Islamic Cleric: Execute All Homosexuals
Somehow we missed this story when it happened, but last year Germany banned Muslim cleric Bilal Phillips following this speech calling for the executions of homosexuals.
- German police officials announced on Wednesday that Abu Ameena Bilal Philips, a hardline Islamic preacher from Jamaica who defends use of the death penalty for homosexuality, had been ordered to leave the country and asked never to return. The officials said that immigration authorities had issued an order - prior to Philips’ address to some 2,000 spectators in Frankfurt - instructing the 60-year-old Islam convert to leave Germany within three days, claiming his professed beliefs infringed on federal laws. German law allows for the expulsion of visitors who “incite hatred against parts of the population” or advocate the use of violence against them.
Jamaica: Straight Ally Candidate Portia Miller Simpson To Become Prime Minister
The Washington Blade reports:
Portia Simpson Miller’s People’s National Party won a landslide victory in Parliament over the ruling Labor Party in Jamaica yesterday, giving her a second run at her previous role as first female Prime Minister of that Caribbean nation.
Jamaica is well known for its severe homophobia around the world, and in the past decade, many instances of serious anti-gay violence in Jamaica have caught the attention of the international media. In addition disgraced former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, had vowed to keep gays out of his Cabinet, a policy supported by Simpson Miller’s opponent, and outgoing Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, who stepped in to take Golding’s place upon his resignation two months ago.
“People are entitled to their opinion, as well as I am entitled to mine,” Holness responded to a question during a debate in December. “But as leader of the country, I have to respect everybody’s opinion, and make sure that the institutions of freedom are well in place so that the debate can continue.”
“My sentiments reflect the sentiments of the country,” he continued. “The Prime Minister has a discretion, but that discretion cannot be exercised in a vacuum.”
In a nationally televised December debate between Holness and Simpson Miller, the People’s National Party leader came out against the “buggery” law in Jamaica that criminalizes homosexual behavior — though she refused to vow to push for its repeal.
“I think we should have a look at the ‘buggery’ law, and that members of Parliament should be given the opportunity to vote with their conscience, on consultation with their constituents,” she concluded.
“Our administration believes in protecting the human rights of all Jamaicans,” Simpson Miller responded. “No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Government should provide the protection.”
In addition, when both candidates were asked if they would appoint qualified LGBT MPs to their cabinet, Holness remained steadfast to the existing policy while Simpson Miller refused to apply a litmus test of that sort to her cabinet candidates.
“But for me, I do not support the position of the former Prime Minister, because people should be appointed to positions based on their ability to manage and to lead,” she said of appointing a gay cabinet member. “I would appoint anyone with the ability, the capacity, and the capability to manage in my cabinet.”
United Nations Wants Jamaica To Abolish “Buggery” Laws
The Advocate reports:
The United Nations’ Human Rights Committee wants changes in Jamaica — namely an end to bans on same-sex behavior, as well as new laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people.An advanced copy of a Human Rights Committee report was obtained by the Jamaican gay rights group J-FLAG. The committee recommends that Jamaica’s “State party should amend its laws with a view to prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. The State party should also decriminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex, in order to bring its legislation into line with the Covenant and put an end to prejudices and the social stigmatization of homosexuality. In this regard, the State party should send a clear message that it does not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination or violence against persons for their sexual orientation, and should ensure that individuals, who incite violence against homosexuals, are investigated, prosecuted and properly sanctioned.”The Committee also condemned music by Jamaican artists that incites violence against LGBT people.The UN also wants Jamaica to raise HIV awareness and change the deep social stigma that exists there for people with the disease. The intensely negative attitudes towards people with HIV, who are almost assumed to be gay, hampers treatment and prevention efforts in the island nation, the Committee warned. Read more at J-FLAG’s website.
Recently, Britain announced that it will cut aid to antigay nations in Africa; it’s not clear if it will affect money going to Jamaica. Last month, Australia pressured all Commonwealth nations, which includes Jamaica, to end antigay laws.
The UN this week also called for changes in Iran’s dealings with LGBT people.
Television Jamaica Rejects Gay PSA
The Advocate reports:
Television Jamaica (TVJ), a major station on the Caribbean island, has declined to carry a paid PSA from the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-Flag) that encourages acceptance of LGBT family members and friends.
According to the Jamaica Observer, TVJ said it would not run the PSA, the first of its kind in Jamaica, because of concerns over “the structure of the announcement, among other things,” including the opposition of homophobic pastors.
The PSA features former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe Christine Straw with her gay brother Matthew Straw in a pitch for Jamaicans to show “unconditional love” to LGBT family members and friends. J-Flag launched the PSA last month and wanted to see it air this month on national TV.
The Observer reports that Gary Allen, the managing director of TVJ parent company RJR Communications Group, expressed concern about the paid nature of the PSA, and he acknowledged that his station took into account the opposition of some pastors and public opinion. He also said his group did not want to promote the PSA and risk violating any laws, where homosexuality, specifically sex between two men, remains a punishable offence in Jamaica.
Dane Lewis, executive director of J-Flag, expressed disappointment over the rejection of the PSA meant to promote love and acceptance. He said his group would continue negotiations with CVM, the island’s other major TV station, and still hoped to see it air.
“Since we are not directly or indirectly promoting anything that is illegal, love is not illegal, we don’t see why we shouldn’t be able to go forward, so we are going to continue our discussion and hope that we can quickly come to some solution to have it aired,” he said.
Human rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented widespread violence against LGBT people in Jamaica. The island is regarded as a dangerous place for LGBT citizens.
United Kingdom: Jamaican Lesbian Can Stay
The Advocate reports:
In what may be a watershed moment for gay Caribbeans seeking refuge in other nations, a Jamaican lesbian who fears for her life has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom.
The woman, whose name was not released, won an appeal from a previous decision that denied her asylum in Britain. This time, immigration judges agreed with her attorneys that Jamaica is “a deeply homophobic society” and her status as an out lesbian could put her at serious risk. The woman said she feared that she would be subjected to “corrective rape” — which she was threatened with in Jamaica — and that she may sink back into a severe depression should she be forced to return to the island nation. The woman first came to the U.K. in 2003 to study and has since begun living openly as a lesbian and entered a long-term relationship. The woman argued to the judges that after living openly for over seven years she cannot go back to her old life — and her partner also refuses to move to Jamaica.
According to JamaicaObserver.com, many gay Jamaicans are successfully turning to Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. as venues for asylum from their home nation.
BOOM BYE-BYE: Murder Music Star Buju Banton Sentenced To Ten Years
This morning reggae superstar Buju Banton was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for cocaine trafficking. Banton’s particular style of reggae was dubbed “murder music” for lyrics that often called for the murders of gay men. In recent years his concert appearances were picketed by LGBT activists who sometimes convinced promoters to cancel the shows entirely. Banton’s supporters claim that his drug arrest was a conspiracy set up between the DEA and gay activists.
RELATED: In February 2011, Banton won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album despite protests over having even been nominated.