Organizers of Britain's Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards have pulled the nominations of two controversial Jamaican reggae artists in a row about alleged homophonic lyrics.

Organizers of Britain's Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards have pulled the nominations of two controversial Jamaican reggae artists in a row about alleged homophonic lyrics.

The artists, Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, were recently nominated in the category for best reggae single for the Sept. 30 gala at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Following pressure from gay rights campaigners, the MOBO organization subsequently demanded written apologies from the pair over their anti-gay lyrics.

"We'd asked them for written confirmation of their apology and none was forthcoming," says a MOBO spokesperson.

Gay rights lobby groups have welcomed the decision. "The singers' refusal to apologize is indicative of their unrepentant violent homophobia," says a spokesman for gay rights lobby group OutRage. "We applaud the decision of the MOBOs to drop these artists…(they) have taken a lead and we hope other promoters, sponsors, and record companies will follow their positive example," he adds.

OutRage had stepped up its campaign in recent weeks against artists who express anti-gay sentiments in their music. Its head, Peter Tatchell, in August sent an open letter to MOBO CEO Kanya King calling for the exclusion of "any singer or group who incites or glorifies-either in the past or the present-the murder of lesbians and gay men (or anyone else)." The letter cited Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, among others.

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