Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Come Back To Jamaica Unless You Are Gay - Time For A Boycott

We’ve all seen them, the TV ads beckoning us to “Come Back to Jamaica”. The reality of Jamaica is much less welcoming. For a gay man or lesbian Jamaica is a hostile and dangerous place. This island paradise is the site of repeated assault, stoning and lynching of gay men in the past few years. The latest happened just last month when a dinner gathering in the home of a gay man was interrupted by a mob of angry, homophobic thugs dragged the men from the house assaulting them with clubs and machetes. As they yelled anti-gay slurs, the mob beat them sensless and one of the victims has not been accounted for and may be dead.

This kind of violence against gays happens in Jamaica on a regular basis and it is the dark secret of the island. Because of this blogger Wayne Besen is calling for a boycott of the resort and I agree. Until legal protections for GLBT people are put in place and the country makes efforts to stop gay-bashing Americans should not travel to or spend money in Jamaica.

Because Jamaica depends on American tourism for much of its income a boycott could have an effect. Next time you consider taking a cruise, ask if it goes to Jamaica, and if it does, decline. It is ironic how an Island where pot smoking and clothing optional resorts for straight couples can be so backward when it comes to GLBT rights. Perhaps it is because they are really not ready for prime time in the world community?

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