Jamaican AIDS Advocate’s Death Should Prompt Jamaican Government To Take ‘Firm Stance’ on ‘Homophobic Violence,’ Editorial Says
Jamaican HIV/AIDS advocate Steve Harvey's death late last month "should prod the Jamaican government to pay attention to the gay rights issue," a New York Times editorial says (New York Times, 12/13). Harvey, who was 30 years old, was found murdered on Nov. 30 in a rural area near his home, Jamaican police said. At least four attackers abducted Harvey from his home around 1 a.m. after he returned from work, according to police. He was found several miles away from his home with gunshot wounds in his back and head. Since 1997, Harvey worked with Jamaica AIDS Support and served as Jamaica's representative to the Latin America and Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/5). Jamaica "must go beyond" the investigation into Harvey's death -- which has "the earmarks of a hate crime" -- and "take a firm stance against all kinds of homophobic violence," according to the Times. "A good first step would be to repeal the archaic laws" that make "sexual activities between consenting adults of the same sex illegal," the editorial says, adding, "The country will never defeat its AIDS epidemic -- and government will continue to attract criticism from human rights organizations -- unless it takes strong steps to combat homophobia, both among police and in society as a whole" (New York Times, 12/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.