Join Us For Jamaican Rum Dump At Stonewall Inn NYC on Wednesday April 15, 6:30PM

Join Us For Jamaican Rum Dump At Stonewall Inn on Wednesday, 6:30PM

National Jamaican Boycott Campaign To Kick-Off in New York City With ‘Rum Dump’ at Birthplace of Gay Rights Movement

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
6:30 PM

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

From Wayne Besen’s Blog

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Amazon’s censorship sparks angry protests

Elizabeth Schulte reports on Amazon’s scheme to scrub LGBT titles from its book searches–and the protest it inspired.

From Socialist Worker

April 14, 2009

AMAZON CALLED it a “glitch.” The rest of us know it by another word: “Censorship.

” This weekend, it was discovered that the multibillion-dollar Internet store was stripping the sales ranking–the number that Amazon uses to compare how well one title sells with another–from books with LGBT content. By doing this, Amazon condemned certain books not to show up in searches.

Amazon’s policy change came to light when writer Mark Probst saw that his book, a teen gay romance called The Filly, and numerous other gay and lesbian books no longer had rankings. As Probst explained in his blog, he contacted customer service to ask what was going on, and this is the answer he got:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best-seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

The offending books? Here are a couple of samples: Heather Has Two Mommies, Ellen DeGeneres: A Biography, James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room and Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain. According to Salon’s Broadsheet , “So many books had been wiped out of the search terms that, on Sunday night, a book search for the term ‘homosexuality’ turned up this: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.”

Craig Seymour, author of the memoir All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C., reported on his blog [4] that this problem goes back to February, when Amazon dropped his sales ranking and then restored it some four weeks later, after he was told that his book had been “classified as an adult product.”

When news of Amazon’s crusade against LGBT books was revealed, the public outrage was immediate. Petitions were circulated and thousands of people signed on, and Facebook groups were formed in protest. Amazon customers, who can add tags to books on the online store, began flagging hundreds of books affected by the new policy using the tag “amazonfail.”

In response to the public outrage, the company announced April 13 that de-ranking the books wasn’t part of a new policy, but was a mistake. But as Salon’s Sarah Hepola pointed out, if it was a so-called glitch, then why did a representative of Amazon tell Probst about the new policy to “exclude ‘adult’ material”?

As Seymour wrote: It’s a start but completely insufficient. It does not explain why writers, like myself, were told by Amazon reps that our books were being classified as “adult products.” It also doesn’t address why they took so long to do something about it, when they clearly knew about my issues back in February. Why didn’t they address and fix the problems at that time?

It appears that Amazon changed its tune on its antigay policy when it realized how many people were ready to speak out against it.

If you want to make sure “mistakes” or “glitches” like these don’t happen again at Amazon, sign a petition  and join one of the Facebook groups that activists have initiated, such as Hey Amazon: Stop Censoring LGBT books! What you can do Keep the pressure on Amazon by signing a petition that protests its policy on LGBT titles [7]. For more information, Facebook members can join the group Hey Amazon: Stop Censoring LGBT books!

Material on this Web site is licensed by, under a Creative Commons (by-nc-nd 3.0) [9] license, except for articles that are republished with permission. Readers are welcome to share and use material belonging to this site for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are attributed to the author and

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