London - 14 July 2008
A small, self-selected group of reggae labels, promoters and artists have announced that they will hold a Straight Pride Parade in New York on 31 August 2008, in defence of homophobia and anti-gay lyrics that incite violence against lesbian and gay people:
Commenting on the planned Straight Pride, gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, a spokesperson for OutRage! and the Stop Murder Music campaign, said:
"The US is a free country. Let them have their misnamed Straight Pride Parade. They say it is a celebration of heterosexuality, but really it's a promotion of straight supremacism. Their parade is driven by a homophobic agenda. They defend artists who incite hatred and violence against LGBT people.
In their news release, the organisers promote a song by the singer Stapler called "Hit Them Hard," which openly advocates violence against gay men.
"They falsely claim that the Stop Murder Music campaign is an attack on reggae music. Nonsense. It is an attack on a small number of reggae singers who have perverted reggae's message of peace, love and justice. They have betrayed the liberation ideals of the reggae pioneers and are hijacking the genre to turn it into an anthem of homophobic hatred and violence. They are encouraging civil war in the black community. They want black straight people to kill black lesbians and gay men.
"These idiots don't realise that one of Bob Marley's most famous songs contains lyrics that send a coded message of support to black gay men. It's called 'No woman no cry.' It was very popular in gay clubs when it was first released and it still gets played today. Some gay men sing along and add the words that Marley dared not himself say: 'No woman no cry.when you got gay guy,'" said Mr Tatchell.