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.