Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gay Jamaica Questions Needed
for State Dept Ambassador's Chat

(A transgender Jamaican person under mob-attack in April 2007.)

I just submitted several questions and a comment to the U.S. State Department's Dip Note blog post, for a conversation scheduled tomorrow with our ambassador to Jamaica. Read this excerpt requesting engagement and questions from the general public:

Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, will hold a conversation with Ambassador Curtis Ward, President of the Caribbean Research & Policy Center, on U.S.-Jamaica Relations. The discussion will be moderated by Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, and will be available for on demand viewing soon on DipNote, the Department of State's official blog.

You are invited to participate by submitting questions, some of which will be selected for response during the broadcast. Submit your questions below on DipNote and on Twitter using the hashtag #Jamaica by March 14 for consideration.

Of course, there are a few things on my mind to share with the State Department, since they are asking for my participation in their public diplomacy:

I am a member of Gays Without Borders, a group concerned with the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Jamaica. We applaud the State Department's advocacy for the respect of LGBT Jamaicans and request that LGBT issues are raised during the conversation.

How is the U.S. prodding the Kingston government to investigate and prosecute bias motivated crimes and will the upcoming annual human rights report mention an improvement or setback for LGBT concerns in Jamaica?

Are there plans to counter the virulent anti-LGBT preaching of religious leaders? What movement can be taken to repeal the anti buggery statues through legislative or judicial avenues?

Looking forward to having these and other LGBT concerns on the tape of the conversation. The conversation, asking folks for questions, and then making the chat available as on-demand media is all good. I would suggest also transcribing the entire conversation on Jamaica to further engage stakeholders.

That comment is awaiting moderation. As of this writing, there is not a single question in the comments section of the Dip Note post. Do the movement a favor.

Go there right now and leave a question or two, please. Let's interact with the State Department on global LGBT issues in as many creative and diplomatic ways as possible.

It's terrific our embassy in Baghdad responded to questions from Gays Without Borders regarding the skull-crushing deaths of gays, emos and goths in Iraq. Just one of hundreds of ways our foreign affairs federal bureaucracy is taking action to better the lives of LGBT people around the world. I like it.

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