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Bahamas Gay Pride Event Canceled Following Death Threats

Bahamas pride 2014

The first gay pride event in the Bahamas has been cut short after one of the event’s organizers received death threats on his Facebook page, reports the Nassau Guardian

The Bahamas Pride Weekend, which started last Thursday and was set to run until Monday, was “designed to inspire, educate and celebrate the diverse Bahamian LGBT community.”

However, organizer Victor Rollins said he received the threats after he posted pictures of attendees holding pride flags along with Bahamian flags.

Rollins also said that only 11 people other than the event organizers showed, all of whom were foreigners.

He also indicated that local talk shows were particularly vocal in their opposition to the event. Many claimed that God would judge the Bahamas for allowing a gay pride event to take place.

According to The Bahama Journal, Dr. Myles Munroe, President of The Bahamas Faith Ministries International, said the fact that the LGBT community were officially given permission to host the event was “nothing more than a ‘celebration of insanity.’”

In a press statement, Munroe said gay people are blind to the fact that they are contributing to extinction of the human race:

“I am not sure what their mission or goals are in this effort but obvious they have received enough incentive and motivation to attempt something that 90 per cent of The Bahamas and Bahamians consider unacceptable and violates their collective convictions, moral standing and values.

“Perhaps it may be helpful to first ask a simple yet profound question; “Is it civil, right, reasonable, logical, sane to promote a cause, lifestyle or practice of a behavior that could in its ultimate conclusion cause the extinction of the human race. It is insanity to demand the ‘celebration’ of your own extinction.”

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in the Bahamas.


Jamaican Activist Fears Reprisals, Ends Legal Challenge To Anti-Sodomy Law - VIDEO

Javed Jaghai

A gay rights activist has withdrawn a legal challenge to Jamaica’s anti-sodomy laws after growing fears of violent backlashes, reports WTOP.com.

Last year, Javed Jaghai initiated a constitutional challenge to an 1864 law that bans sex between men.  He argued that the law fuels homophobia and violates a 2011 charter of human rights that guarantees a right to privacy.

Jaghai is the Education and Outreach Officer at the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG).

As it stands, the law bans anal sex and sets a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and hard labor. Anything interpreted as "gross indecency" between men is punishable with two years in prison.

When Jaghai initiated the legal challenge in 2013, several church pastors led crowded revival meetings to oppose overturning the anti-sodomy law.

However, Jaghai has issued a statement saying he is no longer in a position to continue pursuing the case because of fears of a backlash against his family.

Janet Burak of New York-based advocacy group AIDS-Free World said the fear that pushed Jaghai to end his court challenge is "the same fear that keeps gay men in Jamaica underground, away from effective HIV testing, prevention treatment, care and support interventions.”

Although Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller spoke in favor of gay rights in 2012 and has vowed to put the anti-sodomy law to a "conscience vote," there has as yet been no movement in that area.

Watch Jaghai discuss human rights in Jamaica, AFTER THE JUMP...

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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

Cohen

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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