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News Last Updated: Jan 20, 2019 - 3:55:48 PM


Equality Bahamas Supports Erin Greene
By Equality Bahamas
Jan 20, 2019 - 3:20:49 PM

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Nassau, Bahamas - As plans are underway for Buju Banton’s upcoming tour, there has been a regional conversation about the position of the LGBT+ community on the tour and Boom Bye Bye -- a 1993 Buju Banton song promoting violence against LGBT+ people. In an interview, human rights and LGBT+ advocate Erin Greene said Buju Banton should be allowed to perform on the condition that he does not sing Boom Bye Bye or allow it to be played during the concert. Following her statement, there have been hundreds of social media posts, comments, and shares that constitute violence against Erin Greene and the LGBT+ community.

Equality Bahamas denounces all forms of violence and threats against Erin Greene and LGBT+ people. We affirm the humanity of LGBT+ people and their basic human rights, including the right to life and liberty, equality before the law, and freedom from discrimination. We call on the government to protect these rights and educate the Bahamian public on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, and all other ratified international treaties.

Erin Greene’s response to questions about Buju Banton’s concert tour were measured and reasonable. Her position is informed by decades of work on LGBT+ issues in The Bahamas and the Caribbean and an understanding of the history of the artist, the song, responses to them, and the impact those responses have on LGBT+ people.

Equality Bahamas director Alicia Wallace said, “We remind members of the public that violence is not always physical. It takes many forms and when on social media, it exponentially increases in impact and reach.” She said all users have a responsibility to interrupt cyberviolence. “Refuse to merely observe violent threats and attempts to dehumanize LGBT+ people or minimize valid concerns. Do not allow homophobia or violence to go unchallenged.”

Equality Bahamas calls on the government, politicians, nongovernmental organizations, and public figures to denounce acts of violence in all of its forms. Stand in support of LGBT+ people in The Bahamas and, in this moment, in support of Erin Greene. Publicly denounce homophobic and transphobic statements. Address the pressing issues of hate speech and hate crimes through legislation. Provide protection for advocates who are routinely threatened with violence. Issue statements in support of human rights and the protection of vulnerable communities when they are under attack. We look forward to greater support for the most vulnerable among us, and increased responsiveness to issues affecting them.

Equality Bahamas is a nonprofit organization that promotes women’s rights as human rights through advocacy and community programming.

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