Lecturer labels Jamaica as Anti-Gay at AIDS Conference


jam-flag_anit-gay.jpgRobert Carr, Executive director of Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVCC) and a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, painted a graphic picture of Jamaica as a country where police officers attack and/or ignore homosexuals who go to them to report crimes against them, at the International AIDS Society conference in Mexico City, Mexico, recently.

Using power point, newspaper clippings and pictures as evidence, he highlighted the country's negative attitude to homosexuals. Pictures showing police officers with weapons drawn and members of the media filming and taking pictures during a homosexual mobbing in the Island's capital. A story, in the Observer, saying that homosexuality was "contrary to natural law". Carr also mentioned that violence and discrimination against homosexuals were celebrated in popular music.

He, however, noted that the attitude of Jamaicans to gays is more favorable now than four years ago through the recently launched initiative of involving civic leaders, government members and officials of the Catholic Church, as well as launching media campaigns in a bid to bring about this change. This changing attitude is duly noted in a letter received by the gay lobby group, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), written to the Police Commissioner Hardley Lewin, accepting responsibility to protect the rights of all people and promising to change the culture of the police force. Carr also noted that there was also marked improvement in the attitude of the island's religious leaders.