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New Jamaican PM to be sworn in, with promise to review anti-gay law

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  1. How rich is that the black Jamaican PM to keep anti gay laws (slave laws for LGBT people) when in fact her and many black people like her family in escaped to Jamaica to be free of white Christian slave masters who wanted them for slaves.

    1. er … are you reading a different story to me …

      I thought it said she intended to review the criminalisation of homosexuality – thats startingly positive for a Jamaican politician!

    2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:23pm

      Erm crazy says what now?

  2. Is anybody else finding that

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/

    redirects automatically to this old page from 2007, for some odd reason?

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6372.html

    1. I tried your first link and the same happens to me, but that is not the correct URL for the current Pink News home page. The correct URL for current news is: http://www.pinknews.co.uk

  3. The “most homophobic country in the world” has become a little less homophobic. Sounds good to me.

    1. actually Iran is the most homophobic country it hangs gay people

      1. Whereas in Jamaica mobs just lybch gay people – with the collusion of the police.

        Let’s not pretend that Jamaica is not a disgusting hellhole in which to be gay.

        And that it remains in the British Commonwealth (along with Uganda).

        I welcome this new PM – she must be held to her word or else expulsion from the Commonwealth (along with the continuing tourist boycott of the dump, and trade sanctions) must be imposed on Jamaica.

        1. state murder is obviously worse

          H you knew about Jamaican history you’d know there were gay clubs in the 70. the imf destroyed three economy increasing poverty and violence read this to get a clue http://www.lifeanddebt.org/about.html

        2. I think rather than have semantic debates about which state is the worst … we should be objective and welcome the positive comments of the new Jamaican PM made within hours of being in the role …

          dAVID is right she must be held to account on this … it should be a relative priority, although I think most impartial observers would accept there are a number of significant issues the Jamaican government need to grapple with (this being one of them) … so we need to allow a reasonable amount of time for the government to bring proposals and encourage them to be successful legislatively …

          James! is also right in his comments elsewhere that we should encourage the Jamaican government in their advances …

          This is going to be an interesting time ahead in Jamaica for LGBT people. There will be disagreements, no doubt. There is a cultural change needed as well as legislative changes. We have seen elsewhere that legislative leadership by government can lead to cultural sway.

          1. DAvid and Spanner hate black people and will ppour their bile over anything positive. They need to be challenged

    2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:25pm

      Think you mean “one” of the most not the most, they’re sadly are still countries equal in it’s discrimination and hatred as well as a few worse.

  4. Nice to see some change there, lets step in the right direction.

  5. She really has her work cut out – interesting to keep an eye on this.

  6. The path to equality for gays and lesbians in the Caribbean and in Africa lies in the hands of women. When women are empowered and take leadership, the society improves because homophobia is directly related to sexism and machismo in these countries and the religion and culture are just a reflection of that sexism.

    1. Sexist remark !

      And have you never heard of Ann Widdicombe, Michele Bachmann et al?

      1. Margaret Thatcher was such a lovey as well.

        1. What does Ann Widdicombe, Michele Bachman and Margaret Thatcher have to do with the African and Caribbean societies of which I am speaking?

          You are so quick to rush to judgement you do not realize I am speaking about women in Africa and the Caribbean not in general. Geez!

          1. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:30pm

            Indeed, Jessie. They are good points you make.

      2. I wouldn’t say that’s sexist. Women still suffer from mysoginy everywhere, especially in our so called equal society! Xenophobia and objectification and sexualisation of women runs rampant and men very rarely suffer REAL sexism. Because they still hold the cards.

        Is it any coincidence that our social issues started improving dramatically once women were given the right to vote? Or in other words, allowed to take part in the discussion for the first time? Equality for all minorities wether it’s women, people of colour, or LGBT will be predominatley won by the influence of women, I have no doubt in my mind women will save the world from prejudice and the world would be a better place if women were in charge.

    2. @Jessie

      You may be right … but I would like to think there are some men, gay and not, who will also happily support, encourage and influence equality developing in the Caribbean and elsewhere …

      Being gay can be macho …

      1. Jessie is not right,

        She is a sexist idiot.

        If some guy had made a moronic comment but reversed the genders, then he would be condemned loudly for his sexism.

        I fail to understand why a sexist double standard should apply.

        1. @dAVID

          Did you not sense the sarcasm in my first four words … shame …

          1. As a gay woman of color from the very regions of which I speak, I think I KNOW what I am speaking about from a cultural perspective. Women are the heads of households in most Caribbean families as the men come and go. They are the pillars of the church and comprise the majority of the religious community. They hold the family together. There is a strong African-spiritual tradition of “Mother” lingering and not surprisingly enough the spiritualist female-led type religions like Orishas are far more embracing of gays than those led by a more Judeo-Christian patriarchal system of male leadership.

            In addition, where gay men have failed to make strides in politics, out and open lesbians have been somehow able to break through. Gillian Lucky is still the only openly lesbian member of Parliment we ever had in Trindiad. Somehow gay women are seen as less threatening.

            It has nothing to do with me thinking women are superior to men. I do not hold such views. However, I see there is a great deal of over-sensitivity and preconceived notions about me and my statement. Kinda hurtful and sad.

          2. @Jessie

            Personally I feel it quite sad and disappointing that you do not or did not recognise that your words would be perceived as a claim that only women have the answer and devaluing the input that men (of whatever orientation) could offer. It seemed (to me) to say – this can only be sorted out by women. I seemed (to me) to be of the ilk of opinion of extreme feminiism. It seemed (to me as a gay man) to be offensive.

            Its disappointing that you lacked the self awareness to see this option.

            Its clear, I am not the only one to be concerned, offended or bemused at your choice of language.

          3. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:38pm

            Stu – I didn’t read that into it at all with Jessie’s message.
            -
            Lets be honest as far as Jamaica is concerned men haven’t exactly made much in the way of progress when it comes to LGBT issues have they so why pick on someone who only says howit looks from their point of view and from what They are seeing?
            -
            In both the Carribean and in African state it has been women who have been the most vocal when it comes to our community and support for it. We all know men do too but in these countries where men think they run supreme image and how an individual look is held up to how macho a man is. It’s crap, it’s nonsense but there we sadly have the fact.
            -
            Women not only see things in a fairer light in these countries, they have to push through their own sexist discrimination and macho male egos to make themselves heard and seen. We take our country for granted on those levels and yes I know we’re not perfect but we’re not anything like these countries Jessie speaks of.
            -
            ….

          4. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:42pm

            Yes it is perfectly reasonable to say that many women can be as bad as men when it comes to views of our community but many don’t and it tends to be that unlike men they have nothing to prove by speaking out and being heard, usually louder to be seen.
            -
            Jessie makes a fair and interesting point and one we should seriously look at not in context as something sexist, read something that really isn’t there but from the point of view of someone who knows these community and knows what may help advance rights for those LGBT people in those countries.

          5. @Jock

            I am not picking on Jessie, I am responding to how I perceive her message. I do understand there is a cultural gap. I do understand there are opportunities that some women can achieve, particularly in some cultures that may be more effective than some men. I do feel the choice of words that Jessie used were unwise and were open to interpretation that she does not value male involvement in developing and achieving equality. Now, I do not believe that is Jessie’s view having debated with her, read her blog frequently etc – but it was open to interpretation. It is important that we stamp out sexism and homophobia, but if we leave that to one sex then we end up reversing the sexism and not having engagement from the other sex, let alone have ownership of gay men dealing with and responding to homophobia.

        2. @ dAVID.

          My comment was not sexist in the least. You are being highly overdramatic for no reason at all.

          If you disagree with my comment then refute it with facts not kindergarden name-calling. Are you saying that homophobia and sexism are NOT linked? Are you saying that when more women are empowered in a society it does not also help to challenge stereotypes and gender roles which in turn opens the doors to gay tolerance?

          Calling me an idiot and my comment moronic does little to prove you have any valid reason for objecting to what I said other than it hit some exposed nerve I could not possibly have ever intended to hit.

      2. Stu, dAVID and others…you have some kind of oversensitivity about this issue I cannot understand. What does “Being gay can be macho…:” have to do with the cultural norms in these societies which makes them respond faster to female moral authority?

        I was not accusing gay men of being too wussy to effect changes.

        I was not even remotely suggesting that women are innately superior to men.

        Please re-read my comment with a mind clear of the filter of your personal qualms and see the sociological and very SPECIFIC cultural reference of what I am saying which basically is:

        BOTH women and homosexuals are oppressed by the SAME sexist ideology. So when the sexism is challenged it also allows for the homphobia to be challenged. Therefore empowering women aids the cause of gay rights. If you knew anything about Caribbean culture you would know that the Mother is the heart and head of most households and Mothers in general hold a lofty position morally and spiritually. If a respected mother said that homophobia is WRONG, people will listen in a way they would not if a gay man said homophobia is WRONG.

        That’s the gist of it.

        1. @Jessie

          I think your choice of words in your original message were unwise … and open to misinterpretation …

          I felt from the words used that you sought to undermine men and to protray gay men as apathetic to tackling homophobia and lacking the willingness (and maybe ability) to do so …

          You clearly know what you intended to say … but your message at the start still appears completely at odds (in my view) to your most recent message.

          I accept there can be a link between sexism and homophobia and I accept that women can play a role in tockling homophobia (and not just lesbian women) but there are not all the answer and sexism being resolved will not resolve all homophobia. Gay men have to play a part in this otherwise any solutions will not have any recognition of ownership and will lack empathy from within the requisitie part of the communities that are gay male.

          1. @ Stu, my dear one, I have re-read and re-read my post and there is absolutely nothing in it demeaning to gay men. Gay men are not even the subject of the post. You are definitely looking at my culturally specific comments through the eyes of someone outside the culture and reading a lot into it that is not there.

            Gay men have a very important role to play in furthering our rights.
            There are currently gay men fighting for that in hostile places like mine.
            Gay men have died in Jamaica fighting for it. Godfrey Sealy to his last breath before dying of AIDS wrote play after play, did interview after interview and was a clarion call for equality in Trinidad.

            I am telling you this because it seems you need some kind of reassurance. But my comments have NOTHING to do with discounting any of this.

            They have to do with the power women can have to succeed in furthering this fight and break the glass ceiling where men (gay or straight) may not because of the nature of the CULTURE of these places. I made sure to say that women hold the key in THESE cultures. Not in general.

            If I don’t feel insecure when men (gay or straight) are commended for something culturally specific why should gay men feel this insecure if there is just one small acknowledgement of a woman’s special cultural advantage in a very SPECIFIC circumstance?

          2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:44pm

            Gotta say I think your reading to much into something not there. Certainly I didn’t read all that into Jessie’s original message.

    3. Jessie you are am misansridt Dyke much?

      1. No need to demonstrate your flexibility to bend dong real low James.

        There is only love on my end of things.

        1. @Jessie

          I do accept (from your prior input on PN and your good personal blog!) that you do not intend any malice …

          Your motivation is for equality and diversity locally in your own situation and globally …

          You are insightful, thoughtful, occasionally provocative, but usually balanced, honourable and articulate …

          I strongly believe in this case, whilst your motivation is honourable, your initial choice of words was unwise.

          1. Well thank you for the benefit of the doubt.

            I hope it is clear I was referring to a specific cultural advantage a pro-gay rights female advocate may have in furthering our cause and not in any way implying this advantage has anything to do with women being superior or better at gay rights advocacy or more invested in it, or more concerned about it than men (gay or straight).

            Just that women may be the key to getting all our feet in the door because it seems to get a better reception by the populace when it comes from the mouth of a woman/wife/mother than when it comes from other sources.

            Actually, it could be taken as an insult to women when viewed another way because we are seen as innocuous, harmless, less threatening or perhaps not to be taken seriously.

            I certanly hope that is not the case with the Jamaican PM.

        2. Jessie I have a habit of jumping in both feet. Please accept my apologies

          1. Staircase2 10 Jan 2012, 3:48pm

            Thinking before you write is always a good thing then…

      2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:45pm

        Totally immature comment from James! again.

        1. I agree.

          Whilst we perceive Jessies initial wording differently, I think we both agree on what Jessies motives are.

          I do believe it is useful that the Jamaican PM (female) is taking on a responsibility to review (and hopefully advance) equality issues in Jamaica relevant specifically to LGBT people …

          I do think gay and straight men have a crucial role in advancing equality in Jamaica (and all countries) and that true equaity can not succeed without male involvement. That is not meant to denigrate female invovlement – far from it, but cultural change needs to be embedded with and owned by all sections of society.

          To clarify the issues I had with Jessies initial comment were as follows:
          i) “The path to equality … lies in the hands of women” – suggesting there is no need for male involvement and that only women can find a solution.
          ii) “When women are empowered .. .society improves.” I accept there is truth in this statement. Society also improves when gay and straight men..

        2. … are empowered.
          iii) Whilst Jessie has a point that sexism is linked to homophobia, homophobia also has distinct attributes that sexism does not. So, whilst there are aspects to resolving sexism that will improve homophobia – there are other aspects that may not.

          Jessies focusses on the female input, which is welcome, suggests male involvement does not work due to machismo and makes no positive mention of male (straight or gay) invovlement.

          Those are where I perceive weaknesses and possibilities of interpreting there being an underlying misandry nature to the comments. I do not feel that is deliberate but unwise choice of words.

    4. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:28pm

      You make an interesting point, Jessie. In many countries it may well fall to women to change it’s position. Sadly though there will be many who just like men won’t.

      1. Of course, you are right there Jock

        Equally, there will be many men who will and who do …

    5. Staircase2 10 Jan 2012, 3:46pm

      Well said Jessie!

  7. GingerlyColors 5 Jan 2012, 9:58pm

    The next step is for Portia Simpson-Miller to procure a copy of the Wolfenden Report and set Jamaica on the road to gay equality by removing the threat of prosecution for sex in private.
    Jamaican polititians have been consistantly homophobic for years so the positive moves by their new woman prime minister is good news. She will have to win over the homophobic population however. It has been done before – right here in the UK.

    1. Jamaica is not England. they can do their own relevant report. they do bite need the UK cast odds off you patronizing knob

      1. If you want to be taken seriously, learn to spell.

        1. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:47pm

          or simply contribute to debate!

        2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:47pm

          What are you 12?

      2. GingerlyColors 6 Jan 2012, 5:08am

        Well in that case let Jamaica make it’s own laws without having to copy outdated laws or seek advice from it’s former colonial masters!

        1. A finally you get it. Jamaica will change in its own way

        2. I fully agree Jamaica should lead its changes from within. That does not mean that they can not seek to learn from experience elsewhere both things that have worked, and things that they should avoid. The Wolfenden report in the UK might be a helpful track point as might the Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986 in New Zealand. Recognising the strrengths and pit falls of others experiences may ensure that Jamaica’s own route learns from others whilst still ensuring that they approach the matter with an unique Jamaican approach.

          1. Lets be frank Stu we are tolerated in the UK like a bad smell. JAmaica should be taking notes from scandanivian countries if they want true equality nd not this religious love the sinner hate the sin we have to deal with

          2. @James!

            Whilst culturally Scandinavia might well be a better place to seek to learn from in terms of an optimal standard of achieving LGBT equality … learning from the UK could encompass both good and bad ie learning points of where we failed to achieve the cultural sway that is needed …

          3. Stu if Jamaica took lessons about LGBT people from Scandanivian countires they would be in a better position than we ar today.

          4. @James!

            I don’t deny it …

            All I am trying to say, is by learning from the UK (as well as Scandinavia) hopefully they can avoid some of the mistakes we have made (ie not repeat similar things) and maybe be encouraged to be much more “Scandinavian” in their approach …

          5. GingerlyColors 6 Jan 2012, 10:03pm

            Not only should Jamaica be taking notes from the Scandanavian countries, the UK should as well, starting with our fractured relationship with the EU and the moribund Euro, of which we and the Scandanavian countries are not part of the latter except Finland, and Norway isn’t part of the former. By the way a knob is what you find on a door – or a brass bedstead!

          6. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:51pm

            “we are tolerated in the UK like a bad smell”
            -
            We’ll you might be darling but I’m sure that most of us don’t feel or think like that.
            -
            Very sad, you are James!

          7. Ok jock hold hands with your boyfriend anywhere in london and see what happens

          8. @James!

            Given recent events with Jock, I think your comments are callous, hurtful and uncalled for …

        3. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:49pm

          The “former colonial masters” arguement is seriously flawed and shows people just pick sections to use for mud slinging. Non-productive some might say.

          1. @Jock

            There is a perception of this in many Caribbean states … even the current PM is seeking to divorce from apparent colonial masters … seeking to move the final court of appeal from the Privy Council in Westminster to the Caribbean Court of Justice, because they feel the human rights interpretations on the death penalty are not helpful given the level of homicide in Jamaica.

            It would be disingenuous to say that perceptions of colonial masters is not relevant in Jamaica.

  8. Congratulations Jamaica for being more progressive than us presidential candidates. haters do not care about Jamaican lgbt people

  9. I am a 29 years old lady,mature and beautiful. and now i am seeking a good man who can give me real love, so i got a username josedvilla on — Agelover.СòM —, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

    1. jamestoronto 6 Jan 2012, 3:38am

      What are you going on about? It sounds like you are promoting a bawdy house

    2. Pinknews, surely this is spam?

    3. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:51pm

      Erm hi…. do you even know what being Gay means?

  10. jamestoronto 6 Jan 2012, 3:36am

    It’s bit too early to be congratulating the new PM. It was only a promise to REVIEW the existing laws not abolish them. The laws could be reviewed and the suggestion could be to maintain the current laws or even make them harsher still. I’m saving my cheers for when the actual event occurs. Jamaica is a tough nut to crack culturally and it may take a generation or two or more before the law will result in a tolerant attitude.

    1. She needs to be set a deadline.

      Jamaica is free to do as it will of course.

      And Britain is free to impose trade sanctions on Jamaica if the sodomy laws have not been overturned by January 2014.

      Politicians lie. They all do.

      They need to be held to account for their statements.

      1. Most politicians do lie at one time or another (not all though), and even those that do lie tend to tell the truth in some of their business …

        Whilst January 2014 seems a relatively reasonable time scale to me – the time scale should be set by Jamaicans with recognition of their own internal processes and what is reasonable for Jamaican circumstances. We should then hold the Jamaicans to account on the time scales they set – not ones we arbitarily set.

        I see nothing to question to integrity of the new PM on with regards this issue. So, I constructively am optimistic and expect her to succeed – whereas dAVID seems to expect her to fail.

    2. GingerlyColors 6 Jan 2012, 10:05pm

      Whatever happens there it will be a while yet before we will be celebrating Kingston Pride.

      1. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:54pm

        but a good day it will be when they do finally celebrate freely Pride.

  11. Spanner1960 6 Jan 2012, 8:35am

    Review?
    That’s a half-arsed statement if ever I heard one. If a politician promises something, they might do it, if they review something, you can guarantee they won’t.

    1. If the sodomy laws are not overturned within 2 years then I think that Jamaica should be expelled from the Commonwealth and that trade sanctions should be imposed on it, by Britain.

      Rhetoric is all very well but gay people are still being lynched (with the collusion of the police) in Jamaica.

      1. So disingenuous . Yo don’t care about Jamaican lgbt people you just want to slag off black people. the fact this is even being discussed is brilliant.

        1. Whilst I do recognise the frustration that it is merely a “review” … reviews can and do lead to improvements …

          Surely, to work out how to introduce changes you have to consider the ramifications of changes and review them?

          I entirely agree with James! that this is welcome progress … I want more (as I am surely Jamaican LGBT people do) … lets encourage the Jamaican people – rather than appear to expect them to fail.

          1. Spaner and Dvida hate black people and will always pour their bile over any positive actions. It’s pathalogical

      2. “I think that Jamaica should be expelled from the Commonwealth”

        Prime Minister Miller doesn’t want Jamaica to be in the Commonwealth so I doubt she would care.

        You have quite an inflated ‘Little England’ view of the world dAVID.

        1. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:55pm

          and a deflated ego to go with it!

        2. Accoridng to the International Business Times:

          “The former British colony gained its independence in 1962, but Jamaica is still part of the Commonwealth with Queen Elizabeth II is still the official head of state. Jamaica wouldn’t have to leave the commonwealth to drop the Queen, but the new prime minister indicated that the country’s connections to England should be minimized, Simpson-Miller said after taking her oath of office on Friday. … “I love the Queen; she is a beautiful lady,” Simpson-Miller told the 10,000-person audience at the governor-general’s residence. “But I think time come,” she added, speaking in the Jamaican patois. … To convert Jamaica into a republic, Simpson Miller will have to win a parliamentary vote to change the constitution and then put it to a popular referendum. It’s not impossible — Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago both dropped the Queen as their heads of state and remained in Commonwealth.”

      3. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:57pm

        I think we should hear this woman with interest and see what she soes before bad mouthing her and here country. She talks progress now lets see ehat she does, dAVID. Give the woman a chance.

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    1. jamestoronto 6 Jan 2012, 3:18pm

      You again!! This is not a site for posting solicitation for business.

      1. You’re talking to a spambot.

      2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:58pm

        Indeed, PinkNews allowing free advertising… whatever next?

    2. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:52pm

      You can carry on repeating it as much as you like, I still think you should get educated.

  13. Art Pearson 6 Jan 2012, 3:42pm

    Well it’s about time someone dragged Jamaica into the 21st century. As well as the human rights issue, it should greatly improve Jamaica’s tourist industry.

    1. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 2:00pm

      Very true Art. The can only be advantages to accepting the LGBTQI community for a country’s prospects and economy. Something other countries already see.
      -
      Sadly for the Americans, something the Republicans don’t and won’t see.

    2. Art

      No one dragged them they made a choice

  14. Jock S. Trap 7 Jan 2012, 1:22pm

    “As a result of her relatively pro-gay comments, one member of the then-ruling party questioned whether Simpson-Miller had been paid by the international LGBT community to speak up for gay rights.”
    -
    Duh… how boring is that?
    -
    What a bloomin idiot to use such immature arguments just because they don’t like what they hear and just want to carry on freely to discriminate.
    -
    Here’s hoping Jamaica can now listen and make a difference not only to it’s LGBTQI community and that of the world but to all it’s citizens by allowing human rights win through.

  15. Staircase2 10 Jan 2012, 3:50pm

    Well said, Portia!
    Keep up the good work

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