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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Continued conflation between homosexuality, atheism, secularism and moral nihilism

Some months ago after an appearance on CVM TV’s Live @ 7 with Education Officer of the Jamaica Form for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, JFLAG Javed Jaghai who rubbished the Bible and religiosity in that interview when the matter of the discussion that night was about a tolerance study the complexion of the struggle has rapidly descended into all kinds of colours, diversions and unneeded war of words, there were hints prior to that but it seems things have gone full steam ahead since, Javed who also has a challenge to the buggery law in the constitutional court at the case management stage slated for October has played along with the quarrel with the religious groups, I warned that infusing or lumping atheism, secularism and humanism with LGBT rights in the Jamaica scenario will only seek to cloud the real issue of seeking the question of privacy and consent for same sex attracted adults be included somewhere in law or the Charter of Rights but as always small dissenting voices are relegated to noise makers hence our views are irrelevant. After listening to the recorded version of the debate as I never got to attend it dawned on me that the moot of the debate was totally missed as it headlined “Is the Church an Obstacle To The Human Rights Aspirations of Jamaicans” but instead as the feedback section proved and as happened on that night aforementioned in the introduction persons were stuck on anal sex and homosexuality more so than the broader issue or impediments by the church on rights in general.

Head of the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS Dr Wayne West has been very critical of the stance taken and has added to his list of name calling as Dunce, Diseased and Depraved gay activists who are also now Urbane and sophisticated while pegging the moral nihilism ambit to his argument and comparing a nothingness or philosophical emptiness to the struggle and call for recognition by the LGBT lobby, a call that has rung loudly to his following. The Lobby’s poor positioning and misplaced debating has given the religious right some of the very ammunition they now throw right back at us.

While I understand the sections of the religious movement’s somewhat hypocritical push to block such attempts as they misinterpret the call as a full repeal albeit continued poor communication strategy sending mixed messages to the public and not properly rebutting the error and making their position clear belief or non belief in God is immaterial to this case yet on Friday last June 28 at the University of The West Indies a debate on the church being an obstacle to human rights titled wrong to begin with as the only issue here is homosexuality two atheists went up against two supposed religious voices; Javed Jaghai & Lloyd D’agular versus Dr Wayne West and Reverend Clinton Chisholm.

Social rights activist Lloyd D’agular was apparently leading the charge stopped short of calling the religious push back hypocrites, he said among other things “The argument about homosexuality cannot be debated on religious ground cause it’s a non starter Jamaica is supposedly a secular state, can’t say abortion is murder cause the church tolerates murder on a daily basis, stop whining about fornication and adultery because some of the men most connected to God were fornicators and adulterers and as far as homosexuality is concerned if murderers where accepted by God and if genocide was accepted and practiced by God and other forms of sexual vice were accepted by God then I think what men and women do in the privacy of their bedrooms should be there business and have nothing to do with God.” Since the argument cannot be done on religious ground and given the legal thrusts to determine the real issue is in court why answer or participate in a public debate? I find increasingly Mr D’agular’s defence of homosexuality as it were faulty as he seems not fully apprised of the issues surrounding same gender issues and therefore not a good voice in that department. His appearance for example on CVM TV’s Live @ 7 on June 26th opposite past president of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship Shirley Richards was loaded with loopholes and poor positioning.

Dr Wayne West of the JCHS in the meantime responded by saying the criticisms were baseless, he said that the fact that Dr D’agular’s beliefs are based on atheism makes them all the more invalid “He is criticising the church cause it’s the only thing he can do, he has no choice but to criticise the church because he has no faith, the concept that we should respect each other or that we should give deference to each other is illogical if we believe in atheism because if we are atheist and are the result of random forces directed only by the laws of physics and chemistry I can assure you that none of us even though we are human beings are of any value than a dog or a pig or a goat or a bacteria.” Javed Jaghai in the meantime said the church is no better that atheist as it preaches morality in topic despite ethical demons in private, is Javed here contradicting his own atheist position then to suit the argument here? He said “I refuse to accept that we cannot create the Jamaica where we see each other as persons as humans and sinners and stereotypes they would be no need for a debate about gay rights in Jamaica if we remove the artificial barriers between gay and straight people who are indistinguishable in meaningful respects except for the gender of the partner that they love and that they choose to build a life with.” The audience comprised mostly of Javed/D’agular supporters naturally as they have academia in their corner from a secularist standpoint. Meanwhile Reverend Clinton Chisholm who opposed the moot said that the origin of rights was given by Jesus Christ and there has been no argument that showed that the church has been a hindrance to human rights; the church acknowledges that the law is king and that no one is above the law.

Defunct Interfaith discussions

In November 2007 a series of Interfaith discussions had commenced under the Sunshine Cathedral Jamaica, SCJ, JFLAG, United Theological College, UTC representatives, Universal Centre of Truth representatives while other voices were approached some of whom expressed interest such as Reverend Clinton Chisholm, Reverend Dr Peter Espeut, Dr Marjorie Lewis, Reverend Garth Minott, Ian Boyne and others; those discussions among other things were to bring some sense and sensibility to understanding homosexuality, the ethical, moral, theological and legal issues therein and even the very divide of atheism, secularism and humanism were part of the items rostered for future attention hence my public unease with this series of spats between gay rights atheistic advocates and religious right anti gay voices when the Interfaith talks were to quietly deal with those issues now we find advocates devoting energies that should be directed at the legal challenges aiming at putting out fires started by a far more mobilized religious group. The lumping of all those issues now being ironed out in the public while having a small good is only seeking to enflame the followership of some of these churches who are way out of the loop in understanding certain issues and a JFLAG that had not had a sustained campaign to lift the visibility and understanding of homosexual issues intertwined with the buggery law. It is clear given the recent utterances by parties involved there needs to be either a recommencement of those talks or something close it if there is any chance of fostering understanding, there is no time for public spats on the issues now not when legal challenges are in progress and the public sentiments fed by previously dormant anti gay sentiments buried in the sections of the population’s psyche. 

also see from Gay Jamaica Watch: What has happened to the Interfaith Movement?

If the media and the church still interpret that the LGBT lobby’s agitation is about a full repeal of buggery despite a late in the day statement of sorts saying they have changed their stance some two years ago on buggery which came as a surprise to even me then it is no wonder the heat that is on their backs when the proper communication is missing the clarify the change in stance. The false dichotomy that the agitation for rights for gay activists is part of a larger picture of moral nihilism and a Godless mantra when there are gay Christians around but whose voices are drowned out by the louder atheists or they remain quiet preferably. Where is the Sunshine Cathedral Jamaica, SCJ or its mother church in Florida The Metropolitan Community of Churches, MCC in all this now and why are they so quiet? When some of their membership and leadership are also involved in the management of JFLAG itself and other NGOs, are those voices no longer batting for that cause anymore? It is not about whether or not God exists or not or even whether there is the missing philosophical base for such calls for rights even that too is also of import as it affects the programs or lack thereof in terms of social justice issues chief among them the homeless MSM issues that have been a major cause for a black eye for JFLAG as they have failed to properly respond to that issue. The correspondent insensitivity has been tacitly pegged to the moral nihilism criticism by the anti gay voices as they claim that how can a call for tolerance be justified when the apparent rejection of their own is real hence having no moral authority to agitated for such virtuous ideals.

The smoke in the room is causing all kinds of confusion especially for those ordinary folks who are just barely following the issues or LGBT people who are ignorant of what has gone on or not allowed to continue in terms of lobby over the years. The divide and rule construct continues otherwise this plays right into my longstanding criticisms of the lack of continuity of programs and activities that worked or that would have future impact in the struggle. Based on the responses in the feedback section of the debate the “abnormality” of homosexuality was a prominent feature of those answers from members of the public while some rebuttals from JFLAG supporters came through they were not strong enough in my view as it was clear that the public campaign strategy will have to be spruced up to not only answer the religious right’s posture (something that should have been done years now) but also the very LGBT community who by virtue of the answers given were ill prepared for such a forum. In a rare point of agreement I am siding with Dr Rohan Lewis point where he lamented that the some of the interventions by the presenters based on moot were very esoteric in that Jamaica is not treated as a pluralistic society and instead a giant island church, separation of church and state in other words.

Prevention is better than cure maybe if those important Interfaith talks were allowed to continue and yet another bizarre decision from the powers that be to scrap them would have greatly reduced the backlash now experienced by the present voices and indeed some of the garbage from all sides from last Friday’s debate. I doubt the Javeds and D’agulars of this world are aware of such talks ever commencing in the first place.

Let us watch as this plays out to what end and what other avenues will be used to try and win the argument.

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.

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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.