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November 17, 2013

Jamaica’s Constitutional Court has ruled that three national television stations can legally refuse to screen a paid public service announcement promoting greater tolerance for homosexuals

The Constitutional Court of Jamaica has thrown out a law suit against three television stations that refused to screen a paid for public service announcement promoting tolerance of gays and lesbians in the Caribbean island nation.

Justices Paulette Williams, Bryan Sykes and Leighton Pusey found that the state owned Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) network could not screen the commercial as it does not screen any kind of paid advertisement.

September 23, 2013

After cries of 'kill the battyman!', a gay rights activist believes this incident is another that proves homophobic attacks are rising on the Caribbean island

A gay man narrowly escaped being stoned to death by a mob in Jamaica on Saturday (21 September).

The young man, who has asked to not be named, was walking home after visiting a friend in St Catherine, south-east Jamaica.

Maurice Tomlinson, a gay rights activist based in Jamaica, reports at around 11pm, he was set upon and stoned by a mob of men shouting ‘Kill the battyman.’

It was also believed they yelled ‘ketch di battyboy’ [catch the faggot], ‘hol him no mek him get way’ [hold him and don’t let him escape.’

September 3, 2013

Jamaican Assistant Police Commissioner Devon Watkis has claimed that LGBTs are no more at risk of being victims of crime than other Jamaicans despite a rash of homophobic attacks in the Caribbean nation

Jamaica’s Assistant Commissioner of Police has claimed that LGBT people are no more at risk of being victims of crime than any other group in the face of a series of homophobic hate crimes in the island nation.

‘Our numbers generally show that we have had some violence committed against the citizens of Jamaica, inclusive of all groups,’ Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkis told Jamaica’s The Gleaner newspaper.

August 30, 2013

Pastors accused of stirring up mob violence as Christian groups plan second anti-LGBT hate march

Jamaica’s LGBT community is facing an ‘unprecedented’ level of mob attack and is appealing to the world to come to their rescue.

Jamaican LGBT advocate Maurice Tomlinson told Gay Star News he believes the violence is being stirred up by anti-gay pastors who are angry at moves to rid the island of its sodomy law.

The last month has seen attacks on people in their own homes, in private cars, and even an assault on a police officer suspected of being gay who had to be saved by fellow cops using teargas.

July 8, 2013

Young Jamaican activist Matthew Thomas examines how Christians in his own country, and Nigeria, Georgia, Uganda and Russia, are seeking to silence LGBT people

Freedom of speech is at the core of democracy in the free world. We all have a duty to uphold free speech as without it democracy ceases to exist.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’

June 19, 2013

Religious groups in Jamaica unite to say allowing adult gay sex in private would harm children, spread HIV, and prevent Christians from disagreeing with LGBT rights

Javed Jaghai has so enraged previously conflicting religious groups in Jamaica they have done the unthinkable; unite!

In the first-ever domestic legal challenge to the island’s anti-sodomy law, AIDS-Free World’s lawyers, Anika Gray and I (Maurice Tomlinson), will be representing Javed, a young gay man who was kicked out of his home by his landlady when she discovered his sexual orientation.

May 31, 2013

A Jamaican court has reserved judgment in a suit brought against three TV stations that banned a gay advert

A Jamaican court is considering more arguments in a landmark case where Jamaican TV stations are refusing to broadcast a pro-gay advert

Maurice Tomlinson, a gay Jamaican attorney, brought a suit against TVJ, CVM and the state-run Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) for their refusal to broadcast a ‘Love and Respect’ advert promoting tolerance toward homosexuals.

May 30, 2013

Protesters fighting against Jamaica TV ban on ‘love and respect’ advert have gathered outside the Jamaican consulate in New York 

A group of gay Jamaicans have protested outside the Jamaican consulate in New York against TV stations refusing to air an advertisement promoting respect for gay people.

Jamaican television networks CVM, TVJ and the Public Broadcast Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) refused to air ‘Love and Respect’ an advert promoting respect for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people living in Jamaica.

The 30-second video shows Maurice Tomlinson, a gay Jamaican activist, talking to his aunt about not being accepted in the island nation because of his sexuality.

May 29, 2013

A landmark case has begun in Jamaica with gay activist Maurice Tomlinson demanding the constitutional right to screen an ad promoting ‘love and respect’

Banning a gay campaign advert from being televised in Jamaica breaches the constitution, judges have been told.

Gay activist Maurice Tomlinson is taking action against three Jamaican TV stations who refused to air his ‘Love and Respect’ advert – even though he offered to pay primetime rates to have it screened.

May 28, 2013

Homeless gay men are living close to Cuban ambassador. Neighbors say they ‘gyrate’ in public, fight, and are prostitutes

Residents are complaining after a group of gay homeless men took over an empty house in Jamaica, almost opposite an ambassador’s official residence.

The Jamaica Observer says ‘dozens’ of gay men are living there ‘behaving in a manner that churns their [the neighbors] collective stomachs’ and adding the neighborhood is ‘going to the dogs’.

The property is on Millsborough Avenue in St Andrew, Kingston, the capital of Jamaica.

December 28, 2012

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

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.

December 19, 2012

A gay Jamaican activist is suing the government of Belize over its entry ban against homosexuals

Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT advocate is to challenge Belize’s entry ban on gays in an international court.

Tomilnson, a Jamaican national and legal advisor for the NGO AIDS-Free World has been invited to conduct training and sensitization sessions regarding the rights of individuals infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.

December 15, 2012

A Jamaican court has begun a historic deliberation on whether two Jamaican TV stations rejection to air paid pro-gay ads breached the country’s constitution

Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican gay activist, had recently sued the two station alleging they breached Jamaica's constitutional charter on fundamental rights and freedoms by refusing the air the pro-gay ads.

During the first hearing on 12 December the court assigned three judges for the constitutional case and marked the next formal hearing to take place from 27 to the 31 of May, 2013.

November 27, 2012

A gay Jamaican activist is suing the government of Trinidad and Tobago over its entry ban against homosexuals

Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT advocate is to challenge Trinidad and Tobago’s entry ban on gays in an international court.

Tomilnson, a Jamaican national and legal advisor for the NGO AIDS-Free World has been invited to give two presentations during the month of December.

One invitation is by the United Nations Population Fund to participate in a HIV workshop, and the other is to attend a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) conference on human rights.

November 3, 2012

Jamaican gay rights advocate, Maurice Tomlinson, says his country's government is directly responsible for the brutal homophobic attack on a young student

In most modern understandings of criminal law, an accessory is a person who assists in the commission of a crime but who does not actually participate in its commission as a joint principal.

The principal on the other hand is someone whose acts or omissions, accompanied by the relevant malice, is the immediate cause of the criminal act.

October 26, 2012

Jamacian gay activist is to sue two Jamaican TV stations after they rejected paid pro gay awareness TV ads, alleging they breached Jamaica's constitutional charter on fundamental rights and freedoms

Jamaica’s major television stations, CVM TV and TVJ, have previously refused to run paid ads calling on Jamaicans to love and respect their fellow citizens who happen to be gay.

October 1, 2012

Jamaica's only drop-in center for homeless LGBT youth was closed due to anti-gay sentiments by local authorities and media

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG) – a charity organisation, was forced to close down the Caribbean island state’s only drop-in centre for homeless gays which it managed with the Jamaica Aids Support (JAS) organization.

The announcement was made by a J-FLAG representative at a recent meeting in Jamaica's capital, Kingston.

September 10, 2012

A national study of attitudes towards LGBT found increased support for gay rights, while homophobia is still very prevalent affecting discrimination and HIV infection  

A recent study reveals increased support for LGBT rights in Jamaica, particularly amongst the younger generation, while homophobia and negative perceptions of gays and lesbians still present social and health challenges.

The study by Professor Ian Boxill of the University of the West Indies shows that almost two in every five Jamaicans believe the government is not doing enough to protect and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons to freedom from discrimination, violence and other forms of harassment.

August 14, 2012

Less than three weeks remaining for nominations for the 2013 David Kato Vision and Voice award.

There are now less than three weeks remaining for nominations to be submitted for the 2013 David Kato Vision and Voice Award.

The accolade, named in memory of human rights activist David Kato, who was murdered in his home in Uganda on 26 January 2011, recognizes those working to eliminate violence, stigma and discrimination and demonstrate courage and outstanding leadership in advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people around the world.

August 6, 2012

Uganda held a historic weekend long gay pride which turned out a success despite a police raid, widespread homophobia and anti-gay laws 

Uganda’s LGBT community was able to conduct a weekend of gay pride events despite police arrests and harassment.

The historic LGBT pride was a series of events held at Entebbe starting with a party and including a beach parade, more parties and a small film festival.

The event was well attended, despite the fact that in Uganda gay people face life imprisonment according to law and widespread homophobia from the public.

July 13, 2012

Outgoing former Scotland Yard officer Les Green says Jamaican gays are too flamboyant and that most gay murders are domestic violence

Jamaica’s out-going assistant police commissioner Les Green has denied the existence of widespread homophobia in the country and blamed the gay community for the violence it faces.

The former Scotland Yard officer told the Jamaica Observer the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community were too flamboyant and public about their sexuality.

LGBT campaigners in the country have condemned his comments.

July 10, 2012

Independent international commission criticizes laws that hinder the prevention of HIV

Laws that criminalize homosexuality obstruct HIV prevention, said a report published yesterday by the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.

The report, HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health, is based on first-hand accounts from over 1,000 people in 140 countries. It specifically criticizes countries which penalize homosexual acts with either the death penalty (Iran and Yemen) or long prison sentences (Jamaica and Malaysia).

July 7, 2012

A film about pride in Latvia, and the state of World Pride in London, both lead Linda Wilkinson to conclude that the visibility such events brings is vital

Uber butch dyke and performer Lea Delaria hosted a panel discussion on Friday (6 July) at Amnesty’s Human Rights Centre in Shoreditch, east London, around a film about the history of LGBT prides in Latvia.

At 90 minutes long, the film pulled no punches. We heard opinions from every quarter, from the hilariously religious mother figure who carried a cross and lay down in an attempt to stop the marches; to the frankly terrifying right wing fascists. Interested and engaged queers were counterbalanced by those who simply wanted to hide in their corner.

June 25, 2012

Award winning film on LGBT struggles in Uganda premieres in London

London's East End film festival has teamed up with Amnesty International UK this summer to support the festival’s biggest program of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered films.

The Hackney Picturehouse will be screening the award winning film Call Me Kuchu on 5 July. It explores the struggles faced by the LGBT community in Uganda – one focus of the film is on the murder of LGBT activist, David Kato in 2011.