Gay rights campaigners in Chicago are demanding a concert by Jamaican dancehall star Beenie Man be cancelled.
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’.
Despite him voicing his support for gay rights earlier this year, US-based group The Gay Liberation Network (GLN) are protesting his concert in Chicago on 22 November, calling for the Thanksgiving gig at The Shrine venue to be cancelled.
In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the US-based group wrote: ‘We wish it were possible to say that Beenie Man performs music that is simply engaging entertainment with a great beat and sometimes gritty lyrics.
‘Sadly, he has a long history of frequent calls for violence against gays and lesbians.’
Beenie Man signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, intended to stop homophobia among leading reggae stars, in June 2007.
However, the GLN doubt the performer’s sincerity, claiming he still performs the offensive lyrics and, in 2009, even sung a ‘kill the gays’ song in the capital of Uganda, a country that has seen a wave of anti-LGBT violence stoked by local politicians and Western evangelists.
‘The Shrine has so far ignored the Gay Liberation Network’s offer to meet with them to discuss these issues,’ the GLN added.
‘We urge you therefore to call and email them today to express your disgust with their giving a venue to a performer who repeatedly calls for lynching LGBTs or any minority.’
In a video statement posted on YouTube in May, Beenie Man said he respected all human beings ‘regardless of sexual preference’ and begged people not to attack him for songs he made 20 years ago.
He is not the first Jamaican artist to feature gay hate in his songs, with reggae star Sizzla calling for gays to be killed at a concert in March, praising imprisoned fellow star Buju Banton.