Jamaica paper publish anti-gay hate cartoon for Christmas

One of the Jamaica's most widely read papers has published an anti-gay cartoon designed to inflame hate, say LGBT rights advocates

Jamaica paper publish anti-gay hate cartoon for Christmas
28 December 2012

The Jamaica Observer, one of the country’s main daily papers, published an anti-gay editorial cartoon on Christmas Day (25 December), designed, according to local gay activists, to inflame hate.

The cartoon is meant, according to Jamaican activists, to foment hate by ridiculing gays and depicting them as a threat to young boys.

The cartoon depicts a young boy undisturbed by men dressed in scary Jonkanoo parade costumes, a Jamaican Christmas custom, yet terrified of a gay stereotyped in an offensive effeminate manner.

Speaking with Gay Star News, Jamaican LGBT rights advocate and lawyer Maurice Tomlinson, criticized the paper saying: ‘This cartoon is the latest in a series by the Observer meant to vilify and further stigmatize gay Jamaicans.

‘This kind of negative imagery makes it harder for gays to be seen as equals in society and deserving of health care and other essential services.

‘In the face of the extremely high level of homophobia in Jamaica (measured at 82% in a 2011 University of the West Indies, Mona study) these actions by the Observer are extremely irresponsible and do not accord with ethical standards for reporting the news.

‘In fact, such cartoons contribute to the virulent hate Jamaicans have towards LGBT citizens.

‘The owner of the newspaper, Butch Stewart, would certainly not condone a caricature that so negatively reflected blacks, Jews, or any other traditionally vulnerable group.

‘In light of the savage attacks we have seen against gay Jamaicans, he should therefore insist that his paper desist from further homophobic imagery that is certain to foment hate against the LGBT community.

‘As an individual with an extensive tourism interest in the island, it would be in his interest to create an environment of social justice and harmony.

‘These cartoons and the very negative attitude the Observer has taken towards gays undermine that goal’.

The Observer has previously been criticized for anti-gay sterotyping of the Jamaican LGBT community.

After many complaints, the paper deleted a similar cartoon published 17 May 2012 which showed a Jamaican musician preparing to beat gays over the head with a hammer, similar to the savage murder of David Kato.

The Jamaica Observer also has a history of depicting the country’s LGBT community in a negative way in its news reporting.

On 8 October 2012 it reported that two drowned boys had been sodomized, despite the government pathologist making no such ruling.

On 14 June 2012 the paper alleged, despite no evidence to support this claim, that two men were savagely murdered in Kingston were victims of a gay lovers quarrel and stereotyping gays as dangerously violent.

The paper also has been condemned for publishing anti-gay Christian articles, for example on 23 April 2012 tit paper published an extended piece by a religious counsellor proposing a ‘gay cure therapy’. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

South African Police admit there is a serial killer targeting gay men

Police in South Africa have admitted that a serial killer has been targeting gay men in Johannesburg after a sustained campaign by family members and activists to have the prospect taken seriously
No thumbnail available

Wall Street leaders welcome first openly gay CEO of a US bank Trevor Burgess

C1 Financial has become the first publicly traded American bank to have an openly gay man to head the company in CEO Trevor Burgess
No thumbnail available

Could Rosie O'Donnell be returning to The View?

Former co-host is reportedly in talks to rejoin ABC talk show seven years after her very fiery exit
No thumbnail available

Texas Governor Rick Perry gets on-air schooling after comparing gays to alcoholics

CNBC's Joe Kernen: 'I don’t think gay marriage leads to cirrhosis of the liver, domestic violence, or DWIs. I don't see how that's similar'
No thumbnail available

Bowler scores strike with rare gay kiss on ESPN

Scott Norton snogs husband after winning bowling title in what may be one of first gay athlete kisses shown on TV channel
No thumbnail available

Sri Lanka gays forced underground as world leaders gather for summit

Commonwealth leaders have refused to discuss LGBTI issues at their summit in Colombo and now the Sri Lankan government is cracking down on dissent
No thumbnail available

Alberta student refuses to live in fear after anti-gay attack

Canadian student inspires LGBT community to stand up for gay rights after homophobes attacked him in public
No thumbnail available

Your Grindr chats could be streaming live online for 'art'

Some angry gay men feel like their privacy has been violated and are seeking legal action
No thumbnail available

Anti-LGBTI bill becomes law in Arkansas

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson allows automatic passage to be triggered without his signature
No thumbnail available

UKIP to march at Pride in London

One of Britain's only parties to oppose same-sex marriage is part of the line-up