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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Homosexuality & Law: An Alphabet -- Jamaica




Active homosexuality is prohibited by law in Jamaica.  Sex between men is a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  Despite widespread criticism, Jamaican officials, religious leaders, and social leaders defend this situation.  They loudly denounce criticism as external interference in Jamaican affairs, and argue that the law upholds Christian values.

(oddly, sex between women is not illegal because it is not mentioned in the law)

Homosexuals have no legal protection whatsoever. Verbal and physical violence, ranging from beatings to brutal armed attacks to murder, are widespread. For many, there is no sanctuary from such abuse.

Men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women reported being driven from their homes and their towns by neighbors who threatened to kill them if they remained, forcing them to abandon their possessions and leaving many homeless. 

Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) is the only LGBT rights organization in Jamaica. The organization was created in 1998 and operates underground and anonymously. 

In June 2004 founding member and the public face of J-FLAG Brian Williamson was stabbed to death in his home. 

A recent poll showed that 96% of Jamaicans were opposed to any move that would seek to legalize homosexual relations.

Jamaican popular music not only reflects this homophobic environment, it often celebrates both it, and violence against gays and lesbians.

This is Buju Banton.  The song is called Boom  Bye Bye.  It is about shooting "batty boys" -- gay men -- in the head, with an automatic weapon.   He plays concerts in the US often.  Nice, eh?


 World is in trouble
Anytime Buju Banton come
Batty bwoy get up an run
At gunshot me head back
Hear I tell him now crew

(Its like) Boom bye bye
Inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Dem haffi dead
Boom bye bye
Inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Dem haffi dead

(Two man) Hitch up on an rub up on
An lay down inna bed
Hug up on another
Anna feel up leg
Send fi di matic an
Di Uzi instead
Shoot dem no come if we shot dem--
Don't want Jackie
Give dem Paul instead
Dem don't want di sweetness
Between di leg
Gal bend down backway
An accept di peg
An if it really hot
You know she still naw gon fled
A some man
Still don't want di
Panty raid
Pure batty business dem love


  1. When you reach T for Turkey, there's institutionalised homophobic discrimination as part of the state's compulsory military service

    1. Thank you for the tip. I will certainly look into that with regard to Turkey, and will begin to look at the question of military service, compulsory or otherwise, in each instance. An oversight of something I should have considered earlier.