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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Jamaica gay hate crimes proving deadly

Bigatory (sic) towards gay men and lesbians in Jamaica continues to be a growing problem.

In a contradiction to other Latin American countries, Jamaica is proving to be one of the highlighted anti-gay countries in the western hemisphere.

Newsweek has reported that close to 100 gay men and lesbians were targeted in more than 40 mob attacks in Jamaica from February to July this year. Attacks included the murder of four gay men, four lesbians being raped, and houses for two other men being set on fire.

One other highlighted attack took place on 14 February, where police authorities attacked an activist who was attempting to help three men cornered near a pharmacy by slapping him in the face and hit him with a rifle butt in the abdomen. It took authorities two hours to arrive at the scene after the initial incident was reported.

Major political outcry over gays and lesbians looks likely to continue for at least the immediate future in Jamaica, with current laws stating that anal intercourse is illegal, as well is the continual growth of evangelical Christian churches.

In a political campaign leading up to an election in 2001, the Jamaican Labour Party used the song Chi Chi Man; a song which celebrates the burning and killing of gay men.

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