Friday, April 10, 2015

President Obama Meets with Caribbean LGBT Advocates

President Obama was visiting Jamaica to meet with Caribbean government leaders. As some of you know, Jamaica isn't the most friendliest place for the LGBT community. They still criminalize our relationships there, but Obama addressed the issue.

HRC acknowledged this in a press release.

President Obama was in Jamaica to meet with Caribbean government leaders. As part of the trip, the President participated in a town hall meeting with “young leaders.” During his opening remarks, he acknowledged Angeline Jackson, the executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, the only organization in Jamaica dedicated to the needs of lesbian and bisexual women, for her bravery and advocacy. Dane Lewis, the executive director of J-FLAG, a Jamaican LGBT organization, was also in attendance.

Prior to President Obama’s visit, a broad group of US-based human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he meet with Caribbean LGBT advocates while in Jamaica and make clear his support of the human rights of LGBT people in the region. Caribbean LGBT advocates made a similar request in a separate letter.

The letter sent to President Obama by Caribbean LGBT advocates stated that LGBT people "remain at risk in the Caribbean region. Eleven nations criminalize same-sex relationships, including Jamaica. Even in places where laws have been repealed or are not enforced, societal stigma, willful discrimination and bias violence are still major concerns, and hate crime goes prosecuted."

“We commend the President for including LGBT advocates in his meetings in Jamaica,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. “By including them in his visit to Jamaica, he honored their brave work and demonstrated our country’s commitment to standing up for the human rights of all people.”

Good, they need to hear and see our President supporting LGBT rights and how it's wrong to still criminalize us. Also as a follow-up, Ambassador Susan Rice tweeted this

Here's a clip of Obama speaking with the young leaders

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.