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British Envoy Slain in Brutal Anti-Gay Killing in Jamaica


John Terry, honorary consul to British High Commission in Jamaica, was found murdered in his home in Montego Bay on Wednesday. Authorities found blood, a cord and an article of clothing around his neck, and evidence he had been beaten.

Times Online: "Police believe that Mr Terry, who was married but separated from his wife, knew his attacker. There were no signs of forced entry at the property. However, it is believed that the killer stole his wallet and mobile telephone in an attempt to make it appear as though a robbery had gone wrong. Police would not say whether Mr Terry’s murder was thought to be linked to his work as a Justice of the Peace but they were investigating the possibility that the attack might have been homophobic after a handwritten note on his body described him as a 'batty man', local slang for a homosexual. The note also said: 'This is what will happen to ALL gays.' It was signed: 'Gay-Man'. The former hotel manager had worked in the island’s tourism trade for more than 30 years. At the time of his death he was working at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay, a resort popular with British and American tourists."

The Sun reports: "Mr Terry, made an MBE in 1992, is thought to have escorted the Queen around Jamaica on several state trips. He separated from his wife three years ago. She and their two children live in the Jamaican capital, Kingston. Neighbours said Mr Terry was often seen with men. Lloyd Smith, president of the local chamber of commerce, said he was "deeply shocked" at the murder."

(via petrelis)

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  1. As a gay man with Jamaican roots, I am appalled and disgusted. I hope his killer will be brought to justice but sadly, I doubt it.

    Posted by: Mitch | Sep 11, 2009 7:30:36 AM

  2. "Lloyd Smith, president of the local chamber of commerce, said he was "deeply shocked" at the murder."

    Jamaica is one of the most homophobic places on this whole fucking planet. How could anyone who LIVES there be surprised, much less shocked, by violence against someone who was suspected by the community to be gay?

    Posted by: sparks | Sep 11, 2009 7:35:37 AM

  3. "Christians make up the majority of the population in Jamaica, approximately 65 percent".

    Need I say more?

    Posted by: Darian Zam | Sep 11, 2009 7:46:54 AM

  4. Call the Jamaican Embassy this morning and tell them you won't visit and you'll encourage EVERYONE you know NEVER to go there or buy anything produced there, ever.

    Then you'll have their attention. Then change will happen.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Sep 11, 2009 8:56:31 AM

  5. Also with roots in Jamaica, I can tell you that there is no way Jamaican society will ever accept gays. The population is mostly illiterate, and have no desire to accept us. From birth, it is made clear that "batty-men" are the lowest of the lows. Stay away from Jamaica. They have no humanity when it comes to us. As beautiful as the island is, inversely, the homophobia and savagery are as ugly! Their hate is deeply ingrained and beyond hope of change, or even being civilized. Sad but true.

    Posted by: Reggie | Sep 11, 2009 9:02:50 AM

  6. Do we need yet ANOTHER reason to boycott anything Jamaica?

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 11, 2009 9:15:43 AM

  7. BOYCOTT everything Jamaican! Letm EAT thier Buy-Bulls that they love so much....BOYCOTT!!!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Sep 11, 2009 9:32:20 AM

  8. Horrible news.

    But before we continue to go on an anti-Jamaica rail, shouldn't we look at the news to see that violent anti-gay attacks happen around the world?

    Towleroad just featured stories about a vicious attempted murder in Ontario, Canada another murder in Turkey where a father killed his own son.

    Similarly, Towleroad reported on murders in Israel at a gay youth centre and the requirement for strong police presence at an Eastern European gay rights/pride parade.

    In the U.S., we still have gay bashings, bullying, and murder. How many gays and lesbians, or misidentified straight peoples, have been the victims of murder or assault recently?

    Lawrence King was just a child when he was gunned down in a classroom.

    Posted by: George | Sep 11, 2009 9:45:53 AM

  9. Jamaica is among the most homophobic places on earth! Don't Go. Don't spend your money there!

    take a look at this:,8599,1182991,00.html

    Posted by: Brian S | Sep 11, 2009 10:53:57 AM

  10. Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any other country. One, as far as I know, is gay friendly. It is over-run with extremist Christianist just as Afghanistan was over-run with extremist Islamist.

    If you don't follow the right-wing Christianist code of conduct, you won't be safe there, just as women who didn't wear a Burka weren't safe in Afghanistan.

    It's more than time to boycott, they are a threat to our National Security, just as they've demonstrated, with this killing, that they are a threat to UK's national security.

    Posted by: Jake | Sep 11, 2009 11:06:46 AM

  11. George's point is taken, but it's also true that these are isolated incidents whereas the Jamaican record of bigotry and violence is remarkably long and frequent considering the very small comparative population. Looking at the per capita number of incidents involving unspeakable violence against gays in Jamaica, I really fail to see how any thoughtful person could patronize such a place.

    There are plenty of other warm, sandy places to go in the winter. Boycott Jamaica.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Sep 11, 2009 11:12:23 AM

  12. Frankly, unless the UK or US really cracks down hard on Jamaica, the government is simply not going to do anything to improve the situation.

    Even a boycott by gays won't mean much unless we recruit a lot of straight allies AND we repeatedly inform resort operators. It's amazing how even "strict" moral codes change when one's livelihood is on the line.

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 11, 2009 12:19:13 PM

  13. Dave is right by us just boycotting this horrid place will not do anything. What we need to do is to let everyone we know about this. Most of the industry is tourism so hit them where it hurts. Yet folks we have to be vocal. Let it be known... So sad, truly sad.

    Posted by: Joe | Sep 11, 2009 1:28:25 PM

  14. I also have Jamaican roots.

    Boycott EVERYTHING that comes from Jamaica -- especially its reggae music.

    And don't even THINK of going there for any reason.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Sep 11, 2009 2:09:35 PM

  15. If you are gay Jamaica is one of the last places on Earth you want to be

    Yes - gay hate crimes happen everywhere.

    But in Jamaica they are especially numerous, intense, accepted and encouraged by the culture at large and ignored by the authorities.


    Posted by: A Different Andy | Sep 11, 2009 2:42:13 PM

  16. When my brother and his (now) wife were planning their wedding in 2004, one idea was to have it at a Sandals in Jamaica. I said, Great, have fun but [my ex] and I won't be able to attend, both because Sandals won't let us stay in the same room and because we won't step foot in Jamaica.

    Her mother was horrified, moved the wedding, and told all her invitees, friends, and clients (she's a major real estate agent) to avoid Sandals and Jamaica. That news reached at least 500 people, and some even mentioned it to me at the wedding. She also wrote a letter to Sandals detailing all the revenue they'd lost. (I believe they've since changed their policy, but it doesn't really matter to me because Sandals in any form sounds sort of hellish.)

    So yes, telling people helps. Too often only us gays know who hates us. One of the gay-friendliest straight guys I know brought Red Stripe (beer) to a BBQ the other day. Suffice to say he won't be buying it any more!

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 11, 2009 4:03:16 PM

  17. BOYCOTT JAMAICA LUXURY RESORTS... that fund attrocities like this against GAYS at home and abroad!

    (1) Sunset Resorts Jamaica

    Sunset Jamaica Grande

    Sunset At The Palms

    Sunset Beach Resort and Spa

    (2) Knutsford Court Hotel

    (3) Sandals
    800-327-1991 Option #7 - Inside sales dept. 7

    (4) Breezes Resorts
    877-273-3937 Option #4 - Inside Sales Dept.

    Posted by: Harris of Hollywood | Sep 11, 2009 4:15:23 PM

  18. Amnesty International has determined that Jamaica is THE most dangerous place in the world for LGBT persons.

    If you step outside of the tourist areas, it's not particularly safe for straights either. They have the highest murder rate per capita in the western hemisphere.

    They also have the highest ratio of churches to people. Coincidence?

    Posted by: dion | Sep 11, 2009 5:45:57 PM

  19. I'll purchase Fastlad and the belledork two one-way tickets to Jamaica so he can tell them that himself.

    Posted by: JT | Sep 11, 2009 5:47:36 PM

  20. I sure hope Bash Back is keeping a list.

    Maybe it's time we answered the rally war cry thrut upon us by the entire christian religion and give it back to them as bad as they give it to us.

    Posted by: New Jersey Girl | Sep 11, 2009 6:00:25 PM

  21. Paul, I'm glad your brother's mother-in-law reacted appropriately to the information on Jamaica and Sandals.
    I was recently at the hetero wedding of a couple who consider themselves gay-supportive. They still had not picked a definite honeymoon spot but told my partner that they were looking at Jamaica and to stay at Sandals. My partner told them, "Well, we couldn't go to Jamaica. The laws and customs are very anti-gay." And I added that we wouldn't lieley be welcome at Sandals either (and wouldn't go there), given their history.
    I was somewhat disappointed that they chose the anti-gay hotel and island anyway.
    I told my partner I just don't get the way some people spend their money with no social concerns. I would never even consider a hotel chain that, for example, would bar that couple because of their race.
    I wish that major travel companies would just take the Jamaica posters off their windows and websites and let the island's government know that as long as ANY of their customers are in that kind of danger, they're not going to promote sending ANYone there.

    Posted by: GregV | Sep 11, 2009 6:07:01 PM

  22. Thanks, Greg. Unfortunately, my best friend of nearly 25 years had her honeymoon in Jamaica in 2001. She's bisexual but had no idea of the antigay vibe, and since the plans were already made I didn't say anything. (I didn't find out where they were going until a few days before they left.) Of course, being a "straight" couple they were treated like royalty. But she was horrified when I told her about the country's antigay history a year or so later, and will never return.

    I even know a woman who was born in Jamaica (to parents of mixed Scot/Jamaican heritage) but moved away at age 2, and even she had no idea how antigay it was because she's never returned. Again, even the gay-friendliest straight people are often clueless.

    Many Caribbean islands can be dicey in terms of gay attitudes, but Jamaica is the worst by far far far.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 11, 2009 8:05:29 PM

  23. I hope this gets them the Falklands treatment from the UK government... and between this and TX maybe we should move that equality march out of DC -- ??

    Posted by: David B. 2 | Sep 11, 2009 8:34:36 PM

  24. Simply disgusting.

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 11, 2009 8:56:24 PM

  25. These things are all related... At the top of this page is a brief story about the Buju Banton boycotts. He's the reggae singer from Jamaica who sings about torturing gays. Now we have a murdered gay envoy in Jamaica. Banton contributes to a climate of hatred that makes anti-gay murders like John Terry's more likely.

    Similarly, the right wing, white, GOP-led hatred of Obama, expressed by new boldness each day, is contributing to an assassination climate.

    These trends need to be identified and thwarted by clear-thinking people who understand the dangers of hatred in any form, whether homophobia or racism. Every action in this fight, no matter how small, matters.

    Posted by: TexRex96 | Sep 11, 2009 9:04:28 PM

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