ACLU of Florida Opposes Local Gay Groups Trying to Cancel Banton Concert
The ACLU of Florida is criticizing gay activists there for trying to get a concert by reggae singer Buju Banton cancelled. Gay rights supporters say Banton’s music encourages violence against gays and lesbians – and have successfully pushed promoters and venues to cancel more than a dozen shows on the performer’s current tour.
But a show slated for October 30th in Miami is being held on public property, in the James L. Knight Center. So to get it shut down, activists have had to ask city officials. Robert Rosenwald is director of the LGBT Advocacy Project at the ACLU of Florida. He says if activists are successful, it could set a dangerous precedent.
Rosenwald: “It is never in the best interests of society or anyone’s civil rights to ask the government to take away the free speech rights of any group, because it could be ours that are next.”
Rosenwald says there are many effective ways for gay rights activists to protest this concert without asking city or state officials to step in.
Rosenwald: “Pressure the private businesses – the promoters, the vendors who sell things in the venue – all of the private industry that goes on around there, we can encourage those people to do the right thing.”
Rosenwald says activists have already convinced a local car dealership to drop its sponsorship of the event.