Jamaica’s Leading Gay Rights Activist Murdered
June 10, 2004
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Jamaica’s most vocal advocate of LGBT rights has been murdered in what
supporters have labeled a hate crime.
His body was discovered in his Kingston apartment by a
roommate returning home from work. Williamson was lying facedown in a pool of
blood. He had been stabbed numerous times in the neck.
Police dispute that his killing was related to his
sexuality. Investigators say they are searching for two men who were with him
shortly before his killing.
“At this time the police are theorizing robbery to be
the motive as a money safe he had is missing and the apartment was
ransacked,” Corporal Devon Hugh Williams told the Jamaica Observer.
But the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays
(J-FLAG), which Williamson founded, branded Williamson’s murder a
In a statement the group said Williamson was “one of
Jamaica’s most courageous human rights activists” who was killed because
he is gay.
“The condition of his body... and his visibility as a
gay man lead us to suspect this is a hate-related crime,” the group said.
Jamaica has been cited numerous times by international
human rights groups for its intolerance toward gays. Gay sex is illegal in the
country, and the government has been accused of ignoring violent crimes
against the LGBT community.
Only a week ago Amnesty International urged Jamaican
Prime Minister P J Patterson to publicly denounce violence against gays and
repeal the anti-sodomy law. Patterson has said that he will not press to
change the law.
At least 30 gay men are believed to have been murdered
since 1997, according to J-FLAG.
Rap and Reggae music frequently contain lyrics calling
for violence against gays and has to a call by British rights leader Peter
Tatchell for hate crime prosecutions in the UK against the artists and the
distributors of their music.
In February a teenager was beaten by school yard bullies
while his father looked on smiling at it was discovered the youth is gay.
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