Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for May, 2008

Barbados Is No Jamaica

Timothy Kincaid

May 27th, 2008

There is no question that the Caribbean islands are not as friendly to gay people as, say, Chelsea or West Hollywood. But Robert Best in Barbados’ makes the argument that Barbados will not follow Jamaica’s increasing hostility and violence towards gays.

Barbados, like some other Caribbean nations, prefers to limit it’s response to mockery and laughter.

For example, even before there was talk about “gay rights”, for generations “she she” men have had to endure ridicule but for the most part they were never run out of town. Nor has it been common practice for people who are “straight” to refuse them the right to live among them.

What has been more likely is for “she she” men to find people mimicking their antics while regarding them with amusement rather than see them as objects of hatred.

Best then argues that the physician that provides care is welcome whatever their sexual orientation and cautions that some people have made compromises that allow them to reconcile their difficulties around the issue. While I would wish that Best’s illustrations of difference were examples of respect and support, I believe his sincerity.

Barbados is no gay paradise. In fact, if has some of the most punitive sodomy laws. But if all Barbadans are like Best, I would feel welcomed on their islands.

I was speaking with a heterosexual woman this weekend who was shocked to hear about the homophobia that runs unchecked on Jamaica. Her last vacation was on the island, but because she loves her gay brother and her gay friends, she vowed not to return.

It’s nice to know that there are other places of equal beauty that can benefit from the tourism from gay men and women, their friends, families, coworkers, neighbors, and just plain ol’ people of good will and conscience. And it’s nice to know that some on Barbados are trying to make it such a place.

Does Exodus Global Alliance Support Criminalization of Homosexuality?

Jim Burroway

April 8th, 2008

Mike Airhart at Truth Wins Out asks a very good question. They did in 2006. That’s when Exodus Global Alliance sponsored a conference in Barbados. Here’s the banner of their promotional flyer that year:

Click to see the full flyer

Exodus International, the American arm of the evangelical ex-gay movement, meets anti-gay violence in the U.S. with silence and opposition to anti-bullying measures. In Jamaica, homosexuality carries a maximum penalty of ten years at hard labor and Christian pastors there consider it offensive when we suggest that Christians ought not murder people. Meanwhile, murder music — with its explicit calls for burning, stabbing, and chopping gay people to death — fill the airwaves and dance halls. Somewhere in all of this stands the Exodus Global Alliance.