Buju’s management denies Banton signed Reggae Compassionate Act

The management team of dancehall artiste, Mark Myrie, popularly known as Buju Banton, has dismissed a report in Monday's edition of the UK Guardian stating that he has signed an agreement with a gay rights group.A report in the newspaper claims that homophobic figures in reggae and dancehall music have agreed to stop singing violently anti-gay lyrics. The story also claims that Buju Banton - whose 1990s hit Boom Bye Bye advocates the shooting of gay men - signed the "Reggae Compassionate Act" set up by the gay rights campaign group Stop Murder Music. According to the report, the signing followed a three-year campaign. It also claims that Buju Banton is the latest in a series of high-profile artists, to sign the declaration after worldwide protests from gay rights groups resulted in the cancellation of concerts and sponsorship deals, costing the artists in excess of £2.5 million. The story also states that by signing the agreement Buju Banton has agreed to not make homophobic statements in public, release new homophobic songs or authorise the re-release of previous homophobic songs. But speaking with RJR news, Buju's manager Donovan Germaine dismissed the report out of hand. He added that the management team would not comment further on the issue as it was being used by the gay rights group to gain mileage for their cause. Reports have been swirling for weeks that two other well-known entertainers, Beenie man and Sizzla have also signed the agreement but neither camp has confirmed the stories. The Reggae Compassionate Act states that there is no space in the music communityfor hatred and prejudice, including no place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia. It adds that reggae artists have always fought against injustices, inequalities, poverty and violence. Gay rights groups in the United Kingdom have waged war against a number of dancehall artists for 15 years.

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