Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller

LGBT rights activists in Jamaica have condemned the recent murders of eight gay men in the last three months.

Among the most recent reported attacks against the gay community was the savage killing of two young men last week. The men were brutally murdered, apparently with blunt instruments, in the vicinity of the intersection of Trafalgar Road and Lady Musgrave Road in New Kingston.

The area is frequented by homeless people and activists say that many among them are young gay men who have been made homeless because of the continued intolerance of homosexuality in Jamaica.

Local media have reported that police have arrested a man in connection with the double murder.

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG) expressed its condolences to the loved ones and friends and families of the victims.

It said that while the motive for the latest killings remains unclear it expects that the government and police will thoroughly investigate all crimes regardless of the victims’ sexual orientation or gender identity.

“…despite progress towards greater tolerance, the LGBT community continues to be at great risk of violence,” commented Dane Lewis, Executive Director of J-FLAG.

The organisation also called on Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller “to listen to the cries and needs of members of our community who continue to be subjected to discrimination and violence, have nowhere to live and no food to eat because of their sexual orientation and or gender identity”.

Under Jamaican law, sexual acts between men are punishable with up to ten years in jail, although this is seldom enforced among consenting adults.

Jamaica has been described as one of the most homophobic places on earth by Time magazine. In January Prime Minister Miller said that she was open to reviewing the criminalisation of homosexuality in her country.

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