Archive for the 'Caribbean' Category

Obama Applauds LGBT Advocate During Jamaica Speech

Angeline Jackson. Photo: Michael KeyRepost from The Washington Blade

President Obama on Thursday applauded a prominent Jamaican LGBT rights advocate as he spoke during a town hall meeting in the country’s capital.

Angeline Jackson, executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, a group that advocates on behalf of lesbian and bisexual women and transgender Jamaicans, was among those in the audience at University of the West Indies in Kingston when Obama described her as one of the island’s “remarkable young leaders.”

Obama during his speech noted that Jackson founded Quality of Citizenship Jamaica after she and a friend were kidnapped, held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted.

“As a woman and as a lesbian, justice and society weren’t always on her side,” said the president. “But instead of remaining silent she chose to speak out and started her own organization to advocate for women like her, get them treatment and get them justice and push back against stereotypes and give them some sense of their own power. And she became a global activist.” Continue Reading

Civil Society Groups Condemn Increasing Homophobic and Transphobic Violence in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and other civil society groups in the region are condemning increasing homophobic and transphobic violence in the Caribbean.GEORGETOWN, Guyana — The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and other civil society groups in the region are condemning increasing homophobic and transphobic violence in the Caribbean. CVC and its partners are deeply concerned by a stream of reports coming from Caribbean civil society organizations about incidents of violence towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

The groups are disturbed by the anti-gay march held by evangelical churches last week in Haiti, and the alleged violence towards LGBT people afterwards.

“We are truly saddened by reports from Jamaica last week that a gender non-conforming 17-year-old was mob attacked and stabbed to death in Montego Bay. CVC extends it condolences to the families and friends of those affected by this hate-fueled violence,” the group said in a statement.

CVC said these tragic events are not isolated acts but instead a reflection of systematic discrimination and violence experienced by Caribbean LGBT people, particularly the most visible and vulnerable.

Organizations such as United and Strong in St Lucia, United Belize Advocacy Movement in Belize, and Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) in Jamaica, Trans Always Friends (TRANSSA) and the Community of Trans-Transvestite Dominican Sex Workers (CONTRAVETD) in the Dominican Republic often have to deal with similar threats, harassment and violence towards their communities because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

“This violence is a consequence of fundamentalist and hateful discourses towards LGBT communities and is likely to be replicated if urgent action is not taken,” the CVC said.

“We call on our allies involved in Caribbean struggles for social justice – progressive faith leaders, trade unions, feminist organizations, and civil liberties groups – to join us in denouncing and challenging fundamentalist views which fuel violence towards LGBT people in our region. Hate speech and extremism have no place in our Caribbean democracies, where resistance against discrimination, unity, and strength in diversity are hallmarks of our shared history. These hateful views do not reflect the teachings of the region’s religions that variously emphasize respect for diversity, non-violence, justice and unconditional love as their cornerstone values,” the statement continued.

The group demanded greater protection from Caribbean governments for all LGBT people, legal frameworks that guarantee human rights protection, and investment in mechanisms that effectively respond to violence. It also called on Caribbean states to ensure that in no circumstance is the right to freedom of expression allowed to endanger the right to life, liberty and security of person, and to the right to privacy.

“Without challenging fundamentalist discourses which undermine dignity and rights, and continuing to foster a culture of human rights, Caribbean states cannot expect to develop, and we as Caribbean citizens cannot expect a better future for our families or children,” CVC said.

“We stand in solidarity with all Caribbean civil society organizations and movements working towards more just and equal societies, where everyone’s rights and dignity are respected,” the statement concluded.

http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Fundamentalism-has-no-place-in-Caribbean-societies%2C-says-community-group-17015.html


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