Mob Violence And Murders Make A Scary Summer For Jamaica’s LGBT Community

At least two people are believed to have been murdered in Jamaica because of their sexuality in the past few months, while others have become the target of angry mobs.

David McFadden / AP

The death of Dean Moriah, a 41-year-old from Montego Bay, is again stirring fears over anti-gay violence in Jamaica after several attacks this summer.

Moriah was found naked and severely wounded early in the morning of Aug. 27 near his house, which had been set on fire. Though newspaper reports said his death resulted from a fight that “stemmed from a domestic quarrel,” LGBT advocates said it was a hate crime.

“This is barbaric and a moral obscenity,” wrote activist Dwayne Brown on his blog Minority Report. “How many more gay men in Jamaica should be brutally murdered before Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller led government, stand up to the hate and murderous anti-gay culture and it’s people?”

A terrifying pattern of anti-gay violence has unfolded in Jamaica over the past several months. On July 22, a 17-year-old “cross-dressing teen” was “chopped and stabbed to death” by a mob after being seen dancing with a man during a street party. Since that incident, there have been several reports of mobs turning on men believed to be gay whose lives have been saved by the intervention of police.

3. On August 1, a mob trapped two men thought to be gay in a house in St. Catherine.

4. On August 22, the police rescued five men believed to be gay from a mob in Green Mountain.

5. Then, on August 23, a mob chased two men believed to be gay into a police station after they were involved in a car accident.

J. Lester Feder is a BuzzFeed contributor and 2013 Alicia Patterson journalism fellow.

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J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
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