Foreign Policy: Don’t Believe Castro’s “Gay-Friendly” PR

Cuba Wants You To Think It’s a Gay Paradise. It’s Not. Cuba has come a long way on LGBT rights since putting gays in labor camps. But don’t believe the Castro family’s gay-friendly PR. I’m surprised to see a rainbow flag outside a tiny bar called Gats Loco in Trinidad, an old sugar town on… Read more »

Don’t Blame Yesterday’s Colonialism for Today’s Homophobia

Last Sunday, 25,000 Jamaicans rallied in support of their country’s explicitly homophobic anti-sodomy law, comparing homosexuality to rape and murder and arguing that anti-gay laws are “righteous and Godly.” Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law, as many Western news sources are eager to remind us, is a “colonial leftover,” a “holdover” from Britain’s bygone rule over the island.… Read more »

How Cuba’s Gay Rights Activists Are Starting a Revolution With Kissing

Against the backdrop of gay pride in the United States — where cities are bursting with revelers and colorful parades celebrating gay rights — it’s not unusual to spot groups of same-sex couples kissing. But this past weekend, in Havana, Cuba’s capital, 60 people marked gay pride weekend with a second annual “kiss-in” to protest… Read more »

Man survives hate crime

“Do you believe in God?” one of Akil Thomas’ attackers asked him. Thomas replied: “Yes.” His attacker continued: “…because you are going to die here tonight.” Thomas was then stabbed 13 times—six stabs to the back, two to the chest, two in the arms, two in the neck and one on the right side of… Read more »

‘¡OUT! The Transformistas of Havana’ Documents Performers in Cuba’s Gay Cabarets

A groundbreaking new book by Eric Politzer is currently in production and it provides a platform for the captivating performers at queer cabarets throughout Cuba. Historically, cabarets on the island nation have served as spaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Cubans to gather and form community and support each other, which is especially… Read more »

Risking everything to advance LGBT rights in Jamaica

San Diego, California – Angeline Jackson wishes she could bottle up Hillcrest and The San Diego LGBT Community Center, then uncork them in Jamaica. Her homeland is noted for its laid-back spirit … and its rampant homophobia. The U.S. State Department noted in a 2012 report regarding Jamaica that “homophobia was widespread in the country.”… Read more »

Trinidad: Caribbean LGBT youth unite to push for repeal of anti-gay laws

LGBT youth leaders from across the Caribbean have united to push for lingering anti-gay laws to be repealed. At a ‘Generation Change’ event in Trinidad yesterday, youth leaders representing Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago came together to discuss the problems they face on a day-to-day basis as a result of… Read more »

Why do so many Jamaicans hate gay people?

Our research shows dancehall is a strong predictor of homophobia – but at last some Jamaicans are saying boom bye bye to bigotry Jamaica has a bad reputation for anti-gay prejudice. This small island in the Caribbean has become notorious not only for its anti-gay laws, political rhetoric and murders, but also for its broad… Read more »

New Campaign Aims to Help Jamaican LGBT Community

In honor of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Human Rights First unveiled a new campaign. Human Rights First is embarking on a major endeavor in Jamaica, trying to make the Caribbean island a safer place for LGBT people. Last month, the organization announced a new campaign to combat homophobia and anti-LGBT discrimination in the… Read more »

Leading Jamaican Newspaper Endorses Marriage Equality

“It is unassailable logic” that a ban on same-sex couples marrying “represents an assault on the principle of equality of people,” via the Jamaica Gleaner. One of Jamaica’s leading daily newspapers called for the elimination of the country’s ban on marriage equality and its law criminalizing sodomy in an editorial published Thursday. The Jamaica Gleaner… Read more »

Cuban Gay Rights Activist Brutally Beaten, Arrested

David Bustamante Rodriguez, a 21-year old gay rights activist, was arrested for holding a peaceful protest on the rooftop of his home in Santa Clara. During the protest, he chanted “food and freedom” and held signs demanding the respect for human rights. He is now being accused of “public disorder.” David, who is HIV positive,… Read more »

PJ Urges Tolerance – Former Prime Minister Calls For Understanding In Gay Debate

Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson is urging that the debate over Jamaica’s buggery law be framed within the context of current world trends and the realities that various differences exist in the society. Patterson, addressing a Rotary Club of Spanish Town meeting at the Police Officers’ Club in St Andrew Tuesday night, said both sides… Read more »

Cubans celebrate gay rights, but marriage remains distant

(Reuters) – Several hundred Cubans danced to a conga beat, waved the rainbow flag and proclaimed their same-sex love on Saturday, celebrating great advances in gay rights while patiently waiting for the still politically distant right to marriage. About 500 people marched in the seventh annual parade against homophobia through Havana’s Vedado district, where cross-dressing… Read more »

New Effort To Halt Spread Of HIV In The Caribbean

Kingston, Jamaica (AP) — A handful of sex workers sit on discarded cardboard along a filthy sewer channel, sharing food and razors to shave their legs and faces as they prepare for the night’s labor on the streets of Jamaica’s capital. Gay sex and prostitution is illegal in Jamaica, and LGBT people who sell sex… Read more »

Catholic priest gives amazing speech for LGBT rights in Trinidad

Catholic priest Dr Fr Stephen Geofroy has called for the equal rights of LGBTs to be enshrined in the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago in a surprising speech to a government consultation Support for the legal equality of LGBT people has come from a surprising place during a Trinidad and Tobago government public consultation on… Read more »

LGBT tolerance growing in Jamaica, push to repeal of anti-gay law

Prince Jones says he will never go back to Jamaica, not even to visit. The 25-year-old, who is gay and uses a pseudonym to protect himself and his family, grew up in Kingston and recalls how he was repeatedly harassed over his sexuality before moving to the United States in 2012. The plight of gays… Read more »

Gay-rights community fights to advance cause in Latin America and Caribbean

United Nations – Two years ago, a gay couple and their friend vacationing in St. Lucia were tied up, beaten, threatened with knives and guns, and told that they would be killed if they tried to escape. The men later freed themselves, climbed out a window and hiked down the mountain to a friend’s house.… Read more »

Cuba passes ‘historic’ ban on anti-gay workplace discrimination

Over the weekend the country’s Parliament approved changes to its labor code, including protections against workplace discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation The Caribbean island of Cuba has reportedly implemented workplace discrimination protections for its LGBTI citizens. Blogger Andres Duque reported on his website Blabbeando Cuban blogger Francisco Rodriguez, also known as Paquito El… Read more »

Why Some LGBT Youths In Jamaica Are Forced To Call A Sewer Home

Young LGBT Jamaicans are chased out of their communities by family and neighbors using vigilante justice to enforce the country’s laws against homosexual conduct. Now police are trying to push them out of their shelter of last resort. Kingston, Jamaica — Around 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, police officers led by Cmdr. Christopher Murdock… Read more »

Jamaican police seize, burn donations to LGBT youths

Jamaican police on Dec. 1 seized and burned food and clothing that concerned citizens had donated to LGBT youths who have been living in the sewers of New Kingston, activists say. The youths moved into the sewers after being evicted first from their families’ homes and then from abandoned buildings. The donations were part of… Read more »

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 »