Posted Feb. 3, 2008 – After days of harassment and threats, a Jamaican mob attacked two gay men, putting one in the hospital with serious injuries, while the other is missing.
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A mob, of about 20 people in the town of Mandeville, reportedly promised a violent attack on the men, and on Tuesday, they fulfilled that promise.
The group broke into the home of the men and attacked them, authorities told The Associated Press. One man had his left ear severed, his arm broken in two places and his spine possibly damaged; the other man, who was chased from their home, has not been found, according to the report.
This is just the latest incident in the island's long history of violence against gays and lesbians.
Just last year, a crowd of about 2,000 people, including teens and small children, stoned three gay men [pictured above]. In April 2006, students rioted at the University of the West Indies and attacked an alleged gay student. In December 2005, a Kingston mob chased an alleged gay. Fearful of the crowd, he jumped into the water and drowned.
The Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-sexual and Gays (JFLAG) says it is time for the government to do something to protect gays and lesbians.
"While Jamaican police have begun to reach out to gay and lesbian communities, this change hasn't reached many police stations, where protection remains an illusion," Rebecca Schleifer, HIV/AIDS advocate at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement to AP.
However, police spokeswoman Camika Parker disagrees. She told AP that everyone on the island receives the same level of police protection.
Jamaica has a colonial-era law on the books that bans sex between men.
Should laws banning sex between men be taken off the books? Have you ever loved someone of the same sex? Click “Discuss Now” to post your comment.