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The LGBTIQ Battle in Jamaica By Emily Williamson

The treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people living in Jamaica is horrifying. Homophobia is a cultural norm and protesters take their lives in their hands when they demand equality. Legally people in the LGBTIQ community have no rights in Jamaica, and at its worst, intolerance of homosexuality has led to murder. Currently Human Rights Watch is campaigning for the Jamaican government to repeal the anti-buggery law, which would see greater protection from discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Criminalisation of homosexuality in Jamaica dates back to the 1864 Offences Against the Person Act, which can result in up to ten years hard labour for those convicted. The Act also gives law enforcement the power to search for proof of suspected homosexual acts, and to detain anyone they suspect to have committed or intend to commit buggery. While rarely enforced, this law has encouraged the discrimination and violence towards people in the LGBTIQ community. People can be denied basic rights and services based on their sexual orientation, which has resulted in shocking rates of homelessness and HIV. As a result of this intolerance, people in the LGBTIQ community have been forced to find refuge in the most unimaginable places. The video below tells the story of the Kingston LGBTIQ community, who have found sanctuary in the city’s storm drainage systems known as the gully. For those unable or unwilling to hide their sexuality, the gully has provided a sense of community and rela ive safety.

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Profile for AM-UNITY Magazine

Edition 3  

The 3rd edition of AM-UNITY magazine is out now! Just click on the magazine cover on the left to view our latest edition - in it we explore...

Edition 3  

The 3rd edition of AM-UNITY magazine is out now! Just click on the magazine cover on the left to view our latest edition - in it we explore...

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