artists Beenie Man, Sizzla, and Capleton have all signed
the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising to end their use of
antigay lyrics in their music. By agreeing to the
terms of the act, the artists pledge to "respect and
uphold the rights of all individuals to live without
violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race,
ethnicity, or gender," according to U.K. music
The agreement is
the direct result of the Stop Murder Music campaign
waged by U.K. gay rights group OutRage! and other activists,
who for three years have been urging venues
to cancel the concerts of at least eight reggae
performers whose lyrics incite violence against gays
cofounder Peter Tatchell said the move is a positive step
toward the building of tolerance.
rejection of homophobia and sexism is an important
milestone," he said to NME. "We rejoice
at their new commitment to music without prejudice....
Having these major reggae stars renounce homophobia
will influence their fans and the wider public to
rethink bigoted attitudes."
positive move, there are those who doubt the motives of the
three artists in signing the agreement. Tatchell has said
that boycotts of the artists would resume should any
of them go back on their word. And there are five
artists targeted by Stop Murder Music who have refused to
sign the measure.
five murder-music artists--Elephant Man, TOK, Bounty
Killa, Vybz Kartel, and Buju Banton--have not
signed the Reggae Compassionate Act," Tatchell
said. (The Advocate)