History was made in Montego Bay today, as gays launched the first ever formal, organized gay protest in the homophobic island of Jamaica.
This is no doubt a dress rehearsal for the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) Pride 2015 celebrations. This will also be the first such march in Jamaica, if it actually happens as planned. The march is scheduled for Emancipation Day, August 1.
The protest was targeted to the entire CARICOM region as it was themed: “Stand Up to CARICOM.” It was held across from the entrance to the Hilton Rose Hall Resort, Montego Bay, site of the 31st CARICOM Heads of Government meeting. The protest was also asking for repeal of Jamaica’s Buggery law.
The protest was short, lasting about 17 minutes before police, concerned about their safety, asked them to relocate.
Ever since the march was announced, there was fear expressed for the safety of the marchers. Most Jamaicans on social media advise against it, as they are sure that it will be met with violence. Today’s march show that the LGBT community is resolute in doing as they planned. Will the march be as peaceful as today’s protest?
From THE STAR:
Members of the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community today hosted a placard protest across from the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, St James.
This comes a few days before the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) host their Pride 2015 celebrations. This is the first of its kind in Jamaica, which coincides with the week of Emancipation and Independence celebrations from August 1 to 5.
Among them was attorney and gay-rights activist Maurice Tomlinson who stood raising a placard which read ‘Proud but not free!’ seemingly contradicting the theme for this year’s ‘Emancipendence’ celebrations, ‘Proud and Free…Jamaica 53’
Other placards read: ‘Live and let love’ and ‘Jamaica free gays’.
However, a number of persons have raised the question of why they did not stage the protest in Sam Sharpe Square, knowing it would have generated more attention.
Curated from THE STAR