J-Flag Disappointed With Television Jamaica

News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. Aug. 18, 2011: Jamaican gay rights group, J-Flag, has expressed disappointment with Television Jamaica for its refusal to carry a paid public service announcement from the group.

Dane Lewis, executive director of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, said the PSA is meant to encourage acceptance of LGBT family members and friends.
The PSA features former Miss Jamaica World and Miss Jamaica Universe Christine Straw with her gay brother, Matthew Straw, in a pitch for Jamaicans to show “unconditional love” to LGBT family members and friends. J-Flag launched the PSA last month and wanted to see it air this month on national TV.

But Jamaica Observer reports quoted Gary Allen, the managing director of TVJ’s parent company RJR Communications Group, as saying his group did not want to promote the PSA and risk violating any laws, as homosexuality, specifically sex between two men, remains a punishable offense in Jamaica.

He also reportedly expressed concern about the paid nature of the PSA, and acknowledging that his station took into account the opposition of some pastors and public opinion.

Lewis said his group would continue negotiations with CVM, the island’s other major TV station, and still hoped to see the ad air.