New Metropolitan Police Chief soft on homophobia

Sir Paul Stephenson approved murder music singer

London, UK – 29 January 2009


“The new Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, has a sometimes poor record when it comes to tackling homophobia and supporting the LGBT community. Only last November, he approved and facilitated a London concert by Jamaican murder music singer, Bounty Killer. The Met Police does not allow racist singers to perform in London. Why the double standards?” queried Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage!

“The Commissioner is hypocritical on hate crimes. He permits homophobic singers to perform in London, but not racist ones. Racist artists are banned on the grounds that they are a threat to public order and good community relations. This same principle should be applied in the case of homophobic singers. It isn’t.

“Sir Paul is part of the problem. He gave Bounty Killer the green light to perform, even though the singer was on record as inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people.

“OutRage! is urging people to protest to the new Met Commissioner, urging him to in future adopt a zero tolerance policy towards singers who advocate homophobic violence and murder, on the grounds that allowing them to perform threatens public order and community cohesion. You can email Sir Paul Stephenson:
[email protected]

“Please stress that the issue is not offensive homophobic language, but incitement to murder LGBT people, which is a criminal offence,” said Mr Tatchell.

Peter Tatchell wrote to Sir Paul last November, when he was Acting Commissioner, appealing to him to block Bounty Killer’s concert. He refused

This is the text of Peter Tatchell’s letter to Sir Paul Stephenson:

“In view of the unacceptable levels of gang violence and gun and knife crime, which has tragically claimed the lives of so many young people in London, the LGBT human rights group OutRage! urges you to take prompt, effective action against singers, such as Bounty Killer, who contribute to the acceptability of gang culture and violence by encouraging, glorifying and celebrating the killing of LGBT human beings.

We respectfully request that you prohibit him from performing in the UK on the following grounds:

1) Bounty Killer has not signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, whereby artists promise to halt inciting hatred and violence – indeed he was asked to sign the RCA and he refused to do so.

Read a sample of the Reggae Compassionate Act here:

2) Bounty Killer has incited murder, which is a serious criminal offence and a threat to public order.

See examples of his “burn and drown” gays lyrics here:

Watch this video of a Bounty Killer concert (uploaded to YouTube on 24 August 2008), where he openly boasts and incites the crowd: “Faggot, I kill everyone of them”:

All eight singers in this Dancehall Dossier should be prohibited from entering the UK, as they have all incited the murder of LGBT people. Some singers, such as Buju Banton, have signed the RCA, but have since denounced and violated it. Prohibiting Bounty Killer would be a good start to tackling these proponents of homophobic murder.

3) Bounty Killer has specifically incited the murder of LGBT people, which is a threat to community cohesion and good community relations.

4) Bounty Killer has been associated with repeated concert violence and anti-gay hatred and abuse. Caribbean World News reported in April 2008 that the government of Guyana has banned Bounty Killer on the grounds of violence, disorder and his torrent of homophobic abuse at his concert that month.

5) The Home Office and the Metropolitan Police ban foreign racists and those who incite racist violence from entering the UK and performing in public, so you should adopt the same policy towards foreign homophobes and those who incite homophobic violence: no entry, no concert. LGBT people are entitled to the same protection from murderous incitements as black people – no more, no less.

6) Bounty Killer’s incitements of violence are not confined to overseas. His songs advocating the killing of gay people are played on some radio stations and sold by some records stores in the UK. Bounty Killer is therefore inciting violence and murder within the UK.

We do not accept the Met Police excuse that Bounty Killer will not be permitted to perform songs that incite homophobic violence at his concert on Sunday. This does not make his performance acceptable.

A white racist singer who advocated killing black people would not be allowed to perform in London, even if he agreed to not incite the killing of black people at his concert. The Met Police would argue that any stage performance by a white racist singer would risk public disorder and damage community cohesion. They would ban him, full stop. They have adopted this zero tolerance policy towards white racist bands.

Yet when it comes to straight homophobic singers who urge the murder of gay people, the Met Police take a softer stance. It has agreed to let the Bounty Killer concert go ahead on Sunday, despite the Met Police’s professed commitment to oppose homophobic hate crimes.

We believe you should liaise with the Home Secretary to stop Bounty Killer from entering the UK. He has committed the criminal offence of incitement to murder. If a white singer advocated the killing of black people he would not be allowed into the country. You would rightly insist on his exclusion; and urge the Home Office to deny him a visa and work permit. Why should there be double standards?

It is unacceptable to say that racism is worse than homophobia and that different standards should apply.

Allowing Bounty Killer to enter the UK is particularly difficult to justify, given the exclusion from Britain of the American Black Muslim leader, Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam. I don’t agree with Mr Farrakhan’s politics or religion, but he has not urged his followers to kill anyone. So, if he is banned from the UK, singers like Bounty Killer who incite the murder of LGBT people should definitely also be banned.

I hope this information will prompt swift action by you to block Bounty Killer’s entry into the UK and his performance this Sunday.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Peter Tatchell

End of Peter Tatchell’s letter to Sir Paul Stephenson.