LGBT Jamaicans and Allies Protest “Corrective Rapes”

Jim Burroway

September 25th, 2010

J-FLAG's protest against anti-gay violence at Kingston's Emancipation ParkA small group under the auspices of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) held a silent protest at Emancipation Park, a major Kingston landmark, on Friday. The protest was in response to two incidents within days of each other earlier this month, when knife-wielding thugs carried out ‘corrective rapes’ of two lesbians. This follows at least six reported rapes against lesbians in 2009.

Lord Gifford stands with Jalna Broderick JASL, Maurice Tomlinson AFW, Susan Goffe JFJ

International defense attorney Lord Anthony Gifford (in suit and tie) joins Jalna Broderick (Jamaica AIDS Support for Life), Maurice Tomlinson (AIDS Free World) and Susan Goffe (Jamaicans for Justice)

Jamaicans protest in Kingston's Emancipation ParkAccording to J-FLAG, several LGBT allies joined in the protest, including representatives from Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, members of Jamaicans for Justice, Pride in Action, Women for Women, Sex Work Association of Jamaica, Sunshine Cathedral Jamaica, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition and AIDS Free World. J-FLAG continues:

International defence attorney Lord Anthony Gifford, QC, noted that “the issue of violence against gays and lesbians is a human rights issue and I was taking a stand to support that as it is important to keep the issue of rights in the public’s consciousness.”

Susan Goffe, member of Jamaicans For Justice, said “it is important to understand the effect of homophobic rhetoric and the feeling that it is alright to target members of the LGBT community. The state must clearly illustrate by its action that it defends and protects the rights of women and this includes all women regardless of their sexuality. The acts against these women should unambiguously be condemned.”

While the protest was numerically small and lasted only a half hour, it was an audacious showing considering the dangerous atmosphere LGBT people in Jamaica live in. Jamaican society has a deplorable track records when it comes to anti-gay sentiment, where popular dance-hall artists regularly call for killing gay people in their concerts and recordings. Jamaican law currently outlaws male homosexuality with up to ten years in prison. Police mistreatment, mob attacks, death threats, murders all occur on an all-too regular basis under official indifference.

Tone

September 25th, 2010

There are other winter holiday choices with equally beautiful skies, beaches, and oceans.

I’m not generally in favor of a boycott because it usually hurts the citizens who make their living from tourism more than the leaders who oppress them. However I would be very hard-pressed to spend my vacation dollars there given the current state of human rights in that nation.

F Young

September 26th, 2010

“There are other winter holiday choices with equally beautiful skies, beaches, and oceans.”

Besides, Jamaica has very high crime rates, and had a state of emergency this year.

WMDKitty

September 27th, 2010

Yeah. Because a woman is really going to want to have sex with a man after that….

[/sarcasm]

Jasper

September 27th, 2010

“There are other winter holiday choices with equally beautiful skies, beaches, and oceans.”

….so your first thought on this story was “oh, better not go on holiday there!” not something along the lines of “this is fucking awful! How in the hell can I help?!” Wow. Your apathy is stunning, but commonplace.

Get angry and do something, people!

Priya Lynn

September 28th, 2010

And Jasper, other then berating people what are you doing to help out? Lead by example…

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