ambassador Peter King and also the Russian ambassador as well on the same night at the former’s home?

Hear the Children Cry wants Peter King’s tapes released

Miss Blaine via the Observer postulated:

CHILDREN advocacy group Hear the Children Cry has called for the release of the tapes that were found at the home of slain Ambassador Peter King, seven years ago, which purportedly contained images of children being buggered.

Convenor of Hear the Children Cry Betty-Ann Blaine told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that at the time of the ambassador’s death in March 2006, 258 tapes were confiscated and the organisation was reliably informed that children were on those tapes.

“To this date, we have not been able to see those tapes, so here is the call we are making, reveal before repeal. Let us see those tapes,” Blaine said.

Blaine, who is also the founder of New Nation Coalition, was speaking to the Observer at yesterday’s eastern leg of Mercy Cry, an initiative which saw Christians from different denominations gathering at National Heroes Circles in Kingston to pray for the nation’s leaders and to ask for God’s intervention in the many problems facing the nation such as homosexuality and buggery.

“We want to see those tapes and I believe that we have a right to see those tapes if children are on those tapes and until we can see those tapes and understand what is happening with the buggery of our children, we will not support any amendment to the buggery law,” Blaine said.

She also expressed concerns about the challenge to the constitution of the buggery law and the amendment or repeal of the buggery law, given the fact that the buggery of children has increased exponentially especially over the last year.

“The statistics are that 74 per cent of our children have been buggered over the previous year,” Blaine argued.

Jamaica, she said, should not “touch the buggery law” at this time, as the degree of buggery in the island is unknown.

“We have an idea about our children but we know that buggery extends to young people and others,” she said. “How can we be looking to amend or repeal the law when we don’t know the extent of buggery in Jamaica?”

 ENDS

I another post I lamented that tapes surrounding his murder case and allegations of popular persons on those tapes in same sex orgies would come back someday soon somewhere in the anti gay agitation and now here we are again. Some talk show hosts have taken that call and attached a homo-paedophile construct to that implying that men of upstanding status are sodomizing boys in their homes. While there may be paedophiles in our society overall to use this old case to further push the anti gay agenda while erroneously conflating same gender sex with abuse. Jerry Small of Newstalk 93FM is one such talk show host who has repeated this construct and also added the murdered Russian Ambassador who was also at the scene that night he concludes a cover up was done to hide the men’s secret activities. I am not surprised that the Peter King matter would have returned as a basis to substantiate the homo-negative position. He accuses the Russian diplomatic core of covering this death as the men were abusing boys at the Jamaican ambassador’s home and thus the reason why he was murdered. Where is the evidence for such allegations and why if one is opposed to homosexuality and indeed buggery would one want to see two or more men engaged in sex acts?

There are enough sex and adult video stores around that are now carrying gay adult video so they can go and buy them. Furthermore if the court despite conjecture and rumour in the public domain of supposed tapes did not see it fit to find and have such tapes brought into evidence then who is to find and release these tapes and to what end?

Murdered Ambassador Peter King

The case as I remember it had adults and the accused was sentenced and is serving time, during the court case the gay panic defence was used to justify the reason for the accused actions (as typical in cases as this) and the testimony and evidence presented did not suggest or prove that young boys were at the home at that time or any time or any other homo-paedophile activity. Furthermore persons I am familiar with who would congregate at the avenue sometimes such as displaced or homeless MSM have said the late Ambassador King was very strict when it came to boys around him and was a disciplinarian yet aspersions are cast on a dead man with very little way to prove or disprove them.

We do not know if any such sex tapes exist and if (a big if) he was involved in any such activity with under aged persons which I doubt I condemn it but the man is dead what would that serve now; bearing in mind laws already exist to protect children and the remedies exists to see them through any such despicable acts done to them if true. One thing we must always remember abuse is abuse despite the gender of the offender, their sexual orientation is immaterial as sexual attraction to children is a diagnosable disorder with the necessary pharmacological and psychological courses of attractions to address paedophilia however homosexuality cannot be addressed in a similar fashion.

Meanwhile to further show the level of homophobia these pretentious puritans have here is an exchange between a Jamaican gay blogger that he shared along with Miss Blaine

Betty Convo part 1 Betty Convo part 2

follow that story HERE

All kinds of suppositions and speculations have festered over the years since his passing to suggest celebrities, politicians and now young boys have been seen on what is dubbed “tapes” as he was accused or recording activities in his home at the time. For the short time I knew him he seemed a disciplinarian and a no nonsense man although one cannot swear for anyone but if such evidence was there it would have come out long ago. But to use mere speculation and supposition to demand tapes of activities that Miss Blaine does not subscribe to borders on a voyeuristic deviance and grasping at straws to support their crumbling position. When a twenty plus year old male witness testified in the case back in 2009 he had convenient amnesia as when asked about himself being video taped in King’s house he could not recall.

In giving evidence in chief  another witness said that about 10 p.m. on March 19, 2006, he saw the accused Sheldon Pusey at King’s house. He said King introduced Pusey to him and Pusey said his name was “Douglas”. (familiarity) despite the gay panic defence was used to suggest King inappropriately came on to him, then if he knew that King was gay what the HELL was he doing at the man’s house in the first place?

He continues that Pusey was wearing only a pair of underpants and a pair of socks while King was wearing a pair of boxer shorts. The witness said he went to bed downstairs and did not wake up until the next morning when the police came to the premises and “hauled” him out of the room. He said it was at that time he discovered that King was dead.

A medical doctor testified that about 5 p.m. on March 19, 2006, he and a friend went to King’s house. He said he knew King for 25 years and while he was there, Pusey came to the house and King introduced Pusey to him as Sheldon. He said he spoke to Pusey briefly.

The doctor said Pusey was sitting by the computer. Pusey’s hands were on his (Pusey’s) thighs. “I remember his nails were glossy, it was something that jumped out at you. I remember asking him how his nails were so glossy, how he came to get them like that. I recall him saying it was banana stain he used on his nails to get them so shiny.” He said when he and his friend left King’s house at minutes to 8 p.m. on March 19, 2006, Pusey was still sitting by the computer.

also see from Feb 2009 Crown rests case in Peter King trial

UPDATE JUNE 26, 2013

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UPDATE JUNE 28, 2013

JFLAG comes with a late statement after all this time the woman has been at it and it is now when she is so louder than ever they finally come with a knee jerk response, pardon my unease with their performance but sheesh:

Peace and tolerance

H

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JFLAG’s needs to accept some responsibility for the Trafalgar Murders ….. homelessness not properly addressed

Calls on the PM to act despite her seemingly tolerant stance especially in today’s economic reality with austerity and political careers on the line are certainly going to be ignored, sorry but that is the reality in my view well crafted press releases and letters to the editor as the one in today’s Jamaica Observer without any serious interventions in the very community it says it represents is so evidencial of the lack of interest in addressing lgbt homelessness and displacement overall over the 14 year plus life of the J. Where are the residential/rehabilitation typed facilities for the homeless and displaced sections of the lgbt population that are urgently needed, why did we have to wait till a murder makes mainstream news to finally hear from JFLAG on such issues?  In as far as a timeline we saw this matter of homelessness during my more active times on the streets especially in the younger msm populations explode in 2007 and after due to a party dvd that went public thus exposing many persons who had to flee their communities to Kingston predominantly as the event took place in St Ann at the time, two persons were said to have lost their lives soon after due to the exposure.

The very title of the press release and subsequent letter GAYS SADDENED BY RECENT MURDERS, CALL ON PRIME MINISTER TO ACT suggests a kind of aloofness as if JFLAG is not a homosexual representative group, after all the use of the word “Gays” usually connotates a kind of contempt from homophobes or persons on some anti gay agenda or separatism, why use that in addressing this emotive matter? the section that described the group as “these people” is a bit troubling to me. No political party is going to take on that right now as was hinted to by a member of parliament (see PNP’s Damion Crawford says it’s highly unlikely buggery review will happen …….. it’s not important now he concludes) as far as I am concerned we will have to address our issues ourselves for now with all the access to resources we have especially in the programmatic arenas and again I ask where are the behaviour change experts in the field?

Police investigators at the crime scene on Trafalgar Road in St Andrew the morning of June 13th. – Norman Grindley

All this madness happening in pride month makes me wonder what is there to be proud of at this juncture of our history?

Here is the Observer letter that was published today:

Gays call on PM to listen to their cries

Dear Editor,

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is deeply saddened and concerned by the recent murders of gay men within the last three months. We, the community and allies, send our condolences to the loved ones, friends and families of these people.

We are concerned about the high levels of crime and violence across Jamaica. We condemn these and other grotesque murders of people, which continue to threaten peace, citizen security and justice in Jamaica.

Members of the LGBT community have reported to J-FLAG that eight gay men have been murdered within the last three months bringing to the fore the reality that despite progress towards greater tolerance, the LGBT community continues to be at great risk of violence.

Among the most recent attacks against the gay community was the savage killing of two young men. The men were apparently brutally murdered with blunt instruments in the vicinity of the intersection of Trafalgar Road and Lady Musgrave Road. People who are homeless frequented this area. Among them are young gay men who have been made homeless because of the continued intolerance of homosexuality in Jamaica.

While the motive for these latest senseless killings remains unclear, we expect that the government and police will thoroughly investigate all crimes, thereby mitigating their impact on all Jamaicans, regardless of socio-economic status, disability, health status, sexual orientation or gender identity. We stand ready to partner with the police to bring justice and respect to those whose right to life has been violated.

We also ask the Jamaican public and media to allow the police to conduct their investigations and resist the urge to judge the victims or the motive of their deaths. Let us instead recognise the inherent dignity of every person and respect that should be accorded to every living being while demanding the same justice for these men that we all deserve.

We call on the prime minister and the ministers of national security and labour and social security to listen to the cries and needs of members of our community who continue to be subjected to discrimination and violence, have nowhere to live and no food to eat because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

As we work collectively towards achieving Vision 2030, we invite all Jamaicans to embrace our common humanity and demonstrate respect for the lives of all people as we help make Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

Dane Lewis

 

Executive Director, J-FLAG

 

PO Box 1152

 

Kingston 8

 

admin@jflag.org

ENDS

I hope that this murder is NOT paraded as a homophobic murder by the establishment as it is not as the alleged killer is also a member of the community. Intra and Inter community reasons are said to be the cause here with homelessness playing a major role.

Albeit the closure of the Safe House Pilot Project which was set up by a previous Executive Director of JFLAG’s parent Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, JASL still has a bad taste in many person’s mouths including the very men at the time who were made homeless again for reasons among which was the so called bad behaviour of the very men who were housed therein in 2010. JFLAG during the tumultuous time said or did nothing to stop the subtle eviction as one would have expected from any independent non aligned advocacy structure would have done on behalf of its representative groups that is claims to speak for. Fast forward to June 13 and all the mess and fallouts and even other deaths not so reported by the mainstream press in between as these two victims have recieved, it took this for JFLAG to finally talk about homelessness? while pretending to be so concerned about the group when bloggers, other activists, influentials and even other NGOs have been questioning over the years since the closure of the Safe House Project aforementioned where is the group during the struggles of the men to survive on their own despite their “bad behaviour?” especially the fact that the men were not far away from the offices of the organization whilst attacks, chases and beatings persisted with very little concern shown.

Let us also not forget: Rowdy gays banned by J-FLAG, JASL ………

Yes there is some truth that the men do call unto themselves uneeded heat as they can be loud and extraverted especially the effeminate members of the population which has led to some homo-negative press and homophobic violence but aren’t the two organizations above equipped with qualified behaviour change experts who ought to have at least understood anticedences when it comes to “bad behaviour hence leading to proper interventions?”

Why did we have to wait until two young promising lives are snuffed out before we see some media shenanigans from JFLAG? these two brothers were younger members of the displaced community who were alleged to be involved in commercial sex work as well. It smacks of a kind of opportunistic activity here by the J to use this issue as it has with other media episodes on LGBT life to present itself as concerned when the realities clearly indicate otherwise.

Why are most things just a press release or a set of letters to the editors and very little grass roots work to address inter and intra community issues?

Let us not forget the politics surrounding the two organizations named and the interior set up, it is important to note that they are all interlinked hence the description coined by some as the incestuous mess, could this be another reason why we can’t see any proper interventions to address homelessness separate and apart from the seemingly manufactured excuse that both groups do not have the resources to do that kind of work not to mention the apologists who are quick on the draw since these two murders and some question of accountability being brought into the subsequent discourse on social media and on the party scenes.

The other issue as well that the J has been getting some flack whether it knows it or not is the matter of gay for pay as alleged in another gruesome murder of a community member just a day before the Trafalgar matter where some have been asking where is the presence on the ground in knowing community members and or at least the cruising communities so as to identify and if not have preemptive workshops on how to negotiate sex with the hypermasculine DL segment of the MSM populations. Certainly JFLAG and other representative groups need to step up their game this is not the late nineties when the community was gullible and hid behind the body as it spoke on our behalf supposedly, things and times have changed drastically some for the better some for the worse and the representation needs to change with it while becoming really effective and not just a press release factory in what some say is a kind of intellectual duplicity.

JFLAG (and its affiliate Jamaica AIDS Support for LIFE) needs to accept some responsibility in the Trafalgar murders, simply put it has failed miserably in addressing homelessness and displacement especially in the last two plus years since the closure of the pilot Safe House Project, it kept disturbingly quiet when the ultimatum was issued and project was closed and the first of two civil disobedience actions by the men although it was clear the men in the shelter at the time would have been made homeless yet again coupled with new additions as more young msms become displaced hence homeless afterwards due to forced evictions and homophobia, not to mention the use of the very space that was the shelter to become the J’s present office. It cannot function independently of JASL or even the sister group Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition as the principals of these two groups have some connection to the J in some instances showing clear conflict of interest so matters that are deemed not important in their eyes at the time just simply do not get attended to, a fact known to many who have gone through the systems. The belief or perception also that the “bad behaving men” are somehow unworthy of any serious support is tacitly supported by the J it seems as they are silent as per usual on matters of homelessness except one sluggish radio interview in 2011 in radio Jamaica’s Beyond The Headlines where the group’s Executive Director then alongside the current ED of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life tried to paint a picture as if they tried other programs such as a gardening project to which the men barely responded, this suggests to me a mindset that the men must accept any little thing that is handed to them no matter how insignificant or paltry it may seem but the question comes again where are the behaviour change experts who know that this population needs more than just a handout or patchwork half house typed facilities without the proper basic psycho social support?

To suggest that it cares about the plight of persons despite socio economic status smacks on a kind of hypocrisy that exists overall in the LGBT community, we know fully well the elitism and classism that runs counter to all that is to be wholesome and these factors even affect how business is done, the vast majority of activists in its midst have never been exposed to the real life issues surrounding stigma and especially displacement/homelessness so they do not exert any willingness to engage such populations, as one community member said it recently near the murder site educated upper middle income folks speaking on behalf of ordinary people …………. this suggests a disconnect in my view, a problem that must be addressed if there is to be any movement in real grassroots work amongst the least of us.

Many persons including myself would love to support any properly thought through and laid out programs to address homelessness in particular but given just some of the challenges as hinted to above how can we get there without some serious paradigm shifts happening? ……………… while our brothers (and sisters as the case maybe) languish and suffer sometimes in silence, if this matter did not get the media spotlight we probably would not have heard a thing from the J, apart from the 8 persons tragically taken from us since this year some of which have made mainstream news there were two other murders in the New Kingston area as well at the other base where substance abusers and homeless persons also use, this was confirmed just days before the Trafalgar matter made news but was not highlighted in the press.

see more on that HERE: Homeless population continues to spiral ….. and Murder, Homelessness and fallouts …………….

Other community influentials have become weary as well due to all the issues surrounding the men over the years so they too have contributed to the aloofness towards to populations, the scholarship program started by some have since wained and the feeding programs have died in the water, the recent Green Gables troubles with the subsequent mobbing in front of the popular theatre and the added Chicken n Things incident has not helped any. The murder also of one of the private donors towards some support for those who want to return to some sort of schooling has greatly affected what little avenue was available to assist if not one member of the group.

So much to ponder on regarding our homeless populations and where to go, the ethical and moral considerations are not too far behind, if we are to be credible with all the letters, thesis, scholarships and impressionable radio interviews will all be for naught if we do not treat with balance the real marginalized amongst us, how can we ask for tolerance from the mainstream when we are so contemptuous of our lesser populations, we already have enough on our plates from the anti gay establishments then this towards our own?

here is a synopsis in audio:

Peace and tolerance

H

Not Ready For Gays ……. Gay Marriage smoke screen reintroduced ……………. political dodging

Jamaica is making positive steps towards securing and meeting its human-rights and civil-rights obligations says new Prime Minister Holness.

Why is the new Prime Minister made to look as if he is resorting to The Gay Marriage smoke screen as his predecessor did, did we ever ask for gay marriage rights in Jamaica? I don’t think so, when we can’t even get pass just being seen as citizens of this country? is the Gleaner glibly adding this issue of gay marriage to murk the waters? Is the new Prime Minister stalling for time? See the Gleaner’s headline first and the other materials and decide for yourselves:

Not Ready For Gays

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

Despite renewed pressure from Britain for Jamaica to repeal its anti-buggery law, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says it will be up to Jamaicans to signal such a desire.

Holness, who described himself as a “liberal in many things” and “a fiscal conservative on the economic side”, said the Government recognises that homosexuality offends many Jamaicans.

“What the international community must be aware of in the Jamaican context is that we are a democracy, and this democracy is opening up more; people are talking; there are discussions, and I think they should support the evolving discussion. Over time, our democracy will settle at a position,” Holness said, in an interview with The Sunday Gleaner.

Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to withhold aid from governments that did not repeal existing laws that criminalise homosexuality.

un request

On Friday, gay-rights group Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) claimed that Jamaica has been requested by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee to take specific actions to protect and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jamaicans and to report on the steps taken by next year.

“The committee has requested that the Government take steps to amend the buggery law and provide protection for LGBT persons and human-rights defenders. Specifically, they recommended that the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms be reviewed to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, and provide an update in one year,” a release from JFLAG said.

For his part, Holness stressed that Jamaica has done much to protect individual rights and liberty.

He said governments have to pay attention to defending human rights and protecting civil rights.

While conceding that the country needs to do more in the area of human rights – for example, including that of protecting children, Holness said Jamaica has been honouring its obligations under international conventions.

He told The Sunday Gleaner that civil-rights provisions in the Constitution continue to be a work in progress.

“We spent almost 12 years debating what those civil rights should be, and those civil rights are now enshrined in a Charter of Rights,” Holness said.

“And so, Jamaica is making positive steps to securing and meeting its human-rights and civil-rights obligations. Jamaica will continue (to do so) as it is a good global citizen, to meet these obligations.

“We pay attention, as we are global citizens, to what people have said, including what our own people are saying, and it is a conversation that is evolving,” he added.

consider public impact

Holness argued that while it is important to protect the liberty of the person and the private space of the individual, the law must take into consideration the public impact of behaviours.

“People’s private actions have public effect. In the Jamaican context, there is a public effect and governments have to pay close attention to that,” he said.

Jamaica’s Charter of Rights, which was passed by Parliament this year, does not recognise same-sex marriages.

When the Charter of Rights was being debated, then Prime Minister Bruce Golding made it clear his administration was not in support of gay marriages.

“There is the possibility that, some time in the future, Parliament could pass a law that says same-sex unions are legal, but it won’t be done in this Parliament – not as long as I sit here,” Golding said.

“I make no apology in saying decisively and emphatically that the Government of Jamaica remains irrevocably opposed to the recognition, legitimisation or acceptance of same-sex marriages or same-sex unions,” Golding declared.

The former prime minister, who had declared he would not appoint gays to his Cabinet, said that while he accepts that Government “should not interfere in what two consenting adults choose to do within their own protected privacy, I will not accept that homosexuality must be accepted as a legitimate form of behaviour or the equivalent of marriage”.
daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com

ENDS

My two cents continued


The particular tranche of aid that maybe affected is a bilateral one known as general support,the aid was vital as it was used to rehabilitation programs for deportees who are helped to rejoin society, training and support. National Security Minister Dwight Nelson said on a radio interview that if aid was cut Jamaica could not afford to run such a program at this time.

Let us also not forget we got some $327 million debt relief earlier this year.

This issue has not been properly ventilated from day one, I still contend that the UK Prime Minister never named the countries although implied he was suggesting but one would imagine it would be the African states as they have been far more active in as far as anti gay legislation and subtle support of violence sanctioned by their complicity. We could have been more cautious before coming down on it. Also the suggestion by some American rights activists such as Truth Wins Out and In The Life Media who say Christian right movements and conservatives are supporting financially the religious anti gay lobbyists in Uganda in particular in the push for that country’s anti gay bill presented being debated in their parliament.

also see:  Intersections of Church and State where the connections are shown in a documentary on the issue

No Jamaican government and indeed the opposition are going to support this political dynamite that can make or break the life of a politician given the emotional sentiments of many ill-informed Jamaicans on the ground coupled with the dangerous down low community who in a desperate attempt to remain so join the public anti gay throng and their sentiments. The opposition by the way (People’s National Party PNP) has a far more larger LGBT support than the JLP does and even though they conveniently sided the ruling JLP on the invented gay marriage trope thrown in the Charter of Rights debate in 2009/10 has been extremely silent on this issue since it broke.

Here is former Prime Minister Bruce Golding on his feet in October 2009 on gay marriage during The Charter of Rights Debate:

also see:  Gay Marriage – An Invented Issue by the christian right movement

here is my two cents further in audio: On The UK Aid Removal and Holness’s Response …….. 06.11.11  –

and an archived discussion on the issue on nationwide with the PM in October 2009 declaring his opposition to supposed Gay Marriage –

Nationwide on the PMs speech on same sex marriage October 14, 2009

also see more from my sister blogs:

Why the British PM can wield a big ‘homosexuality’ stick (Observer) …… smoke in the room buggery vs homosexuality confusion

Reactions continue to come in on the UK’s stance on AID to anti gay laws hosting nations

PNP: Homosexuality, death penalty serious issues ……….. Dealing with cultural diversity a major task for the PNP

Ghana refuses to grant gays’ rights despite aid threat

CVM TV’s Live @ 7 on the UK AID Withdrawal threat & responses …….

from the BBC

 Cameron threat to dock some UK aid to anti-gay nations

 

and a press release from 

Government to Report on the state of “Buggery” Laws in 2012

here is a sense of some of the amounts we have recieved over the years 1968 – 2008 more HERE

nov 7, 2011 –  a letter in reponse to the Gleaner piece was published in the same paper as penned by AIDSFREEWORLD consultant and lawyer Maurice Tomlinson in a sense welcoming the PM’s stance ….. Liberate Gays

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In the lead story of The Sunday Gleaner of November 6, 2011 titled ‘Not ready for gays’, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, “People’s private actions have public effect. In the Jamaican context, there is a public effect, and governments have to pay close attention to that.”

This is a most rational and commendable acknowledgment by the new PM. Pity he didn’t, or wasn’t allowed to, expound on the public effect of continued criminalisation of private, consensual, adult male same-sex intimacy.

In this regard, I would like to highlight that many heterosexual women have approached me urging that I increase the level of advocacy around decriminalisation of adult male same-sex intimacy, simply because they are not sure who they are in bed with.

If gay men (estimated at seven to 10 per cent of the population) were able to engage in their own sexual relations unmolested by the law, they would be less likely to expose their female partners (and resulting children) to untold physical and psychological harm.

Failure to decriminalise homosexual activity is condemning the Jamaican public to many more years of unnecessary misery.

MAURICE TOMLINSON

maurice_tomlinson@yahoo.com

I have a major issue with this as it smacks on a tacit support that HIV is gay disease and the links in the bisexual population which also smacks of biphobia from the adovcacy structure that is more pro gay than bi or transgender concerned. Here is my audio response as well – Liberate Gays Letter by Tomlinson Biphobia by default 07.11.11

Peace and tolerance

H

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

Elon Parkinson started off the short discussion with the video being rejected by another station that being Television Jamaica and he asked why not this PSA?, he also said he was not sure of host station of his show CVM TV’s position on airing the new ad calling for tolerance with actors former Miss Jamaica Christine Straw and her brother Matthew.
Patricia Donald of Women’s Media Watch was live in studio, she said the media was hypocritical as they air violence and stigmatised items making women passive beings for example and men strong, overbearing sexual beings with masculine prowess the main messages.
She questioned what was wrong with the ad why the television stations would not air the clip?
It’s high society persons who are presenting this announcement and she continued that it was the whole family who may be going through this outing of sorts. Where does the right of one person stops, she said the ad challenges us to ask what is love?
Persons questioned on camera basically disagreed that the media was not hypocritical many agreed that homosexuality is wrong many feared that young people may interpret the ad the wrong way thinking its normative, Miss Donald commended CVM TV however for airing the issue on live television. In the matter of accepting or condoning homosexuality she said the three issues are not related and differ as each member of the public interprets it. Out of five persons all said no they didn’t think it was hypocritical by TVJ.
Meanwhile Dr. Livingston White media consultant and lecturer at Caribbean Institute of Media and Communicationwho was also live in studio echoed my sentiments in my previous posts that the Jamaica Forum for Lesbian Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG used the wrong colour folks for this ad as it may rub some persons the wrong way. The ad had too much “noise” possibly drowning out the real message of tolerance which is a good idea but the timing maybe wrong and the strategy seemed not well thought out, possibly suggesting some proper study or consultancy in this regard, noise here meaning distraction from what the real meaning of the intended message(s) is/are. Patricia McDonald agreed and said that other issues on the horizon may cloud the message as well such as how we relate to sexualities with emerging identities and orientations as transgender and intersex which she implied were missing from the main discourse.
Mr. White continued that proper research should have been done as persons may not have identified with the characters, the audience must also be considered carefully in planning any campaign. His answer to the airing of the previous ad with other rights activists, a reverend and more he said that it had a mixture of actors and messages based on HIV/AIDS Miss Patricia Donald agreed he continued that the shock appeal can work with this new ad with Miss Straw and her brother but other social interventions are needed to support the campaign, suggesting possible fallout from such campaigns, a kind of unneeded martyrdom as I interpret it, he said it seemed as a rush campaign not properly thought through and thus executed without proper guidance or planning, social change may not occur overnight and there must be a long term plan and the ad in its present form may also hurt the progress made if any in terms of the public discourse now more mature than years before.
Are we addressing the behaviour or the actions he asked as since certain acts are illegal under law. Tolerance, condoning and accepting are three different issues or descriptions, here echoing Miss Donald’s earlier point.
Here is the question asked on Live @ 7 Facebook Page
Settle the score: Do you think the Jamaican broadcast media is being hypocritical by not airing the Public Service Announcements on gay tolerance?
Here are some answers:

Anything god against i’m also against it so mek them goweh wid them dirty acted. Them must not air nthng bout dem. Under the earth dem fi live where real people cant c dem!!

Wow! This is a very touchy topic! People should learn to accept each other even if u don’t agree with each others sexual preference so if airing these announcements teach acceptance which inturn stem voilence, why not?

No they are not,i think they reserve the right to broadcast what is legally accepted. On the contrary,why would the gay community want it to be aired and they have spent so many years behind the walls.

No i don’t think so. In Jamaica it is still considered taboo for a man and woman to be “affectionate” in public. Nobody wants to see homosexuals do that. I have no problem with someones sexuality, just don’t try and throw it in my face. We have rights too.

No I dont think the media is being hypocritical the tolerance level of GAYS in our pretty little island is quite low enough already airing persons disgust will only heighten violence against those who support them, against the homos and against the media house that should choose to broadcast homosexuality whether or not the views express are not those of said media this will irate a lot of person

I don’t think so,but at the same time everybody entitled to their own lives and opinion,and I think it would have a great impact on the innocent young men coming up.

i’ll deal with the issue when/if it presents itself but i’m not into the whole desensitization of our nation’s children…we’re a Christian nation and if we don’t stand for something we’re going to fall for everything…i’m by NO means homophobic, but that doesn’t mean I like sexually suggestive behaviours being flaunted in my face, gay straight or curved…selah

Here is my advice to the gays. Word an add like this, homosexuality is unnatural, repulsive, reprehensible nd abominable, however any1 is welcome to join at their own risk. Im sure the media wouldn’t have a prob with that.

The gay community already know how jahn public feel mi nuh tink dem waah wax cleana fi clean out dem ears hole r eye glass fi read an less dem waah a beatin den dem can go demanstrate fi freedom a peech an chice jahn public cyah talarate hunga an bruk u waah bring adam & steve to dat de frustrashan well as mi seh dem waahnta beatin dem cyah go out deh go tan up pan treet side wid kiard bode rite up den wi

whatever the case may be, buggery is illegal in ja so to broadcast gay acceptance msg is sorta supporting illegal activities

ppl oonuh nuh affi worri dat deh media house a go shet dung if dem wonce carry nuttin fram dem mi guh pan dem website it seh new ad fi hit augus encouragin ppl fi luv gay pickni well tank gad augus dun it ahlso seh vielence pan de inkreese inna jamdung tek note HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE ON THE INCREASE IN JAMAICA wha mure oonu waahnt

So tell me now, men who love men and women who love women want us to accept and tolerate them; who the hell is gonna be next? – men who love children? Men who love goat? Men who love their own daughters? We need to send a strong message to all those abnormal pleasure driven perverts, no one was born a faggot. You chose that way of life. You, those who have sex with children, animals and birds are all the same.



Clearly it’s a start to the continued discourse on this campaign it would be good though for JFLAG to consider with drawing the ad as it stands which was hinted to by Dr. Livingston White as he said the Youtube version may not be the one the television station rejected as he said that version is too raw and needs major dressing up, in effect that version could not have been used for television but JFLAG has the advantage of the matter getting some traction from the furor so persons can go to the major social media sites including YouTube to see the ad which he suggested they should use to their advantage.
An influential had called for the ad to be withdrawn for reasons of the non consultation with the wider LGBT body politic or seven persons deciding for the rest of us but an attempted muzzling took place, see more on my sister blog GLBTQ Jamaica on Blogger:

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

There was a call-in section afterwards most callers had mixed feelings some agreed that there was some hypocrisy but also added their ought to be considerations for tolerance.
Christine Straw and her brother Matthew who appear in the ad did not appear on the show as was previously thought they would have. Mr. Parkinson went a little controversial near the end when he said the Bible may be inaccurate in some cases in a response to a caller who said the Bible says homosexuals should be killed.
I feel JFLAG’s credibility is however shattered as with regards to the recently concluded civil disobedience by sections of the MSM homeless populations after they have been banned from going to certain NGOs associated with JFLAG.
Peace and tolerance
H

New Ad Encouraging Families to Love Gay Children by JFLAG to Hit TV in August …. but

PRESS RELEASE from JFLAG
Kingston, Jamaica —July 28, 2011

“Homophobia must be eliminated [in Jamaica] immediately” was the rallying cry of Pamela E Bridgewater, the United States Ambassador to Jamaica. “The US Mission joins all partners in the fight against homophobia [because] as President Obama says, no one should be hated because of who they love,” she stated.
The US Ambassador was addressing a packed audience at the launch of ‘Unconditional Love’, a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring Christine Straw, former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe, and her brother Matthew Straw on July 28, 2011. Heading the list of endorsees were Hilary Nicholson from Women’s Media Watch, Helin Jenkinson, First Counsellor at the European Union, Dr. Pierre Somse, UNAIDS Representative in Jamaica, Rob Fuderich, UNICEF Representative, Yvonne Sobres, Convenor of Family Against State Terrorism and a number of other human rights and HIV activists.

Unconditional Love tells a heart warming story of Christine Straw who declares her unending love for Matthew, her brother who is gay, while calling on Jamaicans to love their family members and friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). “As Jamaicans we have to stop this stupidity of alienating our [people] because of their homosexual orientation,” stated Straw. “They are our brothers and our sisters and we must love them, no matter what [..] because they need support and encouragement,” she said.

In detailing the impact of homophobia in Jamaica, Maurice Tomlinson, Legal Adviser at AIDS-Free World (AFW) said his organisation was proud to support this collaborative venture which calls on all Jamaicans to live up to their world renowned culture of One Love. He stressed that members of the LGBT community must also strive to understand the source of the lack of knowledge of persons who stigmatize and violate their rights and hurt them. “The empowerment of these individuals is crucial for the breaking down of walls which prevent persons from seeing the true value of the contribution LGBT Jamaicans make to the society” Tomlinson said.

According to Dane Lewis, Executive Director at Jamaica’s only gay rights lobby, Jamaica Forum of Lesbians All Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), “it is our hope that this inspiring public declaration of love will motivate other families and friends of LGBT to share their stories of acceptance and that those who are on a journey to acceptance will be moved to love LGBT persons in their lives unconditionally.”
Dr. Pierre Somse of UNAIDS was insistent that Jamaica had to keep pace with the rest of the world and get rid of anything that might retard the gains made in reducing the spread of HIV over the years. “Homophobia is a major stumbling block to effective HIV interventions and unless we guarantee the human rights of homosexuals, all other populations are at risk,” Dr. Somse highlighted.
A similar sentiment was echoed by Yvonne McCalla Sobres of Families Against State Terrorism (FAST), “When the state ignores the harm and hurt being felt by any population, because of their difference this is tantamount to state terrorism. It cannot therefore be business as usual for us here in Jamaica”
Unconditional Love , is another collaborative initiative of J-FLAG, Jamaica AIDS Support For Life (JASL), the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and AFW aimed at promoting the human rights of persons who are members of the LGBT community by encouraging Jamaicans to be unreserved about who they love’. The PSA will hit TV screens and the internet immediately.
Link to PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhH6UhfEI-E

For interviews contact:-
Pierre Somse UNAIDS 960-6536-8 (office) or 919-8537 (cell)
Ian McKnight CVC 631-7299 (office) or 474-8847 (cell)
Kandasi Levermore JASL 978-2345 (office) or 875-2737 (cell)
Dane Lewis J-FLAG 978 8988 (office) or 875-2328 (cell)
Maurice Tomlinson AFW 784-0908 (cell)

One hopes that this is not the only video in this campaign as it certainly does not reflect the true demographic of LGBT people in Jamaica, in fact it may reinforce the “black stay back, brown stick around” culture on a national level and on an inter- community level it may reinforce the feeling that some Jamaicans are better off than others who live above a certain geographical boundary who can live a more north american utopia typed life while those who are below that are continually abused, beaten and suffer homophobia. The divide has always been an issue in our community it affects how we socialise and how even advocacy is dealt, this could be described as a formalization of that contemptuous and top down approach to how business is done. It is as if to say families do not exist elsewhere. Families also exist in the inner cities and middle class Jamaica, is JFLAG et al saying the “comfortable” should get more comfortably? what about the others who do not have this existence and experience everyday?
This also dropped when sections of the nation, media and academia are looking at the port traumatic effects of post traumatic effects of slavery right in the Emancipation/Independence celebrations when “blackness” is looked at more so than any time of year.
Sad that the latest attempt though noble misses the mark in my view really in gelling the community despite of social standing and to think this has the backing of groups like FAST, Families Against State Terrorism who know all too well that it is not a Miss Jamaica or her brother who are the real victims of violence let alone any form of direct harmful stigma and discrimination as class determines how one is treated.
See what you make of it.
Peace and tolerance
H

Gleaner Editorial – JCF In Shadow Of SSP Bailey

And here we thought the issue would have died by now and we can move on quietly, yes we know that there maybe fall out but working this story to the bone might be the reason that leads to that after we are keeping the issue in the public domain for so long even after an early apology from the Jamaica Constabulary Force…

Have a read of the editorial and see what you make of it, I still belive we should let this one go but since the supportive stance may also be good for the advocates JFLAG it may go wrong for the ordinary LGBT folk on the ground, but who cares?

Source

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Quite sensibly, the police commissioner, Mr Owen Ellington, has distanced the constabulary from the declaration by one of his key lieutenants, Mr Fitz Bailey, that gays were the major players in organised crime, and led in the one that leeched money from foreigners in lottery scams.

As we have stated in these columns, the inanity of the comment lies in the senior superintendent’s failure, even assuming his statement were true, to prove that sexual orientation has some bearing on criminal involvement.

Also, Mr Bailey and his other officers have not informed the public of their foolproof systems of establishing sexual orientation, whether of heterosexual or homosexual criminal suspects. And if so, perhaps the constabulary will soon publish its sexual-orientation profiles for all criminals – from murderers and housebreakers, to scrap-metal thieves, and even corrupt cops.

But while we welcome Mr Ellington’s action, the failure of Mr Bailey himself to apologise, and the lack of censure against him are matters of grave concern that raise questions about the culture of the police force and whether the police chief’s statement was merely a sop to the critics.

Up to last week, Mr Bailey was head of the police unit that investigates organised crime. Coming to his last day in the post, he told reporters that gays were responsible for a large portion of organised crime in Jamaica.

Potential targets

To this newspaper, and to many people in the society, Mr Bailey’s remarks, especially in the context of a generally homophobic Jamaica, could potentially cause gays to become the targets of violence, of which they are too often victims merely because of their lifestyles.

What was particularly sad is that Mr Bailey did not appreciate the folly of his gay-criminal correlation. So in attempting to explain his position he only exacerbated the ridiculousness of his position.

So, in came Mr Ellington with damage control.

Confoundingly, Mr Ellington had a word with Mr Bailey, a senior superintendent, who shared information, including discussions with the gay lobby J-FLAG, “supporting his assertion”.

Mr Bailey, it appears, has not changed his position, but according to Mr Ellington, “fully understands the basis of concern for the safety and well-being of members of the gay community, who may be targeted by misguided individuals simply because of the statements under reference”.

Concerned what partners think

Mr Ellington has some practical concerns, including the possible reaction of countries – where the rights of individuals, lifestyle regardless, are esteemed – that provide economic and other support to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

“The JCF, therefore, withdraws the statement and expresses regret to all Jamaicans and our international partners for any concern, anxiety and any appearance of unfair labelling which may have been construed from the message,” Mr Ellington said.

It is moot whether the statement was the JCF’s or Mr Ellington’s to withdraw in the absence of a retraction by Mr Bailey – unless it is to be assumed that the senior superintendent had spoken on behalf of the Police High Command.

The episode speaks to the retrograde culture of the JCF that still has little regard or tolerance for ideas such as the rights of individuals and equality under the law. ‘To Serve, Protect and Reassure’, the JCF’s motto, is for narrow application.

With corruption almost endemic in the police force, Mr Ellington, assuming he believes in the mission, has much work to do to reform the force.

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

ENDS

Also see:

Apology Accepted JCF but some questions linger on many fronts

Stereotyping from Police

 

 

JFLAG Welcomes JCF Apology

 

 

 

Irresponsible Statement (Gleaner Letter 15.07.11)

Bailey

So the war of words continue on Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey Bailey’s comments on TVJ July 11th during the Prime Time News, see the video below or go to my sister blog on blogger for other rantings I have done on the issue. The apology from the Jamaica Constabulary Force is also contained therein, Everyone seems locked on what SSP Bailey said and not the part television Jamaica had to play in this gross irresponsibility by the station itself in its ethical position when presenting stories. Have a read of the letter and my subsequent comments I placed on the Gleaner page, I hope the page admins there allow them to be published as recently my comments have not been approved.

Listen closely as well to the video clip of the story and see what you make of it please.

Jamaica Gleaner Company

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am deeply concerned by the recent statements by Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey on TVJ’s Prime Time News on Monday, July 11, that young homosexual (gay) men are the main perpetrators of organised crimes in Jamaica. This public declaration is most concerning to me as I have never heard of crime being attributed to a group of people by their sexual orientation. When has it ever been reported that certain types of crime were mostly caused by heterosexuals, lesbians or bisexuals?

This, to me, is a dangerous and irresponsible precedent being set, especially in a society where it is the norm to discriminate and perpetrate violence against homosexuals. Jamaica is noted to be one of the most homophobic countries in the world, where our intolerance to homosexuals is displayed even in songs played daily on responsible radio stations.

I would think it is the responsible thing to do for Senior Superintendent Bailey to return to the media with the relevant data/statistics that prove his statement. These facts should clearly display that homosexuals are indeed perpetrating high levels of organised crimes and show comparisons with groups of persons of sexual orientations (heterosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals) and the types, amount and period they commit these crimes. I am deeply concerned when persons come in the public sphere and make egregious statements without them being proved as fact-based or substantiated. I firmly believe that not everyone in a ‘senior’ position is suitable to represent and be allowed to speak publicly for the respective organisations. Where is the responsibility?

While I believe that Senior Superintendent Bailey is an honourable man, I question his intent and motivation. I urge him to do the honourable thing and revisit his statements and think of the harm and serious damage that could be caused by his not-so-well-thought-out public utterances.

HDM

Kingston 10

ENDS

my comment to this letter:

“SSP Bailey may have erred indeed that is undeniable but as to how it was presented to us I think TVJ is also grossly irresponsible in how they ferreted the information and thus presented it to us, Nadine McCleod the reporter at the time said clearly that the gentleman did not elaborate what specific crimes same gender loving men were involved in, wouldn’t it have been prudent for a journalist/reporter and by extension the newsroom editor/mgr to even go as far as a last minute follow-up before going on air with this news?

Notice she only mentioned the lottery scam AFTER the juicy section was presented, trickery desso to me.

To simply say to us in the piece that he didn’t specify and leave it hanging is grossly irresponsible journalism, it seems to me TVJ already had the juicy part when he said gays were responsible for the so called crimes, sensationalist hype to me, the gay community has to be careful how we jump at everything too quickly without checking and rechecking.

Did JFLAG ask for the full recording of the interview to see if any editing was done to leave out any context SSP may have said ? I doubt it, the ethical point has not been challenged.

Also he (SSP) did say twice in the short clip that made it to air that: “I am not going to be prejudicial in my statement ….What I observed is that maybe 80 – 90% of these persons are homosexuals, it is something …. I don’t know the gay community … not being prejudicial but that’s what we have identified.”

Think on these things”

Peace and tolerance

H

also see:

Gay Profiling By Cop Reckless

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This is an open letter to the commissioner of police.

I am not gay, and I do not support the homosexual lifestyle. I think it is unnatural.

Having said that, I was shocked to hear one of your senior officers come on public television and, without any empirical evidence, declare that upwards of 80 per cent of organised crime in Jamaica are done by homosexuals. That was a very reckless and dangerous thing to do. Not only should he be reprimanded, but he should personally be made to retract the statement.

If you stop to think about it, such a statement is no different from saying that all Middle Eastern-looking men wearing turbans are suicide bombers, or all black people on a plane (especially one coming from Jamaica) are carrying drugs!

Profiling persons like this is extremely dangerous and sets them up for persecution. You will recall a time in the 1950s and ’60s when all Rastas in Jamaica were deemed to be criminals, which led to them being hunted down and arrested or killed.

What your officer did was wrong! He should acknowledge it and personally apologise.

DOREEN ELLIS

ndellis@hotmail.com

Kingston 6

more-on-the-ssp-statement

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kingston, Jamaica —July 12, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

ENDS

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


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

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

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

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

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon

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

This matter is not dying anytime soon it seems

UPDATE July 14

JCF apologises for ‘gay crime’ statement

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

Peace and tolerance

H

UPDATE July 26.07.11

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

J-Flag Gets meeting with the Pegasus ………… priorities please!!!

From the desk of Dane Lewis

JFLAG’s Executive Director

(November 25, 2010) J-FLAG was invited to a meeting with the General Manager, Hotel Manager and the Director of Sales and Marketing of The Jamaica Pegasus. This meeting was called in response to the issue of J-FLAG being denied the rental of meeting space on November 18.

In sifting through the issues, Eldon Bremmer, the General Manger stated that the reservation had in fact come to his attention and that he knew that access was being denied. He also stated that the decision was based on an unfortunate experience from a private party with members of the community.

The Management admitted that they handled the situation badly and recognised that a different approach was needed to address any concerns they had.

There was an error in judgment and action but this was not out of any mal-intent. They are committed to facilitating engagement with J-FLAG and have agreed on some ways forward. It was underscored by the management that J-FLAG would not in the future be prevented from booking the facilities.

The General Manager has promised to respond to us in writing, copying the partners indicated in our correspondence. We look forward to receiving same and sharing this with you if you do not receive it directly.

Sincerely,
Dane Lewis
Executive Director
Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays – J-FLAG
Tel/ Fax: (876)978-8988
Website: http://www.jflag.org
email: admin@jflag.org

ENDS

Pink Report Jamaica carried the piece as “Pegasus Bows JFLAG issues Letter”

My notes:

Get Equal vs HRC or vice versa in the USA? …… so it looks here as well in a manner of speaking.

It’s seems to be from the outside all about friends in the business impressing and praising each other than really getting down to business of working towards better solutions for the community at large, our situation here is just like a Human Rights Campaign vs The Get Equal group or vice versa in the United States with the war of words where the HRC is accused of hugging up politicians and more interested in  paper matters and cocktail parties with all the perks and Presidential access more than the real LGBTQI issues on the ground that require attention while the HRC defends its position by saying it’s doing the right thing for the community in the face of problems on the ground, problems show up and reveal the true nature of the situation but it is glossed or kept quiet to avoid embarrassment. The impression is they exist to defend the President and not gay people.

See more on the HRC/Get Equal issues with US gay rights and DADT here: http://www.inthelifetv.org/html/episodes/121.html

“………serving in the suites of power while the streets of activism are getting tired and fed up?

Again we see the zeal at which things are done by JFLAG on matters of this nature while lives are still yet displaced, well who cares? it was more important to go after a hotel that didn’t take their business by which case they have a right not to take business even if it looks discriminatory, so what? choices are out there, leave them and their ignorance & hypocrisy. We can’t force persons or businesses to accept us or our money they also have a right to choose, it’s their loss all we need to do is put the Pink Dollar where it is accepted.

Be it resolved I am not against the J but it’s how they do business fortunately I have some inside knowledge having volunteered and worked there for over the life of the group until 2009 and having been a victim of homophobia and going through a prejudicial justice system in 1996 I understand all too well some of the issues involved. As we seh inna yard “he who feels it knows it”

There are many other properties that offer just as good amenities for the business client searching for space for meetings, it’s just beyond me how we, Yes I say we, as advocates (sadly I am still perceived to be associated with the group after leaving, scarred eh? lol) find time for small things when the lives interrupted stay interrupted. This reminds me of how the office space of the J was more important than keeping a homeless shelter opened so they moved into it. Interpret my comments as beef or whatever the bigger picture is what counts in my book, for e,g. for the past weeks we have a section of the community in literal panic and still in that frame of mind as more unconfirmed bad news of violence against women comes forth even in the face of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, though unconfirmed the worry amongst some persons is real and evidenced in comments and phone calls and conversations among peers and friends some persons have opted to literally become hermits in their own homes and are seeking to relocate from certain areas where a series of awful incidents against women in general have been happening. But our advocates choose to go after a rich hotel as that is more important. The other really disappointing thing about happenings in general is that no one is calling the flaws out. The establishment if you will, then we complain to the rest of the world of stigma and discrimination at all levels when here we are selectively going through with contempt for persons who are either not as educated or from lower socio economic classes.

We have a group that clearly doesn’t represent the bigger picture and views of the increasing communities it serves.

SAD indeed.

Personal interventions are good but not nearly enough …. 13yo structure not that good either.

One would have expected JFLAG given its access to resources and funds however small would have been doing the things myself and a growing number of community members are pointing out, individual interventions are limited as we don’t have the skills (social) and funds etc to do what is really needed but it helps in a small way. We must not rest until the lives who really need the interventions and representations are happening the growing frustration in sections of the community when you look to the very group that is to serve as a light for everyone is real, for too long programmatic fluff and political correctness seems far more important than real work on the ground. Some do what and when they can but what’s the point of having millions of dollars in funding coming to one official organization for 13 years plus only for it to almost stop at the payroll and expense departments with little trickling to programs and social services for the community with successive persons beating their chests, most of whom now reside overseas leaving us to face the music.

An ever-increasing number of unruly homeless and nomadic MSMs, a worried, dazed and confused lesbian and bisexual community and a disillusioned transgendered set of persons and a refusal by the J to listen to all views contending even dissenting voices is not a good image for an advocacy group on the ground but the problem is these issues are glossed over with fanciful letters and press releases to look good to an ignorant international community who readily believe based what they have been fed or made to understand all these years.

The moment JFLAG or any more formally arranged structure develops meaningful interventions and conversations towards solving the real problems affecting LGBTQI people I am all ears and hands and make myself available no matter how small, we have to do something to curve where sections of the community is heading.

As we say in Jamaica … it look sticky.

Peace and tolerance

H

View JFLAG’s letter to the Pegasus HERE

JFLAG – Gays Reaffirm Jamaica’s History is anchored in tolerance

 

Friday October 29th by the Police Officer’s Club The J had a quiet protest which was originally scheduled for heroes day weekend but was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. Personally I have taken a decision after much contemplation not to take part in these public agitations AT THIS TIME given the sensitivities of my work on the ground and contacts etc, as a blogger and grassroots person I operate along very fragile lines.

Well it is refreshing to see these long awaited public outcries about our problems, sad that we didn’t do it when I was there but let us watch and see the impact if any these will have noting that this is the fifth such public protest in one year a historical feat thus this post will also be included in the LGBT History category. Respects to Mr. Maurice Tomlinson for pushing this as it seems he is the one really getting the work done by putting his career, life and reputation on the line.

The media however has barely recognized the previous agitations thus the real impact is not really seen or can be measured but the radio ads are currently being run.

Here is the Press Release from JFLAG along with the photo above of the placard bearing supporters.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GAYS REAFFIRM JAMAICA’S HISTORY IS ANCHORED IN TOLERANCE

Kingston — October 29, 2010
In recognition of Heritage Month and the struggles of our forebears, supporters of J-FLAG stood
along Hope Road, south of Jamaica House, this morning Friday, October 29, to remind Jamaicans that tolerance has been a hallmark of Jamaican society and that tolerance for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered Jamaicans is a fundamental part of our diversity. This is articulated in our motto ‘Out of Many, One People’.

Under the theme ‘Tolerance is Our Heritage’ participants stood for 30 minutes starting at 8:00
a.m. clad in the Jamaica national colours and carried placards some of which read ‘Out of Many,
One People,’ ‘Human Rights for All,’ ‘Equal Rights and Justice’, ‘Teach Us True Respect for All.’
In addressing the gathering, Chairman of J-FLAG Gary Mullings reiterated that “as a people,
Jamaicans have a heritage of struggling for our rights.

Through the examples of our national heroes, whose dedication, service and sacrifice in shaping this nation we commemorate this Heritage month, we remember our fight for emancipation, workers rights and independence.”

The message of tolerance needs to be emphasized, as far too many cases of human rights
violations are still being reported to us at J-FLAG, a clear indication that there is a challenge
regarding the respect of the rights of LGBT Jamaicans.

Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS Free World clarified his organisation’s participation by stating that
“intolerance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons only serves to drive the HIV
epidemic underground”. He encouraged the nation to “Follow the lead of our heroes who fought
for the rights and dignity of all Jamaicans”.

Christine Smith, Chairperson of the all women group “Women For Women”, said that WFW’s involvement in this initiative was to remind Jamaicans that they can tolerate diversity and respect the rights of all Jamaicans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

J-FLAG and its supporters will continue to mount advocacy initiatives aimed at securing the
human rights of LGBT members.

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Contact: Dane Lewis -Executive Director

Peace and tolerance

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