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Jamaican Man Marries Male Companion In Canada!

Tomlinosn (second left) smiles as a clergyman signs his marriage certificate

( day after Jack Layton’s funeral, eulogist Stephen Lewis and pastor Brent Hawkes congregated again for a different holy ritual: Maurice Tomlinson’s wedding.

Tomlinson is a leading gay activist in Jamaica — the only country in the Western hemisphere where gay sex is still illegal.

In Toronto, he married Tom Decker, a police officer-c**-pastor in the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.

The UN’s former special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa was the best man. Hawkes married them. Tomlinson wept with joy throughout the ceremony, but he didn’t invite any of his family out of fear.

Talk about a double life.

“In Canada, I have a husband,” he told me from their little red-brick row home in Toronto’s east end. “In Jamaica, I have a good friend.”

In the past year, Tomlinson has received three death threats for speaking out against the country’s virulent homophobia.

He’s stopped going to parties and bars and public beaches, he says.

He’s right to be scared. Vigilante justice against gay men is common in Jamaica, a country where 82 per cent of people self-identified as homophobic in one recent survey. Last year, two men were chopped to death with machetes because they were gay.

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding was openly homophobic: he said he’d never appoint a gay person to his cabinet. According to the law, consensual sex between two men in Jamaica will get you 10 years of imprisonment and hard labour. Any “act of gross indecency” — like kissing — will get you two years.

The law is rarely enforced. More often, police use it for extortion, Tomlinson says. But its very existence fuels the mobs, machetes in hand, since gays are legally criminals. Even the police officer who recorded his first death-threat report “went on a tirade that he hates gays, who deserve to die,” says Tomlinson.

For two years, Tomlinson has collected victim reports as a legal adviser for Lewis’ international advocacy organization, AIDS-Free World. Now, he’s taking them to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, since the Jamaican charter protects the laws against “sexual offences” from constitutional review.

“There’s an African proverb: you are mopping the floor while the tap is still running,” says Tomlinson, 40. “If you don’t change the law, you’ll never change the attitude.”

The commission is likely to hear his petition this spring. Even though it has no authority over Jamaica’s parliament, it will be a big moment for the island’s underground gay community.

Dirty laundry for all to see.

There is other good news. On Jan. 29, Tomlinson will be in England to receive the inaugural David Kato award for gay human rights activism. Kato, a Ugandan gay activist, was murdered last year. The award comes with a $10,000 grant that Tomlinson plans to use to give Caribbean police officers anti-homophobic training.

And, last week, Jamaicans elected a new prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, who pledged to put the country’s anti-sodomy law to a vote in parliament.

“Justice will out!” Lewis wrote me in an email. “I genuinely believe this would not have happened had Maurice not spent the last two years on a personal crusade to convert Jamaica to tolerance.”

Tomlinson is less optimistic. He is sure parliament will be swayed again by the powerful evangelical churches and that machete mobs will continue unabated.

Change both seeps and charges. Just think: 11 years ago this month, Hawkes performed the country’s first gay wedding, wearing a bulletproof vest under his clerical vestments.

Looking at the freckles that splash down Tomlinson’s left cheek like sugar grains, I wonder how anyone could hate a man this breathlessly beautiful. He’s worried he’ll be dead by the time gays are no longer criminals in Jamaica. He’s applying for Canadian citizenship, he tells me. We’d be lucky to have him.

But I hope he stays in Jamaica.

That country needs him more.

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Comment by Kiana on January 11, 2012 at 10:48pm
The devil knows the bible as well as the believer....carry on
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 11, 2012 at 10:47pm
Ignore the crazy hahaha guess you talking about you and you telling it to you crazy roomate Kiana from bellvue . N**** everything you talking about me you tell everyone here find some new set of lies for us and stop using the same lines for everyone you hate here . Goodnight Angry White Woman
Comment by One Love on January 11, 2012 at 10:39pm
Ask yourself bbd how I know you are sleeping around. I expect you to try covering it up.
By the way you are the first chick on cf I have said that to because I can back it up in your own words.
Go and take your medicine or fight with yourself. My time right now is for my fan. I just had to tell you this.
good night bbd.
Kiana you are smart. Ignore the crazy.
Good night cf. Lmfao.
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 11, 2012 at 10:39pm
Hahaha hahaha hahaha on plenty bloggs he asking me where do I come from and what my race excetera.........and when he never gets an answer to his racist questions he has to invent them. Your problem is you have to much time on your hand. What you need is a shrink to talk about what a compulsive liar you are and how you cant seem to mind your bizness , lastly how you cant stick to topics without losing focus and stick to the topic instead you turn out nosey.lmbaooooo
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 11, 2012 at 10:32pm
Mifuckeduplife I been waiting for your ghetto Gay ass first off EXPOSE away, You dont know me from a hole in the wall . Everybody you argue with on here which seems like the whole cfc You say the same S*** keep making s*** up, people knw me on here and show me madd love so one hatin ass loser like you I could care less about when spreadind false rumors KIck Rocks
Comment by Kiana on January 11, 2012 at 10:30pm
Thank you Mostwanted- very gentlemanly and Miluvmigoodlife - thanks boo, you know I don't entertain foolishness and bad behavior. I was taught better than to act unladylike :-)
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 11, 2012 at 10:26pm
F*** you b**** and f*** that f***** lovin b**** KIANA!
Comment by Boots on January 11, 2012 at 10:25pm

oh thats what it is. I get it. I did not get why she was supporting the men. i see.

sound like she is promiscuous.

Comment by One Love on January 11, 2012 at 10:21pm
Your behavior explain why you always trying to kiss asses on the blogs because you do so in real life.
oh and leave kiana alone.
Comment by One Love on January 11, 2012 at 10:20pm
Bombahdrop tell that to the men you sleep with for money. Leave me alone. I am not one of them.
Don't let me expose you. I know what you do including with some men on Caribbean fever so don't go there.

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