Wednesday, April 07, 2010

100 at Jamaica's Walk for Tolerance

This is most welcome news from Jamaica. The Walk for Tolerance, which was focused on gays and people living with HIV/AIDS, was a success and a large number of people showed up for it, and no violence or threats have been reported. The Radio Jamaica web site gives some details:

A historic march for tolerance was undertaken by gay leaders from the United States and Jamaica AIDS Support for Life in Montego Bay, St. James Wednesday morning.

Close to 100 persons participated in the march, calling for persons to be more tolerant of others usually discriminated against, including AIDS victims and gays.

The historic march was led by Reverend Elder Nancy L. Wilson, the openly lesbian presiding bishop of the International Movement of Metropolitan Community Churches. [...]

Reverend Wilson, who arrived in Montego Bay fresh from her meeting with US President Barack Obama, told RJR News that affected persons are now emerging from their shells.

"This is an amazing event ... it's a day of standing up with people with HIV and AIDS, their families and friends and saying all people deserve justice and health care and dignity and to be free from stigma or hatred just because of who they are or who they love and because of their HIV and AIDS status," she said. [...]

"We were anticipating more persons, however, at the last minute some persons were late while some didn't show up. It's the first time we've had a tolerance walk and we're taking about tolerance for person who have HIV/AIDS, tolerance for persons who are hearing impaired, tolerance for person who are sex workers, tolerance for everybody as often times, we're not tolerant of each other," [said Devon Comack of the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life organization.]

Of course, I hope this is the first of many of public demonstrations for gays and Jamaicans with AIDS, and that in the next few days we all see great vids and pics from the groundbreaking today. Kudos to the organizers and all the participants for making the Walk for Tolerance happen.

America's gay community salutes the bravery of all the Jamaicans and Americans who took giant steps to advance tolerance and understanding.

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