Gay and Lesbian Alliance to protest “hate” singer
February 11, 2010
By KAREN VELIE
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast (GALA) plans to protest the appearance of a Reggae singer known as “Capleton” because of his violent hate lyrics toward gays.
Capleton is scheduled to play at the San Luis Obispo Downtown Brewing Company on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. GALA is asking for the community to come together and help them picket the event.
“I do believe that disliking something and voicing your opinion is alright,” said Sheryl Flores, GALA vice president. “But to promote the killing of bisexuals and gay people is very disconcerting.”
GALA is asking supporters to meet at the GALA Center at 1060 Palm Street in San Luis Obispo at 5 p.m. on Feb. 16 to help make signs. On Feb. 17, protesters will leave the GALA Center at 5 p.m. for a peaceful march over to the Downtown Brewing Company.
“We want to stress, it is a peaceful protest,” Flores said.
Capleton is from Jamaica, a country that has made homosexuality a crime and glorifies the killing of gays. The lyrics of “Give Har” provide an example of Capleton’s anti-gay music.
“Shoulda know seh Capleton bun battyman
You should know that Capleton burns queers
“Dem same fire apply to di lesbian
The same fire applies to lesbians
“Seh mi bun everything from mi know seh dem gay
Say, I burn everything as long as I know that they’re gay
“All boogaman and sodemites fi get killed
All queers and sodomites should be killed”
Following escalating protests against Capleton’s music, which spurred a string of show cancellations including the Los Angeles House of Blues’ termination of Capleton’s scheduled 2004 performance, the controversial singer signed an agreement in which he pledged to condemn violence against the gay and bisexual communities. However, equal rights groups contend he has continued to sing anti-gay songs, which has again prompted cancellations of many of his concerts throughout the world.
“This type of hatred is so hard to erase especially for the youth,” Flores said. “People in our community already have so much trouble coming out and being themselves. This could put the youth back in the closet.”
Calls to the Downtown Brewing Company were not returned.
The following Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting video explores the dark side of Jamaica’s culture of anti-gay violence and attitudes.