Gareth Henry is no stranger to the persecution caused by same-sex relationships in Jamaica. Sadly, countless individuals are harassed and even killed in many countries around the world simply because of their sexual preference. Gareth Henry was forced to leave his homeland to seek refuge in Canada because his life was threatened.
He was even brutally beaten with guns along with other gay men by the police as 200 bystanders watched. When he complained to the Jamaican ministry of justice, he was ignored, and the harassment from the police only worsened. He used to house gay men who were homeless and shunned by their families. Some of them even had Aids and HIV and had nowhere else to turn. Gareth Henry was forced into hiding because he feared for his life.
He has many gruesome stories of how gays and lesbians are just not tolerated, and he lost 13 of his friends because of hate crimes. He has to identify several of their bodies as well. He is an activist for gay rights and is a social worker. He is also one of two co-petitioners trying to bring about a legal fight against Jamaica at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Gareth Henry took leadership of the organization after Brian Williamson, the former leader, was stabbed to death. He was lucky to escape, but there are many other men who are not as fortunate and are not able to find a safe haven. A large portion of the gay community in Jamaica are living in poverty and are homeless. Many also have HIV, have no hope and are humiliated every single day.
This persecution is a violation of human rights, and since all other avenues have been exhausted, it is time for a different plan of action. The authorities seem to want to turn a blind eye to what is happening, and some are even a part of the horrible persecution. One of the best ways to combat this situation is through education and awareness as much of the world does not even know that all of this is happening.