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National Jamaican Boycott Campaign Kicks-Off in New York City With “Rum Dump’ at Birthplace of Gay Rights Movement

Stonewall Inn Owners Dump Stock of Myers Rum and Red Stripe Beer in Sewer; Urge Other Bars To Follow Lead

Gay advocates launched a national boycott of Jamaica in New York City at the famed Stonewall Bar — birthplace of the gay rights movement. The bar’ owners and boycott supporters dumped Jamaican liquor — Red Stripe beer and Myers’ Rum — down the sewer.

Human rights activists have given Jamaica the infamous title: “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth.” Gay people have regularly been beaten and murdered on the island, while authorities do little to stop the violence.

“We, as the owners of the Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the Gay rights movement, refuse to support, in any way, shape or form, the oppression of any people especially our gay brothers and sisters in Jamaica,” the Stonewall Inn said in its statement. “We ask all people of all walks of life to send a clear message to the Jamaican people and their government, that as long as they continue to allow and condone violence and hatred toward the Gay community, we will neither buy their products nor support their tourist trade. To do so is to tacitly support the current climate of oppression.”

“If you love your gay friends and family members, you won’t visit Jamaica,” said boycott co-organizer Wayne Besen. “If you care about the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, you won’t buy Jamaican products. We hope that all gay and gay friendly bar owners and restaurateurs across the nation will participate in “rum dumps.’ We can no longer subsidize our own slaughter.

GLBT activists Michael Petrelis, Wayne Besen and Jim Burroway launched this boycott after a State Department report highlighted the violence faced by GLBT people. According to the report:

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) continued to report human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment of homosexual patients by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings of homosexuals. Police often did not investigate such incidents.

The West Coast portion of the boycott took place earlier this month with a rum dump in San Francisco that featured Petrelis and city Supervisor Bevan Dufty.

Learn more about the boycott at www.BoycottJamaica.org.