Reggae Stars Sign Up To 'Gay Rights' Act
Reggae stars Beenie Man, Sizzla and CAPLETON have vowed to refrain from writing anti-gay lyrics after signing a historic agreement to renounce homophobia.
The artists, who have faced criticism in the past for penning controversial tracks inciting listeners to kill the gay community, have lent their name to the Reggae Compassionate Act - a new drive to "respect and uphold the rights of all individuals to live without violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender".
The deal, brokered between reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists, also states, "We (as artists) agree not to make statements or perform songs that incite hatred or violence against anyone from any community".
Peter Tatchell, campaigner for British human rights group OutRage!, says, "The Reggae Compassionate Act is a big breakthrough.
"The singers' rejection of homophobia and sexism is an important milestone. 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."
But he criticised other musicians who had refused to sign the pact: "The other five murder music artists - Elephant Man, TOK, Bounty Killa, Vybz Kartel and Buju Banton - have not signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. The campaign against them continues."