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Friday, October 16, 2009

Buju Banton Meets With San Francisco Gay Activists & Leaders

Buju Banton is n the yellow incase you didn't know

San Francisco gay activists and community leaders met with reggae artist Buju Banton Monday afternoon (October 12) to discuss “his troubling history with gay people.” In attendance were Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who arranged the meeting, executive director of the SF gay community center, Rebecca Rolfe, Equality California’s Andrea Shorter, Supervisor Eric Mar and gay activist, Michael Petrelis. According to Buju and his advisers, this was his first meeting ever with gay advocates and they desire to put an end to the controversy that follows him over anti-gay lyrics in his song, “Boom Bye Bye,” which Banton recorded in his late teens.

Petrelis described the meeting as “very civil and production, ” adding, “we made several suggestion for him to consider, in order to start to undo some of the problems he has in the gay community because of his past anti-gay lyrics.”

Suggestions made included Banton making statements in Jamaica calling for love towards gays, donating to the JFLAG group, holding a town hall meeting in Kingston about the need to respect gays, and singing about loving gay people. All the suggestions were rejected.

In late August of this year, concert promoter Live Nation had announced the cancellation of a series of Buju Banton concerts after gay activists campaigned for him to be dropped due to his anti-gay lyrics. However, since then, Banton has scheduled upcoming shows here in the U.S., just at different venues.

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