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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Something You Should Know Before You Go

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Towleroad:

While the straight community may see Jamaica as a more relaxed, easygoing nation, yet another anti-gay hate crime has helped cement the country's status as "the most homophobic place on Earth." 17-year-old Dwayne Jones was attending a party while dressed as a woman. When someone recognized Jones and revealed that he was actually a male, the ensuing mob searched and exposed the teen, "chopped and stabbed him to death" before leaving his body in some bushes, according to the radio station Irie FM. Jones had been dancing with another man at the party that evening.

This is not the first anti-gay hate crime in the country's recent history. Maurice Tomlinson, an LGBT and HIV activist who fled Jamaica in 2012, told The Washington Blade that anti-gay hate crimes have claimed at least nine lives this year alone. He claimed that this is a "400 percent increase in the number of reported attacks against LGBT Jamaicans since 2009." Currently, homosexual acts are still illegal in Jamaica, a criminal offense that can carry up to a ten-year prison sentence.

TIME dubbed Jamaica "the most homophobic place on Earth" in 2006. I believe Russia—with its anti-gay, Nuremberg-esque laws—has since lapped Jamaica and is now the most homophobic country on the face of the planet. But if you care about LGBT people, or if you are queer yourself, Jamaica isn't someplace you should visit.

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