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A gay protester at the meeting on Thursday March 26, 2015. in NYC.
Secret service officers stood watch as the protesters made their voices heard.

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 27, 2015: Gay rights activists interrupted the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference launch in NYC yesterday where Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller was in attendance.

Several took to the streets infront of the St. George’s Episcopal Church to urge Prime Minister Simpson Miller to speak up against hate crime they say is being perpetrated against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and the transgender (LGBT) community on the island even as a few entered the meeting hall and loudly made their concerns heard much to the annoyance of several Jamaicans there.

“Gay rights Portia. Protect Jamaican Gays,” the protesters chanted as the PM arrived under the watch of the NYPD and Secret Service Officers.

Dwayne Brown, founder of Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand (JAHS), who led the protest said, “The silence of Prime Minister Simpson Miller in the face of horrific persecution of LGBT Jamaicans is inexcusable.  I hope that the St. George’s community speaks out against her complicity in these massive human rights violations.”

Recently, JAHS published a video of the beating of a young man while the perpetrators shouted anti-gay slurs.

See video here.

Intergovernmental and independent human rights organizations, including the Organization of American States, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, have condemned the Jamaican government’s abysmal record on protecting its LGBT citizens.

Jason Latty-Travis, President of the Caribbean Alliance for Equality, said, “The Prime Minister has too often escaped scrutiny for her record of failure around protecting all Jamaicans, including LGBT folks.  Jamaicans need her to speak out against the atrocities and then implement a plan to address the crisis.”

“We will continue to raise our voices in support of our LGBT brother and sisters still in Jamaica,” concluded Brown.  “It is the Christian thing to do and the right thing to do.”

A few of the activists entered the meeting, interrupting the launch proceedings as they loudly urged for their rights too as Jamaicans to be respected.

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