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 Print This Article

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.

HAVE YOUR SAY

OTHER POSTS

No thumbnail available

Fake giant and criminal baby discredit anti-gay parenting study

Final nail in coffin for study which claims being raised by same-sex parents harms children
No thumbnail available

Gay dad’s response to church refusing to baptize his son will amaze you

Father’s letter is a lesson in tolerance for us all
No thumbnail available

How to become the next drag superstar

From guy to glammed up girl, Gay Star News shows how everyday can be a drag day with Illamasqua
No thumbnail available

30,000 amazingly hot gay guys take Palm Springs – in photos

Sun's out, guns out at White Party Palm Springs
No thumbnail available

Virginia 'ex-gay' group erects billboard claiming 'nobody is born gay'

'Identical twins. One is gay, one is not. Nobody is born gay.'
No thumbnail available

Taipei gay gym raided 26 times in six months

Police did not give reasons or show search warrants
No thumbnail available

Why are more gay Americans identifying as Christian when overall numbers are diving?

Survey shows 6% increase in LGB Christians from two years ago
No thumbnail available

Catholic preacher tells parents: 'Love your trans daughter as I do'

‘Love your children’, says Deacon Ray Dever of St Paul Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida
No thumbnail available

Jennifer Hudson will debut on Broadway in The Color Purple

The production is a revival of a 2005 musical originally produced by Oprah Winfrey
No thumbnail available

Lesbian host Jane Velez-Mitchell loses show amid massive layoffs at CNN and HLN

Is first major talent to get pink slip - nearly 1,500 expected to lose jobs