Jamaica reggae star Beenie Man backs gay rights

Apology of former anti-gay dancehall artist is 'very suspect', says human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell

Jamaica reggae star Beenie Man backs gay rights
24 May 2012 Print This Article

Jamaican dancehall star Beenie Man has voiced his support for gay rights, despite finding fame with songs inciting homophobic violence.

‘Let me make this clear and straight. I have nothing against no-one,’ he said in a video statement.

‘I respect each and every human being…regardless of sexual preference, including gay and lesbian people.’

The artist, otherwise known as Anthony Moses Davis, gained infamy with tracks featuring anti-gay lyrics such as ‘Hang chi chi gal wid a long piece of rope’ and ‘Tek a bazooka and kill batty-fucker’.

But he now begs people not to attack him for songs he made 20 years ago.

He said: ‘There’s no-one in this world is the same person as they were 20 years ago – I know I am not.

‘I was a kid and I come from Waterhouse, which is a small community. I never know what the world is like and what the world is all about. But now I know that people live in this world that live their life differently from my life. I still have to respect and love human beings.’

Beenie Man signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, intended to stop homophobia among leading reggae stars, in June 2007.

Peter Tatchell, one of the activists behind the Stop Murder Music campaign which led to several stars signing the act, told Gay Star News he welcomed Beenie Man’s apology but called it ‘very suspect’.

‘After years of pumping out songs that glorified violence against LGBT people, in 2007 Beenie Man signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, where he promised to halt all homophobia.

‘With weeks he turned around and denied signing the RCA. He then went on to record a new song, "I No Apologize", where he further abused LGBT people. Thereafter, he continued to sing homophobic lyrics.

‘Given this record of dishonesty, duplicity and double-dealing, I see no reason to trust him this time.

‘Beenie Man has to do more to convince us that he has really changed and that this apology is not just a cynical PR move to end the boycotts and cancellation of his concerts.’

Beenie Man joins other high profile rap and hip-hop stars such as Jay-Z and T.I. in backing LGBT equality.

In March, Jamaican reggae star Sizzla called for gays to be killed at a concert where he praised imprisoned fellow star Buju Banton.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Sacha Baron Cohen set to woo Hong Kong lesbian in new film

Movie will be based on the true story of a Hong Kong billionaire who offered millions to the man who could woo his lesbian daughter
No thumbnail available

Gay soccer pro Robbie Rogers writing a book

Eric Marcus, who collaborated on Greg Louganis' best-selling memoir, will co-write Robbie Rogers' upcoming memoir
No thumbnail available

David Cameron backs World AIDS Day record attempt

British Prime Minister shows his support for 56 Dean Street's HIV testing world record attempt at G-A-Y
No thumbnail available

Pregnant Alicia Keys strips naked for gay rights

'Empire State of Mind' singer reveals a picture with a peace sign on her pregnant belly
No thumbnail available

When Rock Hudson was dying from AIDS, Nancy Reagan refused to help him get treatment in Paris

But the former US First Lady wanted it known that President Reagan had called Hudson to wish him well
No thumbnail available

Karen: ‘When looking for a job, be aware of the company’s values and culture’

A director with a capital management firm, Karen has realized over time that she has a role to play in being a positive, openly gay role model
No thumbnail available

Why are people still getting away with hunting animals?

Ten years since the Hunting Act came into force, the campaign to protect British wildlife continues
No thumbnail available

Texas senator writes heartwarming letter to lesbian daughter

A politician has written an incredible Father's Day message to his child, affirming his belief in gay rights
No thumbnail available

Robbie Rogers: Other gay footballers are too terrified to come out

Openly gay soccer pro has said he has not been contacted by any gay closeted footballers since coming out of the closet in February
No thumbnail available

Pope's arrival on Twitter sparks comments on gays, women and child abuse

Benedict XVI has started to tweet but while many have welcomed his arrival on the social media platform, others have attacked him for his conservativism and the paedophile scandal