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Buju Plays Gay Neighborhood

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Nbroverman

Antigay reggae singer Buju Banton has seen many of the dates on his current U.S. tour canceled, but Friday night's performance in the gay-popular neighborhood of Ybor City in Tampa, Fla., remains booked.

Activists in Tampa are furious that Banton's performance at the Cuban Club -- a venue that's part of the GaYBOR District Coalition -- remains scheduled, especially since two other Tampa-area venues canceled Banton shows after learning of his lyrics that advocate violence against gays.

"To come down here is a double slap in our face," Mark Bias, a local man who is urging the club to cancel Banton's show, told the St. Petersburg Times.

But Jose Berenguer, president of the Cuban Club's board of directors, told the newspaper he doesn't support Banton's antigay views but "the problem is that a contract has been signed, and we're not in position to go to court if a promoter decides to sue. ... We're not trying to disrespect [gays] in any way. We signed this contract, and we have to honor it. Will he come back? No."

Banton recently met with gay leaders in the San Francisco Bay area, who were disappointed that he refused to come out publicly against homophobia.


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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.