Target: Buju Banton, Bounty Killa, Bobo Shanti, Sizla, Capleton, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, T.O.K., Vybz Kartel, Shabba Ranks and Mavado.
Goal: Condemn Jamaican Reggae artists that promote murder of homosexuals in song lyrics and ask them to sign the Reggae Compassion Act.
Known as “murder music”, Jamaican Reggae songs by certain artists have a strong homophobic streak. Songs by artists like Beenie Man contain lyrics that say, “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays.” Others like Shabba Ranks have openly called for the crucifixion of gays. Sign the petition to condemn these artists’ murderous lyrics and demand they sign the Reggae Compassion Act.
There is a strong stigma surrounding homosexuality in Jamaica. 96% of Jamaicans are opposed to any move to legalize same-sex relationships. A 2008 poll that asked if homosexuals were entitled to the same basic rights and privileges regardless of their lifestyle found only 26% said yes, while 70% said no and 4% were undecided. According to Human Rights Watch, violence against homosexuals in Jamaica is widespread. Jamaica has been described as one of the most anti-gay countries in the world. Jamaican Reggae artists are idolized by much of the population and their lyrics contribute to this violence.
A UK based campaign “Stop Murder Music” was able to get several Reggae artists to sign the Reggae Compassion Act in 2007. However, since then several of the artists have denied ever signing and others have repudiated it. Sign the petition to condemn Reggae lyrics that advocate murder of homosexuals and demand Reggae artists sign the Act.
Dear Reggae artists,
I am writing as a human rights activist to strongly condemn lyrics in your songs that advocate murder of homosexuals. Reggae lyrics derogatorily refer to gays as “batty boys” (bottom boys) and artists such as T.O.K. and Buju Banton have lyrics glorifying shooting homosexuals. In 2006 and 2007 there were several documented incidents of mobs chasing those accused of being gay through the streets and beating them. Gays in Jamaica are regularly subject to beatings, shootings, rapes and burnings.
Reggae artists bear some responsibility for these horrible outcomes. Violence against gays is glorified resulting in assaults and murders. Between 1997 and 2004 at least 30 gay men have been murdered. I urge you to sign the Reggae Compassion Act and abide by it to prevent these terrible consequences.
[Your Name Here]