A number of reggae artists plan to hold a “straight pride parade” in New York to take a stand against recent bans around the world on homophobic singers.
The organisers, music label TCOOO Productions, say that, “The Straight Pride Parade is a chance for Heterosexuals to gather together and proudly embrace their sexuality.”
They add the event, set for 31 August in Brooklyn, is a response to “the attack on the music by Peter Tatchell and other Gay activists groups.”
Tatchell, heads up the UK gay rights group Outrage! and has led a successful campaign to stop reggae and dancehall artists who include homophobic slurs and calls for violence against gays to be banned from performing.
Commenting on the planned Straight Pride Tatchell said that, “They say it is a celebration of heterosexuality, but really it’s a promotion of straight supremacism. Their parade is driven by a homophobic agenda. They defend artists who incite hatred and violence against LGBT people.”
The activist has also denied that his campaign is an attack on reggae music: “Nonsense. It is an attack on a small number of reggae singers who have perverted reggae’s message of peace, love and justice. They have betrayed the liberation ideals of the reggae pioneers and are hijacking the genre to turn it into an anthem of homophobic hatred and violence.”
Tatchell’s Stop Murder Music campaign has highlighted lyrics in songs by reggae artists such as Buju Banton and Beenie Man that advocate the killing of gay men.