Beenie asks gays for forgiveness
BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
DANCEHALL kingpin Beenie Man has apologised for his gay-bashing songs in a YouTube video, possibly bringing closure to over 10 years of acricmony with gay rights groups.
The video was posted yesterday on rototomsunsplash.com, website of the popular summer reggae festival. This year the Rototom Sunsplash will be held August 16- 22 in Spain.
Beenie Man is scheduled to perform on the show. In the one minute, 35-second message, a remorseful Beenie Man pleads:
"Please I am begging you do not have me up for some songs I wrote a long time ago. I love each and every one and am just begging each and everyone to do the same," he said.
Beenie Man also expressed his respect for every human being "regardless of which race or creed, regardless of religious belief, regardless of which sexual preference you have including gay and lesbian."
His apology comes after years of intense pressure from the gay community, which caused many of his shows in North America and Europe to be cancelled.
Organisers of the Rototom Festival issued the following statement on its website:
"We have received and we are happy to publish a video message of Beenie Man in which he wishes to clear out any doubt about his position concerning homophobic lyrics appearing in some of his old songs. We would like to think that his words can put an end to all the controversies that the subject has generated."
Also posted on the site is a copy of the 2007 Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Moses Davis, the deejay's real name.
Other dancehall acts including Capleton and Buju Banton, allegedly signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, drafted by the organisers of Rototom to appease gay rights advocates.