Banton Agrees To Refrain From Homophobia

Dancehall artist BUJU BANTON has agreed to refrain from writing homophobic lyrics after signing up to the Reggae Compassionate Act. The Deportees star was heavily criticised for the anti-gay statements made in his 1992 song Boom Bye Bye, in which he advocates the shooting of homosexuals. But Banton - real name Mark Anthony Myrie - has now joined his peers Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton in the historic agreement, which renounces homophobia. 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". Carl Edmonson, from the Jamaican gay rights group J-Flag, says, "I really hope that his actions are genuine and it is not just because international pressure is hurting his pocket. We hope it is a sincere commitment that will end homophobic violence." Peter Tatchell, campaigner for British human rights group OutRage!, is also pleased at the campaign's latest development, adding, "Our number one priority is to stop murder music."


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