Gay positive PSA ban upheld in Jamaica

By Cathy Kristofferson, November 16, 2013

jam_larThe Jamaica Gleaner is reporting that Maurice Tomlinson has lost his suit against Jamaica’s major television stations TVJ and CVM for refusing to air his gay positive “Love and Respect” Public Service Announcements (PSA). The court found that Tomlinson’s freedom of expression does not give him the right to use the property of others to disseminate his views.

OBLOGDEE reported on Tomlinson’s suit when it went to Jamaica’s Supreme Court back in May. Tomlinson had attempted to help educate the duly labelled “World’s Most Homophobic Nation” with a pair of 30 second PSAs but the stations refused to broadcast and in some cases even to respond to his requests.

jam_ulvidAlthough the Court agreed Tomlinson had sufficient interest to bring the case, they also found Tomlinson was “obliged … to respect and uphold the rights of others, including TVJ and CVM, and their right included the right not to speak out.”

This is especially disappointing in Jamaica where violence against the LGBTI community has seen staggering increases lately with multiple horrific murders of gay and trans members. How to educate an ignorant and misled public when your government turns a blind eye to violence and your personal attempts are thwarted in all directions?


Justice for Dwayne Jones protest in front of Jamaican Embassy D.C.

Update: Maurice Tomlinson is appealing the Supreme Court’s decision. See appeal press release here.

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One Comment on “Gay positive PSA ban upheld in Jamaica”

  1. Derek Williams November 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM #

    Unfortunately diaspora from countries like Russia and Jamaica, and most of the Middle East except Israel, which actively persecute LGBT is neither affordable for most, nor practicable because other countries won’t accept them, nor is it a sensible long term solution.

    Unlike a racial minority which can escape in its entirety and start anew on friendly shores, LGBT can neither be shipped abroad nor exterminated because our parents are heterosexual. To eliminate all LGBT, you’d have to eliminate our parents too, but it would be too late by then because they have already conceived us.

    The only solution therefore is to stick around and engage ignorance with facts, compassion and reasoned argument, and if the time comes, martyr yourself. We already have our Western martyrs, who gave up their freedoms and sometimes their lives so as to bequeath to us the freedoms we enjoy in 220 of the world’s 296 known countries. This battle for equality and freedom in the remaining 76 won’t be won without a lot more pain, but thankfully, countries with LGBT under the yoke of bigotry like Jamaica can call on Western allies for support.

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