Contributor: Errol McLeish
It seems the Gay rights lobby Jamaica forum for Lesbians All Sexual and Gays (JFLAG), is on the propagandizing war path again, maligning and branding anyone who expresses their view against homosexual relationship, as promoting violence against their kind. The latest of such asinine comments were made against Queen Ifrica, a reggae artist and Rastafarian, who is a proponent for heterosexual relationships. Her sin this time according to JFLAG , is that she had asked the audience at the grand gala held at the National Stadium on August 6th , in recognition of Jamaica’s independence , to raise their hands if they were straight . This gesture, according to JFLAG was animus, and seen as an attack on the gay community. From this very action and other demonstration, it seems JFLAG is on a quest to silence the free speech, of anyone who might oppose homosexuality. It was obvious that Ifrica actions could never be said to be tantamount to being animus.
Ifrica was not asking people to burn gays or promoting violence against gays, she was simply expressing her views which should be her democratic right, and again the tone and context in which she used the words could not have been construed or interpreted as animus. Animus is defined as prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will, her actions did not fit the definition. I am convinced that JFLAG is becoming a very highly influential Force in the Jamaican community getting its backing from certain civil society groups. Perhaps Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller’s expressed view in a National debate , that she would have looked more closely at aspects of the buggery law, and this I think has embolden the homosexual community .
Tony Rebel, another Rastafarian performer, had suffered similar condemnation at the last Grand Gala when he stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman. JFLAG characterized this as vitriolic, words I am sure, strictly defined, and could not be associated with the action of the artist. This was realized in a subsequent conversation on Nation Wide News Network , moderated by Cliff Hughes , the word was highlighted during a robust discussion on the issue , the JFLAG spoke person , was forced to retract this adjective , because , it was obvious Tony Rebels comment could not be characterized as vitriolic the tone and substance did not suggest this . This, it seems, is one of many attempts to silence anyone not acquiescing or supporting their position.
I must commend Ifrica and Tony Rebel for their position and stance. In defending their position they expressed that they were not homophobic, rather far from it, they were simply expressing their views . Ifrica says she will be a martyr for the cause; perhaps she might get her wish, as there might very well be repercussion from the global Gay community who are very influential. But looking back on the tape of the proceedings, an intelligent objective bystander should think this is was much ado about nothing. But seeing that the Jamaican Gay community is seeking relevance I don’t think this issue will go away any time soon.