Beenie Man (left), the Jamaican reggae singer, has denied that he signed on to a pledge to stop singing anti-gay songs.
Last month the Stop Murder Music campaign, which is coordinated by Peter Tatchell, of the British gay human rights group OutRage!, claimed that Beenie Man and two other leading reggae / dancehall singers, Sizzla and Capleton, had renounced homophobia and condemned violence against lesbians and gay men.
But, Beenie Man has now told the Jamaica Observer newspaper in an interview that he never agreed to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act.
He also said that while he was against homosexuality, he did not approve of violence against gays and lesbians.
He, however, did not say if he would stop singing songs that are said to call for the murder of gay people.
The management team of another dancehall artist, Buju Banton, has dismissed more recent reports that he had also signed the pledge.
The Reggae Compassionate Act states that the signatories will “respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without fear of hatred and violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender”, and “agree to not make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community.”
At the time of announcing the pledge, the Stop Murder Music campaign warned that there was some concern that the singers had only signed the Reggae Compassionate Act for business and commercial reasons and not because they genuinely believe that homophobic hatred and violence are wrong.