Jamaica rules gay teens can live in the sewer

Police have repeatedly attempted to evict the LGBTI youths from the sewers, with attempts to 'burn' them out and conducting early morning raids 

Jamaica rules gay teens can live in the sewer
10 March 2014

Jamaica gay teens thrown out by their families, chased out of shelters and abandoned by the state have been told they can live in sewers.

A New Kingston judge has advised police that LGBTI teens are allowed to stay in their last option for refuge as sewers are public spaces.

Police have repeatedly tried to evict the youngsters from the sewers and gullies, on the pretext they ‘attract criminals’.

Last week on 5 March, officers once again raided the gutters and demanded the youth leave immediately.

Yvonne McCalla-Sobers, a Jamaican LGBTI rights activist, said: ‘The youngsters were understandably upset and some put up quite a struggle as they literally have nowhere else to go.

‘Police had already chased them from every abandoned building they previously occupied and the buildings were then torn down.’

She added: ‘Some of the youth were arrested for resisting their forcible eviction. They were also charged with using swear words (which is still an offense under Jamaican law).’

On 7 March, the teens were brought before the court to fine them for their language.

However, the judge has told police the sewers are a public space so the youngsters have every right to be there.

Maurice Tomlinson, a lawyer and LGBTI rights campaigner in Jamaica, told Gay Star News:

‘Although the Jamaican Commissioner of Police has issued a directive that LGBT victims are not to be discriminated against…it is clear that there is a lot of work that needs to be done with the police in order for them to respect and support the human rights of vulnerable gay Jamaicans.’

Last year in October, police officers burned down the house – as well as clothing and other property – of gay and bisexual men living in New Kingston.

And in September, four gay men in the resort city of Montego Bay had to flee their home after a mob firebombed it. They asked the police to take them in and protect them but were refused.

The property was thought to be the last place where trans teen Dwayne Jones lived before she was ‘chopped and stabbed’ to death after a party in July.



No thumbnail available

Indian universities edit application forms to include trans students

The Universities Grants Commission in India has created a separate category to include trans students in applications for scholarships and fellowships 
No thumbnail available

Against Me! lead singer says being trans isn't 'going away'

Laura Jane Grace, who shot to fame as Tom Gabel, gives first TV interview since coming out as transgender
Rallies for victims of Jerusalem stabbing held in major Israeli cities

Rallies for victims of Jerusalem stabbing held in major Israeli cities

The rallies took place in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to protest hate crimes against LBGTI people
No thumbnail available

What's gay in the Golden Globe Award nominations

James Parsons gets nod for Big Bang Theory, Sarah Paulson for Game Change, Tony Kushner nominated for writing screenplay for Lincoln
No thumbnail available

Gay-themed videos in vogue among Chinese singers

Singers in Greater China have shot music videos with same-sex plots to tap the gay market
No thumbnail available

With one woman terminally ill, Indiana recognizes marriage of lesbian couple

Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera have been together for more than 27 years
No thumbnail available

Gay divers Matthew Mitcham and Tom Daley take top medals in platform pairs at C-wealth Games

Last-minute replacements, silver medalists Daley and partner James Denny had only practiced together three times
No thumbnail available

French shrinks sign a petition supporting gay marriage

Hundreds of France's leading psychoanalysts signed a petition supporting gay marriage and adoption
No thumbnail available

Rumors Ghana's new vice president is gay spark moral panic

Unproven allegations that new vice president of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, is gay have been circulating creating a moral panic in the country
Holiday like a celebrity with Meliá Hotels International

Holiday like a celebrity with Meliá Hotels International

SPONSORED: With more than 365 hotels in 40 countries across four continents, Meliá Hotels International boasts quite the collection