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."