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SF Activists Meet With Reggae Artist

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Gay rights supporters in San Francisco held what they say will be the first of several meetings with reggae performer Buju Banton on Monday.

Activists have called one of Banton’s songs “murder music” for advocating violence against gays and lesbians. The song “Boom Bye Bye” contains lyrics about pouring acid on gay men, and burning them alive.

More than a dozen promoters and venues have canceled shows on Banton’s current tour, and the shows that haven’t been cancelled have been met with protests by gay activists.

But Banton had refused to denounce the song – and though he claimed he had stopped playing it, concert footage allegedly proved otherwise.

Activist Andrea Shorter says there was one tactic that hadn’t been tried yet – dialogue.

Shorter: “I can understand that people want more. We want more as well. But before Monday, no one was talking to the guy.”

Shorter and several other activists, along with out-gay city official Bevan Dufty, met with Banton and two of his representatives on Monday. Shorter says while Banton did not agree to take any specific action, she felt he came away from the meeting with a better understanding of the gay community’s grievance, and she says he agreed to keep the dialogue going.

Shorter: “The idea is within the next couple weeks or so to circle back, and really push harter. So no one let him off the hook.”

Shorter says reports that the activists agreed to stop protesting Banton’s concerts were incorrect. She says activists will continue to plan protests and boycotts until Banton truly stands up against homophobia.

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Written by OutQ News staff

October 15, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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