GAY COMMUNITY STILL LOVES BRUCE:Online Poll indicates that 40% of Gays and Lesbians Back Golding

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A recent internet poll conducted by the PINK Report indicates that Prime Minister Bruce Golding continues to enjoy the support of 40% of the island’s Gay and Lesbian Population. Owing to the small number of respondents, the poll cannot be deemed representative of the views of the community nor does it indicate the demographic break down of supporters. However, it does represent a first attempt at tracking the political opinions of members of the Gay and Lesbian community.

Significantly, if the poll numbers are read as being analogous or indicative of an approval rating, Golding enjoys a higher approval rating among the Gay and Lesbian population than the general population. A recent, CVM/Don Anderson poll had placed the Prime Minister’s approval ratings in the low 30s.

Jamaica’s gay and lesbian population has often been overlooked as a key voting demographic by pollsters and political parties alike, owing to legislative marginalization and incoherence as to the actual numerical composition of the group. However, a 2003 research conducted by Heather Royes: HIV/AIDS Risk Mapping Study of Men Who Have Sex With Men In Jamaica. Kingston: MOH projects that the gay male population numbers approximately 110,000 with heavy concentrations in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (inclusive of Portmore, Spanish Town and Old Harbour) and Montego Bay. Indeed, on the face of it, given the closeness of the last General Elections, the Gay Vote could determine the outcome of election results in certain key constituencies and ultimately the composition of the island’s parliament.

The Prime Minister’s relatively strong approval ratings among the Gay community come in spite of homophobic comments attributed directly to him and the bungling of the handling of the Manatt Phillips, Dudus affair. There is nothing to indicate that the results are indicative of strong partisan support for the Jamaica Labour Party within the community, however, such analysis is not all together unlikely.

 

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GAYS REAFFIRM JAMAICA’S HISTORY IS ANCHORED IN TOLERANCE

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GAYS REAFFIRM JAMAICA’S HISTORY IS ANCHORED IN TOLERANCE

Kingston — October 29, 2010

In recognition of Heritage Month and the struggles of our forebears, supporters of J-FLAG stoodalong Hope Road, south of Jamaica House, this morning Friday, October 29, to remindJamaicans that tolerance has been a hallmark of Jamaican society and that tolerance for gay,lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered Jamaicans is a fundamental part of our diversity. This isarticulated in our motto ‘Out of Many, One People’.

Under the theme ‘Tolerance is Our Heritage’ participants stood for 30 minutes starting at 8:00a.m. clad in the Jamaica national colours and carried placards some of which read ‘Out of Many,One People,’ ‘Human Rights for All,’ ‘Equal Rights and Justice’, ‘Teach Us True Respect for All.’

In addressing the gathering, Chairman of J-FLAG Gary Mullings reiterated that “as a people,Jamaicans have a heritage of struggling for our rights. Through the examples of our nationalheroes, whose dedication, service and sacrifice in shaping this nation we commemorate thisHeritage month, we remember our fight for emancipation, workers rights and independence.”The message of tolerance needs to be emphasized, as far too many cases of human rightsviolations are still being reported to us at J-FLAG, a clear indication that there is a challengeregarding the respect of the rights of LGBT Jamaicans.

Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS Free World clarified his organisation’s participation by stating that“intolerance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons only serves to drive the HIVepidemic underground”. He encouraged the nation to “Follow the lead of our heroes who foughtfor the rights and dignity of all Jamaicans”.

Christine Smith, Chairperson of the all women group “Women For Women”, said that WFW’sinvolvement in this initiative was to remind Jamaicans that they can tolerate diversity andrespect the rights of all Jamaicans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

J-FLAG and its supporters will continue to mount advocacy initiatives aimed at securing thehuman rights of LGBT members.

Demonstration in the Vicinity of Jamaica House

Should PM Golding Resign

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Who is coming next, Punchinella likkle Fellow?

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The Honourable David ThompsonOn Saturday morning, news came in that Barbadian Prime Minister David Thompson had died of Pancreatic Cancer. Mr. Thompson’s death was by no means sudden or unexpected, coming as it did after a mildly public battle with the disease, but for his family; friends; constituents and the people of Barbados, no less painful! Yet whilst our condolences go out to the collective people of Barbados we must also congratulate them on achieving a smooth and militarily precise handover/change of administration within hours of the announcement. Indeed by mid-afternoon a new Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, had already been sworn in and it is expected that by 3:00 PM on Sunday same will be conducted for the entire Cabinet. In effect, by Monday morning Bajans will go to work with a new administration in place without any rancor or fireworks.

Whilst Jamaica and Jamaicans are no strangers to smooth handovers of power, the Bajan example holds valuable lessons to us as we discuss the impending and possible departure of the “Driva”. We here at Pink hold no official position on whether the Honourable Orette Bruce Golding should leave and the best manner in which that may occur. However, it is painfully obvious that the Office of the Prime Minister and the person holder has been relatively quiet and seemingly ill at ease over the past 2 months. Within this context, the inevitable speculation and behind the scenes jockeying for power has begun to occur with some amount of stage appearances.

Should, the Prime Minister demit office prior to the calling of fresh elections, the constitution of Jamaica provides that the question of who will inherit the office is left up to the 60 Members of Parliament sitting in Gordon House. With no history of bi-partisanship on such delicate matters, this matter would be a strictly labourite issue to solve. The good news is that the smooth transition of power from Bustamante to Sangster and thence to Shearer all during one electoral term in the 1960s signifies that the Jamaica Labour Party is more than equal to the task, should the question be put to them. Regrettably recent history during the Seaga years may make some political historians sweat about the current membership’s capacity to undertake such a task, but even then the labourites did manage a smooth transition from Seaga to Baugh to Golding!

Yet as the nation discusses who among the Labourite benches may become the nation’s ninth Prime Minister (should the eight depart), one name has begun to crop up

 

Hon. Audley Shaw MP, Minister of Finance and the Public Service

 

and that is Audley Shaw! Support in the media has been growing for him owing to the fact that he has punched above his weight at the Finance Ministry and has managed to keep the macro-economic fundamentals in check. Ironically, it is because of his laudable work that we here at PINK believe the Finance Minister should remain at Heroes Circle. We want no repeat of the Seaga years when he (Seaga) was both Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. Furthermore, whilst the financial markets have been relatively stable the balance is still clearly delicate and he needs to remain to steer the country through this recession. Let us not forget that this administration has presided over the longest economic contraction in independent Jamaica’s economic history (through no fault of their own or the previous administration for that matter).

 

The Honourable Kenneth Baugh

 

In this connection, we propose the Baugh solution, that is elevate the Deputy Prime Minister to Prime Minister of a caretaker administration should the current Prime Minister resign. In our estimation Baugh does have the right temperament for the job within the context that one would be inheriting the post. The further benefit of this is that because Baugh clearly has no real appetite for the Prime Minister job he would be able to insulate the country from what may become a bruising internal battle within the Jamaica Labour Party for the post of party leader.

Selah

Gay Arabian Prince convicted of Murder

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AFP/HO – Saudi prince, Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir al Saud, has been found guilty by a London court of murdering

LONDON (AFP) – A Saudi prince was found guilty by a British court Tuesday of murdering his servant in a London hotel after subjecting him to a “sadistic” campaign of violence and sexual abuse.

Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir al Saud, 34, a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah through his mother, was accused of beating and strangling Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz to death on February 15.

The prince faces a possible life sentence when he is sentenced on Wednesday. The jury at London’s Old Bailey, also known as theCentral Criminal Court, deliberated for only 95 minutes before convicting him.

“The defendant used his position of power over the victim to gratuitously inflict violence upon him over a long period of time,” John McFarlane, the Scotland Yard detective who led the investigation, said after the verdict.

“After the victim’s body was discovered he made every effort to evade justice, including misleading police by alleging that the victim had been robbed and then trying to claim diplomatic immunity, which he was not entitled to in the UK.”

Saud was fuelled by champagne and cocktails when he murdered the 32-year-old in a ferocious attack after the pair had returned from a Valentine’s Day night out, the two-week trial heard.

The victim, also a Saudi, was left with severe injuries including bite marks on both cheeks which prosecutors said showed a clear “sexual element” to the killing.

Saud — whose lawyers argued that he could face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia over the revelations of homosexuality aired at the trial — showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

The prince had denied murder and a second charge of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to an earlier alleged assault in a hotel lift that was captured on CCTV footage. He had admitted manslaughter.

The trial heard that the two men had stayed together at London’s Landmark Hotel for nearly a month as part of an “extended holiday” that had also taken them to Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Morocco.

Saud had claimed the pair were friends and that he was heterosexual, but the court heard the prince had ordered gay escorts in London and had frequently looked atLondon's Landmark Hotel websites for gay massage parlours and escort agencies.

Prosecutors said he repeatedly assaulted Abdulaziz and that two brutal attacks were captured on CCTV by the hotel lift. The victim was so worn down by the violence that he let Saud kill him without a fight, they said.

Witnesses had told the court that Bandar — an orphan who was adopted into the family of a low-ranking civil servant in Jeddah — was treated “like a slave”.

After the killing, the prince spent hours on the phone to an unidentified contact in Saudi Arabia before finally calling his chauffeur to the room, at which point the body was discovered on a bloodstained hotel bed.

Police said he had dragged the body from the bathroom to the hallway and then the bedroom “in an attempt to cover his tracks”.

A post-mortem found that Abdulaziz had suffered chipped teeth, heavy blows to the head, injuries to the brain and ears and severe neck injuries consistent with strangulation by hand, the trial heard.

The prince’s father, a nephew of King Abdullah, was in court for the verdict.

 

Pure Class: Fierce Anniversary 2010

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Fierce Anniversary was without a doubt the most highly anticipated event since the start of the year. In our estimation, twenty percent (20%) of this anticipation had to do with a tasteful and flawless execution of a 3 month marketing strategy (a strategy that Alter Ego has become famous for) whilst another 20% had to do with the fact that the summer was dreadfully boring and it seems everyone in the Corporate Area was just desperate to party and unwind. However, the overwhelming driving factor is the fact that Alter Ego has become synonymous with high quality, high octane, and first class productions and as such its reputation precedes it. Yet whilst we recognize the high anticipation for the event, it is also important to note that the challenge with “high anticipation” is that it eventually bears immense disappointment!  In this regard Alter Ego did beat out the norm, for the event was not immensely disappointing, just plain old vanilla flavoured disappointing!

The source of disappointment can squarely be placed at the feet of poor quality of music delivery and a bar area that was clearly overwhelmed by the crowd support. As it regards the first issue, it should be noted that PINK is at pains to make a distinction between poor music quality and the delivery mechanism. The issue of music quality relates to DJ quality whilst the delivery mechanism relates to technical matters revolving around sound. Here at PINK we found that the DJs did not embarrass themselves, in fact the selections were good in the main, excellent at times and poor only in passing. Consequently, our issue rests with the speaker boxes!

To their credit Alter Ego did not make the mistake of having too few speaker boxes. In fact, there was enough speaker box coverage to ensure that each square meter of the party area, including the Great House and behind it was covered by sound. The problem was, that having achieved total sound coverage there was no corresponding bass coverage, indeed the bass was concentrated towards the North-west corner of the party area. The effect of this miscalculation was that instead of a party one ended up with a LYME. To compound matters, it was evident that there was an issue of malfunctioning speaker boxes.

As it regards the second matter of the drinking taps running dry by 1 a.m. with low alcohol pressure before 12 a.m., Alter Ego has already apologized to their legions of fans for this. As such Pink will not dwell on this matter. Rather we will highlight that this is the first time, that we are certainly aware of, that a party promoter has apologized for not delivering on something they promised or is implicitly apart of throwing an event. This speaks to the emergence of a customer service culture at least as far as Alter Ego is concerned, and we welcome it and support it. To be frank, this pre-emptive move by Alter Ego illustrates what many persons have privately commented, that theirs is a brand that is more like a company or a professional unit and thus a cut above the rest at this point in time.

The Good Points

Yet whilst Fierce Anniversary was a bit of a disappointment, there were many good points:

  1. The Location was excellent, and by location we mean including the selection of Ocho Rios as the host town. This move alone transformed, Alter Ego from a Kingston based brand to a truly national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) marque. The selection of Ocho Rios meant that persons from Montego Bay, Negril, Portland and elsewhere could easily attend as it is just a straight (relatively) drive along the North Coast highway. Further, given the numbers in attendance which seemingly approached 500, Alter Ego can possibly lay claim to being the largest LGBT organization in Jamaica, depending on how largest is defined.
  1. Whilst the liquor taps were a source of unease, the lay out of the bar was both functional and aesthetically appealing. In deed we should point out that although the bar tenders were slower than a turtle on weed, they were professional as was the accounting staff. Such was the professionalism that whilst some patrons were busy mining for gold in their noses, the accounting staff accepted their monies and dispensed with their duties without fanfare or noise.
  2. The use of the Great House exuded Old World charm and had the effect of projecting an image of High Class. The team at Alter Ego had the good sense to let the charm of the old house provide the décor and not deface the setting with any unfortunate fabric selections rather choosing to use a light show to highlight the beauty, grace and elegance of the Great House. For future editions of this event, should Fierce decide to continue with the use of this location, they can determine how much they would want to add to the decor. However, a clearly demarcated dance area could possibly add to the aesthetics.
  3. The Soup, whoever was the cook deserves an award for best soup at a party!

The Awards

The award for most fierce goes to Candy, with explanation! Ashlee was in our estimation slightly better dressed but clearly could not manage her heels. Candy on the other hand was well dressed and her heels could not stop her from splitting and sending her legs skyward.

In Conclusion

Fierce Anniversary marks the beginning of the end of the Year and the start of the countdown to Christmas and New Years. We hope that in the long run, Party Promoters in general will be able to cultivate a culture of customer service and shake of their unfortunately acquired reputation of being rapacious money grubbers that deliver medium to low quality events without a concern about customer feedback. We hope that they recognize that theirs is a business, that albeit has thin margins, generates not only revenue but jobs from the bartenders to the liquor wholesalers that are used for consignment. Right now it seems that Alter Ego not only gets it but is moving in the right direction for theirs is truly a national symbol of excellence and quality.