Jump in reported anti-gay attacks across Jamaica: Stop the senseless brutalization of Jamaican gays!
In the past month there has been a jump in reported anti-gay attacks across Jamaica.
- 1)On July 22,17-year-old cross-dresser Dwayne Long Joneswas stabbed and shot to death and thrown into nearby bushes at public street-dance near the resort city of Montego Bay. The Minister of Justice condemned the barbaric act.
- 2) On August 1,as reported on CVM TV, a suspected gay police officer was mobbed in downtown Kingston and fellow officers had to fire gunshots into the air and teargas into the crowd to disperse them.
- 3)Also on August 1, the home of 2 gay men in the parish of St. Catherine was surrounded by an angry mob from the community intent on getting rid of the men. The police had to intervene to rescue them.
- 4)On August 6, reggae artiste Queen Ifrica used her performance at a taxpayer funded independence celebration to condemn gays and demand that they be removed. The Minister of Culture who organized the event apologized.
- 5)On August 10, a cross-dresser in St. Catherine was attacked by a mob and had to be rescued by police.
- 6)On August 22, the home of 5 gay men in the parish of Manchester was attacked by community members who barricaded the men inside. The police had to rescue the men.
- 7)On August 26, the Minister of Education said at a press conference to launch the new Health and Family Life Education Teachers manual that we are not grooming children into the homosexual lifestyle and the only wholesome relationship is between a man and a woman. Ironically, the Minister has an adult gay son who lives outside of Jamaica.
- 8)On August 26, two gay men in the town of Old Harbour had to flee from the scene of an accident when onlookers realized they were gay. The crowd demanded that the men leave their community and relocate to uptown areas. The men had to seek shelter in a police station.There have also been 2 recent gruesome murders of gay men and it remains unclear if their sexual orientation played a part in their deaths. Please see a link below about one such murder, that of Dean Moriah. On the morning of August 27, the police say that Moriah was stabbed several times before his house was set on fire with him inside. http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.phpid=47514
Despite these escalating reported homophobic incidents, the Jamaican government has been largely silent about promoting the human rights of LGBT citizens. On the contrary, On August 26, the Minister of Education (who, ironically, has a gay son) sought to distance the government from "grooming" homosexuals. An urgent appeal was sent to the UN Special Rapporteurs over the signature of groups including J-FLAG and AIDS-Free World (attached) requesting that they condemn the on-going attacks. A request was also made that the government fulfill its international obligations with regard to LGBT citizens. However, I feel a more direct and urgent appeal to the Jamaican government is needed. This is because on September 14, the anti-gay fundamentalist religious group, the Love March Movement, intends to hold yet another public march through the streets of Kingston. (http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Love-March-starts-at-Hope-Gardens-September-14).
A similar march held in Haiti preceded multiple homophobic attacks.Let The Jamaican Government Know You Hate Homophobia
Spend just 5 MINUTES to send a short note to the Jamaican government.
If you feel that this rise in homophobic assaults is unacceptable, and that the government of Jamaica should do more to promote and protect the human rights of the vulnerable LGBT community, please contact the following persons:
The Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, O.N. http://opm.gov.jm/contact-us/
The Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Wykeham McNeill http://tourismja.com/contactus/
The Minister of Justice, Senator The Honourable Mark Golding email@example.com