Supporting the Jamica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG)

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2003 National Lesbian & Gay Conference
20 September 2003

Conference notes:

1.Jamaica is one of over 70 countries where gay men and lesbians face persecution and death – either perpetrated or condoned by the national government;

2.homophobia is rife on the island (although many Jamaicans are not bigots);

3.there have been numerous reports and testimonies highlighting brutal violent attacks on lesbians and gay men. Police officers often refuse to investigate these reports or even record them as crimes. Many victims are refused healthcare by homophobic medical workers.

Conference further notes:

A. J-FLAG is the most prominent LGBT organisation on the island; was established in 1998 to promote legal, social and political reforms for LGBT people, raise awareness of homophobic attacks and provide social and educational programmes for LGBT people;

C. most of J-FLAG’s work is carried out by volunteers but this needs to be co-ordinated by paid staff. The organisation is in a financial crisis and fears being unable to pay wages of a single staff member in autumn 2003;

D. J-FLAG has launched an urgent appeal for $24,000 to cover the salaries of a full time Programme Director and Administrative Assistant for one year.

Conference resolves:

i. to have a “bucket” collection to raise funds for the organisation during the 2003 Lesbian & Gay Members Conference;

ii. that the NLGC raises awareness of J-FLAG’s financial appeal amongst the wider membership through an article in Out In Unison and other publicity channels ;

iii. that NLGC requests that UNISON’s international department consider how to support organisations working with Jamaican LGBT communities.