Gay rights group EGALE has decided not to call for the boycott of Jamaica as they had previously threatened.
In a release Tuesday, the human rights organisation said it would not suggest that Canadians shun Jamaica as a tourist destination but added that they would continue their campaign against perceived homophobia here.
"We will continue to raise the level of education, and awareness around homophobia in Jamaica, and continuing to fight for sexual freedom on the island and the right to live free from fear as a queer in Jamaica," Egale representative Akim Ade Larcher said.
In March, Egale, a Canadian group, issued an ultimatum in an open letter to Anne-Marie Bonner, Jamaica's consul general in Toronto.
In the letter, spokespersons for Egale, along with Rev Brent Hawkes, said they wanted the Government of Jamaica to produce public service announcements denouncing homophobic/transphobic violence.
They also called for a national homophobia/transphobia education campaign, and the repealing of the buggery laws and other legislation that further stigmatise, discriminate and criminalise consensual same-sex acts.
In the letter the group had promised to make a public announcement on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, calling for, among other things, a Canadian Tourism boycott on Jamaica and a blockade of goods and services from here.
However, earlier this week Egale, while promising to continue its campaign, refrained from advocating a boycott.
"We have a responsibility to continue to educate the Canada LGBT (lesbians, gays, bi-sexuals and transsexual) community on countries which criminalise same-sex acts and we also have a responsibility to LGBT Jamaicans who have sought refuge in Canada to tell their story of persecution and violence whilst in Jamaica. Every Canadian citizen can then make an informed choice whether to travel to such countries," the release stated.
Egale's decision had come after Bonner had sent an official response to the group last Thursday. In the response she stated that the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (JFLAG) did not support a boycott of Jamaica's tourism and trade. She added that the Government has taken action to reduce incidence of violence by the security forces and condemns all forms of violence.
"You would be aware of the public statement issued by the government on 14th April 2008 reiterating its strong condemnation of mob attacks and violence against any individual or groups for any reason whatsoever," the statement said
The statement added, "The Constitution and laws of Jamaica provide protection and rights for all. There is not an intention to write into the Constitution specific reference to any particular group, as all groups and individuals have equality under the law."