|Picture of alleged LGBT Jamaicans attacked at street parade in Kingston (2013)|
According to Jamaica Gleaner news report, "A group of homosexual men dancing with each other in a sexually suggestive manner were attacked by anti-gay revellers. The melee continued for about half an hour as the alleged gay men retaliated. Explosions resembling the sound of gunshots were heard and the gay men ran onto Eastwood Park Road. At least three people were injured. "
Responding to the attack, Maurice Tomlinson, Jamaica's leading Gay rights Activist, stated "While the Jamaica Gleaner’s article is more balanced, the Jamaica Observer's reporting is typically designed to vilify gays by making them out to be the instigators of the ensuing violence. Characteristically, the Observer refused to acknowledge the role of homophobia in savage assaults such as these. Instead, the paper preferred to blame gay Jamaicans for daring to be too visible. This is the type of reasoning used to justify rape as being the fault of females who dared to dress provocatively.
I frequently point out that the Jamaica Observer is owned by Gordon "Butch" Stewart who also owns the Sandals and Beaches Resorts. It is disgusting that Butch, who employs (exploits) gays to keep guests happy is also able to profit from supporting such blatant attacks on LGBT human rights.
Jamaica's refusal to accept the right to freedom of expression of LGBT citizens threatens to further destabilize the country. There is ample precedent that it is only a matter of time before gay Jamaicans take the matter of their liberty into their own hands. One only wonders what Sandals and Beaches will then do to counter the public relations fall-out which will drive tourists away from the island and their resorts?"
It is evident that the rights of gay and lesbian Jamaicans to exist, be seen and heard continue to be trampled and abused. Homosexuals living in Jamaica will continue to live in fear of being killed, until the government and people of Jamaica recognizes that human rights are gay rights and gay rights are human rights.