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Jamaicans Decry Gay Boycott Campaign

CaribWorldNews, News Report, Staff Posted: Apr 16, 2009

NEW YORK -- Jamaicans in the U.S. are stewing over a campaign by a gay rights group to boycott Jamaican products.

Their comments come as Truth Wins Out, a gay rights group from California, brought their campaign to New York City Wednesday. Led by Michael Petrelis Wayne Besen and Jim Burroway the group engaged in a Rum Dump at Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Manhattan. The owners were urged to dump their stock of Myers Rum and Red Stripe Beer in the sewer while other bars are being urged to follow suit.

But Jamaicans CWNN spoke with say the action is outrageous. `Who are they to be imposing their beliefs on us and boycotting Jamaican products?` questioned D.C.-based national Ann Walters. `How is that going to change how people in Jamaica view homosexuality? Isnt there homophobic people in the US so why not attack `Made in the USA?`

Walters said such actions are only making `Jamaicans more resentful.`

Music writer and head of TSO Productions, Sharon Gordon, agreed with Walters.

The New Jersey resident insists the gay rights attack against Jamaica is `very disingenuous.

``There are conservative Christian groups in the U.S. who are very anti-homosexuality and anti-gay so why arent they going up against them?."

Gordon answered her own question by adding: "It`s because those groups have a strong lobbying and cant be pushed around so theyre coming after the weakness of the Jamaicans, which is we dont have a strong lobby to push back and raise awareness."

The Jamaican national also insisted that gays are not being killed in Jamaica simply because they are gays, despite what many claim. And she questioned: "How dare they try to castigate an entire island because of their lifestyle? Its a shame that they want respect but cant respect our laws."

Magazine publisher, Carlyle McKetty, insists the time is now for Jamaicans to push back against the outrageous boycott call.

"This kind of contemptuous behavior is unacceptable we have to say enough is enough. They seem to have made it a crusade to destroy our country. I think its time for a few of us to come together and organize a Caribbean anti-defamation movement to push back against this in a very strategic and surgical manner."

The boycott proponents say they have launched the campaign since gay Jamaicans "have regularly been beaten and murdered on the island, while authorities do little to stop the violence."

A West Coast boycott took place earlier this month with a rum dump in San Francisco that featured Petrelis and city Supervisor Bevan Dufty. The boycott call comes at the time when Jamaica reports it has lost 15,000 jobs nationally.

Labour Minister Pearnel Charles said 2,000 jobs alone were lost last month as the country continues to battle with the global economic crisis.

Related Articles:

Ours Is a Love Story -- The Case Against Banning Gay Marriage

Some From Ethnic Communities Vocal Against Gay Marriage

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