Three men, armed with guns, broke
into Mr Harvey’s house and demanded money. They then forced him to carry
valuables into the JASL car parked outside.
One of the gun men was reported to
have said to Mr Harvey and his two house-mates: ‘We hear that you are gay’.
Two of the men denied it. They were tied up and left in the house. Steve
was forced into the car which then sped away. Two hours later, he was
found, shot dead.
Jamaica has one of the highest
murder rates in the world. With a population of only 2.7 million people, the
country has seen 1,383 murders in 2005 alone. Gun violence is common and
Victims of homophobic violence are
often too scared to appeal to the police for protection.
According to Human Rights Watch:
“Police actively support homophobic violence, fail to investigate complaints
of abuse, and arrest and detain [men] based on their alleged homosexual
conduct,” Human Rights Watch say.
Last year, the founder of Jamaica’s
gay rights movement, Brian Williamson, was murdered. Investigators claimed
the motive for murder was robbery, since a safe was missing and the
apartment ransacked. However, many believe the killing was a hate crime.
Homosexuality is illegal in
Jamaica: men convicted of homosexual activity can face ten years’
imprisonment with hard labour.
“JASL defends the rights of people
who are not considered to have any rights in Jamaica,” a Christian Aid
“The work they do is very
Human Rights Watch reports that
Jamaica’s growing HIV/AIDS epidemic is unfolding in the context of
widespread violence and discrimination against people living with and at
high risk of HIV/AIDS, especially men who have sex with men.
An estimated 1.5 per cent of
Jamaicans are living with HIV/AIDs. Although two thirds of HIV transmission
is through heterosexual sex, many people still blame gay men for spreading
On Sunday, Mr Harvey led JASL’s
annual candle-lit vigil in memory of those killed by HIV.
“Mr Harvey had played a leading
role in the HIV charity, Jamaica AIDS Support, since 1997,” said Peter
Tatchell of the UK gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organisation,
OutRage!. “He organised HIV awareness and prevention programmes for gay men
and sex workers.
“We worked with Jamaican groups
last year to support their efforts to challenge homophobia and to provide
health and welfare support to gay Jamaicans.
“OutRage! salutes Steve’s immense
courage and dedication. He played a pivotal role in ensuring that safer sex
advice and condoms were available to all Jamaicans, including gay and
“It is thanks to the efforts of
Steve and his colleagues in JAS that many Jamaican men and women – both gay
and straight – have not contracted HIV. They have helped save hundreds of
“Steve’s memory lives on in the
lives of the living,” said Mr Tatchell.
JASL is now mourning the death of
one of their strongest defendants of people living with HIV/AIDS.
Christian Aid website
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Block Put on Gay Marriage by Latvian
Parliament. A change in the
constitution that will define marriage as being between a man and a
woman, and blocks the way for “gay marriage”, became a virtual
certainty today when the 100-seat Latvian parliament passed the
proposal with a massive majority in the amendment’s second reading.
Kerrang Radio Faces Rap for Gay Sex Prank.
Birmingham-based Kerrang Radio has been
reported to airwaves regulator, OfCom, on charges that it tricked a
gay man into revealing intimate details about his private life and
later broadcast them without his knowledge or consent.
Gays in Latvia Have an Official Watchdog.
A new independent department that will keep an eye on discrimination
has been set-up by the government in
Latvia. And the National
Human Rights Office will be embracing the gay and lesbian community
as well as other sections of society as well as racism and other
forms of discrimination.
Over 58,000 Living With HIV in UK.
The number of people living with HIV in the UK is now around 58,300,
according to a report released last week by the Health Protection
Agency. The 2,185 new diagnoses in 2004 among gay and bisexual men
is the highest in the UK since 1990 .
Back Gays in Peaceful Polish Demonstrations.
More than 1,000 protestors assembled in the centre of Warsaw today
demanding tolerance, freedom of speech and the right of assembly,
especially for gays. Similar demonstrations were held over the
weekend in other Polish cities – and outside the Polish Embassies in
Berlin and London.
Legacy: A Quest for Gay Justice in New Jersey, by Dane
Wells. For nearly half a century now, I have been proud to call
myself an Ocean County native. Among the many highlights of my life
have been the years I spent in law enforcement with the Ocean County
Prosecutor’s Office, where I worked alongside Lt. Laurel Hester.
Man Appeals for Justice for Dying Lesbian Cop.
Commentary. Dane Wells, who describes himself as a “run-of-the-mill,
middle-aged straight guy”, is not very happy with the movers and
shakers of his local community,
Ocean County in New
Jersey. The retired policeman is angry because
Ocean County will not
extend “domestic partner benefits” to a former colleague, Lt. Laurel
Hester, who is terminally ill with lung cancer - and is gay.