Monday, February 21, 2005

Headlines: Reggae May Be Hazardous to Your Health

... especially if you're LGBT and live in Jamaica.

The latest Village Voice looks at the connection between wicked lyrics and wicked behavior in Jamaica. Entitled Jah Division: Free speech, cultural sovereignty, and human rights clash in reggae dancehall homophobia debate, writer Elena Oumano dismisses claims that the "batty man/chi chi" lyrical craze is simply a battle of the MCs. She finds that homophobia is an entrenched part of Jamaican society, and that human rights groups fear:

widespread homophobia in Jamaica endangers the welfare not only of those at high risk for HIV/AIDS, but also of HIV/AIDS outreach health care workers.

Among other outrages, activists condemn Prime Minister P.J. Patterson's law that mandates up to 10 years hard labour for buggery.

Village Voice
Jah Division by Elena Oumano

Human Rights Watch: Government Should Address Police Violence, Homophobia and HIV/AIDS

Human Rights Watch: All Jamaicans Threatened by Culture of Homophobia

Amnesty International: Address Jamaican Homphobia