On Jamaican Independence Day, Human Rights First Celebrates the Success of the First-ever Jamaica LGBT Pride Celebration

Washington, D.C. – In honor of Jamaican Independence Day and the country’s first ever LGBT Pride celebration, Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord today issued the following statement:

“Today we congratulate and celebrate with Jamaica’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community on a successful week of Pride events. We stand together in support of the bold activists and members of civil society working to advance the human rights of LGBT people on the island.

“The success of LGBT Pride is a testament to the years of tireless work by civil society activists to denounce violence and discrimination and to open space for dialogue on the human rights of LGBT people.

“We thank Kingston Mayor Angela Brown-Burke and Jamaican Minister of Justice Mark Golding for their leadership in expressing public support for Jamaica Pride. Vocal leadership from Jamaican officials is important recognition and validation of the human rights of LGBT people.”

The Jamaica Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites recently took a bold stance on behalf of the human rights of LGBT people by announcing revisions to its Safety and Security Guidelines that address the issue of bullying against LGBT youth. Human Rights First believes that efforts like this are crucial steps towards a Jamaica that is a safe and respectful place for all of its citizens.

Human Rights First continues to urge the United States to support the efforts of civil society in Jamaica, who are creating momentum for change in the country, and recognize the efforts of Jamaican leaders standing in support of LGBT human rights. Human Rights First’s recent report, “The World as it Should Be: Advancing the Human Rights of LGBT People in Jamaica,” outlines steps the U.S. government should take to support Jamaican civil society and advance the human rights of all Jamaicans.

For more information or to speak with Gaylord, contact Mary Elizabeth Margolis at [email protected] or 212-845-5269.


Published on August 6, 2015


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