Saturday, April 28, 2007

Response to New Mob Attack in Jamaica

Sunshine Cathedral
A Metropolitan Community Church affiliated with The Center for Progressive Christianity

For Immediate Release
April 28th, 2007

Sunshine Cathedral’s Canon Precentor Responds to New Mob Attack in Jamaica


Once again, mob violence has erupted in Jamaica. According to a news report, a cross-dresser was identified as a man in women’s attire yesterday morning in the town of Falmouth. Apparently, the victim was simply waiting for public transportation when someone shouted out that the person who appeared female was actually male. Violence ensued, and escalated. The crowd that attacked the victim with sticks, rocks, and “whatever weapon they could find” was dispersed with warning shots from the police. The assault victim was taken by the police to the hospital. The story can be found in the Jamaican Observer (
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20070428T020000-0500_122324_OBS_MOB_BEATS_CROSS_DRESSER.asp).

The person who was attacked apparently did nothing other than to defy society’s gender norms. It is outrageous to think that simply being different remains so dangerous today. We again are reminded of the Golden Rule, stated variously across cultures and religions, but recorded in the Sermon on the Mount as, “Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about” (The Bible, Contemporary English Version). Would any of the attackers want to be singled out and outnumbered by a violent crowd? Of course not. And no one would want their child, grandchild, sibling, or friend attacked for being different. And so, again, in the name and words of Jesus, we say, “Treat others as you want them to treat you.”

We, the leaders of the Sunshine Cathedral, continue to condemn such unprovoked violence and we continue to call upon religious leaders in Jamaica and throughout the world to speak out against such violence. We further hope the Jamaican government will act to secure the safety of all its citizens. Finally, we continue to pray for the victims of violence, wishing them healing, hope, and peace.

/signed/


Durrell Watkins

The Reverend Canon Durrell Watkins, MA, MDiv
submitted on behalf of Sunshine Cathedral’s Canon Circle
www.sunshinecathedral.org office phone: 954.462.2004 fax: 954.462.7070

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To see previous press releases and reports dating back to February 16th, 2007, please email
Durrell@Sunshinecathedral.org

1 comment:

Anne said...

It is painful for me to even try to comment on this. I live in Falmouth having moved here from San Francisco last November. I have many gay and lesbian friends back in SF. My son came out recently; so you can imagine my terror when I heard about this which happened 3 blks from our house. The whole story is this man had been posing as a woman and picking up straight men and giving them oral sex. He was found out after a minor car accident. A week later he was back in Falmouth in drag. He was recognized and set upon. I am not condoning the beating in any way but I am less terrified for my friends and my son after hearing the whole story. The same day a robber was chased down the street and beaten so badly he later died in hospital. I have been talking to my Jamaican friends nonstop since Friday. None of them believe that persecuting someone who is homosexual is right. This violence is not usual here in this town anyway. Everyone is upset.