Dispatches from the Creation Wars

A couple months ago it was announced that several top reggae stars whose music contains lyrics urging people to kill gays had signed an agreement not to express such hatred anymore:

A three year battle to get some of the world’s top reggae artists to renounce homophobic lyrics in their music has been met with success the group that began the campaign said on Wednesday.

Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton have signed an agreement renouncing homophobia and condemning violence against gays and lesbians the group Stop Murder Music said.

Now it appears that one of them is retracting that agreement, saying he agreed to nothing:

The pact is called the Reggae Compassionate Act. In it the artists agreed to “respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender.”

It goes on to affirm that “There’s no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia. We agree not to make statements of perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community”.

But on the weekend Beenie Man told the Jamaica Observer newspaper that he never signed the pledge.

Nevertheless, for the first time the singer said that he did not approve of violence against gays, although he still opposes homosexuality.

“We don’t need it,” he said. “We don’t need to kill dem. We just need fi tell the people dem the right ting because I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it’s not wholesome to me.”

Well that’s progress. I guess. Jamaica has a serious problem with anti-gay hatred and violence, often coddled and overlooked by the police.