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#453113 - 12/09/12 02:17 PM Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality
Marty Online   happy

Belize Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality in May

Belize’s Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the country’s sodomy law which treats homosexuality as if it was the same thing as bestiality

The Supreme Court of Belize will decide on the future of the Central American country’s colonial era sodomy law early next year, with a hearing set to begin on May 7.

Prospects for the hearing did not look good at first when Justice Michelle Arana decided that LGBT rights group the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) could not challenge the constitutionality of the law as it was not a person in May of this year.

However she allowed UNIBAM president Caleb Orozco to challenge the law as an individual and has now allowed UNIBAM to participate as an interested party in the case as she had already allowed representatives of Christian churches in Belize to be interested parties along side the government of Belize.

The churches and government want to retain Section 53 of the country’s criminal code which outlaws homosexuality alongside bestiality as carnal intercourse ‘against the order of nature.’

Orozco told the Amandala newspaper that he was hopeful of a positive verdict in a case about ‘fundamental rights and freedom,’ and welcomed recent statements from US officials urging progress in the region on LGBT rights.

‘There is a layer of comfort from the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support for our cause here in Belize,’ Orozco said.

However a spokesman for the churches, Pastor Scott Stirm, claimed that UNIBAM was trying to push a foreign agenda on Belize.

‘UNIBAM is trying to use the preamble of the constitution to push a lifestyle in Belize that is unacceptable,’ Stirm told Amandala.

‘They are trying to push this issue as a human rights issue. And there is an international, global agenda that is pushing homosexuality and abortion.

‘UNIBAM receives support from the U.S. in the name of human rights. But we will not allow them to legalize this lifestyle so that they have free course to go into the schools and teach our kids their lifestyle.’

UNIBAM has threatened to fight the case all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice if need be and hopes the case will have wider implications for the region.

‘Our friends in the Caribbean … are watching the case closely and the friends I am talking about are other LGBT activists who are looking not only at the process but the lessons learnt and the challenges in order to decide how they will approach their filing,’ Orozco told Channel 5 Belize in January.

‘We know for example that Jamaica did a similar filing of their case at the Inter-American Human Rights Court.’

Belize is one of a number of English speaking former British colonies in the region that still outlaw homosexuality.

Source


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#453117 - 12/09/12 02:26 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

UNIBAM HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS CASE SLATED FOR MAY 7-10, 2013

The landmark case of the government of Belize and the churches versus UNIBAM continued this week as the defense and the prosecution made new statements in court.

It is believed by some UNIBAM supporters that Justice Michelle Arana, in addressing the position of UNIBAM’s preliminary filing of the case, struck out its claim for individual rights but did recognise them as an organization that can claim human rights under the law.

UNIBAM representative, Caleb Orozco, stated that he feels positive about the December 5, 2012 court decision, and that Justice Arana’s ruling in pushing the full hearing of the case to May 7-10 of 2013 has given them time to prepare for the next stage, where they will be able to submit extensions by February 18, 2013. He reiterated that UNIBAM is relentless in its struggle for what he called, “fundamental rights and freedom.”

But critics are noting an attempt by UNIBAM to exploit the recent statement made by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that governments like Belize must do everything in their jurisdiction to modify their laws to protect people who are transgender or who are engaged in same-sex relations.

Pastor Scott Stirm, a spokesperson representing the Belizean churches, still felt that the churches have made some inroads on the case and expressed deep support of the church’s position to stand its ground.

“UNIBAM is trying to use the preamble of the constitution to push a lifestyle in Belize that is unacceptable,” he stated, “They are trying to push this issue as a human rights issue. And there is an international/global agenda that is pushing homosexuality and abortion.”

“On a moral basis we disagree with the U.S. government,” said Stirm. “UNIBAM receives support from the U.S. in the name of human rights. But we will not allow them to legalize this lifestyle so that they have free course to go into the schools and teach our kids their lifestyle.”

Amandala has not been able to get any government position on the latest court proceedings on the issue, but learned through sources that Government remains firm on its position.

The Obama administration recently sent a message this year to countries in the Caribbean and Central America stating that there would be economic repercussions for non-compliance with its policies of acceptance of homosexual and transgender lifestyles.

However, most of the targeted governments – almost all of which are developing countries — have challenged the U.S.’s position as an attempt to force them to accept policies that are not supported by their respective populations.

Orozco, for his part, has expressed his group’s intentions to take the issue to the Court of Appeal and even to the Caribbean Court of Justice if the opposition against them from Government and the religious community continues to mount. Orozco says that they will continue to organize and will start a popular education campaign on the rights of transgender and homosexual individuals across Belize.

“There is a layer of comfort from the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support for our cause here in Belize,” stated Orozco.

According to Pastor Stirm, the Belize Human Rights Commission has shown no backbone in addressing morally degrading issues in Belize. He said that they have exploited the issue for their own interest.

“The Human Rights Commission is pushing the agenda because they are getting big funding for this,” stated Stirm. “Where was the Human Rights Commission when Jasmine Lowe was murdered?” he asked.

Amandala


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#453124 - 12/09/12 03:11 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
Nobody You Know Offline
Here we go, they're going to teach our kids to be Gay...

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#453127 - 12/09/12 04:12 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Will most likely win this suit. Someone should remind Stirm that he is a foreigner and at one time, his religion was foreign to this country
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#453136 - 12/09/12 08:39 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
neiljoba Offline
Each day, I read these posts to gain further insight an knowledge of Belize. I would one day like to officially retire in Belize. My impression is that the people of Belize are a most friendly, caring, warm, and loving people. After reading the quotes attributed to Pastor Scott Stim, I fear my impressions may be misguided.

Pastor Stim is noted as a spokesperson representing the Belizean churches. If he truly represents the churches, then Belize is in big trouble. His stance against basic human rights is deplorable. For, I feel he would want to take the country back to the middle ages. When, people who did not think like you or act like you were to be shunned, degraded, exiled, or killed.

I find it difficult to believe that Pastor Stim is really a Christian. He does not seem to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. When it comes to casting the first stone, he would be at the head of the line. The English word for this behavior is bigot. His stance against gays and abortion would make him a wonderful member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He would probably like to see women refused an education, be refused jobs outside the home, banned from using telephones or driving cars, or even be allowed to be seen by men outside the family. I may be way off, but I believe that anyone who CANNOT become pregnant should have anything to say about those who can.

His comment about gays 'going into our schools and teach our kids their lifestyle' is probably the most childish statement that ever came from an adult mouth. Here he is, a pastor, standing in front of a congregation teaching his lifestyle of hate, intolerance, and bigotry. I'll take the gays over him any day of the week.

I hope the people of Belize realize that Pastor Stim is speaking from the end opposite his mouth and send him packing. For he cannot represent people of Belize.

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#453137 - 12/09/12 08:46 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
What country is Jerry Falwell from??
I think we can't judge the country from these types of folk!
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#453138 - 12/09/12 09:17 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
neiljoba Offline
Reply to elbert: You are absolutely correct. No one person can represent any country. I am not deriding the people of Belize, just one person. Belize is STILL the place I would want to live and the Belizean people are STILL the ones I would want to live with.

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#453174 - 12/10/12 06:10 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
neijoba
I would agree with you except for that part where you decry Muslims. Please don't do the same as the ones you are criticizing - not all Muslims are bad people just as all Christians are not good people. WAIT! don't stone me.
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#453181 - 12/10/12 07:22 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Stirm represents his church alone, but is not on the Belize Council Of Churches, the group which has a seat in the Senate and recognized by GOB.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#453182 - 12/10/12 07:23 PM Re: Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality [Re: Marty]
neiljoba Offline
To ScubaLady:

As the kids would say these days, "MY BAD!" I admit that I was over generalizing. If I change Muslim Brotherhood to Taliban, would my comment would be more specific.

I hope this can soothe the feathers that I ruffled.

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