Caribbean Hub




Opponents of Same-Sex Marriage March In U.S. Virgin Islands Following Similar Rally in Jamaica

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The Jamaica Gleaner reports on an anti-gay march in St. Thomas in response to a proposed bill that would change the definition of marriage to mean a legal union between two people, regardless of gender.

VirginislandsReferring to a similar march against “the homosexual agenda” in Jamaica in June, Alger Warren, vice-chair of One Voice Virgin Islands (OVVI) and pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship Church Alive in Christ in the USVI, said:

"We applaud the people of Jamaica for coming out and taking a stand. We used the Jamaican march as a catalyst to encourage people to come out, because we said, 'Look, Jamaica got close to 25,000 people to come out in support of the traditional family against same-sex marriage.’ So we did reference the march in Jamaica and continue to reference it, so hopefully, that will inspire people to even come out for our march also."

Harriet Mercer, a member of the petition committee of OVVI, said that the march aimed to send a message to politicians that “like Jamaica, we too are against any kind of buggery being legalised."

Reacting to the news of the USVI march, the Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels, chairman of Churches Action Uniting Society for Emancipation, the umbrella group responsible for the anti-gay march in Jamaica, said:

"We are extremely elated that other Caribbean countries are standing in support of what we are doing, and it really is just a testimony that there are countries with a large number of persons who have a concern for the well-being of their country. It is not just the US Virgin Islands. There are persons from other countries that have contacted us expressing their support and also their desire of doing something similar. We consider [the USVI] as our brothers in the fight, we consider them as people who really want the best for their country and we are in support of them."

[The Jamaica Gleaner article above mistakenly mentioned the number of attendees at the rally. The post has been updated]

[photo via Facebook]


Mariela Castro Votes Against Cuban Government, Voices Support For Transgender Rights

 

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Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuba’s president Raul Castro and niece of Fidel Castro, has made the first recorded vote against the government in a show of support for LGBT people, reports NPR.

Castro was behind the sixth International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association for Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Conference held in Cuba earlier this year.

The proposed update to Cuba's expansive labor code included explicit protections based on sexual orientation. However, Castro said that because it didn't also specify protections for people based on their gender identity and HIV status, it was inconsistent with her beliefs.

It is thought to be the first time that a government bill has been voted against.

However, according to LGBTI News, Baruch College Latin American studies professor Ted Henken said that Castro’s vote “is more a sign of what Mariela can get away with than a sign of what your everyday parliamentarian can get away with.”


Amy Winehouse Stalks Table of Cocktails After Hotel Cuts Her Off

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Brit tab The Sun reports that Amy Winehouse is on the island of St. Lucia at a spa for a "health kick" and while she starts the day withyoga and exercise, it rapidly goes downhill from there:

"...by lunchtime bikini-clad Amy is relaxing with a drink on the beach or even openly smoking joints by the pool. Come nightfall and she is hitting the bottle with pals — despite the booze ban agreed by her management and staff. The Rehab star also baffles guests with her mood swings. One said: 'One minute she is very pleasant, saying, ‘All right darlin’ and chatting to people and having photos taken. The next she is throwing things and swearing her head off.' ... She was spotted creeping up behind one woman, asking for a cigarette and then sprinting away with her cocktail. A source at the £200-a-night resort said: 'We keep catching her crawling past bars, or hiding behind chairs. She grabs guests’ drinks and runs off, like a squirrel with a nut.' Another guest said: 'She’s like a child craving attention. It’s embarrassing. She comes in for dinner barefoot and in her bikini, even though the dress code is smart casual. Then she will go and sit on her balcony topless playing the guitar when everyone is trying to sleep.'"


Daniel Craig and Andy Cohen Soak Up the Sun in St. Barts

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Bravo's gay Senior Vice President of Production and Programming Andy Cohen was spotted by INF hobnobbing with 007 Daniel Craig on the beach at St. Barts over the holiday.

Craig later reprised his famous dripping-wet emergence from tropical waters, to Cohen's and fellow beachgoers' delight, no doubt, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Daniel Craig and Andy Cohen Soak Up the Sun in St. Barts" »


As Puerto Rico Votes Down Gay Marriage Ban, Caymans Proposes One

Late last week, Puerto Rico voted down a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the Advocate reports:

Puertorico"Rep. Victor García San Inocencio says Resolution 99 failed on Thursday to make it to the house floor for voting, effectively killing the proposal for this legislative term. The measure would have amended the U.S. territory's constitution to establish that marriage is between a man and woman and that no other types of unions could be recognized. Thus, it would have made it harder to allow civil unions or grant marital rights to unmarried couples."

Meanwhile, a Cayman Islands lawmaker has proposed a sinister measure:

Cayman"Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush has filed a Private Members Motion proposing an amendment to the Marriage Law that would define marriage in the Cayman Islands as being between a man and woman. The motion also proposes the Marriage Law only recognise a person’s gender at birth and that no other form of civil union be allowed in the Cayman Islands to recognise same–sex partnerships. The motion was filed with the Legislative Assembly Monday and Mr. Bush wants House Standing Orders suspended to allow the motion to be dealt with during the current meeting of the House."

Given recent events, it's a surprise a ban on same-sex kissing wasn't proposed as well.


Cayman Islands Dept. of Tourism Apologizes to Gay Kiss Arrestee

Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Pilar Bush sent a letter of apology to Aaron Chandler, the 23-year-old Massachusetts man I posted about yesterday. Chandler was arrested last Thursday in the Caymans after kissing his partner on a dance floor while vacationing there.

ChandlerSaid Bush in the letter, which Chandler received on Friday: "On behalf of the entire Department of Tourism, I apologise for your upsetting experience and want to assure you that the Cayman Islands is a welcoming jurisdiction to all people. What happened to you was an isolated incident, and is not representative of Cayman. We know that thousands of gay and lesbian visitors travel to the Cayman Islands every year and enjoy their vacation."

Chandler told the Cay Compass that he appreciated the response: "I should say that, yes, her prompt decision did ease the anger for me a bit. In addition, it’s just good business sense for Ms Bush to have apologised to me. The [Department] of Tourism surely doesn’t want to have someone leave the Cayman Islands not wanting to come back."

Bush had reportedly told Chandler that she would call him at his hotel, but he did not receive the call prior to leaving on Saturday. There has been no word from the Royal Cayman Islands Police, to whom Chandler also complained.

Previously
Cayman Islands Police Arrest Massachusetts Man for Gay Kiss [tr]


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