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Gleaner: Gay Buju Boycott Effective;
Observer: Is Pressure Breaking Him?
As I expected once it became public knowledge that I was part of a crew of gay advocates that meet with a homo-hating Jamaican singer, I received messages from straight Jamaicans claiming to be Jesus-loving Christians, who then proceeded to condemn me for daring to call for the singer to say these three words in a public forum in Kingston: Love gay people.
Similar messages came my way earlier this year when San Francisco gays launched a boycott against Jamaica, and the central is always the same: God doesn't love gay people. This argument is why we suggested Buju open his mouth in his homeland and declare love for gay people.
I'm pleased this call for love of gays in Jamaica made it into the Jamaica Observer story. The headline, "Buju Breaks Under Pressure," is not positive press for him, IMO, and the end about the continuing protests lets readers know the gays are keeping up the pressure. From the Observer:
Deejay Buju Banton yesterday met with four members of San Francisco's gay community in what is being seen as a move to discuss the continued cancellations of the gigs at various points on his Rasta Got Soul tour of the United States, due to pressure from gay rights groups. [...]The Jamaica Gleaner, the largest and most influential paper on the island has also covered the Monday meeting and noted the boycott against Buju is succeeding:
Among the items on the list of demands the gay rights lobbyists put forward was that Buju think about making statements in Jamaica calling for love toward gays; donate to the JFLAG group; hold a town hall meeting in Kingston about the need to respect gays and sing about loving gay people. All the suggestions were rejected by Buju, which is said to have infuriated the lobbyists present.
Petrelis also stated that although the meeting was a beneficial first step, the gay community will want more concrete steps taken, before their actions against Buju's concerts will cease.
Gay groups have launched an aggressive cyber campaign calling for a boycott of Banton's United States tour, which is in support of his Rasta Got Soul album. It has been effective, with dates cancelled in major cities like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Richmond, Virginia.To reinforce the point on readers, the Gleaner notes gays in Miami are making their own troubles for the singer and his Florida gig:
If you ask me, this coverage in Jamaica in two important publications, is quite favorable toward gays and our organizing against Buju, and is sending a message to his followers: Buju can't ignore the gays and we are diminishing his earnings.
The uproar over Banton's tour has been getting attention from major media in the US, including NBC News, the New York Times and Miami Herald. In September, the Herald reported that gay groups in Miami have already launched a campaign to have the October 30 Reggae Bash show in that city cancelled if Banton is allowed to perform.Global Vybz, promoters of Reggae Bash, told The Gleaner that they have arranged a meeting with the groups this week. Efforts to contact Global Vybz staff yesterday were unsuccessful. Tracii McGregor, Buju's manager, also could not be reached.
Yeah, Buju and straight Jamaicans, there is a price to pay for hating gay people. Try loving gay people. Your God has enough love for all his children.