The Jamaica Outpost
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00000292/00009
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Title: The Jamaica Outpost
Physical Description: Unknown
Publisher: GL Publishing ( Kingston, Jamaica )
Creation Date: December 2004
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System ID: IR00000292:00009


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Volume I, Issue 7

G' Jamraica (Outpost

Established in June 2004 I ISSN 0799-172X

m The Delhi Hgh Court stroke down
petition by Indan GLBT organization
seeking to have the Indian Constitution
amended to remove colonial dated
laws that outlaw same-sex relations.

* The Guyanese government
proposes legal reform package
that wvill decriinalize horrosexual-

* Bermuda to provide additional
protection for its GLBT community
by banning dscrirrination based
on sexual orientation.

The Jamaica OutPost
P.. 554D. Kingston B. Jamaica
Tel: 87B-8B4-185B
Email: jamaicaoutpostghotmail.com

A publication by II I- I I1,,


Get a copy of this newsletter
delivered to you each month.
Now available in PDF format via e-mail



For a planning committee for a
major GLBT event. Must have
professional abilities and initia-
tive. Errail The Jamaica Out-
Post for further information.

Vii uso ln t

Kingston, Jamaica DECEMBER 2004


On Noventmber 16, Human
Rights Watch (HRW), an inter-
national human rights watchdog
group based in New York City,
held a news conference at the
Courtleigh Hotel & Suites in
Kingston to release a much-
antidpated report the group had
been working on since early this
year. Arong the panelists were
representatives from Jamaica
AIDS Support (JAS), Jamaicans
for Justice (JFJ), Families
Against State Terrorism (FAST)
and the Independent Jamaica
Council for Human Rights
(IJCHR). And, of noted impor-
tance were Rebecca Schleifer
and Scott Long, who spear-
headed the field research and
compilation of the report. The
Jaraica Forum for Lesbians,
AII-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG)
was not part of panel, but mem-
bers of its rranagement comrmit-
tee were present. The report is
titled "Hated to Death," followed
by the subhead "Hormphoba,
Violence, and Jamaica's HIV/
AIDS Epidermic". The report
highlights the Jamaican govern-
ment's disregard to step hormo-
phobia and discrimination

Human Rights Watch Press Conference in Kingston (Photo by The Jamaica OutPost)

against the GLBT community and
people affected by HIV/AIDS.
Among the recommendations
made, the repealing of the bug-
gery laws was the rrost controver-
This article, however, will focus
not on the report itself but on
events following the reports re-
lease. Hours after the news con-
ference by HRW, Supreme Pro-
motions, organizers of Magnum

STING 2004, the proclaimed
greatest one-night Reggae/
Dancehall show on Earth, held a
similar news conference at the
Jarraica Pegasus Hotel in King-
ston. The purpose of this event,
however, was opposite that of
HRW The panel of presenters
included representatives from
Lascelles Wne & Spirit; CVM
Communications Group, the
brand manager of Magnum Tonic
(See PARTNERSHIP on page 2)


A survey done by The Jamaica
OutPost has revealed that the
vast majority of Jamaica's gay,
lesbian, bisexual and trans-
gender (GLBT) community has
very little confidence in the Ja-
maica Constabulary Force
The survey was conducted

among a sample of 43 gay
men, lesbians, transgender and
bisexuals in the parishes of St.
Thomas, St. James, St. Mary,
St. Bizabeth, Manchester, St.
Catherine, St. Ann, Kingston
and St. Andrew. The poll was
initiated in June 2004 and
ended in November 2004.

The findings of the poll indicate
that 71% of the GLBT commu-
nity does not feel secure ap-
proaching the police to report
any threats or incidents related
to their sexual orientation. This
further translates into a reluc-
tance by the GLBT community
(See THE GLBT on page 3)

New fo the Ja aia le ba allseua anIa o m nt

December 2DD004 Volume I Issue 7 Kingston, Jamaica

( ' , ... . .. ,
Wne; high-end security personnel, induding the assistant commis-
sioner of police; and the president of the Jamaica Federation of Musi-
cians. The purpose was to announce some changes that were incor-
porated into contracts offered to performers. The change that is most
relevant to this article is the explicit dause that prohibits the indtement
of any form of violence against any person, induding the gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender community. According to the presenter, in-
ternational laws, spedfically those in the United Kingdom and the
United States of America, have prorrpted their decision to include this
dause in their new contracts with per-

Yet another conference occurred by the
end of the week This time, it was the
CvExpress one-day media seminar,
which took place at the Jamaica Pegasus
in November 19. This seminar had media
personnel from all over the Caribbean
and guests from the USA The first issue
on the agenda was titled "Lyrical Threats
to Brand Jamaica: Artiste and ActMst".
Among the local representatives were
The Jarmica Gleaner, The Jamaica Hotel
& Tourist Assodation (JHTA), The Ja-
rmica OutPost and the Mnistry of Tour-
ism This section of the CMExpress seri-
nar presented some very plausible, opti-
mistic and debatable arguments that will
form the premise of the rest of this artide.

The first of these arguments presented
relates to the proof of "systematic attacks on gays" in Jamaica. The
Jarmica Gleaner quoted the Mnister of Tourism, Aloun Ndombet
Assatba, in an artide published on November 17, as airing there
is no truth to the allegation of a systematic campaign to "to seek out
homosexuals to destroy therri'. The representative of the Mnistry of
Tourism reiterated the response of the minister and further defended
the statement made by saying that the daim has no truth, and he re-
quested "sdentific" proof of any such attacks. In the past six months,
two major international organizations have pointed out to the Jamai-
can government that there needs to be more state protection of the
GLBT community: Amnesty International on June 1 and HRWas men-
tioned above. In its press release, Amnesty International stated that it
had "received many reports of vigilante action against gay people by
memntbers of the community, and of ill-treatment or torture by the po-
lice. Gay men and women have been beaten, cut, burned, raped and
shot on account of their sexuality". Only five days later, Jamaica's
most vocal gay rights activist was brutally murdered. A week later, a
gay man was murdered mob-style in Jamaica's tourist gateway dty of
Montego Bay, an attack which was allegedly fueled by three police
officers on duty, wearing their government-provided uniforms, symbols
of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Wiilst it may be hard to prove
that there is a plan by the government to "wipe out" gay people, the

reaction of the government has certainly not weakened this so-
called allegation. The government was warned. For years, it has
been receiving recommendations from many, and now it realizes
that the "gay" issue is way above its head, it seeks to discredit the
truth. As stated by JFLAG in a press statement in support of the
HRW report, Jamaica has been tarnished not by the "foreign gay
activists" but by the sole failure of the Jamaican government to
"address prejudice".
A second argument that was dear during the CAExpress Seminar
was the role of the media in this controversy. There was a re-
peated call for media houses to do more
research before making claims and gMrng
in to sensationalism This call highlights a
major flaw in the Jamaican situation. The
Jamaica Gleaner printed an article on
Noventer 21, giving voice to religious
leaders, who are naturally anti-gay. Ty-
rone Reid, a Geaner staff reporter, wrote
the article and incorporated several view-
points supporting the premise that the
anti-gay laws of Jamaica should not be
repealed because they are contra the
"laws of God". He failed, however, to edu-
cate people who are seeking to infringe
on the rights and freedoms of every Ja-
maican citizen "to thought, conscience,
belief and observance of religious and
political doctrines", according to Cause
human Rights Watch (b) of Subsection (3) of the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms (Constitutional
Amendment) Act, 2002. The tone of this article dearly set the
stage for rore resistance and conflict instead of educating the
public that it needs to be rore respectful of fellow Jamaican dti-
zens and tolerant of differences. Dr. Vivian Panton and Pastor
Garfield Daley are all entitled to their viewpoints and religious ob-
servations. What about those of the GLBT community? Why
should a rmdern-day sodety condone this sort of systematic ha-
tred and abuse?
The reality of the situation is that this cannot be swept under a rug
in a back room of Vale Royal or Kings House. This situation is out
of control, and the more the Jamaican government prolongs the
dialogue and continues to discredit instrumental reports, the more
offensives will be launched. The GLBT community is not about to
"bot' either, and unless there is some meaningful dialogue to re-
solve the issues of prejudice and the indtement of violence
against the GLBT community of Jamaica, there will never be an
end to the current confrontational approach. It is through commit-
ments to working together as a true out-of-many-one-people na-
tion that we can truly repair the damage and create a peaceful
Jamaica for all Jamaicans; gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, trans-
gender, questioning, curious or whatever sexual orientation we are
made up of.

'7erfr/sugsthtasceyi egaitaia whe ever si*d rrne fel intntv9. uneiaif an unes.erel tha hi re

Hated to Death - Report by Hi

Page 2

The Jamaica OutPust

December 2DD004 Volume I Issue 7 Kingston, Jamaica

Special Feature
This December, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, AII-Sexuals
and Gays (JFLAG) celebrates six years of service and advocacy
for the rights on the GLBT community in Jamaica. This past year
presented many challenges for JFLAG, from the lack of funding
to the loss of its most publicly vocal representative. The high-
lights, however, included a strengthening of relationship with
major local and international human rights organizations, incldud-
ing Amnesty International, Jamaicans for Justice and Human
Rights Watch, to name a few. The organisation was also invited
to participate in some international conferences focusing on hu-
man rights and GLBT issues. Another irrportant achievement
during this year has been the creation of a standardized report
mechanism to document incidents of abuse against menrters of
the local GLBT community, which was a joint project with Ja-
maica AIDS Support. For the coning year, the organization
hopes to irrplement a new programme cycle involving more (ImagecourtesyofJamaica Forumfor
panel presentations and other programmes targeting organisa- Lesuans, Al-Sexuas and Gays)
tions that may come into contact with gay youth. There are also
plans to continue to network with international organizations, forward a bid for legal reform to se-
which may provide more opportunities to examine ways to push cure protection for the GLBT com-
Commentary from a member of the Guyanese GLBT community

The formal recognition of gay
rights in Guyana started in
2000, when that country was
reviewing its constitution and
using the South African model.
The term "sexual orientation"
was to be included in the non-
discrirrinatory clauses, and this
was put to the parliament in
2001, which passed the bill. But
President Jagdeo, under pres-
sure from the evangelical Chris-
tian community, did not sign the
bill that included the anti-
discrirrinatory clauses. He dis-
solved parliament in prepara-
tion for the March 2001 elec-
tions, and many hormphobic
people hoped that the bill would
go away. This was not to be so.
In late 2001, the issues over the
"gay rights" bill and the chal-
lenge to the secular state were

raised again in the letters col-
umns of the Stabroek Abvspa-
per. This discussion continued
throughout 2002 and early
2003. In April 2003, a con-
cerned group held a public dis-
cussion, "Sexual Orientation as
a Fundamental Right," which
was attended by 150 people
from across the community. In
May 2003, the political parties
agreed that all the constitutional
amendments had to be passed,
including the "sexual orienta-
tion" clause. In July 2003, some
students from the University of
Guyana formed a group called
"Students Against Sexual Ori-
entation Discrimination -
SASOD". These students, as
part of their law course, had
written papers on various as-
pects of gay and lesbian rights.

Some of these students had
been taught by Sanjay Kabir
Bavikatte, who had worked
for many years on the rights
of sexual minorities in India.
Recently, the government
announced a legal reform
plan that will see the decrini-
nalizing of homosexuality.
Gay rights advocates in Guy-
ana have recognized that it
right take sometime before
the constitution and the laws
are amended but that the in-
ternational rmvements will
influence the perception in
Guyana and the Caribbttean. It
is evident that collaboration
with like-rinded persons in
the Caribbttean will be neces-
sary to advance the cause.


(The GLBT... Continued from page l)
to provide any information they
may know about crimes comrrnit-
ted against members of the
GLBT community for fear of
being labeled and later becom-
ing the target of gay-related
hate crimes. On the other hand,
29% of the group indicated that
they would approach the police
to report any threats to their
person which is connected to
their sexual orientation. Of the
group interviewed, 14% said
their safety was not at risk here
in Jamaica, but 86% indicated
that their safety is at risk in Ja-
maica as a result of their sexual

The recent publicity of homo-
phobia in Jamaica has not af-
fected the level of fear or lack
thereof among Jamaica's GLBT
community. The poll revealed
that one in every two meters
of the GLBT community has felt
less safe since the horrendous
murder of gay rights activist
Brian Wlliamson in June of this
year. An equal amount has
stated that this killing has not
altered their level of fear.

Jamaica Forum For Lesbians,
AIl-Sexuals and Gays



V\We are compiling a directory of
Caribbean GLBT organizations.
Please contact us with informa-
tion about the GLBT organiza-
tions in your community.

An o mns

Page 3

The Jamaica DutPost

December 2DD004 Volume I Issue 7 Kingston, Jamaica

How can I help to make our society more accepting of GLBT people?

Here are five ways you can help: violence; let him or her know you
1 - ACT: Nothing perpetuates the are available to help. 2 - RE-
status quo better than apathy. Ex- SEARCH: Find out who is sup-
ercse your freedom of speech by porting or advocating discrimina-
sending a letter to the editor, buy- tion and violence, then boycott
ing an ad, posting a message on a their products or services, and
bulletin board, or speaking to your encourage others to do the same.
friends, family, church or co- 3 - LOBBY LEADERS: Let your
workers. If you can't physically get elected officials know that equality
involved as a spokesperson, then issues are important to you and
find like-rinded friends, advocacy that you will vote accordingly. 4 -
groups, even chat rooms to lend PROMOTE TOLERANCE: Dis-
your support. You can also get crimination and bias are learned
involved by supporting someone early, often at home. If you see
who has suffered discrimination or children showing prejudice toward

Health 8 Wellness
Creating optimal health re-
quires two things: maintaining
practices that tend to increase
health and avoiding practices
that tend to decrease health.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult
to know which is which. We are
each unique, so an activity that
night support health in one per-
son night undermine health in
another. So how do we know?
In addition to eating a varied
diet, exerdsing moderately, and

International News

Years ago, South Africa was a
nation under a global entargo
because the government regime
promoted the segregation, ill
treatment and discrimination of
and against black people. Today,
South Africa is a nation to be
saluted for its stance supporting
total reparation for its country-
men, and the needs of the GLBT
community have been a major
aspect of this reparation. South
Africa was the first country in the
world to expressly include sexual
orientation as prohibited grounds
for discrimination when it
adopted a new constitution in
1996. This made South Africa the
first developing country ever to

anyone, encourage them to
choose a more tolerant and lov-
ing path. 5 - LOOK DEEPER:
We are not the only victims of
discrimination or violence, and all
of us carry our own forms of
prejudice. Resist all forms of dis-
crirination, especially those you
night unknowingly be practicing.
If we all take small steps toward
equality, then together we can
create a more just and peaceful
Jamaican society.
[Text your question to 8B4185 ]

managing stress, the most im- to eat earlier in the evening. You
portant activity may be listening can't create optimal health if you
to our own body. Our minds can don't pay attention to the small
easily justify any behaviour, even signs of distress and address
a self-destructive one, but our them before they become bigger
bodies rarely deceive us if we problems. VWe all want good
just pay attention. For instance, health to feel corrfortable and
that recurring lower back pain achieve our goals, so start by
may indicate that you need to do listening to your body's signals
more exercise to strengthen your and changing your behaviours
stomach musdes, or the heart- until you find ones that work.
burn you get every night at bed-
time could mean that you need


take the lead in securing rights
for sexual minorities. The country
has also extended certain rights
to sare-sex couples which are
afforded only to opposite-sex
couples in rrost countries, nota-
bly the immigration right for non-
South African partners of citizens
of this nation. The latest of these
historical roves in South Africa
has come from no place other
than the church. The Dutch Re-
formed Church has come forward
to apologize to the GLBT com-
munity there for comments made
earlier this month by Danie
Botha, a South African Christian
singer. The singer is quoted as
saying that "those who practise

homosexuality or lesbianism
will not see the Kingdom of
God". He later defended him-
self by saying that his remarks
were not his opinion but the
teaching of God. A release
from the Dutch Reformed
Church has established that no
one should be "excluded from
the fellowship of the believers"
and further stated that it has
been an established agreement
within that religious denomina-
tion that homosexuality is not
wrong, even though it contin-
ues to be the topic of many
internal debates.

When: Nov 4, 2004.
From Where: Guyana

Hello, thanks for putting Lp the
story about Guyana in the Inter-
national news section. During
2003, there was a major battle
here to include sexual orienta-
tion as a fundamental right.
Some of the detail is captured
at http://www.geocities.corm
sasodguyana, Congratulations
to all in J'ca who are keeping
the advocacy going.

When: Nov 2, 2004.
From Wiere: Jamaica

The 'Jamaica OutPost' is fantas-
tic!! It has arrived at the perfect
time as Jamaica is at a turning
point (good or bad) where it
comes to relating to the horno-
sexual community. It is a good
reflection of our community
and I hope my sisters and
brothers will contribute to this
site for it can only improve our
relationships and awareness of
others in the life in our country.

Last Month's OutPoll Results
Is it okay to "out" public fig-
Always 18% Sometimes 27%
Never 55%

Monthly OutPoll
Do you believe there is a sys-
tematic campaign against ho-
mosexuals in Jamaica?

Yes / No / Not Sure
Vote online:
Please dick on: OutPoll


Page 4

The Jamaica DutPost