By Cathy Kristofferson, November 16, 2013
The 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.
Although 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?
Update: Maurice Tomlinson is appealing the Supreme Court’s decision. See appeal press release here.