The Safe House Project 2009 for Displaced & Homeless MSM/Transgender reviewed & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Portia Simpson - 'Uncouth behaviour of others to make me look less than polished'

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The following was published in the Jamaica Observer as a response by the Prime Minister after the heckling incident in New York. Many persons have concluded it was penned for her by her handlers of course for damage control. In fairness we should look at all sides and not simply overlook her position despite its lack of convincing the LGBT population. 

First have a read:


Portia Simpson Miller

Dear Editor,

When we accepted the invitation to give the keynote address at the sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference in New York, my advisors anticipated the likelihood of protests and heckling and prepared me well.

I recognise that heckling is protected by the First Amendment and I don’t have the automatic right to be free from all heckling.

Here is the real transcript of my response to the gay-rights protesters in New York:

“I have listened to you and I humbly ask that you now give me an opportunity to speak. Ladies and gentlemen, I must remind you of my response during the Leadership Debate in December 2011, when I was asked whether I would hire a homosexual.

At that time, I said that in selecting my team, I would not be concerned about the goings-on in their bedrooms.

Today I stand before you as someone who has not changed on that score. I have always believed in the dignity of all human beings.

We all deserve respect and human rights. I am inviting you to sit with me, work with me and let us talk so we can achieve more for those who are vulnerable. Shouting at each other will only delay the work that needs to be done on behalf of all in the gay community.

I respect your rights to protest and I ask you to take this a step further with me, so together we can do much more to stem violence and discrimination being faced by gays in Jamaica. Thank You.”

You see, Mr Editor, as the Prime Minister, there has to be a level of 'statesmanship' – diplomacy and decorum in speech, behaviour and body language.

I will not allow the uncouth behaviour of others to make me look less than polished, respectful and respectable in this, the highest elected office in our beautiful Jamaica. In New York, I chose to respond without asperity and float this experience like a lady.

ENDS

I am sorry but the very outburst in response to the heckling few at the named event was in and of itself un-statesman like and borders on a sense of crassness. Mrs Simpson Miller has before shown her inability to be subtle or polished as she puts in when she is cornered or accused on something.

also see: 
ONLINE READERS' COMMENT: How I would've responded to New York hecklers

It would also seem to me that that ill-timed and inopportune heckling activity by a few self described gay rights activists may have some impacts on the upcoming Obama visit in as far as public or even private utterances and discussions, however I hope that the already included LGBT considerations in US Foreign Policy maybe raised by the gentleman.

I am not moved by Mrs Simpson Miller dance of politics with this explosive matter of rights and recognition for LGBT people, this is the same woman who also when she was in opposition sided with the JLP administration then led by Bruce Golding from a previous post I had posted:

Bear this in mind as well, after digging my archives I found the presentation by Mrs Simpson Miller in 2009 (poor audio though) where she sided wholeheartedly with the then Prime Minster Bruce Golding (his speech linked) on the banning of gay marriage, gay marriage rights by the way was never asked for by the LGBT advocacy structure at that time but it was dishonestly pushed on the agenda during the Charter of Rights debate then as a smoke screen to deny us recognition in the Charter.

The clause that had discrimination as an infraction then was also removed from the draft prior to this speech after successful lobbying by none other than the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship with support from none other than reverend Al Miller.

She said on October 20th 2009 - "Mr Speaker when we accepted the final report from the joint select committee that were looking at the bill we were completely satisfied with their recommendation of a provision to restrict marriage and like relationships to one man and one woman within Jamaica and that the provision should be specifically spelt out so that there could be no ambiguity ………. yes one man one woman (laughter in the house) and if you are Jamaican and go overseas the same applies ……….."


also

There has been descent from within the administration from a PNP Counselor where he made his feelings clear at a public meeting, speaking at a function in late 2013 Carlton Bailey PNP counsellor says there won’t be any support for such a move to remove or repeal the buggery law. He said:


“We nuh inna nuh agreement wid wah dem a come wid (we are not in agreement with what they are coming with) It is said there is going to be a conscience vote in parliament if it is ever called our member of parliament don’t have to walk around to canvass to make a decision to what the people of Milk River seh (say)”

More HERE Milk River PNP Councillor says no to buggery repeal ..............









We must tek sleep and mark death as we say in Jamaica, the conscience vote also being banded about can be used by administrations to sure up political capital as in this case the vote could go against the change of the law, then what will the lobby do afterwards? Can the lawmakers be approached after such a vote results? Politicians may then say that the people have spoken via the vote process so there will be no change and lobbyists cannot come or continue to agitate for rights.

Think on these things

Peace and tolerance

H

J-Flag Says It Wants More Done For LGBT People

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The Gleaner reported that the JAMAICA Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has urged the Government to do more to protect the rights of persons who are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.


So what about Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender individuals as well? I find it strange after all this years the overlooking of the other groups in the LGBTI combination almost making their invisibility more pronounced. The very headline of the article also does the same J-Flag Wants More Done For Gays. Seems as if JFLAG did not want to be outdone by the heckling few in New York recently.

Portia Simpson Miller during the 2011 election debate 

Responding to a rebuke issued to the gay community represented by a few protestors by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at a function in New York, executive director of J-FLAG, Dane Lewis said, "More needs to be done to urgently demonstrate the fact that as she presented, the Government doesn't condone discrimination and violence towards the LGBT community."

Lewis added: "Beyond her nice, powerful words, we need some strong programmatic intervention." The same can be said for JFLAG itself too, very good at aspirational activities but implementation is missing on so many fronts.

Mr Lewis also on Sunday on That's A Wrap RJR's weekly made a statement however which I am in some agreement with reservations, "The government has taken some steps, they may not be visible and so for us it is needing to demonstrate publicly what the government is actually doing in regards of respecting the rights of LGBT people." He continued "Policy statements like those (the described commitment or promise) go along way but it's not enough; we have always said that we are calling for the repeal of the buggery law that in and of itself would not be sufficient because if we repeal it tomorrow we still have another ten years; twenty years of changing the minds and hearts of Jamaicans because it's really such a socially engrained issue.....legal reform is only one bit we also have to engage in public education programs."

also see: Promised (I mean suggested) Conscience vote on Buggery law not a priority right now (yet again) says Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller that includes an uncomfortable PM after she was cornered in parliament by journalist on the promise/commitment/conscience vote suggestion.

Question is what is JFLAG actually asking for, is it a full repeal of decriminalization of buggery, consistency is key in public advocacy but as their own community sensitization flyer showed they had changed their stance from repeal to decriminalization but the above quotes seem to be pointing to repeal once again:


Dane Lewis





also see: 
J-FLAG now advocating for decriminalisation of same-sex acts

While admitting to the Gleaner interviewer that there have been changes in the attitude towards members of the LGBT community, Lewis said there is still a long way to go.

"The policies and legal framework that will help to support some of the changes beyond the positive words that they have been able to offer. We need to ensure that there is greater protection for LGBT people," he said.

Citing several videos currently circulating on social media portraying violence towards persons suspected of being gay, he said, "The Government needs to take some active steps to put in place programming that will address these issues."

He pointed out that J-FLAG has continued to work in various communities and advocate on issues affecting the LGBT community.

"We have done sensitisation work in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth and Culture, we have also been doing some work with the Ministry of Health and the National Family Planning Board around increasing access to health-care services," he said. Homelessness is still a growing cancer yet JFLAG and the ministry seems to be only speaking to the issues, we still see challenges despite the removal by the police in January from the populations of internal conflicts spilling out in the public domain.

also see: Youth Ministry to develop programmes to address LGBT youth, homeless, destitute and vulnerable children, announcement as politicians are good at? ...... but implementation is another matter.

Despite the proposal by the Superintendent of Police for a shelter response (MORE HERE) JFLAG has not seemed to have accepted that proposal yet the ED is now saying government must take up the slack. In our current reality no politician at this time in Jamaica is willing to extend political capital for LGBT rights although in private they know it is needed and inevitable, no administration wants to touch such an issue as they may never enter parliament after such a decision and such leader or minsters may have to call it quits after doing so as they may never survive politically.

also see: 
Foreign Affairs Minister says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica

Jamaicans might turn on them while blaming them for allowing homosexuals to run riot and the old perception of the predatory construct attached to homosexuality may also drive a backlash.

also see:
Justice Minister reiterates his personal position on the Buggery Law, Anal Intercourse, Consent & Privacy, government position is not the same at this time.

As I expressed in the previous post the upcoming visit or pass through by President Obama that protest heckling activity may have changed the planned engagement, discussion privately between the President and the Prime Minister, the air of discontentment that now precedes this visit the white house staff may have advised Obama not to tackle LGBT considerations in any public utterances and maybe due to the emotional and improperly thought through response by (some say unbecoming of a Prime Minister) he may want to approach her differently or not at all.

Mr Lewis also seem to have a similar view in part where in the That's a Wrap interview when asked about Obama's visit he said "..... maybe not public but we certainly hope in their private conversation that it would be raised."

Let us wait and see eh but sometimes we must allow other instruments and advocacy to work in our favour without advocates real or imagined having to lift a finger.

Flashback:



Peace and tolerance

H

Friday, March 27, 2015

PM scolds gay-rights protesters in New York ........ challenges truthfulness of Homophobic Claims

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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday strongly rebuked gay-rights protesters who crashed a speech she was delivering in New York, United States.

The prime minister was speaking at the launch of the sixth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference when the protesters demanded that the Jamaican government do more to protect gays

However, Simpson Miller did not take kindly to the disruption and chided the protesters for not telling the truth. So the old belief that of LGBT attacks have been committed by other LGBT persons reveals itself loudly here, if one should just do a basic voxpop that same sentiment would reveal itself as many Jamaicans believe it, it was only also yesterday I did a post with the same construct of disbelief in relation to the Shaggy radio interview on Youtube earlier this month.


The old time magazine article from 2006 though headlined as a question somehow has cemented itself as a statement of fact to which many Jamaicans flatly refuse to take such a description of the island, see



The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?

also see: 





here is an excerpt:
an example of disbelief and rejection of homophobia in 2012: Gay lobby claims not true, says Green ..... or Betty Ann Blaine on Big Gay Lie

Self described gay advocates have not helped either and have only served to erode the well needed credibility in crisis reporting where whether by mistake or deception some matters have been presented as homophobic when it fact they were not thus leading to the backlash advocacy repeatedly faces for example see my post on Gay Jamaica Watch: So Dean Moriah's murder was NOT a homophobic killing ....... ethical issues in advocacy arise yet again some rush to judgement no sooner as someone who is gay is killed without first verifying the issues surrounding the case.

Not to mention the feelings of the oppressed becoming the oppressor: Gay Advocates aren't Bullies (Gleaner Letter) and Pro-Gay Bully Ignoring Grave Health Impact (Gleaner) and Perception of Jamaican LGBTQ lobby bullying continues
You may also want to listen to this two year old podcast but the message rings so relevant to this latest faux pas:




and


here are a few highlights from the protest yesterday in New York as supplied by a long time reader to GJW

video


video


"Nobody never hears the Government of Jamaica beating up gays; not one. Let me tell you something; you want to disturb, you can disturb, but this woman come here with the blood of Nanny of the Maroons, and the spirit of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and this woman is not afraid of no man, nowhere, anywhere, and I will speak the truth everywhere," the prime minister said to loud cheers and applause from the audience.

See the Gleaner's version HERE and here: 
PM Being Disingenious, Says Gay Rights Advocate from Maurice Tomlinson who also had his court case at the CCJ: CCJ Reserves Judgement In Maurice Tomlinson Immigration Case ....... No restrictions on Caricom gays, TT officials say
Simpson Miller noted her position and that her People's National Party government is different from that of the previous administration of Bruce Golding, who famously said that he would not allow gays to serve in his Cabinet.

She stressed that she will not be bullied by those who tell lies about Jamaica's treatment of gays.

The prime minister said Jamaica respects the human rights of all its citizens, including gays, and added that those who disagreed are not being truthful. "Jamaica will continue to rise and shine globally. Jamaica will rise and shine all over the world and no one man can stop that," Simpson Miller emphasised.

In the past, gay-rights advocates have picketed events attended by Prime Minister Simpson Miller in New York.

They have complained that there have been no real efforts by the prime minister and her government to follow through on her 2012 election promise.


However the now removed press release from the PNP just after the election debate in 2011 suggest otherwise:



Gay-rights advocates have also blasted the Government, claiming that it has done little to stem the violence and discrimination being faced by gays in Jamaica.

more evidence of the perception that homophobic issues are in fact gay on gay crimes via this Observer voxpop:


I had warned about this before when exuberance and emotional responses and poorly thought through actions by some overseas based advocates can lead to such a call by some of the same folks who participated in yesterday's flop for a tourism boycott. 

See: 
Calling for a Tourism Boycott on Jamaica is a dumb idea at this time

Knee jerk reactions to an obvious spike in homo-negative incidents is not the way to go about it, careful thought has to be done and strategizing but with recent outcomes in the lobby as well as outside of it leaves me wondering and indeed concerned on many fronts.

A recent report alongside a very short video clip suggesting the person therein was stoned because he was gay unverified, and no credible information included has only sought to ruffle feathers and the disbelief quotient rises, see: Alleged Gay Youth Stoned to Death in Jamaica (VIDEO)

also see: 



Longtimer "BeBe" Murdered in Western Jamaica

NO GAY RAGE - Homosexuals Are Not Targeted For Violent Crime, Say Experts

Murder, Homelessness and fallouts ..................................



So Dean Moriah's murder was NOT a homophobic killing ....... ethical issues in advocacy arise yet again

Foreign Affairs Minister says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica

Promised Conscience Vote on Buggery in Jamaica was a fluke

PNP's Damion Crawford on Homosexuality's legality .

Other reads:
Jamaican Opposition Leader says he would allow homosexuals in his cabinet










New Imperialists in Pink

Murder Music Campaign needs local leadership and Gov’t Hush Hush On Gay Pressure …As Promoters Forced To Pull Queen Ifrica From Canada Show

Rev Al Miller’s late response to Dwayne Jones’ Murder & Respect heterosexuals demand

Sizzla bats for Queen Ifrica as expected

Queen Ifrica's "Freedom of Speech" & advocacy found wanting

'I SPOKE FOR WHAT I BELIEVED IN' - Queen Ifrica defends Grand Gala performance after JFLAG backlash

We muss tek sleep and mark death and learn from previous mistakes instead of going headstrong inna more mess creating more unneeded obstacles. I hope this is a lesson for the young ones.


The upcoming visit of none other than the President of The US to Jamaica may have adjustments being made by advisers to the goodly gentleman not to pursue or publicly discuss LGBT considerations given the air of discontent preceeding this visit. Obviously as US state foreign policy will cause such discussions to occur as Obama is a hands on President in that field. Pressure is also being brought to bear on politicians here as recent unsolicited comments in public by two ministers in particular show that life is somewhat uncomfortable for them, see: 
Health Minister Says Boldness Needed to Change Buggery Laws for HIV Prevention Work to be Effective with at Risk Groups and Foreign Affairs Minister says Govt should be cautious on gay rights issues in Jamaica It would be good sometimes to allow other processes and diplomacy to work in our favour without advocates real or imagined having to lift a finger.

Peace and tolerance

H

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 31 for Anti Gay Rev Al Miller's Corruption Trial & No Case Submission

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ATTORNEYS FOR popular anti gay pastor the Reverend Merrick 'Al' Miller signaled that they will make a no-case submission to have the corruption case against him dismissed.

This disclosure by Miller's lead attorney, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, came in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate Court after prosecutors close their case in the corruption trial earlier this year.



Dudus Coke in Disguise when found in the Reverend's company (above) Reverend miller and Dudus without disguise 

"We will address the court on the status of the prosecution's case, and we propose to make submissions on why this case should not continue," Samuels said in court on January 29th this year.

Resident Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece will hear the no-case submission on March 31, when the trial is schedule to resume.



Found With 'Dudus'

Miller is on trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice. He was charged after then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke was captured in a sport utility vehicle the clergyman was driving along Mandela Highway in St Catherine in 2010.

Before the prosecution closed its case, police Sergeant Winston Radcliffe testified, during a second cross-examination, that he had not located the notebook in which he made recordings at the time Coke was nabbed.

Radcliffe was asked by Miller's attorney to produce the notebook after he gave evidence last July that the popular clergyman led police on a high-speed chase in St Catherine, twice ignoring their attempts to stop the SUV he was driving.

That account was challenged by Samuels-Brown, who suggested to the policeman that there was no second stop.

Radcliffe conceded that he did not record the second stop in his notebook, but insisted that it did take place.

It would seem that the goodly reverend was more than prepared to assist a fugitive to evade our local jurisdiction towards a foreign power (the US embassy) at the time by carrying in disguise Dudus wearing the now infamous wig, dress and makeup even as those are presentations for drag culture related to gay life yet he publicly opposes homosexuality. 

He even when as far as to state he would carry the fugitve again, see more HERE

Also see my previous entry on sister blog GLBTQJA Wordpress: REVEREND AL MILLER’S OWN MORAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST & ANTI GAY CAMPAIGN

and 

Rev Al Miller - the gay lobby is not asking for buggery decriminalization because of discrimination but to force homosexuality on the nation .......


also see:
REV AL MILLER SAYS GAY LOBBY IS USING THE GUISE OF TOLERANCE TO GET THE NATION TO ACCEPT THE “GAY LIFESTYLE”

Peace and tolerance


H

Vehicle damaged in gay love triangle in St Catherine

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Need we have gone there .......... really! but I was asked what I thought about this latest one in my home parish.



Stories like this however does not help any and only serves to reinforce homo-negative beliefs alongside the conflation of Jealousy among gay men versus genuine homophobic incidents. The public often use such matters to generalize what they surmise as normative behavior among gay men so homophobic feelings are justified hence denial of any LGBT rights and or recognition.

Just days before we saw the very example of disbelief and denial of real homophobic events taking place in the form of dancehall act Shaggy telling a radio station overseas that Jamaicans are not killing homosexuals.

Jealousy is believed to have been the reason that led a man to damage the vehicle of his supposed male lover.

The incident happened in a popular gated community in St Catherine early Sunday morning.

Eyewitnesses said a man was denied entry to an apartment because another man was present in the apartment with the male tenant.

That resulted in the tenant's motor vehicle windshield being damaged with a machete. The police were alerted and the perpetrator collared.

The incident has infuriated residents as they believe the alleged homosexuals must go.

They said they cannot live close to the homosexuals because of the problems they have been experiencing.

"Is regular that happen. Man have to all jump through window! Dem all pop off the window to climb go upstairs," said a woman, who was adamant she would be telephoning the landlord who resides abroad.

"A blue Swift used to be parked out here. One night, a man jump down on it, (damaging its bonnet) " she added.

A resident who came to the location because of the commotion caused by the incident, contacted the landlord of the apartment to apprise her of the latest incident and the discontentment of the residents.

Though having security guards, sections of the housing scheme have also been beset by unscrupulous individuals who tamper with house doors and steal car batteries. Residents have also reported break-ins.

When the police were contacted, a constable couldn't make any statement about the incident, as the shift that dealt with that incident had already left.

However, the constable stated that she was aware of a break-in which happened sometime last week.

And as Shaggy's comments describing himself as lesbian whilst denying homophobic attacks or killings make the rounds the temperature out there is hot again. Sadly this will only put some pressure on the all important crisis communication element of public advocacy.

The other side of this is that lovers, buddies, friends in same gender (sometimes non romantic) sexual liaisons need to understand that solving disagreements so publicly can be detrimental to the struggle whether they subscribe to it or not.

Peace and tolerance

H

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Man Bites Another in Argument after Allegedly Called a Battyman

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"Battyman" in Jamaican parlance is the main word used to describe a male homosexual or an effeminate man wanting supposedly in the minds of the user to become or play the role of a woman, men do not take kindly in some instances to the use of the word to label them or as insults in an argument.


The ease at which in some simple arguments the use of such words or related ones can lead to near death consequences is shown here in this latest court case as outlined below. Damaging words in a verbal spat can lead to all out physical violence, as has happened repeatedly in Jamaica, men arguing in everyday comings and goings use words or expletives such as "Fish" "Battyman" Suck-pussy" and other such words that imply a feminization or weakening of the offending party's position if not literally then psychologically as power differentials play out so as to score points. 

An intervening party also found himself in some challenges after trying to calm the situation with the original two men who were arguing. The above words however did not appear or were mentioned in the official case report and court proceedings but hints were made to such effect carefully and respectfully in front of the bench.

St Ann Resident Magistrate Court

A man who bit another on his left thigh said he acted in self defence because he was under attack and had to do something to defend himself. Lancaster Seivwright and Roman Fields appeared in the St. Ann’s Bay Resident Magistrates court on Tuesday, March 5, before RM Peter Wilson in a case and cross case. The matter was brought to my attention via an email from someone who is close to the situation. 

Both men are charged for unlawfully wounding each other.

In the case against Seiwwight, the court was told hat on December 15, 2014, he bit Fields on the left thigh. Seivwright pleaded guilty. Fields is accused of using a machete to slap Seivwright and chop him on his hand. Fields too pleaded guilty but said it was in self defence. The court heard that on the same day, Fields armed with two machetes was involved in a dispute with another man. Seivwright intervened verbally and this reportedly angered Fields who changed and directed his anger towards Seivwright. It was at that point the words named above were used allegedly at him and also the other two men were already at each other in anger as well supposedly using the terms.



A scuffle developed between both men and during which Seivwright was reportedly slapped and chopped. In making his case of self defence, Fields claimed that he was attacked by another man and that Seivwright came on the scene and enquired what was happening. 

He said he and Seivwright started to argue and that Seivwright attacked him and bit him. “You a tell lie and that couldn’t be self defence,” Seivwright said before he was told by the RM to be quiet. 

Seivwright later told the court that Fields left from a bar and came to where he was and chopped at him. He said in order to avoid serious injury he jumped on Fields and bit him. Fields was told by RM Wilson to “fix up yuh story.’ 

Both men were summoned to court and were bound over to return on June 4 when their case will again be mentioned. Fields remains in police lock up though in relation to another matter also before the court.

A previous case shows us how the use of the word can cause issues where 3 schoolboys were tried after allegedly beating another male student and the "battyman" or "battybois" term was used repeatedly, see more HERE: 3 Schoolboys face the court for beating other male student allegedly for calling them "battybois" 

Such are the times 

Peace and tolerance

H


Friday, March 20, 2015

UK Supreme Court dismisses Secretary of State's appeal on designated state status of Jamaica and risk to homosexuals

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Court hands down judgement in R (on the application of Jamar Brown (Jamaica)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] UKSC 8




The Supreme Court on March 4th dismissed the Secretary of State's appeal in the case of Jamar Brown (Jamaica) [2015] UKSC 8.

You can read the judgment here.

The case concerned Jamaica's inclusion in the list of designated states under s 94(4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, and the risk to homosexuals.

For more information, you can read the Court's press summary below:

_________________________
4 March 2015
PRESS SUMMARY

R (on the application of Jamar Brown (Jamaica)) (Respondent) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Appellant) [2015] UKSC 8

On appeal from [2013] EWCA Civ 666

JUSTICES: Lady Hale (Deputy President), Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes and Lord Toulson

BACKGROUND TO THE APPEALS

The Respondent is a citizen of Jamaica. He arrived in the UK on 7 May 2010 on a one-month visitor's visa. On 14 October 2010 he applied for asylum on the ground that he is homosexual and feared persecution if he returned to Jamaica. On 20 October 2010, he was detained pending a decision on removal. This was done pursuant to a fast-tracking procedure as Jamaica was on the list of states designated under s 94(4) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (the "Act").

Jamaica was added to the s 94(4) list by article 3 of the Asylum (Designated State) Order 2003 (SI 2003/970). This was done pursuant to the Secretary of State's power in s 94(5) of the Act as it was believed that the following conditions were met: "(a) there is in general in that State or part no serious risk of persecution of persons entitled to reside in that State or part, and (b) removal to that State or part of persons entitled to reside there will not in general contravene the United Kingdom's obligations under the Human Rights Convention".

Jamaica's inclusion on the s 94(4) list meant that asylum or human rights claims from individuals entitled to reside in Jamaica were required to be certified by the Secretary of State as "clearly unfounded" unless the Secretary of State was satisfied that this was not the case (s 94(3) of the Act). The effect of this was that appeals made by applicants against immigration decisions in relation to "clearly unfounded" claims would have to be brought from outside the UK (s 92 of the Act).

The Respondent's complaints that it was unlawful to detain him and that the fast-tracking process was unsuitable for his case were rejected by the Secretary of State. As a result, on 15 November 2010 the Respondent issued a claim for judicial review seeking declarations on two grounds: (i) his detention was unlawful; and, (ii) the decision to include Jamaica on the list in section 94(4) of the Act was unlawful.

On the same day, the Home Secretary refused the Respondent's claim for asylum but did not certify it as clearly unfounded. This meant that he could appeal the decision whilst remaining in the UK. The Respondent was released from detention on 24 November 2010. On 4 February 2011, the First Tier Tribunal upheld his claim that he was homosexual and at real risk of persecution if returned to Jamaica.

The Deputy High Court Judge, Mr Nicholas Paines QC, dismissed both of the Respondent's grounds. The Court of Appeal allowed, by majority of two to one, the Respondent's appeal on whether Jamaica should be designated under section 94(4). It held unanimously that his detention had been unlawful on other grounds. The Home Secretary appealed to the Supreme Court solely on whether Jamaica should be included in the section 94(4) list.

JUDGMENT

The Supreme Court unanimously dismisses the appeal. Lord Toulson (with whom Lady Hale, Lord Sumption and Lord Carnwath agree) delivers the lead judgment. Lord Hughes concurs with the result but for different reasons.

REASONS FOR THE JUDGMENT

Lord Toulson (in the majority) reads s 94(5) of the Act as referring to countries where its citizens are free from any serious risk of systematic persecution either by the state or by non-state agents which the state is unable or unwilling to control. The phrase "in general" differentiates persecution which occurs in the ordinary course of things from isolated incidents of persecution. It does not require the persecution to affect any particular percentage of the population [21].

Rather, the persecution must be a general feature of life in the country and apply to a recognisable section of the community. This reading is influenced by the fact that "persecution" within the Refugee Convention will often be directed towards minorities and that the majority of asylum and human rights claimants belong to minorities. Requiring the group persecuted to exceed a percentage threshold is open to several objections: there is no way of determining that threshold; it is hard to see why it should make a difference whether a group just exceeds or just falls below the threshold; and, there would be no way of obtaining reliable information about the size of many minority groups [22]. The leading authorities do not contend otherwise [13]-[19].

Lord Toulson is not persuaded that it makes little or no difference to individuals whether their state is on the s 94(4) list. The purpose of designation is that applicants from those countries will normally be detained and fast tracked, as borne out by the facts of this case. Designation of a state changes the complexion of the analysis of the claim [23].

Lord Hughes (in the minority) agrees that it would be impossible to lay down a defined percentage of the population which needs to be at risk before there exists "in general"a serious risk of persecution. However, the Secretary of State should not be prevented from designating a State under s 94(4) of the Act simply because some form of grouping or a recognisable section of the community may suffer persecution when in general that State is free from persecution [30]. To bar designation where the risk is systemic, in the sense that it applies to members of an identifiable group, risks redefining the phrase "in general" and removes the intended flexibility on the part of the Secretary of State to make these complex decisions [34]. Nonetheless, in this case the risk to all who are homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or trans-sexual can only properly be described as a "general" risk in Jamaica so that the appeal should be dismissed [36].

References in square brackets are to paragraphs in the judgment

NOTE

This summary is provided to assist in understanding the Court's decision. It does not form part of the reasons for the decision. The full judgment of the Court is the only authoritative document. Judgments are public documents and are available at:

www.supremecourt.gov.uk/decided-cases/index.html 


also see:


CCJ Reserves Judgement In Maurice Tomlinson Immigration Case ....... No restrictions on Caricom gays, TT officials say

KSAC working to clear streets of homeless people, will the LGBT populations be assisted as well?

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March 6 this year the housing minister proposed dipping into the National Housing Trust funds to provide shelter or expand existing old overcrowded facilities on Hanover Street in Kingston. It is now some three months since the Shoemaker Gully populations in New Kingston have been barred from accessing the area by temporary fencing/blockade via an operation by the police and the MSM?Transgender group is now scattered and some have gone into hiding as the cops continue to crack down on alleged miscreants in the group.

also see: Housing Minister seeks funds for Shelter from NHT Money ....... Will the LGBT Homeless be Assisted?


and


The stoning of JFLAG's offices by some of the men yet again this time at a different location in January has not helped the situation either with an ever deteriorating relationship one wonders where this will end. Now comes this 
Following the stabbing of a policeman and an eight-year-old boy in downtown Kingston on Wednesday by a man believed to be of unsound mind, the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation issued a release stating that it is committed to clearing the streets of the homeless.

“We continue to work in a responsible and caring manner to clear the streets of the homeless, some of whom are mentally ill. The Bellevue Hospital has partnered with us to treat these mentally ill individuals and to find a place for them”, announced Town Clerk Robert Hill.

The KSAC, through its Poor Relief Department, according to the release, has held several meetings and has partnered with many organisations to find accommodation for the homeless. Some have been placed at the KSAC’s own Marie Aitkens Shelter and other homes and have been trained in various skill sets, some have even been given jobs while others are still waiting to be placed.

The release said the process has been slow because of limited resources and options in assisting this group.

“The KSAC is always trying to assist the less fortunate and mentally ill in Kingston and St Andrew. This incident is unfortunate and we stand in solidarity with the youngster and his family. We pray that something like this will never happen again,” said Mayor Angela Brown Burke.

“We will continue to work in a coordinated effort with all the stakeholders with a

view to alleviate conditions that could lead to such incidence reoccurring,” the mayor said.


Trouble is such facilities are overburdened, the Salvation army's program by parade has been curtailed somewhat as a new edict by the goodly mayor some time ago also restricts open feeding of homeless persons be they LGBT or not.
With all the nice goals the Poor Relief Act espouses it has not been helpful at all to the displaced and homeless especially those who are LGBT. 








from top recent police clearance exercise, 3rd from top the Shoemaker Gully prior to the homeless moving in, the other two photos show previously identified spots for a shelter complete with signage yet it is left to be used a garbage dump as it was the present opposition party JLP's idea when they were in power, hence no continuity.

The Poor Relief Department of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew is a welfare agency of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation. It was established as a result of the Poor Relief Act, which was enacted on April 29, 1886 and modified a number of times over the years.
The department was located at the Old Wolmer’s Ground (now an Arcade) – 65 Church Street, Kingston. It was relocated in the fifties to 65 Hanover Street – its present location.

Functions
The Poor Relief Department is the welfare of the Ministry of Local Government, Youth and Sports and is administered by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation under the Poor Relief Act. Its aims and objectives are to alleviate destitution in all its forms. Under Poor Relief Act, all persons who are physically or mentally disabled and unable to work and earn a livelihood and who are destitute are entitled to receive Poor Relief benefits.

Manning any shelters established, registering persons to be accommodated therein, and ensuring that food, bedding and health care are provided.

Investigation of persons who are reported to have suffered in the disaster.

Rehabilitation of disaster victims

Mission Statement
To serve as a catalyst for our clients, by alleviating destitution, to improve their standard of living and enhance their quality of life through counseling, rehabilitation and the use of available resources. All that we do will be in keeping with our motto “Show You Care; Do Your Share”.

Management Structure
The Board of Supervision is the legal body that supervises Poor Relief islandwide. The Poor Relief Committee (a sub-committee) is the manager of the poor on behalf of the Corporation as stipulated by the poor on behalf of the corporation as stipulated by the Poor Relief Act. The department is administered and operated by a group of social workers known as Poor Relief Officers. The chief among them is the Inspector of Poor. Others are the Deputy Inspector of Poor, the Senior Assistant Inspector of Poor and Assistant Inspectors of Poor. The Assistant Inspectors of Poor or Field Officers are in charge of one of the 13 zones that exist with the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew.
There are also some support staff that assist in carrying out the functions of Poor Relief Department. The Poor Relief Officers are guided in their work by Laws and Regulations governing the system. Some of the Laws are:-

1. Poor Relief Act
2. The Status of Children Act
3. The Married Women’s Property Act
4. The Affiliation Act
5. The Vagrancy Act
6. The Offenses Against the Person Act
7. The Children Adoption Act
8. The Maintenance Act
9. Mental Health Act
10. Juvenile Act

These functions are carried out through interviewing, investigating, counseling, visiting, reporting, rehabilitative intervention and referrals. Monitoring is done through domiciliary visits (follow-up) to evaluate client’s progress.

With growing numbers of younger MSM/Trans youth from other parishes adding to the already problematic populations we cannot ignore or overlook this group despite the negative press they have caused onto themselves over the past 7 years since the closure of the only MSM safe house by Jamaica AIDS Support/JFLAG under dubious circumstances.

Poor Relief Programs are supposed to consist of some of the items below but they seem not willing to touch the LGBT population with a long stick so for instance:


Poor Relief Assistance; Institution and Non-Institutional
Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation
Street People
Feeding Program
Indigent Housing
“Adopt a Child’
Shelter
Home Care

Eligibility
The criterion for eligibility is dependent on the program. For Poor Relief Assistance, “The persons entitled to relief are the persons within the parish who are wholly destitute of the means of subsistence, and are at the same time due to mental or physical causes, unable to work and earn a means of subsistence” (Poor Relief Act Section 29).
There are two forms of Poor Relief Assistance – the institutional and Non-Institutional.

1. The Institutional – care is available to destitute persons who are;
a. Without a dwelling place
b. Ailing and have on one to care for them
a. The Non-Institutional – care relates to those who need Poor Relief Assistance and can manage outside of an institution.
c. Those who become destitute because of circumstances such as catastrophe, which makes them entitled toDisaster relief and Rehabilitation is assisted as described in the Poor Relief Act.

The Street People Program is administered to those persons who are homeless and are in need of shelter, daily meals, medical attention and the opportunity to have a bath and change of clothing.,

The Marie Atkins Care Center for Street People was established in November 1993. The purpose of the center is to improve the quality of life for the Homeless. Clients are able to reunite with their families in U.S.A., Canada, Great Britain and here in Jamaica.
The Feeding Program is available to destitute persons who are able to provide a meal on any given days. Food packages are provided to registered clients monthly and a hot meal at some pay stations on pay days.

The Indigent Housing Program is available to an indigent who is in need of a house or who is in need of repairs to be done to his/her dwelling. This is facilitated through the Member of Parliament/Councilor S.E.S.P. allocation. The department in collaboration with the Food for the Poor also builds hosing units.

The Adopt a Child Program is an outreach initiative, which seeks sponsorship from organizations and individuals to provide a scholarship for destitute children who are doing well in school but are failing financial deprivation.
Shelter

Assistance and Services

The Poor Relief Department by virtue of the Poor Relief Act is the primary agency to relieve destitution and in all disaster it stands prominent as the authoritative body to make assistance readily available prior to committee approval. Assistance is given in the form of money, food, clothing and shelter inter alia.

Let us see if there'll be any improvements even as Dwayne's House an outfit designed to address the matter post JFLAG et al pussyfooting struggles to raise funds.

also see: Shelter Coming for Homeless Gays to date such shelter is nowhere in sight.

flashback podcasts:











Peace and tolerance

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JFLAG Excludes Homeless MSM from IDAHOT Symposium on Homelessness






In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

also see a flashback to some of the issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless LGBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Gender Identity/Transgederism Radio discussion Jamaica March 2014





Radio program Everywoman on Nationwide Radio 90FM March 20th 2014 with Dr Karen Carpenter as stand-in host with a transgender activist and co-founder of Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica and a gender non conforming/lesbian guest as well on the matters of identity, sex reassignment surgery and transexuality.

CLICK HERE for a recording of the show

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.


What to Do .....

When Arrested and taken to a Police Station you have the right to:

a. Make a phone call: to a lawyer or relative or anyone
b. Ask to see a lawyer immediately: if you don’t have the money ask for a Duty Council
c. A Duty Council is a lawyer provided by the state
d. Talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police
e. Tell your lawyer if anyone hits you and identify who did so by name and number
f. Give no explanations excuses or stories: you can make your defense later in court based on what you and your lawyer decided
g. Ask the sub officer in charge of the station to grant bail once you are charged with an offence
h. Ask to be taken before a justice of The Peace immediately if the sub officer refuses you bail
i. Demand to be brought before a Resident Magistrate and have your lawyer ask the judge for bail
j. Ask that any property taken from you be listed and sealed in your presence
Cases of Assault:An assault is an apprehension that someone is about to hit you

The following may apply:
1) Call 119 or go to the station or the police arrives depending on the severity of the injuries

2) The report must be about the incident as it happened, once the report is admitted as evidence it becomes the basis for the trial

3) Critical evidence must be gathered as to the injuries received which may include a Doctor’s report of the injuries.

4) The description must be clearly stated; describing injuries directly and identifying them clearly, show the doctor the injuries clearly upon the visit it must be able to stand up under cross examination in court.

5) Misguided evidence threatens the credibility of the witness during a trial; avoid the questioning of the witnesses credibility, the tribunal of fact must be able to rely on the witness’s word in presenting evidence

6) The court is guided by credible evidence on which it will make it’s finding of facts

7) Bolster the credibility of a case by a report from an independent disinterested party.

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What I am reading at times ......

Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com or Tel: 1-876-8134942 (leave a message just in case)




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H or Howie

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

GLBTQJA Vimeo Video Channel


videos on homelessness
and other news items
relevant to
Jamaican LGBT news
archived for your viewing


Battle Lines Javed Jaghai versus the state & the Jamaica Buggery Law



Originally aired on CVM TV December 8th 2013, apologies for some of the glitches as the source feed was not so hot and it kept dropping from source or via the ISP, NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED and is solely for educational and not for profit use and review. The issue of the pending legal challenge in the Constitutional Court in Jamaica as filed by Javed Jaghai an outspoken activist who happens also to be openly aetheist.

The opposing sides are covered as well such as
The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society
The Love March
Movement Jamaica

The feature seems destined for persons who are just catching up to the issues and repositioning JFLAG in particular in the public domain as their image has taken a beating in some respects especially on the matter of the homeless MSM front. They need to be careful that an elitist perception is not held after this after some comments above simplistic discourse, the use of public agitation as beneath some folks and the obvious overlooking of the ordinary citizen who are realy the ones who need convincing to effect the mindset change needed and the national psyche's responses to homosexuality in general.


John Maxwell's House

Alleged Gay Vice Principal Story & Securing Personal Digital Data




some angry residents reacting to the matter nearing the school

Another case of persons not managing their personal pictures and other materials via devices so much so that they end up making the rounds on social media. Such was the case of the Vice Principal - Mr. Wellington, who’s substantive post at the school is Vice Principal, told Nationwide news centre that he’s the victim of a cybercrime.

He says the images have been tampered with.


Dervon Wellington, Acting Principal of the Christiana High School in Manchester speaking to Nationwide’s Abka Fitz-Henley said but the shots looked quite clear to most and not photoshopped as is being contested.

In the meantime the Chairman of the Board of Christiana High, Calvin Lyn says a meeting was being organized then in December to address an issue which he says has implications for the institution.

All in all the gentlemen involved have since relocated overseas to avoid issues but a word to the wise is sufficient secure ones personal digital materials so that they do not get leaked, or hacked or stolen and then inadvertently find themselves online.

Peace and tolerance

SEE the CVM TV report HERE