Reggae festival cancelled over homophobic lyrics

29th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 28 (AFP) - A Paris reggae festival has been cancelled after gay rights groups complained that the lyrics of one of the Jamaican singers incited violence against homosexuals, festival organisers said on Tuesday.

PARIS, June 28 (AFP) - A Paris reggae festival has been cancelled after gay rights groups complained that the lyrics of one of the Jamaican singers incited violence against homosexuals, festival organisers said on Tuesday.

The cancellation came after several French concerts by another popular Jamaican reggae singer were called off earlier this month following complaints that his lyrics were violently homophobic.

France has strict laws banning public hate speech and defamation, most commonly applied to protect social groups that have historically suffered discrimination.

The singer at the Garance Reggae Festival to whom gay activists objected is called Sizzla and was one of eleven groups in the line-up at the event which was to have taken place in Paris on Saturday.

Garance Productions, the company that organised the festival, said in a statement that the venue that was to host the event had decided to cancel "because of the risk of public disorder."

Of the eight concerts Sizzla was due to give in France, six have so far been cancelled.

Earlier this month, several concert venues in France cancelled gigs by Capleton, another Jamaican reggae singer whose homophobic lyrics prompted protests by gay rights groups.

The cancellations came despite the fact that Capleton, along with other Jamaican reggae singers accused of inciting hatred against whites and homosexuals, signed an accord in February with the British gay and lesbian organization Outrage.

According to a spokesman from a French gay rights organization, Les Fourmis, "Capleton has not lapsed" since then.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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