In news that will surely fire off much heated debate on the social media, News Five has confirmed that from September fifth to September twelfth, members of the LGBT community abroad will be painting the island of San Pedro in rainbow colours. Itís an event, the first of its kind and dubbed the largest ever, which is being called Temptation Island Pride Week, and the notice reads that there will be nightly activities like drag shows, toga parties, leather and lace parties, a masquerade ball and runway model shows. Like we said, the news is sure to set off a homophobic frenzy in many quarters, and will certainly be enough to launch a thousand debates on social media, and even on the local airwaves. Those participating in the Temptation Island Pride Week will be hosted, we understand, at the Caribbean Villas Hotel in San Pedro.
Our immigration laws forbid homosexuals, prostitutes, the deaf and idiots from entering Belize. Would be a grt time to force GOB to enforce the law they say is never enforced and so, why change it? I only wish Helen Keller was alive and gay and coming to Belize. Time for a show down.
San Pedro town has long been known for its thriving gay community – but one resort owner is taking it to another level completely: he’s courting the
gay tourist market – with an event called the Biggest LGBT Pride Event in Belize’s History.
It’s a week long event planned for September at the Caribbean Villas Hotel and gay guests will be regaled with, quote, “Drag shows, Toga Parties,
Leather & Lace Parties, Reg-gay Nights, a Masquerade Ball, a Runway Model Show and more... !!”
Now, the resort owner says he’s just trying to tap into an available and lucrative tourist market – but he’s also toeing the fault line for one of
Belize’s biggest cultural wars.
Today Caleb Orozco told us, bring it on:..
Caleb Orosco - Executive Director, UNIBAM
"I was as surprised as you to have received the Facebook release from our people in the community and for us we applaud any private sector event that
promotes a climate of inclusion."
Pastor Scott Stirm - VP, Evangelical Association of Churches
"I heard about it yesterday and so we send out texts to all of the leaders that we got connections with. And so obviously people are appalled with this
event coming into Belize. I guess part of the challenge with that is if there was a public event - it would be easier for us to put public pressure to
get something like that stopped but it's a private event at a private facility so that presents little bit of a challenge. But I would say this, above
all else I'm excited about this and I'm looking forward to see what God is going to do."
"For our good friend pastor Stirm, I welcome his commitment to his cause and he at least has my respect in being very consistent in his message. Like
all things, people have their views and whether people are committed or not, it will be reflected in practice and action. Ultimately, pastor Stirm is
not the law and pastor Stirm cannot erode, threaten, intimidate the rights of people to walk freely, to associate freely and to express themselves
Pastor Scott Stirm
"It is a big issue and so, yes they do the different parades and all of that but everybody knows exactly what is completely different about this one -
specifically has the exclusive LGBT twist to it. Basically what we're saying is, it's a step in the wrong direction and the power of suggestion."
"He may have his perceptions on what happens at a pride event. For us pride events occurred for many decades in this country without provocation or
cause. And they have been simply entertainment moments that to us are known as social fabric event that is part of the Belizean culture."
"How would you want to say to those who say, you're jumping at shadows, that your reactionary and that the reaction is blowing everything out of
Pastor Scott Stirm
"Well I would just say, I disagree - what is the other option? And that's why we said if you expect the church to just roll over like an old tired rod;
I'm sorry that's just not who we are. We're going to come at this thing as a righteous Rottweiler and a prayerful pit-bull."
"The problem isn't with us, the problem is with the BTB and the BTIA and their silence and their complicity by inaction of mission and indifference in
publicly stating what their position is on the practice of discrimination and it's effect on tourists. Knowing that we've engaged BTIA privately and
knowing the resistance to actually take responsible stance - wronged the rights of people to associate, express and movement. The challenge is for them
to establish nationally what climate does Belize have. Is it one friendly to tourists, all tourists? Or is it one where they'll pick and choose
tourists they welcome to Belize? For us the ball is in the BTB and BTIA court because it's up to them to decide."
We’ll have the resort owners point of view in Monday’s newscast.
Fox still holds the trademark.....but they sold the show after big ratings failures after the first year. Currently running in Romania and earlier this year in Italy. And previously in 17 other countries.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
Last night, we showed you our interview with Fr. Noel Leslie, the Senator representing the Council of Churches, as he discussed why he voted yes for the General Revenue Supplementary Appropriation Bills approving Petrocaribe spending - when, in fact, his church does not support it. Well, that also gave us an opportunity to ask him for the Council's position on the upcoming gay pride event on San Pedro.
Hotelier Peter Lawrence is catering to what his PR team is calling the biggest gay pride event in Belize's history, starting from September 5th to the 12th. He wants LGBT tourists to come to Belize and have their vacation at his resort in which they will participate in event planned to attract that population. We've already told you what the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches had to say about that, but what about the other group, the Belize Council of Churches? We asked him about the event, and here's what he had to say:
Daniel Ortiz "Are you prepared and able to make any comments? Have you all as members of the different churches discuss this amongst yourselves?"
Senator Noel Leslie - Representative of the Churches "Okay, there is an awareness of that. There have been no discussion yet, because as you know this time of the year a lot of us are here, there and everywhere, but I am quite sure that will come up in time."
Daniel Ortiz "Just as a member of the church, a leader, a senator, what's your thoughts on this particular issue? Is it something that must be rejected out rightly?"
Senator Noel Leslie - Representative of the Churches "First if all as a Catholic, I must say that we will have to kind of like look at the whole issue. I don't want to say hey, nay right now on the whole matter. To prevent any speculation we have to meet and look at the church's position - traditional positions on all of this. We know what the scripture say and our Holy Father Pope Francis, you know, he speaks about mercy, about understanding, be respectful and so forth. But that does not mean I approved of your lifestyle and your behaviors and so forth. I mean going back to the book of Genesis, we know what he said about creation - God made them male and female."
Daniel Ortiz "How would you answer to critics who say that being completely conservative and conventional and sticking to the hard line positions that the church has always maintain through the years, is sort of not living in the times that we are now - that it is sort of outdated to be completely intolerant?"
Senator Noel Leslie - Representative of the Churches "Referring to your "outdated" you prefer to use that word. The message of Christ is always relevant. That will be always be true. It's a revelation to us. Now, understanding what the text say, understanding the sign of the times - those are the keyword from Vatican too. We need to understand the sign of the times, but that does not mean that you associate yourself with wrong doing and evil. The church has the obligation to be truthful at all times, to reveal truth and at times the truth hurts."
As you heard in the interview, the Council of Churches have not met to discuss and come up with a categorical position on this private sector venture.
The Caribbean Villas resort in San Pedro, which offered a tourist package marketed internationally as the the biggest Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans-gender (LGBT) pride event in Belizeís history, has postponed the even.
Caribbean Villas owner, Peter Lawrence told The Reporter that the event, which was scheduled to be held from September 5th to the 12th was postponed until May 2016 because the resort was unable to have all rooms booked out. According to Lawrence, of the 61 rooms at the resort, 45 were booked out, but as the guests were told that homosexuality is illegal in Belize, 28 of those rooms were cancelled.
Lawrence added, however, that he doesnít believe the churchís disapproval of the event in any way detracted would-be LGBT guests. According to Lawrence, he believes that the marketing for the event just wasnít right and subsequently, he has made the proper adjustments and will be marketing to a wider circle of men for the event now scheduled for Maybext year. He said he expects the new effort to be successful when he re-launches the marketing.
He also said that he has received backing from the government and the police department, who have said that there is nothing illegal about marketing and hosting the gathering.
Pastor Scott Stirm, Evangelical Association vice president, who opposed the event from its announcement, however, holds a different view. He told The Reporter that ever since the churches became aware of the event, they have mobilized across the country and led prayer missions to San Pedro. He believes that prayers are responsible for the eventís failure.
Stirm said, like Lawrence, they will also be rescheduling for May, mobilizing and praying in opposition of the event, which the church characterizes as immoral.
He urged hotelier Lawrence, instead, to offer similar packages for family oriented entertainment. He added that the church is also praying for Lawrence, that he may have a change of heart.