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Jamaica Launches Anti-Homophobia Campaign with 'Unconditional Love' PSA: VIDEO


Jamaican LGBT rights group  J-FLAG has launched a PSA campaign to be broadcast on Jamaican TV this month intended to combat homophobia by encouraging Jamaicans to love and support their LGBT family members.

The PSA features former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe Christine Straw, and her brother Matthew.

J-Flag reports:

“Homophobia must be eliminated [in Jamaica] immediately” was the rallying cry of Pamela E Bridgewater, the United States Ambassador to Jamaica. “The US Mission joins all partners in the fight against homophobia [because] as President Obama says, no one should be hated because of who they love,” she stated.

The US Ambassador was addressing a packed audience at the launch of ‘Unconditional Love’, a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring Christine Straw, former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe, and her brother Matthew Straw on July 28, 2011. Heading the list of endorsees were Hilary Nicholson from Women’s Media Watch, Helin Jenkinson, First Counsellor at the European Union, Dr. Pierre Somse, UNAIDS Representative in Jamaica, Rob Fuderich, UNICEF Representative, Yvonne Sobres, Convenor of Family Against State Terrorism and a number of other human rights and HIV activists.

Watch the PSA, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via lgbt asylum)

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  1. Good luck to them. They have a whole lot of work to do to counter the rampant level of homophobia in Jamaica. Wasn't it just a week or two ago when one of Jamaica's main police superintendents was claiming that gays were overwhelmingly responsible for organized crime?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Aug 1, 2011 1:42:25 PM

  2. Thankfully someone is finally taking action. I wish them luck.

    Posted by: mike128 | Aug 1, 2011 1:44:11 PM

  3. You couldn't pay me enough to go to this dump of an island, inhabited by the scum of the earth.

    Posted by: T | Aug 1, 2011 1:44:13 PM

  4. A for Effort, and it's a step towards equality in a place I have 0% interest in visiting or spending my money. Too many horrible stories of machete and bat weilding natives chasing gay men into the ocean and beating them to death. Hopefully it will change.

    Maybe the next PSA will be more representative of the people who are truly under fire and at risk in Jamaica (the black skinned gay and lesbian natives), and the PSA will have two guys or two girls, not something that with the sound turned off looks like any other ad for Jamaica.

    But, again, something is better than nothing.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Aug 1, 2011 1:48:15 PM

  5. The only advertising I want to see is a call for boycott on all things Jamaican. These feel good messages are only going to lull people into a false sense of security.

    Posted by: prophet | Aug 1, 2011 1:58:23 PM

  6. Wow, so much positivity in these comments already... Geez. Pathetic, if you ask me. Abandoning our LGBT brothers and sisters when they need us most? Selfish!

    Thinly-veiled pseudo-racist comments aside, I think this is a tremendous step in the right direction for Jamaica. Far be it from me, a person who is not Jamaican, to dictate how to spread the message about acceptance and understanding in such diverse and rich culture as Jamaica's, but some progress is better than none at all.

    I think it's important that we distance ourselves from the group-think ideology that says that all people from X location think the same thing. I'm sure there are plenty of progressive Jamaicans that will embrace this message and feel like they can finally speak up without the severe repercussions that have unfortunately faced too many allies and LGBT folks on the island for some time, but let's hope the age of Buju Banton's Boom Biddy Bye Bye are behind us and reflect just a small portion of Jamaica's history, not the entire story of an island culture as rich and deep as theirs.

    Posted by: Jesus | Aug 1, 2011 2:24:46 PM

  7. It's about time. I've been so disappointed that officials in Jamaica have been silent for so long on the homophobic activity there. I vowed that I would not visit the country until improvement has been made. At least this is a start. Thank you.

    Posted by: Jim | Aug 1, 2011 2:43:01 PM

  8. Well said, Jesus!

    Posted by: Matt in PDX | Aug 1, 2011 2:46:42 PM

  9. A nice effort by J-Flag, but how successful will it be? You can bet many native islanders won't want to hear it. It ain't safe to start vacationing in Jamaica yet. Keep the boycott going until further notice.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Aug 1, 2011 2:57:51 PM

  10. Good luck with that! I remember the summer that they had lots of Jamaicans working in Ptown. Not one of them associated with any of the locals. They literally took the money and ran. They were supremely homophobic.

    Posted by: Oliver | Aug 1, 2011 2:58:46 PM

  11. I wish them all the luck, but you couldn't pay me to go on vacation where my life could be threaten the minute I get off the plane. The government hasn't really done anything to secure LGBT visitors safety.

    Posted by: Dairyqueen | Aug 1, 2011 3:36:10 PM

  12. Jesus---I think most of the negative posters missed the fact that this is a PSA to be broadcast in Jamaica to locals to try and change that nation's legendary homophobic attitudes. I stand with others here who wish our Jamaican sisters and brothers well in that effort. But, no, I would never, ever visit this place.

    Posted by: Really? | Aug 1, 2011 3:52:43 PM

  13. As a gay boy growing up in the English Caribbean, I stayed closeted, abiding my time until I could leave my island of birth for a larger society in Europe. It's been several decades later and I have found my place in the world but I am very troubled that the English Caribbean nations' plan to remove the Privy Council, in London, as the "supreme court". The whole point of English law is to benefit from the accumulated experience of centuries of justice ("precedent") and I fear that the creation of a Caribbean Supreme Court will relegate its societies to banana republic status. I will NOT be retiring in my land of birth.

    Posted by: Sean | Aug 1, 2011 5:51:42 PM

  14. I applaud their bravery. I can't say I would be brave enough to do anything but try to escape and plead for asylum somewhere else. The nightmare that they live in is beyond belief. Kudos!

    Posted by: AJ | Aug 1, 2011 7:09:00 PM

  15. Good luck with that. Doubt it will ever change.

    Posted by: Shane | Aug 2, 2011 9:26:44 AM

  16. About freaking time! The rampant homophobia in Jamaica is the worst in the Caribbean. Such a beautiful country and such ugly behavior.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 2, 2011 9:34:06 AM

  17. If Jamaicans want to end rampant homophobia, they should start with their prime minister, a gold-plated bigot.

    Posted by: wimsy | Aug 2, 2011 10:02:07 AM

  18. please check out mista majah p first jamaican reggae artist to release a pro gay reggae album title tolerance check the cd at www.cdbaby.com title tolerance

    Posted by: tonyt | Sep 24, 2011 8:53:51 PM

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