Posts tagged homophobia
Posts tagged homophobia
Political cartoonist and JLP support ‘Clovis’ smears gays, PNP…
The People’s National Party (PNP) has claimed victory over the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in today’s parliamentary elections in Jamaica. The post-result political analyses are best left for others. For me, I find it encouraging that homophobic campaigning against the PNP in reaction to its stated position on equal rights for gays to serve in parliament, and a review to repeal the buggery law, clearly made no impact on the majority of voters today.
If it’s not political suicide in Jamaica, I can’t imagine it being so anywhere else in the Caribbean.
But first, a flashback…
KINGSTON, August 19, 2011:
No politician in this country will ever call for the repeal of the buggery laws because that would be tantamount to political suicide. Jamaican politicians are even willing to face international ridicule just to prove to the local populace that they are staunchly opposed to the gay lifestyle. “Not in my Cabinet!” Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared on the British talk show Hardtalk a few years ago. This was in response to being asked if he would tolerate gays in his Cabinet. He was chastised in the international press but many people here loved him for it.
- Leighton Levy, The Jamaica Star
KINGSTON, December 20, 2011:
At the last leadership debate in the lead-up to the Jamaican general elections, Portia Simpson-Miller, leader of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), said that she had no objection to appointing gays to her Cabinet. And she went further to say that, perhaps, Jamaica should review its buggery laws which effectively criminalise men who have sex with men. This is HUGE!
Perhaps Simpson-Miller may have gotten ahead of herself and didn’t intend to speak on the repeal of the buggery law, but that is just me wondering why she’d take such a huge political risk before actually being elected as Prime Minister in the virulently homophobic island, where hatred of gays seems, prima facie,to be a societal norm.
This bold, though risky, move by Portia Simpson-Miller should be applauded as a turning point in the national and regional political discourse on gay rights. And, if successful, the PNP/Government of Jamaica would - ironically - set precedent in the Caribbean for ending legislated discrimination against LGBTs.
Who’d have thunk it?
Update: The Jamaica Gleaner’s Christmas Day editorial examines the impact of vulgar anti-gay sentiments now being spewed by the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party in the wake of this debate. Apparently, they’ve been quite effective:
Labourite this AM in Christiana: “Vote labour, bun out sodomite, vote labour on December 29th”— Gordonswaby (@Gordonswaby) December 25, 2011
Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speech on defending LGBT rights abroad and the new Obama administration policy to protect people around the world who are jailed, beaten and executed for being LGBT have been met with intense uproar from the Religious Right.
Pat Robertson on The 700 Club today said that the policy was “appalling” shows that America is willing to “violate God’s principles and to make a mockery of His laws.” Robertson even warned that God will not tolerate it and “when the blow comes, it’s going to be horrible”
Read more at Right Wing Watch…
Bill Browning of the Bilerico Project writes:
Here’s the speech everyone is talking about today. It’s being heralded as a modern day “I Have a Dream” speech.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the United Nations in Geneva this morning and gave a speech about LGBT human rights in honor of the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Her speech served as a solid statement following the Obama administration’s announcement this morning that it is instructing federal agencies and diplomats to protect and promote LGBT rights internationally.
This is an amazing speech which, unfortunately, may never be endorsed by any Caribbean leader in our lifetime.
The thorny, yet delicate issue of showing tolerance to politicians with homosexual or gay tendencies has become more topical in recent years, with claims of irregular conduct among members on both sides of the Jamaican political fence.
The fact that this question is even being asked says a lot. I can’t even be moved to comment any further, but you can read more at the Jamaica Observer.
By Sir Ronald Sanders
(International consultant and former Caribbean diplomat)
A statement by the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, that his government will not provide budgetary aid to governments that violate human rights including by discriminating against homosexuals and lesbians, has angered sections of Caribbean society.
The angry response may have arisen over a misunderstanding of Cameron’s remarks made in a BBC interview at the end of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia from 28 to 30 October. The remarks were not made at CHOGM itself.
While Cameron did say that his government would not provide general budget support to governments that do not uphold human rights including the rights of homosexuals, lesbians and vulnerable communities such as young girls, his remarks were not specifically about homosexuals and he did not say that that all aid would be withheld. In any event, no independent Caribbean country is a recipient of General Budget Aid from Britain, and, therefore, none would be affected. In this regard, the response to Cameron’s remarks would have benefitted from more careful study.
If you don’t watch anything else this weekend, I’d suggest watching the South African film Skin and the Bahamian film Children of God, which deal with race and sexuality respectively.
The former is the true story of Sandra Laing, a South African woman with black features born to a white couple in the time of apartheid. The latter Kareem Mortimer production, though wrongly classified as a romantic drama, does a good job in representing the nature and social impact of homophobia in the Caribbean and the centrality (and hypocrisy) of Christianity to the culture of homophobia.
I won’t review either, I’d much rather hear what you think.
PS. If you are unaware where to stream these online, I may be able to tell you off the record.
This is heart-warming. ABC Primetime staged a scene in a Texan restaurant in which an actress bashed actors pretending to be gay parents, in order to test how regular people would respond. The results were shocking. A similar set up, this time with racial bashing in a New York restaurant, was similarly surprising.
Yay for humanity.
According to someone named Lester Carter in the Daily Nation,
Barbadians need to be wary of the pressure being put on this country by certain international agencies. HIV/AIDS is a serious problem in Barbados, but I must ask: is stigma and discrimination really hindering the fight against this pandemic?
Why is there a paradigm shift from the true causation of the spread of this disease to “red herrings”? I smell the homosexual agenda nearby.
An awkwardly-produced but nonetheless positive PSA against gay discrimination has, unsurprisingly, been panned by Jamaicans, and is allegedly not being carried on national TV in that virulently homophobic Caribbean country.
Apparently, Tracey Morgan let loose a viciously homophobic rant at one of his recent stand-up shows that, as far anyone could tell, was a dead serious attack on gay men and women.
Carol-Ann Tudor of the Barbados Nation led a largely superficial inquiry into women’s perspectives on downlow men, which yielded nonetheless insightful results: women are disproportionately mistrustful of bisexual men, and their HIV status, and seemingly draw no such parallels between them and promiscuous straight men. The survey’s small sample size aside, the responses highlight - ironically - much of the homophobia that serves as an inducement to ‘downlow’ lifestyles, and which downplays the risks of unprotected, heterosexual sex.
Code Red notes:
“In the article, sex between men is seen as ‘nastiness’ which spreads disease. They say nothing of homophobia and imply that women who have sex with men usually do so without a condom. Rather than condemning this as a risky practice in and of itself, male bisexuality/homosexuality becomes responsible for women’s vulnerability. The narrative is that women are at risk because men violate their trust. Perhaps, we as women need to be less trusting and more responsible for our own sexual health. That means asking the tough questions, having the difficult conversations and walking away from any relationship which is disempowering.”
Another friend, @Zaouri, also observed:
“The focus of the article is on the dishonesty of some men, I don’t support dishonesty but I don’t think it is fair to sensationalise the situation without changing the behaviours that actually put us at risk. Having sex with a dishonest straight man is as likely to get you into trouble as having sex with a dishonest bisexual one.”
For perspective, I quote Kellee Terrell, author of the Root article The Down-Low Delusion:
“Closeted gay black men exist, but contrary to popular belief, the DL is not a major force in the rise of HIV infections among black women. Looking at how AIDS is covered in the media, what are folks really learning? Black women are ‘learning’ that if their man is not ‘suspect,’ then condoms are not really a necessity. Straight black men are ‘learning’ that this disease has nothing to do with them because they are not gay. Meanwhile, the two are having unprotected sex with each other while we act brand new about how and why this disease is flourishing in our community.”
In the United States, research has begun to debunk the ‘downlow myth’ [1, 2], suggesting that bisexual men are not behind the disproportionate HIV infections rate in women, so much as drug use among men, imprisonment and unsafe heterosexual sex are to blame. The Caribbean reality, coloured by virulent homophobia and strict prescriptions of masculinity, may be different. Or, it may not be. Where’s the research?
Ultimately, as @adriancharles noted:
“[This is] an understandably emotionally sensitive issue whose statistical importance is vastly overstated; and when we stop demonising gay men, the numbers of men who feel the need to hide behind a façade of heterosexuality will plummet.”