he Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination
calls on Digicel to ensure that the homophobia of
Jamaican group T.O.K is not part of the Digicel
Experience concert in Guyana scheduled for Wednesday
14 Feb, 2007.
T.O.K is one of the set of dancehall singers who have
explicitly called for the killing of gay and lesbian
people and whose performances have been cancelled
worldwide after protests by Human Rights groups. The
Human Rights Watch Report Homophobia, Violence, and
Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic" available at
(http://hrw.org/reports/2004/jamaica1104/ ) details
the impact of homophobia in Jamaican society, and the
relation between the violence of the music of T.O.K.
and the continued persecution of gay and lesbian
people in Jamaica. In July of 2006, LifeBeat, the US
Industry music arm's HIV fundraiser cancelled a
concert involving T.O.K after the protests at the
homophobia of these artistes.
The participation of T.O.K. in any marketing or
promotion event undermines the efforts of
those Guyanese who are trying to build a socially
cohesive society in which violence is not used to
resolve conflicts or express any differences.
SASOD calls on the Government of Guyana and the
Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport specifically to
ensure that entertainment events such as concerts in
Guyana are free from homophobia and any calls to
violence against any section of Guyanese society,
including the homosexual population.
SASOD further calls on Digicel and T.O.K to publicly
reject homophobia. Digicel should set a responsible
standard for their participation in Guyana's economy
by not condoning calls for the murder of any persons.