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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 Boots on January 11, 2012 at 10:14pm

You are one angry woman. You need to be admitted to the mental hospital for some kind of medication to stop hating on other women.

Not because you are a dumb ghetto girl it means everyone should be in the same boat.

Someone told you to go get an education. Take their advice.

You of all people should be ashame of yourself. You have everything that other countries do not have and you fail to take advantage of it then want to come on a caribbean blog and talk poop.

You could NEVER be in the shoes of an intelligent caribbean woman so stop trying to fit in. Your words stand out like real ghetto project NY trash women I see on the streets sometimes. Loud and out of control.

 You are definitely stand out because you don't speak the way caribbean people speak.

Go find your identity or get with the damn ass program to fit in because you definitely don't.

Crazy ghetto B****. You've been up somebodys ass who did not say anything to you, all because you are trying to be Jamaican or jealous. Why is it anybodys fault you did not go to school.

Nuff said to that ghetto trash. Just standing up for a island sister because thats what the real men of the island do.

Comment by Bombahdrop on January 11, 2012 at 10:08pm
Mostwanted you have got to b the stupidest FOOL next 2 Dumb ass mifuckeduplife and that Bumb b**** baldheaded f** hag Kiana. You are all the one pretending its ok to b Gay. If we were all meant to b Gay then why has it always been marriage btween man and woman its only in this day n time Gays want to destroy the sacredness btwn man n woman. And all you do is suppory what is wrong . So why isnt the whole world Gay and yjr majoritu is not. If you read the bible when you hear anything about Gays it spells hell.
Comment by Bombahdrop on January 11, 2012 at 9:54pm
#1 Fools Kiana tha Dike f** hag , mifuckeduplife, n that dumb ass americamostwanted battymon, those are the fool of the world n cfc. For the record I will say this again especially for that dumb f*** Kiana Jesus us love all of us yes but that doesnt mean he will not spare the rod against those who defy him n do those things that are not pleasing to him, just like Murderers God loves them too, but there works, the will man woman choose such as Murder will b sent straight to hell. So yea, he loves all of us , but the evil works done by man such as f****** the same sex and marrying thr same sex and all those that support this, THAT is displeasing to God You will have the wrath brought upon yoi mark mu wotds tjat day will come soon enogh.
Comment by Boots on January 11, 2012 at 3:50pm

Damn you sound like a real ass living in your own world like the rest.

They say you cannot fix stupid. I  say you cannot fix ignorant people so it is best to let the fools be.



Comment by Lenny Sportshake on January 11, 2012 at 3:30pm
You stupid m************! What is right about what u are saying? That it's ok to be gay? I am ignorant because i condemn the act of buggery? Anything other than sex between male and female is abnormal and perverse. If you are not homosexual why are you defending these people to the bone? You Of all people need to come out of the closet and know that any good thinking or moral person will never subscribe to your nonsense so save your time and energy for your man.
Comment by joshua martin on January 11, 2012 at 1:41pm

 the guyana government  don't have anything laws for gay people but if they are gay nobody cares.gays are illegal in guyana but the guyanese people would not  kill them like jamaican.

Comment by Kiana on January 11, 2012 at 1:09pm
@ most wanted - yessir!
Comment by Boots on January 11, 2012 at 12:59pm

lol you are right. I just had to tell them after reading the ignorant comments.

I think I wrote enough for them. They will see what I am saying is right in due time.



Comment by Kiana on January 11, 2012 at 12:53pm
@ most wanted - never argue with a's hard to tell which is which. God blesses all people and loves them regardless of race, sex, sexual preference, class etc. even those who spew hate on this blog. Jamaica can keep their laws perpetuating violence and the US/Canada will continue to house their exiles. That's all....
Comment by Boots on January 11, 2012 at 12:52pm

I am not gay nor I am worried but is pointing out what you all problem is. Ignorant ancient thinking people.

What I said will reveal itself in due time. It already started.

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