Last edited: July 11, 2004

Village People Concert Opposed

The Associated Press, March 10, 1998

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Church leaders are opposing a planned concert by the Village People, saying they shouldn't be allowed to play on Jamaica because they're popular among gays.

Gay sex is illegal in Jamaica, and debate over gay rights has flared recently because of a decision by the government of the nearby Cayman Islands to ban a cruise ship carrying homosexuals from entering its ports.

On Monday, Jamaica Council of Churches leader Stanley Clarke said the concert at this weekend's Negril Music Festival will be an insult to Jamaicans.

"To promote a music festival of that nature which is going to highlight a behavior repugnant to the majority of people in this country is disrespectful," Clarke said.

The six-member band was the rage of late 1970s dance floors with songs such as "YMCA," "Macho Man" and "In the Navy."

Ronnie Nasralla, an organizer of the Negril show, said the church group was overreacting.

"(Band members) have never said they are gay," he said. "The Village People capitalized on their popularity in the gay community, that's all."

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