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, February 11, 2013

Mark Wignall on Buggery law review promise was a political sham

The Jamaica Observer's Mark Wignall formerly a staunch anti gay opponent has come out swinging in his piece done recently in the paper. As I have hinted on Gay Jamaica Watch and elsewhere I never viewed the suggestion by Mrs Simpson Miller for the Buggery Review as a promise and the hints given by first time member of parliament Damion Crawford in an interview on CVM TV in February 2012.

Mr Wignall wrote:

Very few of us know the main reason which drove then Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller to declare in her pre-election debate in 2011 that if her party was elected, a review of the buggery law would be introduced before Parliament for discussion and vote.

Everyone knew of the JLP's position, best expressed by former Prime Minister Bruce Golding in a BBC TV Hard Talk interview that he would not countenance any gays in his Cabinet. As for the PNP, the 2011 Simpson Miller declaration came as a shocker and could have been as a result of discussions/agreements our foreign affairs ministry had with its counterparts in the EU capitals and the US.

The possibility also exists that the powerful gay lobby at home, and especially those abroad holding our local entertainers' fingers to the fire, had used its natural leverage to extract that concession from the PNP.

Whatever the motivating factor, over a year has passed, and if the gay community thought that such clout could move ahead of the realities of our culture and politics and its desired change could happen in a year, it will have a long time and a safe distance from which it can watch the inaction.

One senses that concerns over the failure to ink a new IMF deal have sucked the energy out of the Government when in the first place, this Administration in its first year has never shown any real propensity for sprinting.

The Jamaican dollar is moving at a clip towards being worth one US cent. Business confidence, also caught up in jitters over the IMF, is low, and the poor exist only on the wishes and hopes generated by the roll of numbers four times per day. Who knows, maybe Supreme Ventures is providing the poor with what the Government cannot -- hope, packaged with possibilities four times per day.

Minister Paulwell has scored well with the telecoms industry, but with too many stops and starts in the energy ministry, any desires the Administration had that a lowering of the electricity rate due to fuel and power generation innovation would assist its push to attracting new investments in years two and three must now be put on hold.

Violent criminality is driving fear into our people and about half of our bright youngsters who are seeking loans to attend university may have to put their educational aspirations on hold too.

With so much on its plate and acting the confused bearer of the mandate, the PNP really has no time to introduce another uncooked item to the table. And who knows, maybe the promise was simply designed to meet the objectives of the December elections and not a day further.

Sometime ago, Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green confirmed what a lot of us had already known. The vast majority of crime against the gay community was perpetrated by people of that same sexual persuasion. I make this point because the local gay lobby, in association with its counterparts abroad, has always used as a convenient whipping boy its claim of Jamaica being an extremely homophobic nation.

There is a significant amount of distaste for the lifestyle in Jamaica, and too many people I speak to tell me that gays must die. There is, however, some distance between suggesting a state of death for gays and actually going out on a death hunt for them. Nevertheless, the gay lobby continues to spread the falsehood that gay-on-gay crime in Jamaica is mainly about crime against gays.

While Jamaica is a violent country and a part of this is etched into our dancehall music, especially against gays, some concessions have been made by a few local acts who know that live tours abroad make up the vast bulk of their income. But even with that, the very active gay lobby will want to extract 100 per cent of what Portia Simpson Miller promised in 2011.

A Foolish Buggery law

If two adults of whatever mix of sexes wish to revert to the privacy of an enclosed space and indulge their sexual fantasies, it ought to be none of my business.

When I am with my special lady, the last thing I crave is intrusion or the peeping eye of the State, which is essentially what the buggery law is.

But here is where it gets complicated. The law is really about anal sex. If a normal couple -- a man and a woman -- are in a room having sex and the door should be pushed in by the police, what would the police say? 'Hold it, No one move! Let me see where everything is!'

It is utterly ridiculous. If the man is indulging in anal sex (ugh!) with the woman, he can be arrested. If two men are found nude in a room and they are in an embrace, which does not include anal penetration, it is my understanding that they can still be arrested under one of the indecency statutes.

As far as I am concerned, if two men are homosexual and they want to be with each other, nothing will stop them, just the same way a man will seek out his female lover. So why does the State require this right to peep inside people's bedrooms when people are simply doing what comes naturally to them?

That aside, if the law comes up for review and parliament votes in favour of change, it will be felt in a loss at the polls. The politicians know that the church lobby will rise up and many citizens will label an Administration which brings it on as 'b... man party.'

Simpson Miller knows this, and so do her members of parliament. If in 2011 she was moved simply by her conscience, she is not saying. I choose not to believe that, especially when I view the confluence of the activities of the gay lobby versus our deejays, numerous letters to the media from gay activists, and pressure from pro-gay foreign diplomats with close ties to the PNP.

Whatever moved her then will move her no further on the matter. In simple language, it's dead.

Buggery section of article ends

Meanwhile a United Nations representative locally gave some support to the review promise or suggestion as you see it fit to call it

The United Nations is encouraging the Jamaican government to decriminalise the buggery law.

Dr. Arun Kashyap, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP) in Jamaica, says this should be done as it is in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Kashyap, speaking at a RJR Group news forum on Friday, said the UN was elated with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's statement in the debates leading up to the 2011 general election.
"We were very proud to hear when at that time the candidate and now Prime Minister very proudly said that she would have homosexuals in her cabinet …at this time if you talk to business leaders there is that acceptance but that doesn't mean that the whole country has accepted that. So rather than rushing through the process, I will always say how do you create the right opportunities and time to do it."

The UN representative said the organisation can assist the government in moving in that direction.
"We can start through advocacy, we can certainly start through building capacity, we can start by bringing in the best legal practices, ultimately its up to the Government , how they will handle it. In an ideal world, the earlier it happens the better it is but it also takes some time" he said.

Kashyap does not believe however that Jamaica's stance on homosexuality and buggery, will hinder the country receiving money from the Global Fund towards the country's fight against HIV/AIDS. There has been concern, that the country could face a reduction in funding for the fight against HIV/AIDS, due to laws banning buggery.

also hear my comments on the recent annoucement by the cabinet to delay the buggery review as suggested by the PM:


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.