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Buju Banton Meets Gay Leaders


Controversial Jamaican dancehall singer Buju Banton met with members of the gay community on Monday to address his history of violent antigay lyrics.

Buju met with leaders of San Francisco's LGBT community in Marin County, according to gay activist Michael Petrelis, who joined the meeting.

"The meeting was very civil and productive, even though at times I had to play the 'bad cop' activist, especially when Buju was dominating the discussion, and we made several suggestions for him to consider, in order to start to undo some of the problems he has in the gay community because of his past anti-gay lyrics," wrote Petrelis on his blog.

"We proposed that he think about making statements in Jamaica calling for love toward gays, donating to the [Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals, and Gays] group, hold a town hall meeting in Kingston about the need to respect gays, and sing about loving gay people. All the suggestions were rejected, frustrating us," Petrelis wrote.

Still, the gay activists found a small victory in the fact of a starting point.

"While there certainly was little movement on his part, and we didn't agree to tell any other gays to stop protesting his concert tour or suggesting he do more to confront the terrible, and sometimes deadly, anti-gay violence in Jamaica, we felt it was a very positive step forward that the meeting took place," wrote Petrelis.

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