Friday, November 28, 2008

Gay group backs Gay penguins

A pair of gay penguins has been stealing eggs from straight couples in an attempt to become 'fathers'.
The three-year-old male penguins who are kept in Polar Land in Harbin, north-east China attempted to conceal their theft by placing stones at the feet of the parents before waddling away with their eggs.

The deception however was noticed by the other penguins and the couple were soon ostracised from the group.
Keepers have decided to segregate the pair during hatching season to avoid disrupting the rest of the community.
Explaining the urge of the penguins to be fathers, a keeper from the zoo told the Austrian Times:
"One of the responsibilities of being a male adult is looking after the eggs. Despite this being a biological impossibility for this couple, the natural desire is still there.
"It's not discrimination. We have to fence them separately, otherwise the whole group will be disturbed during hatching time," he added.

Whilst examples of homosexuality in animals exist in many species, it is stories of penguins that have attracted the most attention.
In Germany, a zoo provoked anger from gay-rights groups when it attempted to mate a group of male penguins with Swedish female birds who were brought in especially to 'seduce' them.
The attempt failed however as the penguins refused to be 'turned', showing little interest in their would-be mates.
The children's book And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, published in 2005, tells the true story of penguins Roy and Silo, who formed a couple in New York's Central Park Zoo.
They attempted to hatch a rock, which was replaced by a rejected egg from a mixed gender couple by zoo keepers. They then adopted the baby penguin Tango as their own.
Several libraries stocking the book received complaints from people accusing the book of promoting homosexuality and being 'anti-family' as well as unsuitable for its age group.
It has attracted great controversy in US states with parents in Illinois and Missouri requesting the book be placed in a restricted or non-fiction section of the library.
"The complaints are that young children will believe that homosexuality is a lifestyle that is acceptable.

"The people complaining, of course, don't agree with that," said Judith Krug, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
The number of reported library complaints about And Tango Makes Three dropped from 546 in 2006 to 420 in 2007.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama back gay rights

The next President of the United States has published a comprehensive list of action he will take on gay rights.

In a statement published on the Presidential transition website, Barack Obama and the Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, committed themselves to strengthening federal hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act.

The President-elect also committed to support civil unions and federal rights for LGBT couples.
"Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples," the statement read.
"Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognised unions.

"These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights."
President-elect Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, "and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

"While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy," the statement read.

The President-elect said he would oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and the prohibition on openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving in the US Armed Forces.
"Barack Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve.
"Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation.
"Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic.

"Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defence goals."
President-elect Obama said he believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.
"A child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not," the statement read.

The new administration will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies within 12 months of taking office.
"The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities," the statement read.
"Obama will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system.

"Obama also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users.
"Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma — too often tied to homophobia — that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. He will continue to speak out on this issue as President."
The statement quotes a speech President-elect Obama gave in June 2007:
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do.

"Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans.
"It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
Barack Obama will take office on January 20th after a lavish Inauguration ceremony in Washington DC.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Despite the effort to cancel Murder Music artist Bounty Killer from performing in the UK on Sunday November 23, 2008. OUTWEEKLY was able to talk with one of the master minder behind the Murder Music Campaign, Mr. Peter Tatchell of OUTRAGE!

In a letter send via-email, OUTWEEKLY congratulate Mr. Tatchell on his hard work over the years and his great contribution to human rights and the LGBT community, we encourage him to continue the good fight against Dancehall artist how preach hate crime in there music.

“We at OUTWEEKLY support the ban on Bounty Killer and all other Jamaican artist who incite violence in there music against gay and lesbian people worldwide. There constant promotions for queer bashing as cause an increase in gay attacks in the island of Jamaica and there must be an end to it.
They may denounce there homophobia in other countries when they want to get working permits to perform there, but here in Jamaica they do not, and they continue to release new songs preaching hate crime.”

We also went on to encourage him that despite the Police and Homeland Secretary giving permission for Bounty killer’s concert there are still other things local LGBT groups in the UK can do to cause a cancellation of his show.

OUTWEEKLY will continue to encourage members of the LGBT community in Jamaica and Companies not to support artist who have a homophobic agenda.

In a response Mr. Tatchell thank us for being a supporter of the Stop Murder Music Campaign, encouraging us that despite the efforts to stop Bounty Killer from performing in the UK on Sunday the battle against Murder Music continues.

“We failed to stop Bounty Killer's concert, but we generated masses of media coverage and TV and radio phone-in discussions. We won the battle for hearts and minds. The public in the UK - both black and white - is against this music.”

He also when on to say that there will be a zero-tolerance to those who promote homophobia.

Efforts to contact Bounty Killer manager was unsuccessful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stop Murder Music

Stop Murder Music is a campaign is jointly run by Outrage!, the Black Gay Men's Advisory Group, and Jamaican gay rights organization Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag).
The term 'Murder Music' was coined by British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell in the mid-1990s to describe the homophobic work of certain Jamaican musicians, primarily dancehall and ragga artists who called for and encouraged physical violence and murder of homosexuals[citation needed].
The Stop Murder Music Campaign have accused Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel, Capleton, T.O.K., Buju Banton and others of promoting anti-gay violence, harassment, and bigotry through their music.
Tatchell has called for laws against homophobic music and the Campaign participated in protests outside concerts. The Campaign has especially objected to lyrics which seem to support violence, including murder, towards gay men. Tatchell's campaign began in the early 1990s when Buju Banton's song "Boom Bye-Bye" was released and has continued to date. Dennis Carney, chair of the Black Gay Men's Advisory Group, argued that the MOBO Awards had a responsibility to exclude anti-gay artists because, "homophobic lyrics in music normalise hatred towards black gay men." Tatchell picketed the MOBO Awards ceremony to protest at their inviting performers of murder music. Tatchell received death threats and was labelled a racist. Tatchell defended himself by pointing to a life's work campaigning against racism, and stated that his statements on Jamaica were in support of terrorised black groups within Jamaica.
Tatchell has also criticised other musicians, including Eminem.

Stop Murder Music (Canada) is an independent branch of the organization in Canada. It was founded by Akim Larcher, after learning at a local West-Indian store about a Canadian Tour by Elephant Man. Larcher, a lawyer, brought together 20 organizations who service the African and Caribbean communities in Canada to form the group. Murder Music is criminal in Canada because it is hate speech. The group has been successful in getting companies like iTunes Canada to stop selling criminal material.

Reggae Compassionate Act
The Reggae Compassionate Act was an agreement signed in 2007 by artists including Beenie Man, Capleton, and Sizzla, supporting the Stop Murder Music campaign.
The Reggae Compassionate Act has now been somewhat discredited as some artists have felt it was badly worded, whilst others (such as Beenie) have denied signing it. Others (including Elephant Man, TOK, Bounty Killa, and Vybz Kartel) have point blank refused to sign it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hypocrisy on homophobia

The Metropolitan Police is colluding with 'murder music' singers who incite the killing of lesbian and gay people

The Metropolitan Police is hypocritical on hate crimes. It allows homophobic singers to perform in London, but not racist ones. Racist artists are banned on the grounds that they are a threat to public order and good community relations. This is a case of double standards.
Why are homophobic artists given the green light to perform, even when they are on record inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people?
Inciting murder is a serious criminal offence. A Muslim cleric, Abdullah el-Faisal, was jailed for seven years in 2003 for inciting the murder of Hindus, Americans and Jews. Yet the police today give their approval for anti-gay "murder music" singers to hold concerts in London.
The latest example of this collusion is police endorsement of a concert by Jamaican "murder music" singer Bounty Killer. He is scheduled to perform at the Stratford Rex venue in East London next Sunday.
New Scotland Yard has given the go-ahead for this concert, despite Bounty Killer's encouragement of the killing of lesbian and gay people and despite Bounty Killer's refusal to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA), whereby singers promise to not incite homophobic violence.
The Met has previously said that "murder music" singers will not be allowed to perform unless they sign the RCA.
Officers have broken their promise. They are taking the side of a singer who has promoted and celebrated the murder of gay people, and who is defying the RCA.
The police do, however, stress that Bounty Killer will not be permitted to perform songs that incite homophobic violence. Big deal.
A white racist singer who advocated killing black people would not be allowed to perform in London, even if he agreed to not incite the killing of black people at his concert. The police would argue that any stage performance by a white racist singer would risk public disorder and damage community cohesion. They would ban him, full stop. They have adopted this zero tolerance policy towards white racist bands like Skrewdriver.
Yet when it comes to straight homophobic singers who urge the murder of gay people, the police take a softer stance. They have agreed to let the concert go ahead, despite their professed commitment to oppose homophobic hate crimes. It's bare-faced hypocrisy.
In March this year, police in Bradford and Birmingham stopped Bounty Killer's concerts, saying that they would have undermined good community relations. That same month the Met Police authorised his London concert to proceed. If other police forces can take a stand against homophobia, why can't the Metropolitan Police?
Why don't the government and police stop Bounty Killer from entering the UK? He has committed the criminal offence of incitement to murder. If a white singer advocated the killing of black people he would not be allowed into the country. The police commissioner would demand his exclusion. The home secretary would deny him a visa. Why the double standards?
The police apparently take the view that racism is worse than homophobia and that different standards should apply. This is completely outrageous.
Government and police hypocrisy is particularly glaring when we consider the exclusion from Britain of the American Black Muslim, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. I don't agree with Mr Farrakhan's politics or religion, but he has not urged his followers to kill anyone. So, why is he banned from Britain, while singers who incite the murder of gay people are not banned?
The apathetic gay community seems prepared to let the Met walk all over us. Black people would riot if the Met was colluding with racist performers. Most gay people instead hold up the white flag of surrender. They think we don't deserve the same protection as our black brothers and sisters.
Much of our queer community is riddled with internalised homophobia, including gay rights organisations – many of which apparently agree with the police that inciting racist violence is worse than inciting homophobic violence.
The campaign to cancel Bounty Killer's concert is supported by the Jamaican gay rights movement, J-Flag, and the Caribbean-wide C-Flag coalition of black gay and straight human rights organisations. They are demanding an end to "murder music" in the Caribbean and worldwide, on the grounds that the release and performance of such songs invariably results in a corresponding rise in queer-bashing violence.
We have no problem with reggae or dancehall music – only with singers who abuse the genre to incite violence against lesbian and gay people. There are many great reggae and dancehall stars who do not stoop to murder music. We salute them.
There is no need for singers to spout violent anti-gay hatred. They choose to do so. It is wilful and malicious incitement of homophobic violence and therefore they must expect to suffer a backlash.
The Stop Murder Music campaign against Bounty Killer and other "kill gays" singers is in solidarity with black lesbian and gay people in Jamaica and the Caribbean who suffer nightmarish levels of homophobic violence. We are acting at their request and in support of their right to live their lives free from threats and violence.
Free speech does not include the right to incite the murder of other human beings. Such violent incitements close down free speech because the victims are intimidated into silence and invisibility.
We see this intimidation in Jamaica, where lesbian and gay people cannot participate in public debates. To do so would open themselves to homophobic murder, as was the tragic fate of the Jamaican gay and HIV campaigners Brian Williamson and Steve Harvey, who were respectively stabbed and shot to death. Free speech yes, but not when it involves incitements to violence and murder.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

City set to outlaw 'murder music'

Music inciting hatred towards minorities will be outlawed at pubs and clubs in Brighton under council plans

Under the policy, the playing of all so-called "murder music" could lead to a venue losing its licence.
It would cover all music, live or recorded, allegedly inciting hatred on religious, racial or sexuality grounds.
Last year, the Concorde 2 venue in the city's gay district cancelled a show by dancehall reggae artist Buju Banton who recorded a song with homophobic lyrics.
The Jamaican singer's song, Boom Bye Bye, had lyrics referring to the shooting of gay men, and the concert was cancelled after pressure from the council, police, and the city's gay community.
He has since signed up to a commitment to ban hatred and prejudice from his music.
'Protecting people'
Councillor Dee Simson, chairwoman of the council's licensing committee, said the policy was not to be used "to harm freedom of speech".
She said: "It will be used in really extreme cases to stop the playing of what's loosely termed murder music."
And she said it was only through the venue's "goodwill" that the Buju Banton concert was cancelled last year, because the city had no "explicit policy in place to stop him from playing".
Ms Simson added: "We have a large gay and lesbian community in Brighton and Hove and we want to protect people from facing such hatred.
"I'm a firm believer in freedom of speech but I'm against the incitement of hatred against minorities."
It is not a case of licensing officers going out and checking lyrics
Councillor Dee Simson
She said anyone could raise concerns about a venue's music with the council, in the same way that concerns about anti-social behaviour or violence would be tackled.
The licensing panel would then review the licence, which could be suspended or revoked.
She added: "It must be stressed this small section of the policy is more about giving guidance to licensees and is likely to be used rarely, if at all.
"It is not a case of licensing officers going out and checking lyrics."
And she said it was "not a specific ban" and needed to be "kept in perspective" because there were very few performers whose work fell into the categories.
Free speech
However offensive I find his views I am not required to go and listen to them any more than he is to mine. More control of what people think/say/do is not the answer.
Dan Purkis, London
Send us your comments
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, from the group OutRage!, said the authority was "to be congratulated for its decision".
"Free speech does not include the right to advocate the killing of other human beings," he said.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Met police defend decision not to ban homophobic performer

London's police service has been criticised by gay rights activists for allowing a concert by a notoriously homophobic singer to go ahead in the city this weekend.
It is the second time the Met have been accused of double standards for allowing a concert by Bounty Killer.
At his Easter Sunday concert in Stratford he did not perform any of his songs that call for gay people to be killed.
The Jamaican reggae and dancehall DJ, born Rodney Price, had two concerts cancelled in Bradford and Birmingham in March following protests by the gay human rights group OutRage!
The Met have previously stated that artists would not be allowed to perform unless they sign the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA), which prohibits the performance of any music that encourages or glorifies any form of violence.
Price, who was brought up in Kingston, Jamaica, became a household name in Jamaica in the early 90s, and later became known in the USA and Europe after collaborating with the Fugees, Wyclef Jean and No Doubt.
In 2003, he cancelled two of his concerts in the UK, fearing he would be arrested for the homophobic content of his songs.
Price's lyrics include the lines "You know we need no promo to rub out dem homo" and "Mi ready fi go wipe out this fag", which encourage the murder of homosexuals.
The Met police told
"We are aware of a planned concert by the artist Bounty Killer at Stratford Rex on Sunday November 23rd.
"Conferences have been held between the police, the venue's management and the artist's manager in order to consider the most productive way to handle the matter.
"A previous concert at the venue with the artist passed of without incident. The club have given us full access and we will deal robustly with any offences that arise."
It is understood that Bounty Killer has given an undertaking not to perform any of his homophobic songs.
"The Metropolitan Police is hypocritical on hate crimes," said Peter Tatchell, co-ordinator of the Stop Murder Music campaign.
"It allows homophobic singers to perform in London, but not racist ones.
"Racist artists are banned on the grounds that they are a threat to public order and good community relations. This is a case of double standards.
"The Met Police have previously said that murder music singers will not be allowed to perform unless they sign the RCA.
"Officers have broken their promise. They are taking the side of a singer who has promoted and celebrated the murder of gay people, and who is defying the RCA.
"The police do, however, stress that Bounty Killer will not be permitted to perform songs that incite homophobic violence. Big deal.
"A white racist singer who advocated killing black people would not be allowed to perform in London, even if he agreed to not incite the killing of black people at his concert. They have adopted this zero tolerance policy towards white racist bands like Skrewdriver.
"Yet when it comes to straight homophobic singers who urge the murder of gay people, the police take a softer stance. They have agreed to let the concert go ahead, despite their professed commitment to oppose homophobic hate crimes. It's bare-faced hypocrisy."
Mr Tatchell, who is a parliamentary candidate for the Green party, also accused gay people of apathy.
"Much of our queer community is riddled with internalised homophobia, including gay rights organisations - many of which apparently agree with the police that inciting racist violence is worse than inciting homophobic violence," he said.
A spokesman for the concert's organisers Cavalli and Paradise Promotions told the Daily Mail:
"He performed two months ago at the Stratford Rex and we were assured by his agency that he had signed the RCA.
"We wouldn't have booked him otherwise because we know the consequences of this. We've worked with the police, who will be securing the event for us, and they seem satisfied."
In July 2007 artists Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton, who had previously released anti-gay hate songs, including incitements to murder lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, signed up to the Reggae Compassion Act, in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.
The Act reads:
"It must be clear there's no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia.
"We do not encourage nor minister to HATE but rather uphold a philosophy of LOVE, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING towards all human beings as the cornerstone of reggae.
"We agree to not make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

capleton concert cancelled after Swiss gay groups protest

Reggae star Capleton, who has gone back on a promise not to perform songs encouraging violence against lesbian and gay people has had his concert in Switzerland cancelled.
The performance by Capleton in Basel was due to take place on November 6th but was pulled by the organisers, according to local LGBT rights group Homosexuelle Arbeitsgruppen Basel (HABS).
HABS, together with Stop Murder Music Bern, opposed the concert because Capleton has performed songs encouraging violence against lesbian and gay people, in violation of his commitment to abide by the terms of the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA).
He signed the agreement in early 2007 and undertook to not perform "murder music" songs any more.
Stop Murder Music Bern was able to prove that after he signed the RCA Capleton has performed songs that incite homophobic violence, including during last year's Christmas Extravaganza concert in Jamaica.
"The Stop Murder Music campaign gave Capleton a chance to continue his career unimpeded if he agreed to stop inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people," said Peter Tatchell, gay rights activist and UK coordinator of the Stop Murder Music campaign.
"He signed the RCA and promised to abide by it. But he has carried on as before, stirring up homophobic hatred and violence. We feel tricked, betrayed and cheated.
"Congratulations to the Swiss campaigners for getting his concert pulled. Performers who promote the killing of other human beings should not be rewarded with concerts, money and stardom.
"This is the latest of scores of concert cancellations secured by our SMM activists around the world.
"We have targeted eight Jamaican dancehall singers whose lyrics glorify, encourage and promote the murder of lesbian and gay people.
"Their incitements are a criminal offence. Our aim is to show these artists that homophobia doesn't pay. It has a damaging financial consequence," added Mr Tatchell.
In July 2007 artists Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton, who had previously released anti-gay hate songs, including incitements to murder lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, signed up to the Reggae Compassion Act, in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.
The Act reads:
"It must be clear there's no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia.
"We do not encourage nor minister to HATE but rather uphold a philosophy of LOVE, RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING towards all human beings as the cornerstone of reggae.
"We agree to not make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community."
However, in October 2007 planned Sizzla concerts in Toronto were banned. All five dates of the star's 2004 UK tour were cancelled after gay rights activists protested against his presence.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Sizzla was denied a Schengen visa for a proposed European tour.
The German Foreign Office phoned the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany to confirm the ban and to confirm that their embassy in Kingston, Jamaica, confirmed that the singer has songs in his repertoire that meet the legal criterion of "incitement of the people."
The Schengen Agreement between 29 nations on the continent of Europe allows free movement across their borders.
A common Schengen visa allows tourists access to all the countries party to the agreement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Human Sexuality

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released its annual State of the World Population report. This version focused on the need for all societies to invest in adolescents' health and rights. The report informs us that there are over 1.2 billion adolescents who are on the verge of entering adulthood.Theses young persons are largely in schools and they are at a very important stage in their own development and in the shaping of the world of the future. To this end, the UNFPA report stresses the need "to increase knowledge, opportunities and choices" so that young people can make the decisions that will guarantee them healthy and productive lives, "so that they can contribute fully to their communities and to a more stable and prosperous world."In order to get to this point, the UNFPA report encourages all Governments to give young people accurate and honest information on reproductive health and on human sexuality. Indeed, it should be self-evident that adolescents need a multidisciplinary approach to the complex dynamics of human sexuality and the variety of relationships that emerge from this complex. Schools must therefore be seen as very important institutions in the formulation and dissemination of the knowledge that is needed to encourage the deepest understanding of human sexuality.At this juncture, there is no point arguing that sex education should be left entirely to the family ­ whatever its form. In discussing where adolescents get their information, The State of the World Population 2003 asserts that "in most cases parents are not the primary source of information although young women may rely on their mothers for information about menstruation and pregnancy risks."Within this broad framework of changing family dynamics and the diminishing role of many traditional institutions, the time has come for a serious discussion on the role of schools in the education of young people about human sexuality. In the October 12, 2003 edition of The Sunday Gleaner, assistant news editor Garwin Davis reported that the Reverend Canon Ernle Gordon has called for a broadening of sex education in Jamaican schools. This broadening, he proposes, should include discussions on all aspects of human sexuality, including homosexuality. The proposal that homosexuality should be discussed in the sex education curriculum of all schools and at the appropriate age level would be seen as merely "good common sense" in many societies, but not so in Jamaica. Canon Gordon's suggestions and his plea for tolerance are being challenged by many and varied voices.The time has come for all Jamaicans to start an honest dialogue about all the social and political issues that continue to wreak havoc at the level of the individual and on the wider community. Instead of being distracted by the antics of those who are determined to "bury their heads in the sand" in order to pretend that the variations in human sexual orientation is of no consequence to our young people, we need to listen to questions that adolescents and the youth are asking. We also need to take time out to attend more closely to the related issues that have been raised by the Rev. Canon Gordon, Mr. Howard Hamilton and Dr. Peter Figueroa. These persons, amongst others, have clearly shown the link between the social and psychological barriers of discrimination, stigma and ignorance.They have also articulated their concerns about the rapid spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the prevalence of teenage pregnancies and the isolation of many individuals who have no way of validating their sexuality in a harshly heterosexist and intolerant society.THE ROLE OF SCHOOLSThe role of schools must, of necessity, be revisited from time to time. These institutions are expected to make a difference in the lives of all the young people who pass through their doors, therefore schools must be active agents in the transmission of honest information on all aspects of the human condition. Therefore, in schools, no sexually related topic should be too controversial to discuss. Public health knowledge and sex education must be based on scientific research and findings, not on the political and moral agenda of church and state players.In this framework, schools should be expected to develop a meaningful and intelligent curriculum on human sexuality. In such an educational programme a wide range of topics would be accommodated. This kind of programme would force sex educators to rethink the traditionally narrow band of information that passed for "sex education" or "family life" education.No longer should sex education focus on the biological aspects of the reproductive process and the established notions of "boy meets girl" scenario. Teachers would have to stop tiptoeing around issues of celibacy, abstinence, contraception, condom use, and other vital information. They would have to be honest and forthright and stop denying youngsters their basic right to the kind of information that will assist them in avoiding life-threatening sexual scenarios. Young people need to have a good understanding of the complexity of human sexuality, in order for them to understand fully their personal sexual identity and any related confusion.
The suggestion to include an honest discussion on homosexuality in sex education in our schools must not be seen as an effort to "teach people how to become homosexual". It is an effort to get us to a place where we can be tolerant of the variations in the human family. Indeed, it is an effort to remind us that variations of colour, gender and ethnicity have been used to isolate individuals and groups for a very long time. In this process we have become very intolerant of differences, and historically and contemporarily we have oppressed and repressed generations of humanity.Canon Ernle Gordon is merely trying to get us to use the influence of the school to reverse the long debilitating process of the exclusion which has resulted in so much pain globally. Let us not forget that intolerance is deeply imbedded in a very long history of dominator and dominated, oppressor and oppressed, coloniser and colonised, and other forms of universal unequal relationships.Montrealer, Lise Noel, in a seminal work entitled, 'Intolerance: A General Survey demonstrates the insidious and pervasive impact of intolerance by locating the position of oppressive forces in the following description:The oppressor has no apparent existence ... rarely seen, rarely named, he is unique nonetheless in having a full existence; as the keeper of the word, he is the supreme programmer who confers various degrees of existence on those who are different from himself.In other words, the oppressor is powerful enough to marginalise and oppress people on the basis of race, colour, gender, class and sexual orientation.Noel reviewed the role of all major institutions, including the church, in the repression of the human spirit. She concluded that "the mind can sometimes grasp the tragedy of an individual, and sometimes statistically comprehend that of a community, but the drama of each and every individual hidden behind these statistics surpasses understanding."So because we can never fully put ourselves in the place of the "other", the struggle against all forms of intolerance must continue.Without knowledge and critical skills we will continue to discriminate against all those who deviate from the 'norm' of the 'dominant'.Our children are entitled to knowledge based on what is really happening in their society. They need the "full deck" of information on human sexuality, the dangers of risky sexual behaviours, and enough knowledge to comprehend the reality that the human family has always been characterised by both heterosexual and homosexual orientations. With knowledge and critical skills, our young people will be able to articulate and deal with some of the most controversial issues that confront them daily.Dr. Glenda P. Simms is the Executive Director of the Bureau of Women's Affairs

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UK Minister challenged jamaica homophobia

A British minister raised the issue of decriminalisation of homosexual acts at a recent meeting with the Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Gareth Thomas, minister of state at the Department for International Development, told that tackling state and cultural homophobia is vital to the fight against HIV in the Caribbean.
He said he was concerned that "things are not getting better on either front, and more change is necessary."
His role at DFID has responsibility for HIV and Mr Thomas has visited the Caribbean several times.
"During those visits I have been struck by the extent to which homophobia and the anti-gay legislation is impacting the effort to fight the surge of HIV infections," he said.
During a recent meeting with Jamaica's Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Trade Minister, Mr Thomas raised the issue head on.
"We had an acknowledgment there was an issue, though there was not a conversation about immediate next steps," he said.

Mr Thomas also met with members of Jamaica's gay community and said he was shocked by their experiences.

"Some of their stories are horrific," he told
"People who have been forced out of churches, out of their jobs and on occasion, violence.
"By any stretch of the imagination it is a disgrace and we need the state to take action."
The minister, who has been an MP since 1997, said the UK asylum system would look at gay and lesbian asylum seekers on a case by case basis.

A survey published in Jamaica in June found that the Prime Minister's stridently anti-gay statements have boosted his popularity.

45 percent of people in a poll commissioned by the Jamaica Gleaner said that they are more likely to vote for incumbent Prime Minister Bruce Golding and his Jamaica Labour Party after he told the BBC that he would never allow gays in his Cabinet.

26 percent of people who identified as supporters of the rival People's National Party said they were more likely to vote for Golding after his outburst.

Just 5 percent said they were less likely to vote for him after his widely-reported comments.
70% of Jamaicans do not believe that gay men and lesbians should be granted equal rights, the island-wide poll found.

The dancehall music scene on the island is notorious for its homophobia, with many artists taking pleasure in calling for gays and lesbians to be murdered.

That widespread hatred is evident in the wider culture, with reports of gay men and lesbians being attacked by gangs and murdered.

In February this year an attack on a group of men alleged to be homosexual left one man seriously injured and another missing feared dead.

International human rights organisations have described Jamaica as one of the most homophobic places in the world.

Mr Thomas said the only way to make any progress was to engage with government and wider community and make the case for a more tolerant attitude on both human rights and HIV prevention grounds.

Monday, November 10, 2008

straight talk on gay issues

When are we going to deal 'up-front' with the contentious issues emerging around intolerance and sexuality in Jamaica? How can we facilitate intelligent, informed discussions around this matter of homophobia? Can we challenge the generalised assumption of 'rampant homophobia' in our culture? Aren't many of the public expressions of gay condemnation mere demonstrations of straight hypocrisy?

How homophobic are some 'fire burners' when there's no posse and crew around to impress? Are we really 'the most homophobic place on earth?' And Mr Gay Activist, where's the empirical evidence that can concretely link violence against homosexuals to dancehall lyrics? Jamaican homosexuals who die violently are mostly killed by people with whom they develop problematic relationships, and not by homophobic strangers. Isn't that a fact? So, why are some elements in the foreign press busily constructing an image of Jamaicans as homogeneously ignorant, barbaric and violently homophobic?

Mainstream media support

I raise these 'whole heap a' questions because when I look at representations in the overseas press, I see where some gay activists with the support of mainstream media, are attempting a 'shock and awe' approach to confronting the idea of Jamaican homophobia. They're trying to shock people into believing that we have gangs of wicked Jamaicans on every street corner, armed, angry and looking for gay people to murder. Then they're threatening to overwhelm our little country with the awesome might of economic sanctions. If their aim is simply to punish Jamaica - or get refugee status in foreign - they may succeed. But if the intention is to effect change - they're wasting time.

We need to examine the impact of overseas initiatives around these issues. Some of the approaches activate memories of white imperial control. And our people are famously rebellious, especially against attempts to impose 'foreign' strategies to fix Jamaican problems. Look nuh, there are complex issues underpinning Jamaican homophobia that ultimatums, sanctions and international condemnations will not address. Banning dancehall artists or boycotting Jamaican tourism won't help people to examine their intolerance and change their prejudices. It will merely prevent more poor people from 'eating a food', alienate allies, and breed bigger bangarang.

Types of gays

I think there are basically three sets of gay people in Jamaica. First, there are the ones that lead deadly double lives: heterosexual pretence on the public side while their true sexuality they thoroughly hide. Another group lives in quiet truce with this 'conveniently homophobic' society. The closet door either 'pop off' or is transparent, and their homosexuality is 'open secret'. But everybody ignores or tolerates their sexuality because they are respected and valued as professionals; plus they keep their love life private. The third set is 'out' and militant.
They're supported by a loud and growing voice of activism. They're intent on asserting their rights and they refuse to quietly abide in secrecy. I admire their courage. But tell me though, do these activists feel that the quiet set are complicit to the homophobia by having this 'truce' and living in the shadows? Does the quiet set feel that the activists are attracting unnecessary attention and compromising their fragile safety? What is going to happen if the truce gets broken?

Yow, violence is reprehensible. And no matter how righteously opposed we may be to their lifestyle, violence against people because of their sexuality is a dangerous kind of backwardness. So there's a problem. But some people are responding to it with strategies that are reactionary and counter-productive. Shouldn't anti-homophobia activists be trying more culturally sensitive methods of facilitating education and critical thinking among Jamaicans at all levels around sexuality and human rights

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Non-penetrative sex

Non-penetrative sex

Non-penetrative sex (also known as outercourse and dry sex) is sexual activity without vaginal, anal, and oral penetration, as opposed to intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex.

The terms mutual masturbation and frottage are also used, but with slightly different emphases. NPS and outercourse are rather new terms, which is why such practices are sometimes still called "intercourse". ("Outercourse" is something of a misnomer, as it contrasts "outer" with "inter" but the "inter" in "intercourse" means "between two people." It does not describe being inside or outside of the body.)

No bodily fluids are intended to be exchanged, and outercourse is therefore often considered a practice of safer sex as well as of birth control. Outercourse in preparation for intercourse can form part of foreplay.
Types of non-penetrative sexual activity

Mammary intercourse, a form of non-penetrative sex between a man and a woman
Non-penetrative sex includes but is not limited to the following examples.
Axillary intercourse, where one partner rubs his penis in the other partner's armpit, also known as bagpiping.
Erotic massage, rubbing all over, with or without oil. May be intensified when combined with deep breathing.
Fingering, stimulating the vagina or anus with the fingers.
Handjob, stimulating the penis with the hand.
Footjob, stimulating male genitals with the feet.
Intercrural sex, also known as interfemoral intercourse, which is a type of irrumation, where one partner places his penis between the other partner's thighs.
Intergluteal sex, which is a type of irrumation, where one partner places his penis into the other partner's buttock cleavage or gluteal cleft.
Mammary intercourse, when one partner rubs his penis between his partner's breasts.
Oral stimulation of nipples.
Sumata, type of stimulation of male genitals popular in Japanese brothels.
Tribadism, vulval-vulval rubbing, also known as "scissoring."
Virtual sex, mutual masturbation at a distance with the aid of technology.
Mutual masturbation as a form of non-penetrative sex

Mutual masturbation is a sexual act where two or more people stimulate themselves or one another sexually, usually with the hands.


Frot (rubbing penises together) is a form of non-penetrative sex between two men
Frottage, more commonly known as dry humping, is the act of achieving sexual pleasure with a partner or partners, whether naked or clothed, without penetration. This can include using almost every part of the body, including the buttocks, the breasts, abdomen, thighs, feet, hands, legs, and sexual organs. Frottage can include mutual genital rubbing, sometimes called genito-genital or GG rubbing and most of the other forms of non-penetrative sex.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Homosexual laws around the world

██ No information
Homosexuality legal
██ Same sex marriages
██ Same sex unions
██ No same sex unions
██ Foreign same sex marriages recognized
Homosexuality illegal
██ Minimal penalty
██ Large penalty
██ Life in prison
██ Death penalty
Legal recognition of Same-sex relationships
Same-sex marriage
Belgium Norway
Canada South Africa
Netherlands Spain
United State (CA, CT, MA)
Foreign marriages recognized
Aruba (Dutch only)
Civil unions and registered partnerships

Andorra France
Belgium Hungary (2009-1-1)
Czech Republic Luxembourg
Denmark New Zealand
Ecuador Sweden
Finland United Kingdom
Civil Unions Recognized in some regions
Australia (TAS, ACT, VIC eff. 2008-12-1)
United States (CA, CT, DC, HI, ME, MD, NH, NJ, OR, VT, WA)