Foodie Friday: Trinidad & Tobago’s Street Food 101

One of the first things you’ll notice about the islands of Trinidad and Tobago – besides the rolling mountains, romantic beaches, and endless palm trees – is the deep love of local food by those who know it best. With a unique blend of flavors that come from the islands’ mix of Indian and African… Read more »

Panos to launch MSM publication today

Panos Caribbean — A publication documenting the stories of 32 Jamaican men who have sex with men (MSM) will be released today, Monday, September 30 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. The publication, titled Speaking Out! Voices of Jamaican MSM, highlights the issues that affect MSM, including high levels of stigma, discrimination and homophobia,… Read more »

Another homophobic attack in Jamaica

At around 11 p.m. on the evening of September 21, 2013, a young gay Jamaican man was walking home after visiting a friend in the community of Newlands, Portmore, St. Catherine. Without warning he was set upon and stoned by a mob of men shouting “Ketch di battyboy” [catch the faggot], “Kill the battyman,” “Hol’… Read more »

Comment: With all eyes on anti-gay Russia, there are three countries with a shocking need for coverage

Paul Canning looks critically at media coverage of the LGBT situation in Russia, highlighting other areas around the globe where hate crimes and violence have also soared, yet where media coverage is still minimal. It’s Russia, Russia, Russia when it comes to ‘foreign gay news’ these days. But it’s a much bigger and badder gay… Read more »

St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister calls for gay tolerance

The Prime Minister of the Caribbean nation that turned a gay cruise away in 2005 has called for greater tolerance for homosexuals in order to combat the spread of HIV St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas has called for people to ‘be light’ when dealing with LGBT people because they have a right… Read more »

Gay British man attacked in Haiti at his engagement celebration

The gay and lesbian community is often too afraid to report rights violations A gay British man has been attacked by angry locals hurling rocks and homemade bombs as he celebrated his engagement to his partner in Haiti. Several people were reportedly injured during the homophobic attack, which occurred in the Caribbean nation’s capital Port… Read more »

Visibility is liberty

Outside of this country’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, few might be familiar with the name of Maurice Tomlinson, a gay Jamaican activist and attorney who is fighting regionally for LGBT people. But if Tomlinson’s lawyer, Lord Anthony Gifford QC, who won the case against the anti-sodomy law in Northern Ireland, gets leave… Read more »

Haiti promises protection to threatened gays, warns violent homophobes

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (HCNN) – Haiti’s minister of Justice said on Monday the Haitian government will crack down on anti gay militants who use violence to express their position, while the Caribbean nation’s police denied allegations that two gay individuals were killed on Friday. Justice Minister Jean Renel Sanon told HCNN the government will not tolerate… Read more »

Drive to rid Nevis health facilities of HIV stigma and discrimination continues

Nia Charlestown Nevis – The Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Ministry of Health on Monday July 22, 2013, completed the second phase of a project which is expected to help create stigma and discrimination-free health facilities on the island. According to the Health Promotion Unit’s Education and Prevention Officer Nurse Eldina Farrell, the project aims to… Read more »

Death threats captured on video at Haiti anti-gay demonstration

Two presumed homosexual men were beaten to death in Haiti by hundreds of protestors demonstrating against proposed marriage equality legislation A gay hate march in Haiti attracted over 1,000 anti-gay demonstrators, and left two presumed homosexuals beaten to death. Video footage from four different sources shows angry and sometimes violent protestors demonstrating against a marriage… Read more »

Haiti: A thousand people turn up to protest against equal marriage

Over a thousand people in the Haitian capital have turned up to protest against same-sex marriage. The rare demonstration took place on Friday afternoon in the capital of Port-au-Prince, and urged lawmakers not to pass equal marriage legislation, reports the Associated Press. The demonstration was organised by several religious groups, and came just two days… Read more »

Groups Condemn Threats Against Haiti’s Gay Society

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti – (AP) Watchdog groups in Haiti on Wednesday condemned what they say has been a series of threats targeting the Caribbean nation’s small gay community. Attorney Mario Joseph and gay rights advocate Charlot Jeudy told a news conference that people who are gay or lesbian should be able to live freely without being… Read more »

Dominican groups reject gay US ambassador nominee

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (AP) — Religious groups in the Dominican Republic said Friday they are outraged by the nomination of a gay U.S. ambassador to the conservative Caribbean country. James ‘‘Wally’’ Brewster would be the seventh U.S. ambassador in history to be openly gay, but opponents are asking the administration of Dominican President Danilo… Read more »

Gay and prouder in Cuba

Cuba’s gay and transgendered population can live more in the open than perhaps any time in history, but some problems persist. Editor’s note: This article is part of a series by Boston University journalism students. Havana, Cuba — In this city’s leafy Central Park, young gay men mix freely with lesbians, transsexuals, and others whose… Read more »

Jamaica TV must not ban gay adverts, Supreme Court hears

A landmark case has begun in Jamaica with gay activist Maurice Tomlinson demanding the constitutional right to screen an ad promoting ‘love and respect’ Banning a gay campaign advert from being televised in Jamaica breaches the constitution, judges have been told. Gay activist Maurice Tomlinson is taking action against three Jamaican TV stations who refused… Read more »

Grenada Senate leader says gay sex ban should be lifted

Senator Lawrence Joseph says the ‘day is fast approaching’ for Grenada and other Caribbean nations to lift colonial-era sodomy laws Grenada’s Senate president says the island should reconsider its laws prohibiting gay sex. The Associated Press (AP) reports Senator Lawrence Joseph said ‘the day is fast approaching’ for Grenada and other Caribbean conservative countries to… Read more »

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla signs LGBT rights bills into law

‘We are all the same and we must be equal under the law’ The governor of Puerto Rico signed bills into law on Wednesday (29 May) that protect LGBT people against discrimination and adds to the country’s domestic violence law protections for sexual orientation, marital status and gender identity. Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed the… Read more »

The Struggle for Gay Rights Vs. Jamaican TV: The Court Case Begins

Unprecedented case deals with constitutional right to freedom of expression, addresses systemic homophobia Kingston, Jamaica — Freedom of expression is at the core of a major constitutional challenge using Jamaica’s new Charter of Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. From May 27-31, AIDS-Free World’s Maurice Tomlinson will put those rights to the test against three of Jamaica’s… Read more »

Puerto Rico approves anti-discrimination bill in push for more gay rights

San Juan, Puerto Rico — Legislators in Puerto Rico on Friday approved a heavily debated bill that outlaws employment discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. Opponents of the bill prayed on the steps of the seaside Capitol building as lawmakers voted on a simplified version of the measure, which was widely rejected by religious… Read more »

‘Homophobia, no! Socialism, yes!’ chant hundreds of Cubans in pro-gay march

The Cuban government sponsored an anti-homophobia march led by gay rights advocate and daughter of Cuban president Mariela Castro Fidel Castro’s niece led hundreds of Cubans over the weekend in a march to promote gay rights in the island. Married mother of three Mariela Castro, daughter to current Cuban leader Raul Castro, led hundreds of… Read more »

Anti-gay marriage protest takes place in Puerto Rico

Hundreds of people have marched through the capital of Puerto Rico to demand that the governor approve a constitutional amendment banning equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The protesters walked from the US territory’s seaside capitol building to the governor’s mansion in historic Old San Juan on Saturday. AP reports it is the second such… Read more »

Cuba to Host 6th Day Against Homophobia

Havana, Well-known figures from science, culture and sports will participate in Cuba’s Sixth Annual Day against Homophobia, to run from May 7-18, said executives from the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX). The director of that institution, Mariela Castro Espin, announced that invited guests include international experts such as British sociologist Jeffrey Weeks and the… Read more »

Puerto Rico’s Gay Rights Battle Gets Momentum

Carmen Milagros Velez Vega and her partner have a 12-year-old daughter that Velez gave birth to—a child she considers “…our daughter. She is not my daughter.” Yet, despite Velez’s 25-year-long relationship, Puerto Rican courts refuse to allow her partner to legally adopt their child. Her partner is a woman. Velez is a professor at the… Read more »

Javed Jaghai, Gay Jamaican Man, Set To Challenge Country’s Anti-Sodomy Laws

A gay Jamaican man is planning to “aggressively agitate for change” to his country’s anti-sodomy law after allegedly being kicked out of his home because of his sexual orientation. As the Washington Blade is reporting, AIDS-Free World filed a Feb. 7 complaint with the Jamaica Supreme Court on behalf of local lesbian, gay, bisexual and… Read more »

Gay student challenges Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law

A gay student from Jamaica is set to challenge the legality of the country’s anti-sodomy law Javed Jaghai, a student and Jamaican gay rights activist has initiated a challenge to the country’s anti-sodomy law. AIDS-Free World, a Jamaican advocacy charity, filed a complaint against the law with Jamaica’s Supreme Court on behalf of Jaghai on… Read more »

Jamaica – Top 10 LGBT Achievements in 2012

2012 was another challenging year but there are a number of noteworthy achievements. Jamaicans—government and citizens—continue to show we are able to recognize and respect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, regardless of our differences. The 2012 Boxill Survey on Homophobia showed that one in five Jamaicans respects LGBT people. Additionally, one in five… Read more »

Human rights group worried at “alarming level of violence in Jamaica”

Washington D.C., United States,- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) says it is concerned at the alarming level of violence in Jamaica that has been affecting all sectors of society for many years and has led to progressive deterioration of the human rights situation. In its “Report on the Situation of Human Rights in… Read more »

Jamaica hints a law banning gay discrimination may be passed

Jamaican Minister of Justice hints a law banning anti-gay discrimination may be introduced due to pressures to accept ‘Western’ human rights In response to a report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) criticizing Jamaica for its abuse of its LGBT citizens, the country’s Minister of Justice hinted that an anti-discrimination legislation, inclusive of… Read more »

Puerto Rico to have new hate crime laws to protect gays

Outgoing Secretary of Justice promises new rules and new Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla pledges to tackle anti-gay violence Puerto Rico’s LGBT community may be a step closer to being protected from killings, assaults and other hate crimes. The departing Secretary of Justice, Guillermo Somoza has said new rules would be put in place for hate… Read more »

Bahamas bishop brands clergy who attack gays as closet cases

Bishop Simeon B Hall in Bahamas goes from saying gay sex is ‘deadly’ and ungodly to defending LGBT community in one year A senior Christian in the Bahamas has slammed clerics those who ‘demonize’ homosexuality and said they may be closet gays. Bishop Simeon Hall admitted he ‘acted in ignorance’ in the past on LGBT… Read more »

Legalization of gay marriage sends Saba’s popularity soaring

The Bottom, Saba – The diminutive Dutch Caribbean island of Saba has become a haven for gay couples and seen its popularity soar since legislators legalized same-sex marriages in what was already considered a gay-friendly destination. On December 4, Xiomar Alexander Gonzalez and Israel Ernesto Ruiz exchanged vows in a civil ceremony at the island’s… Read more »

Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister to give ‘due consideration’ to LGBT discrimination

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago has gone on record to say that she will give “due consideration” to the issue of discrimination raised by LGBT people. A new gender equality policy is expected to be brought forward by the Prime Minister, who has said she doesn’t condone discrimination, which could suggest that she… Read more »

Timeline lacking as Trinidad pushes for LGBT rights

Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago In response to a letter from the UK-based LGBT advocacy group, Kaleidoscope Trust, Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has stated that the country’s new Gender Policy will include increased recognition of the human rights of LGBT individuals. As a result, there will likely be a… Read more »

Saba Legalizes Gay Marriage, Popularity Of Caribbean Island Soars

Oranjestad, Aruba – A speck of an island in the Dutch Caribbean has become increasingly popular with gay couples after legislators legalized same-sex marriages in a region still openly hostile to gays and lesbians. Two men were recently married in Saba, marking the first ceremony of its kind in the region and setting off a… Read more »

2013 David Kato Vision and Voice Award

AIDS-Free World’s Maurice Tomlinson, recipient of the 2012 David Kato Vision and Voice Award, delivered this speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the ceremony honoring the 2013 recipient of the award. Access changes attitudes. This is true of any civil rights struggle. If you are not at the table, you can’t challenge the hateful rhetoric… Read more »

Activist to sue Trinidad and Tobago entry ban on gays

A gay Jamaican activist is suing the government of Trinidad and Tobago over its entry ban against homosexuals Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT advocate is to challenge Trinidad and Tobago’s entry ban on gays in an international court. Tomilnson, a Jamaican national and legal advisor for the NGO AIDS-Free World has been invited to give two… Read more »

Transgender woman is first to win office in Cuba

Havana – Adela Hernandez, a biologically male Cuban who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for “dangerousness” after her own family denounced her sexuality. This month she made history by becoming the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba, winning election as a… Read more »

Gay? No Way

Study shows J’cans growing more tolerant, but majority still opposed to homosexuality Last week’s beating by security guards of a student accused of engaging in homosexual acts in a University of Technology (UTech) bathroom, captured on video and widely circulated, brought into sharp focus a 2012 study that suggested that Jamaicans are becoming increasingly more… Read more »

Bermuda to ban anti-gay discrimination

The little Caribbean island state of Bermuda announced it will amends its laws to ban discrimination against LGBT citizens Bermuda is to revise its Human Rights Act, which will finally provide protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The tiny Caribbean island state’s governor George Fergusson, made an announcement yesterday morning stating: ‘The Bermuda Human… Read more »

Orlando Cruz becomes boxing’s first openly gay man

Featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz, from Puerto Rico, has become the first openly gay man in the sport’s history, describing himself Wednesday as a “proud gay man.” Cruz (18-2-1, 9 KOs), the No. 4-ranked featherweight by the WBO, said, “I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want… Read more »