Friday, December 08, 2017

Jamaica Claims LGBT Tourists Welcomed, History and Current Events Say Otherwise

NewNowNext reports:

Tourism boards the world over want LGBT vacation dollars: We travel more often, spend more money, and hit more exotic locales. Now Jamaica wants to cash in, too, despite a history of homophobic violence and discrimination.

“LGBT travelers should feel relaxed traveling to Jamaica,” beamed tourism minister Edmund Bartlett to eTurboNews in November. “It’s ’tourism for all’ in our country, regardless of gender, religion, handicap, or sexual orientation.”

But Bartlett’s sunny statement contradicts a history of rampant homophobia in the former British colony, where consensual homosexual sex is still a crime and anti-LGBT violence is endemic: Gay men have been beaten, shot and stoned to death because of their orientation. Just this year, LGBT activist Dexter Pottinger, dubbed the “face of Pride,” was murdered in his home.
Dexter Pottinger was murdered in his home in Jamaica.

See full story here.

In addition, an article by Delores E. Smith published May 12, 2017, in the International Journal of Adolescence and Youth titled "Homophobic and transphobic violence against youth: The Jamaican context" reads:

Jamaican LGBTI youth face tragic disparities, the level of which warrants immediate legislative attention. Jamaica has been characterized as one of the most homophobic and transphobic societies globally. Therefore, LGBTI youth routinely experience widespread discrimination and hostility at from the very social institutions (i.e. family, school, community and government) from which they would expect nurturance, care and protection. Also troubling is the fact that despite the country being a signatory to numerous United Nations human rights agreements, there are no legal protections against the discrimination they face. Considering the wealth of empirical evidence on the dire effects of homophobia and transphobia on youth’s well-being, a serious and urgent public health undertaking is necessary to address the homophobia and transphobia and their assumed deleterious outcomes for youth in that context. Comprehensive society-wide measures are obligatory to prevent and reduce the risk of victimization of all youth, but particularly LGBTI youth.

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