Gay Saddened by Recent Murders, call on Prime Minister to Act

Published: June 14, 2012

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is deeply saddened and concerned by the recent murders of gay men within the last three months. We, the community and allies, send our condolences to the loved ones, friends and families of these persons.
 
We are concerned about the high levels of crime and violence across Jamaica. We condemn these and other grotesque murders of persons, which continue to threaten peace, citizen security and justice in Jamaica. 
 
Members of the LGBT community have reported to J-FLAG that eight gay men have been murdered within the last three months bringing to the fore the reality that despite progress towards greater tolerance, the LGBT community continues to be at great risk of violence. Among the most recent attacks against the gay community was the savage killing of two young men. The men were apparently brutally murdered with blunt instruments in the vicinity of the intersection of Trafalgar Road and Lady Musgrave Road. Persons who are homeless frequented this area; among them are young gay men who have been made homeless because of the continued intolerance of homosexuality in Jamaica.
 
While the motive for these latest senseless killings remains unclear, we expect that the government and police will thoroughly investigate all crimes, thereby mitigating their impact on all Jamaicans, regardless of socio-economic status, disability, health status, sexual orientation or gender identity. We stand ready to partner with the police to bring justice and respect to those whose right to life has been violated.
 
We also ask the Jamaican public and media to allow the police to conduct their investigations and resist the urge to judge the victims or the motive of their deaths. Let us instead recognize the inherent dignity of every human person and respect that should be accorded to every living being while demanding the same justice for these men that we all deserve.
 
We call on the Prime Minister and the Ministers of National Security and Labour & Social Security to listen to the cries and needs of members of our community who continue to be subjected to discrimination and violence, have nowhere to live and no food to eat because of their sexual orientation and or gender identity.
 
As we work collectively towards achieving Vision 2030, we invite all Jamaicans to embrace our common humanity and demonstrate respect for the lives of all people as we help make Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business. 
 
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