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GLAAD protests antigay reggae singers

GLAAD protests antigay reggae singers

A gay rights group has complained that three singers whose lyrics suggest that gays be hanged, drowned, burned, or shot will be among those performing at a reggae festival Sunday in Newark, N.J. The performers--Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel, and Capleton--headline the fourth annual New Jersey Reggae Fest at the Terrace. "When an artist like Capleton sings 'Burn out a queer, blood out a queer,' that's an extremely violent statement that needs to be challenged," Glennda Testone, spokeswoman for the national Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, told The Record of Hackensack. "These dance-hall artists can't hide behind the word culture to mask the violent homophobia in their music." Dance-hall music is reggae with a rock bass beat. Some of the songs use derogatory terms for gays such as "chi-chi man" and "batty man." Festival promoter Kacy Rankine said there would be "no explicit lyrics, period" because the concert is a family event. "This nonsense about gay bashing is irrelevant to our festival. We are trying to encourage Caribbean people to come together to enjoy music and art, not to talk about gay this or gay that," Rankine told the newspaper. He said his company, G. City Entertainment of Irvington, will donate $2 from each $40 ticket to hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean. About 3,000 fans are expected, and they are being urged to bring canned goods, blankets, and cash to donate to hurricane victims.

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