Huge Protest of 'Faggots Have to Die' Singer Buju Banton at Cabana Club in Hollywood TONIGHT, Oct. 15
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Huge Protest of 'Faggots Have to Die' Singer Buju Banton at Cabana Club in Hollywood TONIGHT, Oct. 15 LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is organizing a huge protest tonight (Oct. 15) at the Cabana Club in Hollywood (1439 Ivar Ave.) at 8:30 p.m. against Buju Banton, a reggae singer who is notorious for a song that glorifies the brutal murder of gay and lesbian people. The protest is also against the club and the owners of parent company Sunset Entertainment Group, who canceled the concert a week ago after a huge outcry from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), but quietly re-booked Buju Banton for tonight. During this nationwide tour, Banton has had concerts canceled in 16 cities. Through his music, Banton promotes a culture of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, singing in his most notorious song "Boom, Bye Bye" that "faggots get up and run" when he comes, that "they have to die," and that he will shoot them in the head or "burn them up bad." Banton's music has helped foster such an anti-gay culture in his home country of Jamaica--where several prominent gay activists have been murdered--that Time magazine recently asked: "Is Jamaica the most homophobic place on Earth?" "Banton is unrepentant and completely unapologetic for continuing to perform a song that glorifies the murder of LGBT people," says Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean, "and for fostering a culture of hate against LGBT people in his home country of Jamaica. It's outrageous and unconscionable that clubs would book and profit from someone like him." Live Nation had recently booked Banton to perform at the Nokia Club on Oct. 14, but that Los Angeles concert, like many others around the country, was canceled in response to an outcry from concerned citizens mobilized by e-mails, websites and Facebook groups created by the Center, the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network, the London-based OUTRAGE, and other organizations. Over the past several weeks, Banton, who was recently videotaped saying, "There is no end to the war between me and faggots," has had concerts canceled in Orlando, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Columbus, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Detroit and several other cities. His manager, Tracii McGregor, responded to the cancellations with an "open letter" full of incomplete and inaccurate information, decrying LGBT groups for their "war" against Banton and for not having a "larger, more fruitful discussion that could perhaps effect real change." The Center responded to McGregor with a letter from Jean, sent on Sept. 15, in which she invites Banton to the Center and to talk about the impact of hate speech. In it, she writes: "If Banton is truly remorseful for performing 'Boom, Bye Bye' and contributing to the anti-gay climate in Jamaica, and publicly vows to never perform the song again, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center would be happy to support an end to the boycott of his concerts." She adds, "We'd like nothing more than to have a fruitful discussion that will result in the end of such music." When Jean reached McGregor by phone today, McGregor said she and the singer would not meet with any other LGBT organizations and that a recent meeting with LGBT activists in San Francisco was simply "to humanize" the singer. When Jean asked McGregor if Banton would agree to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act, a vow to never again sing songs that promote violence against LGBT people, McGregor hung up on her. In addition to the Cabana Club in Hollywood, the Sunset Entertainment Group operates these Los Angeles nightclubs/restaurants: Green Door, Ritual and Pig 'n Whistle. The partners in SEG are Alan Hajjar, Chris Breed, Eric Virgets and George Nahas, and the promoter is Drew Greeley. The Center has created a web page, http://www.lagaycenter.org/StopHateLyrics, where the public can take action and sign a petition to stop Banton's Cabana Club concert, as well as a Facebook group: "Cancel Buju Banton's Los Angles Show!" About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more. Visit us on the Web at: http://www.lagaycenter.org. SOURCE L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Thomas Soule of L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, +1-323-993-7622
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