Saturday, April 4, 2009

Guess they didn't get the memo

While human rights activists around the world are calling for a boycott of Jamaica, the Anglican Consultative Council will meet in one of the most dangerous places in the world for gays and lesbians:
The Anglican Consultative Council, made up of lay people, clergy and bishops from the 38 Anglican Provinces of the Communion, meets in Kingston Jamaica May 1 - 13, to consider among other things, mission in the 21st century, the future structure of the worldwide Church, and theological education.
The ACC meets approximately every three years under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will give a presidential address on May 11.

The New York Times reports:
Being gay in Jamaica is not easy. For years, human rights groups have denounced the harassment, beating and even killing of gays here, to little avail. No official statistic has been compiled on the number of attacks. But a recent string of especially violent, high-profile assaults has brought fresh condemnation to an island otherwise known as an easygoing tourist haven.

“One time may be an isolated incident,” said Rebecca Schleifer, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who has studied the issue and regularly gets calls from the island from gays under attack. “When they happen on a repeated basis across the country, it is an urgent problem that deserves attention at the highest levels.”

Disapproval of gays is an entrenched part of island life, rooted, Jamaicans say, in the country’s Christian tradition. The Bible condemns homosexuality, they say. But critics say islanders are selective in the verses they cite, and the rage at gay sex contrasts sharply with Jamaicans’ embrace of casual sex among heterosexuals, which is considered part of the Caribbean way.

From Truth Wins Out:
Why boycott? Because Jamaica is on a downward spiral and suffers from collective cultural dementia on this issue. There is clearly a pathological panic and homo-hysteria that has infected this nation at its core. Consider that the Jamaica Cancer Society has raised concerns that the fear of being labeled gay is causing some Jamaican men to avoid prostate examinations, causing one of the highest prostate cancer rates in the world.

The second reason to boycott is because traditional activism has failed. I first read about Jamaica’s horrific violence against gay people in a 2004 New York Times editorial, “Hated to Death in Jamaica.” In 2006, Time Magazine had an article about the island headlined, “The Most Homophobic Place On Earth.”

One would think that such chilling headlines would have spurred worldwide action against Jamaica. Instead, the climate has only deteriorated, with a 2008 New York Times article titled, “Attacks Show Easygoing Jamaica Is Dire Place for Gays.”

A scathing State Department report on Jamaica’s treatment of homosexuals reads like a horror novel:

“The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) continued to report human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of homosexuals.”

Questioned by the BBC, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding said that he would not allow gay people to serve in his Cabinet. In March 2009 he added, “We are not going to yield to the pressure, whether that pressure comes from individual organizations, individuals, whether that pressure comes from foreign governments or groups of countries, to liberalize the laws as it relates to buggery.”

A third reason for a boycott is because we can have an impact in Jamaica. The tropical island earned $2.1 billion from tourism in 2006, with 1,025,000 arrivals from the United States. Clearly, Jamaica is uniquely vulnerable to economic pressure and thus every effort should be made to push for change.

Boycott Jamaica

Ask your representatives to this meeting, why they are silent?

Current members are according to the ACC site:
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Rowan Williams (England)
The Rt Revd John Paterson (Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia)
Vice Chair
Professor George Koshy (Church of South India)
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia
The Rt Revd John Campbell Paterson (Chairman and Additional Member)
The Rt Revd Winston Halapua
Dr Anthony Fitchett
The Anglican Church of Australia
The Rt Revd John Noble
The Ven Kay Goldsworthy
Mr Robert Fordham
The Church of Bangladesh
The Revd Sunil Mankhin
Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
The Rt Revd Maurício José Araújo de Andrade
The Anglican Church of Burundi
The Rt Revd Martin Blaise Nyaboho
The Church of the Province of Central Africa
The Rt Revd James Tengatenga
Mr Daniel Taolo
Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America
Mr Luis Roberto Valleé
Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
The Rt Revd Kahwa Henri Isingoma
Miss Joyce Muhindo Tsongo
The Church of England
The Rt Revd James Jones
The Very Revd Dr John Henry Moses
Canon Elizabeth Paver
Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui
Ms Fung Yi Wong
The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
Mr Bernard Georges
The Church of Ireland
The Very Revd Michael Andrew James Burrows
Miss Kate Turner
The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan)
The Rt Revd Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu
The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East
The Rt Revd Riah Hanna Abu El-Assal
The Anglican Church of Kenya
The Rt Revd Samson Mwaluda
Mr Amos Kirani Kiriro
The Anglican Church of Korea
The Revd Abraham Kim
The Church of the Province of Melanesia
The Rt Revd David Vunagi
La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico
Mr Ricardo Gomez-Osnaya
The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)
Mr Saw Si Hai
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Revd Peter Jasper Akinola DD.
The Very Revd Dr David Chidiebele Okeke
Mr Abraham Yisa
The Church of North India (United)
The Revd Ashish Amos
Mr Richard Ian Thornton
The Church of Pakistan (United)
The Revd Shahid P Mehraj
Mr. Humphrey Peters
The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
Mr Roger Baboa
The Episcopal Church in the Philippines
Mr Floyd Lalwet
L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda
The Rt Revd Josias Sendegeya
The Revd Damien Nteziryayo
Mrs Jane Mutoni
The Scottish Episcopal Church
Mr John Stuart
The Church of South East Asia
Dato Stanley Isaacs
The Church of South India (United)
Professor George Koshy (Vice Chair and Additional Member)
The Rt Revd Dr. Yesuratnam William
The Revd Rajendran Vincent Rajkumar
Dr. Mrs Pauline Sathiamurthy
The Church of the Province of Southern Africa
The Rt Revd David Beetge
The Revd Janet Trisk
Ms Nomfundo Walaza
Southern Cone
The Revd Andrew Lenton
The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
The Rt Revd Ezekiel Kondo
The Revd Enock Tombe
The Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Rt Revd Dr. Gerard E. Mpango
The Revd Canon Dr. R Mwita Akiri
Mrs Joyce Ngoda
The Church of the Province of Uganda
The Rt Revd Elia Paul Luzinda Kizito
The Revd Canon Job Bariira-Mbukure
Mrs Jolly Babirukamu
The Church in Wales
The Ven Alun Evans
Miss Sylvia Scarf
The Church of the Province of West Africa
Mrs Philippa Amable
The Church in the Province of the West Indies
The Rt Revd Robert Thompson
Dr Barton Scotland
The Church of Ceylon
The Rt Revd Kumara Illangasinghe
Co-opted Members
The Rt Revd Carlos López-Lozano (Spain)
Head Brother James Tata (Melanesian Bortherhood)
Mrs Maria Cristina Borges Alvare (Cuba)
Ms Candace Payne (West Indies)
Mr Michael Lee Tamihere (Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia)
Primates Standing Committee
The Most Revd Peter Kwong (Hong Kong)
The Most Revd Bernard Malango (Central Africa)
The Most Revd Barry Morgan (Wales)
The Most Revd Orlando Santos de Oliveira (Brazil)
The Most Revd James Terom (North India)
The Anglican Church of Canada
The Rt Revd Susan Moxley
The Revd Canon Allan Box
Ms Suzanne Lawson
The Episcopal Church in the USA
The Rt Revd Catherine S. Roskam
The Revd Robert Lee Sessum
Ms Josephine Hicks


RudigerVT said...

Pretty disappointing.

Tourism's down everywhere, and May's a pretty fallow season in the Caribbean (as it starts to get a bit warmer and the breezes still). The reality of a bad tourism season's really going to start to sink in about then.

So it's odd that this infusion of cash -- needed everywhere -- would go to such a uniquely gay-hostile country in a pretty diverse region.


Leonard said...

All of the Countries that make up the Province of West Indies have LAWS IN PLACE making LGBT illegal just for being...they are alone in this Hemisphere. With the direction of the like of their former Archibishop Drexel Gomez (recently retired but still active as chairing the ¨Covenant Group¨) is NO WONDER LGBT are murderered regularly in did see the recent (two weeks ago report from the U.S. State Department condeming both public and political anti-lgbt HATE CRIME neglect) report of the violence of LGBT running rampant in Jamaica.

Boycott Jamaica because of MURDER generated against LGBT Anglicans and others? The ACC probably is more concerned about pampering the likes of OUR feckless Archbishop of Canterbury than ¨listening¨to reports about anything REAL and IMMORAL! BTW, during The Lambeth Conference, Michael Causner, a teenage GAY man was a victim of a HATE CRIME...was attacked during Lambeth and died during Lambeth but ++Rowan had nothing to say...nothing.

Thanks for covering this JAMAICAN ANGLICAN disgrace...I also did so at my blog several days ago and believe we ALL need to voice our unhappiness with the chronic playing of PRETEND at The Anglican Communion.

NancyP said...

There are different views on the boycott. J-FLAG has been asking that the boycott be called off, presumably because the economic effects of a substantial boycott would 1. put closeted Jamaican LGBT out of work, along with the rest of the country (tourism is #1 or #2 industry, agriculture being the other) and 2. presumably the fear that persecution of Jamaican GLBT will increase, rather than decrease, under the economic pressure.

Ann said...

I can see that NancyP but hopefully the ACC will speak out. Fat chance tho.

Cany said...

We Christians and our leaders sure have a lot to explain to the world, don't we?

Within our own faith, and despite it it would seem, we allow this to happen and seldom speak about it to the world.

I feel terrible about this.

IT said...

Darn homos, screwing up a nice Caribbean vacation...

Brian R said...

Your list is out of date. I was horrified to see it had Ven Kaye Goldsworthy representing Australia as she became our first woman bishop nearly a year ago so I went to the website and found those attending from Australia are:
The Anglican Church of Australia
The Rt Revd Andrew William Curnow
Mr Robert Fordham
The Ven Dr Sarah Macneil
as well as our Primate Philip Aspinall
Check the others before messaging.

Brother David said...

NancyP, there were many folks that gave the same kind of arguments regarding South Africa during Apartheid, and just about every other location where there is injustice and despair.

Brother David said...

Brian R, why is your primate going? No province has more than 3 representatives. If the primate is not an official representative of the province to the ACC, why would they be there? They are trying to force themselves, as a body, into the ACC.

Brian R said...

I am out of my depth here David, but the list of attendess has:
Primates Standing Committee
The Most Revd Dr. Phillip John Aspinall (Australia)
The Most Revd Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis (Jerusalem and the Middle East)
The Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi (Uganda) - Unable to attend
The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori (US based)
The Most Revd Dr Barry Cennydd Morgan (Wales)

I think we can be happy that one is unable to attend and of course ++Aspinall, ++Jefferts Schori and ++Morgan are generally supportive.

Brother David said...

So it is just the Standing Committee. Better than the whole lot of them!

NancyP said...

Dah-veed, I would be inclined to pass off the "don't have a noisy boycott" opinion as an evasion, but the affected people are the ones suggesting calling off the boycott (assuming that J-FLAG is representative of Jamaican LGBTs and not just a subset).

I am not planning to go to Jamaica anytime soon, and I don't know that I buy anything particularly Jamaican.