Jamaica, why rejoice over eviction of homeless gay men?

Police evicted gay men from abandoned house  in an upscale neighborhood of Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Gleaner)
Police evict gay men from abandoned house in an upscale neighborhood of Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Gleaner)

There are times I am disgusted to be a middle-class Jamaican Christian and this is one such occasion. The majority of my class and country rejoice at the continued homelessness of 16 desperate gay citizens who are once again hounded from their latest refuge, this time by police officers wearing masks and gloves. A day after their very public eviction the abandoned house that these human beings had inhabited was demolished, no doubt to prevent further “infestation.”

As usual, the Jamaica Observer (owned by Gordon Butch Stewart of Sandals Resorts) takes despicable delight in pandering to this homophobic class warfare. It is as if we REALLY think the growing challenge of homeless gay men will be met by chasing them from place to place, perhaps until we succeed in pushing them into the Caribbean sea.

Demolition of abandoned house where homeless homosexual men were living. (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Observer)
Demolition of abandoned house where homeless homosexual men were living. (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Observer)

And instead of seeking to extend a hand of compassion to these displaced souls, the fundamentalist Jamaican churches expend resources on mounting massive anti-gay marches, all in the name of a “healthy society.”

There are simply not enough negative epithets to describe the callous uncaring behaviour of the Jamaican faith community with regard to its treatment of these and other homosexuals. However, Barbara Gloudon, a popular radio talk-show host and committed Anglican parishoner does a fair job of summarizing it. On her widely heard programme on Thursday, July 4, she asked: “Are we saying that these young men are so noxious that no one, not even the church, can help them?”

Recent coverage of homeless gays in Jamaica:

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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