LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Three conroversial reggae/dancehall singers have renounced homophobia and condemned violence against lesbians and gay men, signing the Reggae Compassionate Act in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.
Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton had previously released anti-gay hate songs, including incitements to murder lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The agreement follows the three-year-long Stop Murder Music campaign, which resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of the singers’ concerts and sponsorship deals, causing them income losses estimated in excess of five million dollars.
“The Reggae Compassionate Act is a big breakthrough,” said Peter Tatchell, of the British gay human rights group OutRage!.
Mr. Tatchell is coordinator of the worldwide Stop Murder Music campaign. He helped negotiate the deal with the three singers.
“The singers’ rejection of homophobia and sexism is an important milestone. We rejoice at their new commitment to music without prejudice,” said Tatchell in a statement.
“This deal will have a huge, positive impact in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The media coverage will generate public awareness and debate, breaking down ignorance and undermining homophobia.
“Having these major reggae stars renounce homophobia will influence their fans and the wider public to rethink bigoted attitudes. The beneficial effect on young black straight men will be immense."
The Reggae Compassionate Act was negotiated by Eddie Brown of Pride Music UK, with the support of the promoters Michel Jovanovic (Mediacom France), Klaus Maack (Contour Germany), Peter Senders (Panic Productions Holland), Fabrizio Pompeo (Tour de Force Italy), Julian Garcia (Roots and Vibes Spain) and Tim Badejo (Dubble Bubble Scandinavia).
In return for signing onto the campaign, major gay rights groups will stop protesting the shows and forcing cancellations for the artists around the world. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers