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Jamaican MP under fire for anti-gay tweet about Frank Ocean’s lyrics

BY NATASHA BARSOTTI — A Jamaican MP in Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller's People's National Party (PNP) came under fire on Twitter for his criticism of lyrics sung by openly gay R&B star Frank Ocean, Television Jamaica (TVJ) reports.

Ocean won the Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the recent music awards, where he also performed. But according to TVJ, MP Dayton Campbell was not happy with Ocean's performance of the track "Forrest Gump," whose lyrics about same-sex love made the politician uncomfortable. 

TVJ quoted from Campbell's tweet, which invoked the name of late reggae superstar Bob Marley and reads in part, "Frank Ocean man fi have ooman pon dem mind. How di hell man end up on your mind massah?? Bob done tell you say man to man is so unjust!!!"

One Twitter user fired back at Campbell that "the same bob marley seh one love" and told the MP to "have a seat."

The Jamaica Star quotes another Twitter user as saying, "I hope the Jamaican social media space makes this a teachable moment for a Jamaican politician. Dr Campbell, your hate will not be condoned."

And yet another weighed in: "Really?? Dayton Campbell doan have NO other contribution to make to Twitter than a Frank Ocean comment? When di dollar is 95 for ONE USD?" 

Asked by TV Jamaica if his comments were appropriate, Campbell said he has "no problem with somebody, irrespective of what sexuality they choose. The problem I have is with the message that is being [transmitted] in the music. Elton John opened the show, and I didn't have a problem with that, so it is not just the sexuality; it was the fact that he was using masculine pronouns to relate his affection, and I thought that for a family show that was inappropriate." 

TV Jamaica reminded Campbell that the prime minister had said during an election debate that she would have no problem with gays serving in her cabinet and that she had raised the possibility of having a conscience vote in parliament over whether the country's buggery laws should be repealed. 

Campbell said the Bible is his moral compass. "If somebody is homosexual and whatever they do in the privacy of their own home, that's their business. As a matter of fact, I don't even believe that it is the responsibility of a politician to legislate who someone should love. I think that judgment of these individuals should be left to God."

Jamaican gay rights activist Javed Jaghai recently filed a complaint with the Jamaican Supreme Court challenging his country's anti-sodomy laws after his landlord allegedly evicted him from his home because of his sexual orientation. 

“We can sit patiently while our humanity is denied and wait for the paradigm to shift in a generation or two, or we can aggressively agitate for change now. I choose to do the latter,” Jaghai says in a Facebook posting cited by the Washington Blade