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Devince Smith murdered Monday 21 December
Gay lives matter too in The Bahamas or they should. It took the down market newspaper The Punch in its Thursday 24th Christmas Eve edition to put into squeamish words what was being whispered around the town. There was another gay murder or so it appears when a coach of the Volley Ball Federation, a well-known and loved banker, who was meticulous in his habits, assiduous in his work ethic did not show up for work on Monday 21st December. The alarm was raised and when they entered his apartment found him in quite a state; there had been quite struggle and the resulting death was brutal and final. He had been dead for some time and those who knew him said that whatever the case he did not deserve to die in that brutal and undignified manner. The town started talking about of all the young black professional men who were killed in similar circumstance and whether the police had found the killers and or obtained convictions. There is a case that remains outstanding now in the courts and people wait to see what will happen there. However, what has been suggested is that as soon as the police know that there might be a gay killed, the investigation stops or once the matter gets to court, the lawyer says the man killed him because he challenged his manhood and that is the end of that: not guilty. Bahamians were surprised when the Canadian Government showed that it had accepted 12 Bahamian men into their country on the grounds of political asylum because they claimed that as gay men in The Bahamas they were oppressed and persecuted. It says we have a long way to go in The Bahamas. The problem is that when these murders happen like when people died of AIDs in the early days, no one would say because they were ashamed to say it. Gay men in the country have to lead such a secretive life, unspoken liaisons, contacts on a need to know basis only, speaking to their friends in code and their families they say nothing and pretend they just don’t see. The result is when something like the murder last week happens; few people know who was seeing whom. That makes it all the more difficult to solve; plus the shame that people feel because their loved one was as they say in The Bahamas “that way”. A man is dead that is all that matters in this case; we hope that the police do a full investigation and get the person responsible. This business of passing judgment because of who people love is simply despicable and crazy.