Sunday, 31 July 2011

Video: Anti-homophobic hate campaigns launch in Jamaica, Uganda

By Paul Canning

In two of the countries most identified internationally with homophobic hatred and violence, LGBT activists have launched campaigns.

Jamaica Forum of Lesbians All Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) had the support 28 July of the United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Pamela E. Bridgewater, as it launched ‘Unconditional Love’, a public service announcement (PSA) featuring Christine Straw, former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe, and her gay brother Matthew Straw.

“Homophobia must be eliminated [in Jamaica] immediately. The US Mission joins all partners in the fight against homophobia [because] as President Obama says, no one should be hated because of who they love,” said Bridgewater.
J-FLAG's campaign is endorsed by Hilary Nicholson from Women’s Media Watch, Helin Jenkinson, First Counsellor at the European Union, Dr. Pierre Somse, UNAIDS Representative in Jamaica, Rob Fuderich, UNICEF Representative, Yvonne Sobres, Convenor of Family Against State Terrorism,  Jamaica AIDS Support For Life (JASL), the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and a number of other human rights and HIV activists.

J-FLAG Executive Director, Dane Lewis said:
“It is our hope that this inspiring public declaration of love will motivate other families and friends of LGBT to share their stories of acceptance and that those who are on a journey to acceptance will be moved to love LGBT persons in their lives unconditionally.”
Dr. Pierre Somse of UNAIDS said:
“Homophobia is a major stumbling block to effective HIV interventions and unless we guarantee the human rights of homosexuals, all other populations are at risk,” Dr. Somse highlighted.
TV Jamaica report

In Uganda, Freedom and Roam Uganda is launching a 'Hate No More' campaign at a press conference 10 August.

Leader Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera wrote on Facebook:
"Time to go out to the masses and educate them about our existance and also call for their tolerance and understanding of sexuality and sexual orientation issues. We are calling for an end to HATE towards the LGBT community. Lots of information materials to hand out, speeches and lovely tshirts. Volunteers are welcome."
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  1. Unfortunately while the move is noble the personalities are far removed from the realities of homophobia and violence on the ground, chances are they are holders of US visas and can simply fly away like many others in the system have before leaving the more darker skinned lesser educated lower socio economic levelled same gender lovers who face the music daily. Such is our classist system here, the ad also seems to reinforce it very well and the notion if you’re brown stick around if you’re black stay back and suggests that lower income or situated families do not exist in the other sections of the country. More realistic figures should have been used or one hopes this is not the only ad for the campaign.

    Sad indeed that this is the best JFLAG could come up with, what is also sad is that the comments section on the JFLAG site is still closed to anyone for or against the work being done, then how can we have proper forumatic activity?

    The response so far from the ordinary LGBT body politic is not even warm, it makes one wonder.

  2. Good points. Yes, one would hope this is not the only advert coming.

    It is a shame that comments aren't allowed. Is that deliberate?


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