What: Gay advocates are launching a national boycott of Jamaica in New York City at the famed Stonewall Bar — birthplace of the gay rights movement. The bar’s owners and boycott supporters will dump Jamaican liquor — Red Stripe beer and Myers’ Rum — down the sewer. (All boycott supporters are invited to attend and participate.)
Human rights activists have given Jamaica the infamous title: “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth.” Gay people have regularly been beaten and murdered on the island, while authorities do little to stop the violence.
“We, as the owners of the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the Gay rights movement, refuse to support, in any way, shape or form, the oppression of any people especially our gay brothers and sisters in Jamaica,” the Stonewall Inn said in its statement. “We ask all people of all walks of life to send a clear message to the Jamaican people and their government, that as long as they continue to allow and condone violence and hatred toward the Gay community, we will neither buy their products nor support their tourist trade. To do so is to tacitly support the current climate of oppression.”
Where: Stonewall Inn
Wednesday, April 15
53 Christopher Street
Who: Bill Morgan, Stonewall Inn, Kurt Kelly, Stonewall Inn, Tony DeCicco, Stonewall Inn, Wayne Besen, Boycott co-organizer
Background: GLBT activists Michael Petrelis, Wayne Besen and Jim Burroway launched this boycott after a State Department report highlighted the violence faced by GLBT people. According to the report:
The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) continued to report human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of homosexuals. Police often did not investigate such incidents. The West Coast portion of the boycott took place earlier this month with a rum dump in San Francisco that featured Petrelis and city Supervisor Bevan Dufty. Learn more about the boycott at www.BoycottJamaica.org.
From Wayne Besen’s Blog