I think this idea is brilliant.

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    Feb 28, 2008 8:49 PM GMT
    It's Time to Boycott Jamaica
    by Wayne Besen

    Gay bashing in Jamaica is so prevalent that in 2006 Time magazine wrote an article about the island headlined, “The Most Homophobic Place On Earth?” The New York Times this week showed that the anti-gay climate has only worsened, with the island caught in a downward spiral of outright psychosis. It is time to hand an ultimatum to Jamaica’s public officials: Stop allowing rampant abuse of gay people or your economy will be crippled.

    The Times story is downright chilling. It details how last month five gay men were having a dinner party when a mob appeared at the front door – kicking it in and attacking the men. While screaming homophobic epithets, between 15-20 thugs beat the victims senseless with sticks and cut them with machetes. One man is still missing, but police found blood at the mouth of a deep hole near the yard.

    This was not an isolated incident. The Times went on to report a shocking attack on a gay man’s funeral last year, where hooligans trashed the church with rocks and bottles as the service was in session. Of course, this unholy barbarism occurred in the name of God. Interestingly, Jamaicans have turned their sex-fueled island into a heterosexual bathhouse and ganja den, but seem to get sanctimonious and discover the Bible when it comes to homosexuality.

    Prior to these incidents, two of the island's notable gay advocates, Steve Harvey and Brian Williamson, were murdered. Time Magazine reported that a crowd celebrated over Williamson's disfigured body. Time also recounted an incident in 2004 where a teen was nearly killed when his father learned his son was gay and urged a mob to lynch the boy at his school. In the same year, it was reported that police heartily cheered on another mob as it stabbed and stoned a gay man to death in Montego Bay. In 2006, a Kingston man drowned after a horde screaming "batty boy" (a Jamaican slur for gay people) chased him off a high dock.

    On American docks, six hundred miles west of this homophobic hellhole, tourists regularly line up to board massive luxury liners destined for Jamaica. The tropical island earned $2.1 billion from tourism in 2006, an increase of 24 percent over 2005. More than three million people visited Jamaica in 2006, with 1,025,000 arrivals from the United States.

    Clearly, the answer to Jamaica’s love affair with lynching is an aggressive campaign designed to put the clamp on tourism – particularly the cruise industry. The goal should be to strangle Jamaica’s economy and force the island to change or suffer severe consequences. With tourism Jamaica’s second largest source of revenue, such a campaign could have a powerful impact that achieves tangible results.

    It appears that four major cruise lines are the main conduits in which people infuse Jamaica’s economy with blood money. They are Carnival, Costa, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. The ports where the ships leave are Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral and Galveston.

    It is imperative that one of the GLBT international groups or a major U.S. gay rights group create a campaign to shame these corporations and the passengers that travel on their ships. With so few ports, it would be relatively simple to call for a boycott and picket, while handing hand out informational flyers to cruisers. A “Boycott Jamaica” advertising campaign would greatly strengthen these actions. Billboards would need to be strategically placed along I-95 between Miami and Fort Lauderdale with the bold headline: “JA-MURDER.”

    Undoubtedly, there are many passengers with gay friends and family members who are unaware of Jamaica’s sickening and immoral violence against GLBT people. Once informed, many individuals would opt to vacation elsewhere. There is no doubt that with a concerted effort, Jamaica could be brought to its knees.

    To lift such a boycott, Jamaica would have to abolish its “buggery” law. Public officials would have to undergo sensitivity training. The police would be required to set up daily undercover stings – where officers would dress in stereotypically gay clothing and arrest would-be attackers. Finally, Jamaica’s public officials would have to openly welcome gay and lesbian travelers and offer enthusiastic support for homosexuals living within the country.

    It is time we stopped vacationing from our responsibility and started holding Jamaica and its corporate enablers accountable. Until anti-gay atrocities are no longer the norm, Jamaica must be seen as an international pariah, rather than the faux paradise it presents to the world.

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    Feb 28, 2008 8:55 PM GMT
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    Feb 29, 2008 2:30 AM GMT
    There's so much beauty in Jamaica and its culture, it really does suck that this twisted dynamic is a part of it. I've wanted to go to Jamaica for a long time, but I don't dare risk it.

    A lot of dancehall music, particularly Buju Banton's, is notoriously homophobic -- not something to support either.
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    Feb 29, 2008 2:40 AM GMT
    i've had to follow these situations for a long time now, because i write for an lgbt newspaper. it's sickening. there are videos of lynch mobs on youtube showing hundreds of people attacking 2-3 people SUSPECTED of being lgbt. police look on and laugh. it's horrible. it really is.

    buju is so ignorant that it makes my stomach ill. "boom bye bye" and other murder music songs have been banned from performance in many parts of the u.k. i do believe in freedom of speech, but not when it incites people to maim, torture and murder other people.
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    Feb 29, 2008 3:49 AM GMT
    WOW Alexander89: I had no idea Jamaica has this degree of horrific violence towards some gay people - Thanks for your insight it is appreciated!
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    Mar 02, 2008 1:54 PM GMT
    I never liked the Jamaican culture. :S Much like I don't like Gangsta/Hiphop culture. It's too geared toward being masculine to the point of being completely irrational. Posing and strutting... bleh.

    Plus, all those pot has got to affect the brains sooner or later. LOL

    It's funny, coz being an island country and being ultra liberal and all that shit, I kinda expected them to be LGBT accepting. Just goes to show how wrong you can be. icon_sad.gif Ok boycotting! No more Jamaican music and fashion. LOL. That will mean I can't use 'mon' anymore though. *sigh*

    Ya mon!

    Seriously, what's happening in Jamaica is what happens when mob mentality takes over. Looking for someone to blame, and the most convenient happen to be LGBT folks. icon_sad.gif
  • redheaded_dud...

    Posts: 408

    Mar 02, 2008 2:33 PM GMT
    And remember what they tried to do to Roger Moore in "Live and Let Die"? That was ugly, with all those alligators and such. icon_evil.gificon_wink.gif
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    Mar 03, 2008 8:06 AM GMT
    LOL... old james bond films... icon_wink.gif my sisters love them. Ugh!
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    Mar 03, 2008 8:15 AM GMT
    Jamacia is still a great place to visit.
    I love it there.
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    May 05, 2008 6:42 AM GMT
    Jamaica is a complete hell hole for homosexuals.

    Being born gay here is the worst fate imaginable for anyone. Honestly, I don't think many persons outside of Jamaica really know how homophobic it really is because majority of the homophobic attacks are never reported. The country does it's best to cover up all these attacks so that it doesn't tarnish it's "friendly" imagine for the rest of the world. People here don't even bother reporting cases to the police because everyone supports gay violence. They could be beating you shit less in the streets and all the by-standers just look on laughing at a man being killed while saying he deserves to die because he's gay. The politicans are no better...they proudly declare that homosexuals will NEVER be supported in Jamaica and they don't care what the rest of the world thinks. And this is from both sides of parliment which means there's no hope for any change. And if anyone is brave enough to support us then it almost certain that they will be killed in the most violent of manners. You could be the richiest man in the world, if you support us and live in the country they will kill you without mercy. The church is no better. It kills me to sit there sometimes and hear the pastor say how we choose to be gay and we should all go to hell for liking other men. Then the rest of the congregation stands up and claps then they chant "They will burn". It's horrifying if you never experienced anything like that before. In some cases your family will even turn on you too and help the mob beat you if they find out your gay.

    Additionally, there isn't even support for homosexuality from the media. It's so bad that if a movie from America or anywhere else in the world has anything remotely homosexual in it they block it out. No two guys holding hands, no kissing...Nothing. When I was in high school I remembered watching Cruel Intentions and these two guys were lying in bed and as they were about to kiss the entire screen went to "Please stand by". That scene was skipped. I was so pissed. Thankfully, a couple years after I eventually got cable and internet so I was able to inform myself as well as connect myself with the rest of the world as to who gays really are. Unlike many of my fellow country men who still live in ignorance and feed off what they are told. Everything here encourages homophobia, from the music to the church. This article is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Being the strong minded and outspoken person I am, I have always wanted to try and change things here but I really can't do much without putting my safety at risk so I try to educate ppl about homosexuality as best I can without outting myself when I do get the opportunity. But the gays here are so deeply closeted it's impossible to even make a difference because nobody wants to take the risk. But if we don't try to help ourselves we will never change anything. While I do support the world for trying to help us I don't think cutting off tourism is the best way to go. It would only fuel the violence against gays. We would be blamed for the increase hardship of the ppl. It would be a blood bath but if thats the only way to accomplish it I would back it 100%


    - I love my country

    - Sedative: The Jamaican Culture is huge and awesome so don't say you hate all of it.icon_wink.gif Just hate the homophobic part

    - Gay tourists are hardly every troubled. But if your Travel Agent knows you are gay and doesn't warn you....They suck. The violence is mainly directed to the natives. Not foreigners. So you can still visit. Pretty please. lol
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    May 06, 2008 9:53 AM GMT

    Okay I came off a bit too strong. icon_razz.gif I meant the Jamaican culture as presented in popular media. heh. Because I honestly don't like hiphop and gangsta culture. :S

    However, I think I have a pretty good idea what the rest of Jamaica really is. icon_razz.gif Coming from an island country myself, I know that we tend to be free-spirited. icon_razz.gif It was why it surprised me that Jamaica is homophobic. In the surveys about happiness, island countries always seem to top the lists. Iceland topped the charts the last time I heard of it. Philippines was number 16 I think in the world. So yeah, I think I'd love Jamaica. Just not the homophobic part.

    Just PLEASE PLEASE BE CAREFUL over there!!!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 06, 2008 10:17 AM GMT
    There was a smattering of homophobic news items that came to the lethargic American media's attention when I think Rosie O'Donnell's cruise ship went there a few years ago
    But someone is going to have to put some money and effort to keep it in the American's short attention span
    Billboards and press releases are a very good idea
    but I didn't see who would do the work or fund this campagn
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    May 06, 2008 11:23 AM GMT
    Jamaica has some very serious issues. It has the highest murder rate in the Western Hemisphere I believe, mainly due to the drug trade. A significant portion of the murders in Toronto each year can be traced back to people who emigrated from Jamaica or whose families did. Again the drug trade. I am not surprised that gays are vulnerable there. The country may be beautiful but I want to go to a place where I feel I can leave the resort and be reasonably safe.