Brighton council may ban homophobic music

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

New guidelines from Brighton and Hove City Council will effectively ban “murder music” from all licensed premises.

OutRage! and other gay campaigners have led a campaign against homophobic artists such as Beenie Man and Buju Banton who advocate the murder of gay men and lesbians in their music.

Councillor Dee Simson, head of licensing, told The Argus: “In Brighton and Hove we have a good record on equalities and we felt it was important was important to include this in the licensing policy.

“We do not want music that incites racial or homophobic hatred.”

Banton became notorious for his 1992 song Boom Bye Bye which advocates shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them and burning them alive.

A Banton concert was due to take place in Brighton in 2006 but was cancelled after protests.

The new licensing rules ban the performance of any music that encourages violence toward minority groups. The council will vote on the proposed new rules later this month.

Peter Tatchell has led the three-year-long Stop Murder Music campaign, which had brought about the cancellation of hundreds of concerts and sponsorship deals, causing income losses estimated in excess of $5m (£2.5m).

“This is a good symbolic move it sends a signal that hate and murder music is unacceptable,” he told

“But the downside is that this policy does not prevent local shops from selling these CDs, which results in this music reacting a much wider audience.

“Moreover, thanks to the Reggae Compassion Act, the live performance of these songs in the UK has already been effectively halted.”

Buju Banton and Beenie Man both gained positive press coverage around the world for publicly renouncing homophobia by signing the Reggae Compassion Act, an agreement to stop performing homophobic music.

“This policy does not stop singers who perform these hate and murder songs abroad from performing their other songs in Brighton,” said Mr Tatchell

“In other words they can still potentially be rewarded with concerts in Brighton.

“What is really outrageous is that the police in Brighton and elsewhere are failing to prosecute the record stores and radio stations who play these songs, which advocate the murder of lesbians and gay men.

“Inciting murder is a criminal offence. It is appalling that the police forces across the country are not enforcing the law when singers incite the shooting, burning and hanging of queers.”