Plans for a so-called “Straight Pride” in New York, promoted by a reggae music label, have been criticised by a leading campaigner against homophobia.
The event, due to be held next month, is billed as “a chance for heterosexuals to gather together and proudly embrace their sexuality and celebrate reggae, dancehall and family in love and unity.”
Peter Tatchell and the Stop Murder Music campaign have targeted homophobia and anti-gay lyrics in reggae music, leading to artists having their concerts cancelled or being refused entry into the EU.
The “Straight Pride” is promoted by record label TCOOO, who claim “the gay community went after artists … we decided that we must make a show of strength.”
“The US is a free country,” said Mr Tatchell.
“Let them have their misnamed Straight Pride parade.
“They say it is a celebration of heterosexuality, but really it’s a promotion of straight supremacism. Their parade is driven by a homophobic agenda.
“They defend artists who incite hatred and violence against LGBT people.
“The organisers falsely claim that the Stop Murder Music campaign is an attack on reggae music. Nonsense.
“It is an attack on a small number of reggae singers who have perverted reggae’s message of peace, love and justice.
“They have betrayed the liberation ideals of the reggae pioneers and are hijacking the genre to turn it into an anthem of homophobic hatred and violence.
“They are encouraging civil war in the black community. They want black straight people to kill black lesbians and gay men.
“These idiots don’t even realise that one of Bob Marley’s most famous songs contains lyrics that send a coded message of support and solidarity to black gay men. It’s called No Women No Cry.
“We play the song in gay clubs. People sing along and add the words that Marley dared not himself say: ‘No woman, no cry … when you got gay guy.’”
Reggae performer Jango Fresh said in a press release:
“The Straight Pride parade is a great idea because when a song like Hit Them Hard by my label mate Stapler can be banned just because it stresses the importance of a male and a female in every family, it is a sign that heterosexuals need to wake up.”
The song in question contains the lyrics:
Jah Jah gonna hit them hard
All the men who visit men backyard
Leaving all the women to starve
One thunder ball and all of them pause
Hand in hand with my lady
Hug her and kiss her cause she carried my baby
But some boys moving shady
While am chilling on the ends making sweet love to Sadie
All I know am here to produce and all the ladies you are my friends
From the past, the present, the future my girl, love and respect to the end
The world is spinning and everything in it
Mankind lose their way, some gone past their limit
Am here to advice (sic) and to be a critic
Be careful of the lifestyle you choose to exhibit
Children live what they learn
Aren’t you concerned
of your choices in society
We need to preserve the value of a male and a female in every family.