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Boycott Jamaica!

Posted by libhom Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's time to boycott Jamaica in response to the horrifying violence against queers that goes on there, with the de facto approval of the government. OK, OK, this boycott is years overdue.

The boycott started in April in San Francisco. From PrideSource 4/9/09:

Citing a new U.S. State Department report on human rights in Jamaica, a group of San Francisco gay activists, including city Supervisor Bevan Dufty, launched a boycott of the nation March 28.

International gay human rights activists have routinely named Jamaica as one of the most homophobic nations in the world, and several of the nation's popular dancehall music stars have been blocked from performing in other countries because of lyrics that promote the killing of homosexuals.

The Department of State's "2008 Human Rights Report: Jamaica" says: "The law prohibits 'acts of gross indecency' (generally interpreted as any kind of physical intimacy) between men, in public or in private, which are punishable by 10 years in prison. The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays continued to report human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of homosexuals. Police often did not investigate such incidents."

On April 15, there was a dumping of Jamaican booze at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City. Here's a brief statement from the owners of the Stonewall Inn.
“We, as the owners of the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the Gay rights movement, refuse to support, in any way, shape or form, the oppression of any people especially our gay brothers and sisters in Jamaica,” the Stonewall Inn said in its statement. “We ask all people of all walks of life to send a clear message to the Jamaican people and their government, that as long as they continue to allow and condone violence and hatred toward the Gay community, we will neither buy their products nor support their tourist trade. To do so is to tacitly support the current climate of oppression.”

I just wish all other bar owners cared about the queer community as much as these do.

Here's some video from the protest.

Jamaicans telling their own reasons for supporting the boycott are the most persuasive people on the video.

Considering how dangerous Jamaica is for queers, it is crazy for us to travel there under the current climate. If noting else, the boycott will serve to warn queers abroad not to travel there. The Boycott Jamaica website also is calling for people to boyoctt Myers Rum and Red Stripe Beer. I'm glad to support this.

It's about time that queers learn that education and persuasion have been insufficient in ending heterosexist oppression. We will be the international whipping boys and girls as long as we don't fight back. We should electorally punish heterosexist politicians and boycott those who oppress us, including religious hate groups like the Mormon Church.

I've read some arguments opposing the boycott. Most of their excuses are the same ones that the Reagan Administration used to oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against the apartheid regime in South Africa. When you know that history, the rhetoric of boycott opponents doesn't just employ bad logic, it's truly reprehensible.

Please visit BoycottJamaica.org!

Update 1: These comments by a hetero opponent of the boycott show why the boycott is so important and why it is crazy for queers to travel there.
So, gays plan to boycott Jamaica and they are encouraging those who love their gay friends and relatives to do the same. I had to put my frustration in writing. This is Jamaica and we are against homosexuals.

There is no if, but or maybe about it. Why are they forcing us to accept them? We do not have to. We are a Christian country and homosexuality is contrary to our practices, so why should we drop all our morals, values and religious standards just to please their forbidden choice?

Update 2: Here's a Jamaican blogger's posting in favor of the boycott.



  1. JayV Says:
  2. Good on this, But I always thought there was a boycott of Jamaica, started years ago, because of their homophobic policies?

  3. JW Richard Says:
  4. Thanks for your post, however one Jamaican (not plural) in a video does not even being to represent gay Jamaican acceptance of this boycott. Now, if this video were full of Jamaican citizens performing such an action, I may think differently.

  5. two crows Says:
  6. hi, libhom--
    do you know of any other products besides rum and beer?
    I'd like to participate but I drink alcohol so rarely, it would be a boycott in mind only.

    I can tell my friends -- but most of them are teetotalers too.



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