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Gays put heat on Sizzla; Jamaican artiste removed from US show

BY KEDIESHA PERRY

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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — History is repeating itself for Sizzla Kalonji. For the second year in a row, he is under attack from a California gay rights group.

The singjay has been booted from this year’s Reggae On The River line-up. Interestingly, he was the headliner for the 2016 staging.

According to Californian newspaper, Times Standard, Sizzla was dropped due to his history of homophobic slurs.

High Times and the Redway-based Mateel Community Centre, which has hosted Reggae On The River for the past 35 years, arrived at the decision after heavy backlash from the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) community.

“Reggae On The River is an important community institution,” said Sue Hilton, editor of The L-Word newsletter, which supports the LGBTQ community in Humboldt County.

“Many of us really love the music and the lyrics are so often about community and caring about each other, but it’s important for you to care about the whole community and not just the people you approve of,” she continued.

Hilton further stated that she is pleased with the organisers’ choice for “recognising the importance of honouring everyone, supporting all of our community and resisting violence in all its forms.”

Last year, the Mateel Community Centre cancelled the artiste’s July show due to pressure from gay rights group.

Twelve years ago, Sizzla (given name Miguel Collins) was among several artistes who signed the Reggae Compassionate Act which rejected homophobia and made a pact to drop all homophobic lyrics from their songs.

However, during a 2015 Rebel Salute interview, he described homosexuality as “sodomy “and “corruption”.

Founder of the non-profit Queer Humboldt, Todd Larsen, also expressed satisfaction with High Times to “make the right decision”.

“It’s good that they listened to community feedback and took action,” Larsen said.

Slated for August 2 to 4 at French’s Camp in Garberville, California, Reggae On The River will feature Damian “Junior Gong” Marley and Toots and The Maytals.

In recent years, gay rights groups have revived their opposition to reggae acts who they consider hostile to their cause.

In May 2014, Queen Ifrica was pulled as headliner of an event at Amazura Concert Hall in Queens, New York, due to mounting pressure from the gay community. The day before the concert, a 200-strong group of protesters picketed the club.

Organisers of that demonstration called for a halt of the show, which they said contributed to violence against lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals, and transgenders.

Other reggae acts including Buju Banton and Capleton had their performances cancelled and tour schedules altered due to pressure from gay rights advocates.

(14)(34)
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23 comments

  1. Welcome to the new era where wrongly doing have more rights. LGBTQ community? Y should this ever exists. It was LGBT, now it has a "Q" soon they'll have the whole f.... alphabet. Rasta man nah apologize to no batty man.....

    (0)(1)
  2. Only a few centuries ago your ancestors were dehumanised, enslaved, manacled and shackled. Did they leave you a legacy to expend your energy and whatever talent to dehumanised others?

    (2)(1)
  3. straight guy all the way..

    call me homophobic i dont give a shit...thats what happens when a gay dude or lesbian goes to uni gets educated an now use it to manipulate the world into their favour we straight men an women are in a fight for our very own existence so what if i want to hear sizzla youll telling me i cant because of dem bullas...?but some man ah tun it round weh dem get that from peter not fi janet peter deh fi john...no sah hotter fire sizzla i stand with you bro...buju,capleton,norris man lead the way lets save our yutes from this nasty dirty dark path our souls depend on it.

    (13)(4)
    • @straight guy all the way.. You're not making sense. Do you know how many of them did go to Uni and are minding their business? So should you. I don't give a damn what people do as long as they don't come for me, mine and my money. Live and let live. You're not God.

      (2)(4)
      • straight guy all the way..

        you right am not god neither are they..why they get to say who performs n who dont..?what about the straight pips that want hear sizzla are they now becoming the [email protected]

        (4)(0)
  4. This group is always making demands or lobbying for attention in an attempt to remain relevant. if you guys are so accepting of your homosexuality and you are proud of your differences then why not just ignore and boycott the show? why is someone performing in your area offending you? Why do other persons(including long time Sizzla fans) have to suffer because you feel uncomfortable? just don't go to the show man. In my opinion you guys have been lobbying against violence to your ilk, against discrimination, and for equal job opportunity and that is cool I agree with those but why attempt to stop a man from getting his bread because you don't like him or what he sings about......just ignore. you guys are getting on like business tycoons and corrupt politicians in that you have power now you want to abuse it.... careful now. Sizzla is not out here using his resources to destroy one gay person but you guys with the links are the ones fighting him down. honestly the Rastafarian community needs to be vocal as well in defense of one of their brethren who is being victimized.

    (16)(1)
  5. Sizzla - nah apology

    (11)(1)
  6. Right for gays? No sense. They pollute the environment of the righteous. Again it's no sense being gay. Not even a dog can.

    (8)(4)
  7. Total no sense. Being gay even a dog. Cannot sleep with its same sex. Let them burn in hell. Zizzla thumbs up for you and and all meaningful reggea artist cannot support the no sense

    (7)(4)
  8. They can try to shut up the singer's but the consuming fire came from heaven Sodom and Gomorrah is still there in ashes why so butt hurt

    (8)(4)
  9. Putt it seems u a bullar. Fire!!!!

    (8)(5)
  10. Hilton further stated that she is pleased with the organizers’ choice for “recognizing the importance of honoring everyone"

    only homosexuals should have a say and no one else, as long as it goes against them its wrong, what about the freedoms they speak so highly of, seems it no longer exist so the freedom of expression in the american constitution is only appropriate if you say love gays?

    (22)(3)
  11. Kalinago Justice

    While you all are asking for others to respect homosexuality,here it is that you all are denying others their rights to dislike homosexuality! Isn't it ironic? The homosexual community and so demanding and imposing! Why should I be forced to like or respect homosexuality,if I think it's abominable? I do We should indeed love everyone as human beings, but we don't have to always accept their choices and lifestyles!? The United States of America is said to be a nation under the CREATOR of Heaven and Earth, using the Bible as a Spiritual guide to Earthly and Heavenly living. Isn't the Bible condemning homosexuality? Based on you all's objections and the labeling of those who don't support homosexuality as being homophobic,I would think that the Bible is not an acceptable book the those who supports homosexuality?

    (20)(7)
  12. this is just just sickening that these maggots can jut do that and nothing for that. i mean who the hell they think they are? and so what? what does a show have to stop because of them. all that right to happen because we not blazing more fire on them. when they doing that crap somebody should bomb them and let them know that not everyone on their shate. its high time we stop sitting down and letting those gays tell us what to do. i getting vex when you see someone has to do a show and these termites just coming up and people doing like they have to listen to them

    (16)(5)
    • You are a HATER to the nth degree! “Maggots” and “termites” are the kind of language despots around the world and Hitler used against Jews, Blacks and people with disabilities. Free speech does not give you license to encourage others to violence -“somebody should bomb them”. Shame on you!

      (0)(1)
  13. Serve him right! Gay people are not troubling Sizzla. I am certain Sizzla cannot present evidence to show that gay people are endangering society, still he continues to go out of his way to attack and stir up hatred for gay people. Well, since gay people are evil and destructive why does Sizzla want to go to a gay-friendly state to make money? If he is convicted in his beliefs, he should be the one boycotting California. Well, either he sticks with his homophobia or progress like a rational human being.

    (6)(39)
  14. Is best these people stop hiring Jamaican Dancehall artiste because none of them support homosexuality

    (11)(6)
    • It is not about supporting homosexuality, it is about respecting human rights and minding your business.

      (7)(24)
      • These gays them have too much power, it is a felony under the Buggery laws.Why would you want to voted for those politicians who his endorsing to slackness,by breaking the laws
        Just like how they said that ganja is illegal, and drinking alcohol in public places is a offense. It does not make any sense at all voting for these politicians, because they are supporting wrong doing.

        (12)(4)
      • 🔥 burn

        (10)(3)
      • Caribbean Goddess

        Putt then mind your own business and don't go to the show! So you have the right to stop the man from singing for his fans? God loves all his creatures but it does not mean that He loves what we choose to do that is not in accordance with His will and His word. Remember that.

        (2)(2)

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