Kingston, Jamaica

Thursday, October 10, 2013

House Occupied By Gays Firebombed: Jamaica's Prime Minister Remains Silent

Dwayne Jones dressed in a black tank top and shorts at the said
house with friends, 2 months before he was murdered by an anti-gay mob
The reluctance of the Jamaican government to stem mob attacks, beatings and killings of Jamaicans, identified or perceived to be homosexual resulted in another mob attack on four gay men and firebombing of the domicile where they were taking refuge on October 8, 2013.  

According to the Western Bureau cited by  The Jamaica Gleaner News Report, “Four homosexual men, who captured a house in Porto Bello, St James close to two years ago and had been residing there ever since, were put to flight early Tuesday night by an angry mob.  Shortly after 7 p.m., one of the men went outside the house, where he was confronted by a mob comprising some 14 men. They immediately attacked him and in the ensuing commotion, the men had to flee for their lives. The house was subsequently firebombed.[1]

The report also claims that “the house was the last place where 16-year-old Dwayne 'Gully Queen' Jones, who was killed by a mob in St James earlier this year[2], lived. The men who were attacked on Tuesday night were said to be his friends.

Recently, Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand Protested outside of UN General Assembly in New York City, calling on Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia-Simpson Miller to protect homosexuals from violent mob attacks and discrimination. In response, the Prime Minister blew a kiss at and wave to the protesters.[3]

UN Protest against Jamaica's Anti-gay Laws on September 26, 2013

Since the brutal murder of Dwayne Jones, 16-year-old transgender woman on July 22, 2013, a mob called for the head of an alleged gay constable on July 31st in Kingston. On August 1st, two homosexual men were mobbed and wounded in St Catherine. On the 10th of August police rescued a transgender woman after a mob gave chase in Portmore. On August 22, 2013, five gay men were trapped and barricaded by an angry mob in Green Gully Manchester. On August 23, 2013, two men were trapped by a homophobic mob for ‘appearing ‘gay. And on August 27, 2013, 41-year-old gay man was murdered and burnt by unknown assailants. Dean Moriah was stabbed several times before the house was set on fire with him inside.[4]

Interestingly Jamaica is a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) which state that “all are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection by the law.”[5]  In this regard, the Jamaican government has failed to comply with their commitments to uphold fundamental human rights. Widespread torture, beating and unlawful killings of homosexuals by Citizens and the police in some cases persist.

During December 2011 electoral campaign, the current Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, stated that “no one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation”, and that the “government should provide protection” for LGBTI people.[6] Where is the Protection, madam Prime Minister?

A conscience vote on whether to repeal Jamaica’s Anti-gay laws (Buggery Law) is not a guaranteed promise or attempt to assure equal rights and protection for gays citizens. Your silence on this issue is callous and is a demonstration of how insignificant dyer issues gays and lesbians facing in Jamaica are to the government.

Recommendations to Jamaica’s PM
  1.  Publicly condemn mob attacks and the killing of persons suspected or known to be homosexual.  Call for tolerance and respect of homosexuals through your address to the nation and community base forums.
  2.  Draft and implement laws to protect and guarantee equal rights and protection for LGBT Jamaicans. For instance, include sexual orientation as a clause under the constitution as it relates to discrimination and repeal the Buggery law.
  3. Ensure that Anti-gay crimes committed against homosexuals are thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice by the justice system.
The Jamaican constitution (1962) explicitly outlined that, “the state has an obligation to promote universal respect for, and observation of human rights and freedoms for persons in Jamaica.”[7] It is time for Prime Minister Portia-Simpson Miller to do her job and ensure that all Jamaican citizens are treated equally and fairly under the law. End the human rights abuse of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.


[3] Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand Protests Outside Of UN General Assembly In NYC
[4]A Decade Of Hate And Homophobia In Jamaica: Country Conditions
[5] The Universal Declaration on Human Rights

1 comment:

  1. Please email me at corve dot dacosta at gmail dot com