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"Faggots... have to die" Sings Buju Banton, Booked for Concerts in L.A., San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago and Other Cities

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AEG Live and its subsidiary, Goldenvoice (producer of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival), refuse to respond to requests from the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to cancel its concerts by Buju Banton, a reggae singer whose songs include lyrics that promote the brutal and violent murder of gay and lesbian people. He is scheduled to perform at Los Angeles' Nokia Club on October 14, in San Francisco on October 10 and in Philadelphia on September 12.

Banton is also scheduled to perform at House of Blues venues in Chicago (Oct. 1), Las Vegas (Oct. 15), Dallas (Oct. 20) and Houston (Oct. 22). After the Center urged Live Nation, which operates the House of Blues, to cancel its Buju Banton concerts, Chief Executive Officer and President Michael Rapino responded by saying the company is "looking into the situation."

Through his music, Banton promotes a culture of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, singing in his most notorious song "Boom, Bye Bye" that "faggots get up and run" when he comes, that "they have to die," and that he will shoot them in the head or "burn them up bad."

"In his home country of Jamaica, Banton and his fellow performers of 'murder music,' have helped to create and sustain a culture in which violence against LGBT people is not only tolerated, it's sometimes celebrated," said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean. "The Center is an ardent supporter of free speech and artistic expression, but we cannot -- and will not -- tolerate speech in any form that promotes violence against LGBT people."

In 2004 the House of Blues responded to pressure from the Center and the LGBT community, eventually canceling a concert at its West Hollywood venue by Capleton, a reggae singer who also promoted violence against gay people. And just a year later, the company eventually agreed to cancel a West Hollywood concert by Sizzla, a performer who sang lyrics that included:

"I go and shoot queers."

"It makes me angry that acts such as Banton continue to get booked, and that we have to continue to demand that such performers be denied a platform to promote hate and violence against LGBT people," said Jean. "If these were artists who sang about murdering any other group of people, no one would be booking them. Promoters, especially huge businesses like AEG Live and Live Nation, must finally understand that there can be no excuse for booking performers who glorify the murder of, or violence against, LGBT people."

The Center has created a web page, www.lagaycenter.org/StopHateLyrics, where the public can take action to stop concerts by Banton, and urges peaceful people in every town where Banton is booked, and throughout the country, to make it clear that there is no place in America where such abhorrent messages are permissible.

About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more. Visit us on the Web at: www.lagaycenter.org.