The Safe House 2009 Pilot for LGBTQ Youth Explained & more

In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Monday, December 3, 2012

Gay Canadian pastors optimistic Ja will repeal buggery law while local JCHS group says no way

VANCOUVER, Canada — Tim Stephenson is a former Canadian government minister, a current city councillor of Vancouver, and an ordained pastor, while Reverend Gary Paterson holds one of the highest positions in the United Church of Canada as its elected leader/moderator.

But the extensive political and religious accomplishments of both men are not what these two Canadians are most known for. 
In Stephenson's case, it is the title of being the first openly gay man to be ordained a church minister in Canada, while for Paterson, it is the historic election of a gay man as moderator within this once ultra-conservative denomination.

The two, who have been legally married for the greater part of the 33 years and have lived together as partners, sat down at City Hall earlier last week to have a frank discussion with a Jamaica delegation of journalists and policymakers here in Vancouver participating in a knowledge exchange sesson organised by Panos Caribbean in partnership with Simon Fraser University and the Vancouver Initiative.

"We sometimes define ourselves as church and state sleeping together," Stephenson quipped as he began the conversation.

He added further, "it took me 12 years to get ordained as a minister as the church wrestled with the issue".

Both men have been previously married to women, with Paterson fathering three daughters from his union.

As a member of Canada's New Democratic Party, Stephenson said he was elected as the first openly gay member of the legislature, then deputy speaker of the House, and subsequently cabinet minister, before his party lost power after a five-year stint in office.
Following this defeat, Stephenson said he returned to the church congregation to serve as minister before heading back to politics, this time to run for City Councillor 11 years ago. He has been re-elected four times, and was also appointed the Canadian representative to China.

Paterson had been ordained as the lead minister in the church before he disclosed his status as a gay man.

"The church struggled with me and Tim as ministers, although I was ordained when I was a married man," he said.

Explaining the journey, Paterson said the United Church started to do educational work around homosexuality as far back as the 1980s, staging various workshops to help people get comfortable with the issue.

"In 1984, we produced the first report that there should be no contradiction between being Christian and gay," he said, adding that there was extensive consultation done across Canada.
Out of this it was recommended that gay men and lesbians be allowed full membership in the church. Not everybody took the news with an open heart and mind, as about 10 per cent left the church. However, Paterson said, for the most part, the other 90 per cent were comfortable with the decision. Currently, 20 per cent of the church's members are gay.

In the discussions that followed, Paterson said the evangelical church accused them of not being Christians, while the Catholics avoided the issue altogether.

Now, he says a large number of the church's membership consists of "refugees" from evangelical churches; persons he said have been "damaged" by their old church's beliefs.

"A lot of gay persons went to church because there is a belief that if you pray to Jesus you won't be gay, but psychological studies prove there is just cessation of sex," he said.

As such, Paterson said a part of his ministry is to reach out to people who have been badly damaged by the Christian church.

Turning to the biblical stance on homosexuality, Paterson said Jesus Christ never had anything to say about homosexuality, but had a lot to say about divorce and yet the church has been able to find ways to get around the dissolution of marriage.

"In fact, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the people's inhospitality, and not because of the act of homosexuality," he opined.

Questioned as to whether there is some truth to the statement that the gay community is becoming the most powerful and influential group on the planet Paterson dismissed the notion.

"That statement is ridiculous and comes from fear... sometimes gay people have influence and sometimes they don't," he said.

As a lawmaker, Stephenson was instrumental in allowing gay Canadian men to adopt children and to change the definition of the word 'spouse'.
In fact, Paterson believes children raised by gay couples are stronger and more resilient, as they learn how to deal with differences and how to cope with bullying at school.
Paterson, who said he discovered his love for men from age 13, said he initially told his wife he was bisexual, but she was willing to give the relationship a chance.

"We had seven years of marriage, and when it ended we made a decision to share the parenting of the girls and not live more than 10 blocks away from each other," he said.

Stephenson, who left his five-year marriage without fathering any children, said he quickly fit into the parenting role.
The men said they usually travel around the world on vacation as a couple and are looking forward to visiting Jamaica, although they have heard the stories that "it is a difficult place for gay people".
They however expressed optimism that the Jamaican buggery laws will eventually be repealed.

"I think Jamaica will change its laws and things will get different," Paterson said.

The couple say they have been invited to the United Church in Bermuda and are looking forward to sharing there.

Meanwhile Dr. Wayne West of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS who happen to also be planning an event on Human Rights Day December 10 speaking on the backdrop of the Russian resolution on family life back in October of this year he said " .... No I'm not persuaded for that at all because I am confident that unlike countries like maybe the United States & England who operate apparently on slogans than facts than in Jamaica persons in the media will bring the philosophical considerations to the Jamaican people .......... once the Jamaican people understand that once you start a line of policy making that makes the assumption there is no purpose in the universe that anything can be anything ....." he gave the impression that all kinds of bizarre things may become normative. Then came the HIV is a gay disease trope once again where he said "We know among men who have sex with men they make certain choices and definitions of sex which result in serious diseases in this group, when that consideration is brought to the Jamaican policy makers I am confident that those things will not become law in Jamaica." he continued "I don't expect any such changes in the law."

He continued in referring to the "no design" philosophy driving the push for rights and twisting the traditional views of the family hence the Home and Family Life curriculum's push for supposed an anything goes mantra and that such philosophies are being pushed by the elite classes especially those in the humanities at universities here. "What we are having being imposed on us is what Aristotle said should not be a basis for law, desire simply desire is not a basis for law." he continued he went on also about the world view that now obtains and that all things are relative. He said there is a denial of purpose and an elevation of desire to the detriment of the good of the society. The coalition also had placed a full paged ad in the GLEANER newspaper on Friday last a most expensive venture if one cares to check but I do not see them looking at the poor amongst us nor the children who gays are supposedly preying on, conditioning as it regularly termed since the HFLE fiasco or influencing, so much for a healthy society indeed when the obvious matters are of no direct concern to them yet privacy must be invaded to push an anti gay agenda. What hypocrisy, what about the homeless and children in adult lockups, the rapes and so on how comes this coalition is so silent in those departments? 

I would imagine that a real healthy society would have inclusiveness as its mantra despite sexual orientation and deal with those who are the least amongst us.

My other main concern is the repeated uninformed comments from foreigners who clearly do not understand the local parameters with our struggle. Jamaica is NOT Canada and our political representatives are not at the point yet for a mature, non-emotional and balanced debate towards a solution in this matter of the buggery law seeing that securing political expediency is of far greater import coupled with some powerful out of touch advocates who seem to care about their personal achievements at the expense of a gullible community more so than the growth of the collective.

Recent pronouncements by the Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson point to a public health reason that of high rates of HIV infections in the MSM group (despite the last study results not out as yet) as a plausible one for the repeal or decriminalization of buggery. While the government through its information Minister made it clear that is on the back burner for now.


and a podcast on the government's delay on the suggested buggery review

Peace and tolerance



Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website

Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1

audience members interacting during a break in the event

film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)


CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:

the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

May 22, 2015, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.

Other Entries you can check out

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Homeless MSM Challenges and relationships with agencies overview ........

In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

also see a flashback to some of the issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless LGBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE


see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14

debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

Popular Posts

RJR - Surprise Yes vote by Ja on Sexual Orientation Removal from Summary Executions Resolution

Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller has Arlene Harrison Henry and Maurice Tonlinson on Human RIghts Day 2012 on the the removal of language in the form of sexual orientation on the Summary Executions UN Resolution - On November 21, 2012, Jamaica voted[1] against resolution A/C.3/67/L.36 at the United Nations condemning extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions which urges States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation

Homeless MSM evicted from Cargill Avenue (evening edition)

28/08/12 CVM TV again rebroadcast a story of homeless MSM and the deplorable living conditions coupled with the almost sensationalistic narrative of the alleged commercial sex work the men are involved in. Gay Jamaica Watch has been following this issue since 2009 when the older populations of MSMs who were for the most part displaced due to forced evictions and homo negative issues and their re-displacement by agencies who on the face of it refused to put in place any serious social interventions to assist the men to recovery CLICK HERE for the CLIP

Information, Disclaimer and more

Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use theHappenings section to select other posts of a different nature.

Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

Please use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

God Bless

Other Blogs I write to:
Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.


Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tense

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated

i) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues

If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -
If one is locked up then the following may apply:

Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime. There are two standards that must be met:
1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight"

Locked up and appearing in court:
 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest:
 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?
b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?
c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?
d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?

 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process

Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

What Human Rights .............

What are Human Rights?

By definition human rights are our inalienable fundamental rights. Inalienable means that which cannot be taken away. So our human rights are bestowed upon us from the moment we are born and, thus we are all entitled to these rights. Because we are entitled to our human rights and they cannot and should not be taken away from us, we as a people must strive to protect them, government should protect them and breaches of our rights should be highlighted and addressed appropriately.

Human rights are the same for everyone irrespective of colour, class or creed, and are applicable at both the national and international level. In Jamaica, our human rights are enshrined in and protected by our Constitution. Internationally, there have been numerous laws and treaties enacted specifically for the protection of human rights.

Milestone document

Most notably of these is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is seen as a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was proclaimed by the United Nations, in 1948, as a common standard of achievements for all nations, and sets out the fundamental human rights to be universally recognised and protected.

The Declaration sets out the following rights:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Equality before the law

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement

Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;

Everyone has the right to education.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.