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Jamaican Court Allows Gay Youth To Continue Living In Sewers: VIDEO

Gay Jamaican Youth In Sewers

Jamaica has the distinction of being a country that is particularly hostile to gays, thanks in no small part to U.S. evangelical speakers attempts to sow hatred there. The fallout of the hostility includes GLBT youth being forced into the sewers, having nowhere else to go after being kicked out by families and suffering abuse in shelters.

On Ash Wednesday, police in New Kingston forcibly evicted a gay youth encampment from the sewers. An abandoned building they had previously settled in was torn down and a gully encampment was burned down on the pretext that the encampment "attracted criminals," so many of them resisted as they had nowhere else to go.

When taken to court, the judge fined them for swearing, but told the arresting officers that the sewers are a public space and the youth have a right to be there. Once released, the youth returned to living in the sewers.

You can watch a video report on the encampment AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Whenever I see advertisements for travel to Jamaica, or hear about the 'relaxed Jamaican attitude', or hear anything about their 'one love' message, this is what I think about and see in my mind.

    How generous to allow the youth to continue subsisting in the sewers. They're so kind and merciful, so conscientious.

    This is part of Jamaica's legacy that I suppose only some will know about and not forget.

    Posted by: Salt | Mar 11, 2014 9:39:07 PM


  2. That's heartbreaking :(

    Posted by: daws | Mar 11, 2014 10:01:05 PM


  3. this is terrible, and sadly it happens all around the world, including the US... while I agree with the protesting in Sochi and support marriage equality, I think situations like this need to be prioritized, because they touch on basic human dignity that these kids r being denied... so so so sad...

    I've always wanted to go to the caribbean, but all these stories about the islands make me think I may never get there...

    Posted by: V-8 | Mar 11, 2014 10:06:20 PM


  4. I think I'm going to resist watching the video because it would probably make me really sad. Children anywhere, gay or straight, should not have to live like that, abandoned and living in the sewers.

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Mar 11, 2014 10:27:27 PM


  5. How can living in sewers be the GOOD part of the news story?

    What a disgrace Jamaica is.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 11, 2014 10:31:28 PM


  6. heartbreaking

    Posted by: Moz's | Mar 11, 2014 10:32:23 PM


  7. I agree with V-8. These kids and most of the multitude like them will never have a chance to compete as Olympians--and no more chance to join the rich throngs who treat the Olympics as just another chic tourist jaunt. And few of them can hope to aspire to the heteronormative middle class benefits of marriage equality. They have a daily struggle to stay alive.
    We ignore them and fail to include them in our fantasy of a Good Gay World at peril to our own souls and humanity. Somebody refusing to bake a cake for them on "religious grounds" is an unimaginable dream.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Mar 11, 2014 10:35:47 PM


  8. A sewer within a sewer. It's ironic that the best of Jamaica lives below, and the worst above.

    Posted by: Merv | Mar 11, 2014 11:00:08 PM


  9. Absolutely terrible... Sure makes you amazingly grateful for what you've got...

    Posted by: Dr. Christopher Blackwell | Mar 11, 2014 11:59:30 PM


  10. Jamaica, like Uganda, is a member---in good standing--- of the Commonwealth. No, not the Russian Commonwealth---the "British" Commonwealth.

    Obviously, there are absolutely NO STANDARDS for membership in that club of former British colonies.

    Posted by: Eamon | Mar 12, 2014 12:13:36 AM


  11. It's certainly not unique to Jamaica. I saw a video recently about a lot of people who live in the sewers of Las Vegas. They even have furniture there, but they have to keep it out of the water.

    Posted by: Neil | Mar 12, 2014 12:31:42 AM


  12. It's appalling that these Christians could do this to their fellow man. Jesus would not approve.

    Posted by: Chrislam | Mar 12, 2014 12:56:28 AM


  13. What a wonderful place for Sony to provide some of its Wheel of Fortune winners a vacation in. I wonder if their 5 nights stay for winners include a tour of the sewers?

    Posted by: *****overTX | Mar 12, 2014 1:49:49 AM


  14. So condemned by society that the guardians of justice didn't even want them to take shelter in the sewers. They had to have a Judge rule that they could shelter there. The inhumanity of our fellow man to their own children.

    What human rights or humane organization is working to help them? Start calling US organizations first thing in the morning. This has to stop.

    Posted by: RayRay | Mar 12, 2014 2:04:19 AM


  15. Wow. Just wow. The next time right wing anti-gay nutjobs complain about gay people 'bullying' them for equal rights, they should be forced to spend a night with these kids in the sewers. Then we'll see see how strong their convictions stay.

    Posted by: tristram | Mar 12, 2014 3:19:50 AM


  16. Black people can be tricked by evangelicals into being homophobic, and gays can be tricked by evangelicals into being straight. Man, those evangelicals are tricky.

    Posted by: Kev C | Mar 12, 2014 3:32:46 AM


  17. Jamaica is a sewer populated by black savages.

    Posted by: roger | Mar 12, 2014 4:48:47 AM


  18. "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." - Nelson Mandela

    Posted by: Rexford | Mar 12, 2014 4:55:11 AM


  19. Shocking story.

    But was really irritates me about it is how in stories like this (along with stories concerning even more evil countries in Africa) blame is assigned to US evangelical churches.

    Jamaica's genocidal homophobia is completely Jamaica's fault. The US churches go there in the full knowledge that they are preaching to a supportive audience.

    Jamaica is a backward dump and should be avoided.

    Posted by: MaryM | Mar 12, 2014 5:12:00 AM


  20. Watch some of the other video from the news programs. Its all about the neighbors who are afraid of the youths congregating on the street. Nothing about why youths have been evicted or run away from their homophobic families. There is even a constant refrain about returning them to their homophobic families or jailing the LGBT youths.

    Posted by: miami | Mar 12, 2014 7:05:33 AM


  21. So what you are going to do about it?

    Posted by: snork | Mar 12, 2014 7:30:02 AM


  22. Has anyone living in the United States looked at the rates of LGBT suicides? What about the stats for LGBT kids who are runaways?

    It's amazing how many people who make comments on Towleroad ignore the horror that exists in their own country. Things are not sunshine and lollipops for LGBT people in the USA. Get beyond your little bubble. The majority of states do not offer protection against discrimination in housing or employment. Many LGBT kids are still kicked out of their homes, bullied (to death) by their peers, face poverty, and are marginalized.

    Some of you have Stockholm Syndrome and fail to recognize how bad things are for many LGBT people here in the US. Doesn't this site report suicide stories of teens often??

    Posted by: Martin | Mar 12, 2014 7:49:55 AM


  23. @eamon: fascinating and terrible. Well, there's no time like the present for countries like Canada and the U.K. to be demanded to answer to their foreign policy support of regimes like Jamaica and Uganda.

    @Marym: what? Excuse me? I have met very few honest evangelicals, and we all know the unconscionable hate against gay people that so many powerful and rich evangelicals spout as their CORE tenet in life. They go to a place like Jamaica and no doubt inculcate their hate, inevitably sometimes in exchange for food or aid to poor folk.

    How can Jamaica's unspeakable acts against gay people NOT be a symptom of the "Christian" "evangelicals" who export their brand of hate designed precisely to exert the coercive power of the state against convenient lgbt skapegoats.

    Heck, exhibit A: Cathi Herrod, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP)

    Exhibit B:
    @eamon: fascinating and terrible. Well, there's no time like the present for countries like Canada and the U.K. to be demanded to answer to their foreign policy support of regimes like Jamaica and Uganda.

    @Marym: what? Excuse me? I have met very few honest evangelicals, and we all know the unconscionable hate against gay people that so many powerful and rich evangelicals spout as their CORE tenet in life. They go to a place like Jamaica and no doubt inculcate their hate, inevitably sometimes in exchange for food or aid to poor folk.

    How can Jamaica's unspeakable acts against gay people NOT be a symptom of the "Christian" "evangelicals" who export their brand of hate designed precisely to exert the coercive power of the state against convenient lgbt skapegoats.

    Heck, exhibit A: Cathi Herrod, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP)

    Exhibit B:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=204550149

    I'm not convinced that most "evangelicals" have any soul to speak of. Truly Christian they are emphatically NOT.

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Mar 12, 2014 7:56:04 AM


  24. If you believe being gay is a choice, like conservative Christians do, then it's your own fault you are treated the way society treats you, my response is, if you choose to be a Christian, and there is no question that it IS a choice, them when you die on your little missionary head trips in countries that don't want you, you asked for it. The same goes for Christians persecuted in countries that lynch them,

    Posted by: Corey Mondello | Mar 12, 2014 8:39:44 AM


  25. In the info for the above video, the uploader states that they are trying to build a home for these youth and to visit openarmsmcc.org if you wish to help.

    Posted by: Guest | Mar 12, 2014 11:32:33 AM


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