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05/18/13 05:29 AM
05/18/13 05:29 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP
This is what the representative of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd, said today, on the International Day Against Homophobia and during a very sensitive time for LGBT people, as shown, with such class, by First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow.

“"So section 53 Criminal Code of Belize refers to not only sodomy, but also bestiality... I wonder if we will soon have another group maybe animal-bam claiming it is theri human right to have sex in the privacy of their home with their animals? consent will not then be an issues since human own animals... so need for consent needs only be form the human aspect... ooops!"

05/18/13 06:24 AM
05/18/13 06:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2003
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Belize City
Katie Valk Offline

Katie Valk  Offline
Animals, like underage children, can not offer consent.

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05/18/13 09:38 AM
05/18/13 09:38 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
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San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
Originally Posted by Marty
This is what the representative of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd, said today, on the International Day Against Homophobia .....

“"So section 53 Criminal Code of Belize refers to not only sodomy, but also bestiality... I wonder if we will soon have another group maybe animal-bam claiming it is theri human right to have sex in the privacy of their home with their animals? consent will not then be an issues since human own animals... so need for consent needs only be form the human aspect... ooops!"

"It is sometimes better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." - Chinese proverb.

05/30/13 05:01 AM
05/30/13 05:01 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Is Audrey Leaving OCEANA Because of Homosexuality/Bestiality Comment?

Audrey Matura-Shepherd – since May of 2009, she’s become known as the face of OCEANA in Belize. As the Vice President of OCEANA in Belize and not one to shy from the cameras or any sensitive issue, she’s made the Environmental group a household name in Belize. But, tonight, there are unconfirmed but credible reports that Matura-Shepherd will be announcing her resignation - as early as tomorrow. What’s the cause of the sudden and unexpected move? Well, it could be a facebook fight over gay rights.

The first clue came in her weekly column in the Amandala on Friday, which was titled “"Cowered into Silence." In it Matura-Shepherd describes an attempt by what she describes as a segment of the homosexual lobby to silence her. That’s after, in a previous edition of the newspaper, she speculated that the UNIBAM claim could have a domino effect and see other groups, for instance those that practice bestiality, push for their rights. It’s an extreme comparison and it caught the eye of UNIBAM Attorney and social media doyen Lisa Shoman who queried on Facebook if Matura-Shepherd's views are those of Oceana's principals in Washington.

And then, one Kenrick Raymark Theus Diaz wrote those principals in Washington trying to get her fired. He wrote to her CEO saying that Matura-Shepherd crudely compared homosexuality to bestiality and asked quote, "I implore your corrective measures to this holy mess created by a person purporting to represent your organization locally" end quote.

Since then Matura-Shepherd has reportedly told those close to her that she may seek to distance herself from the organization so as not to cast any adverse light on the good work they are doing to protect the Oceans. We could not reach her for comment this evening. We will keep following the story.

Channel 7

OCEANA Belize VP resigns because of squabble with UNIBAM advocate?

News Five has been unable to confirm reports that the very vocal Vice President of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, is stepping down from that position. But tonight there is speculation that if the rumors of Matura-Shepherd’s departure are true, it could be because of increased attention focused on her personal views in the wake of the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize. Matura-Shepherd came under fire following an article in the Amandala in which she was very outspoken against homosexuality. Attorney for Caleb Orozco, Lisa Shoman, took issue and using the social media, Facebook, asked Matura-Shepherd if her position expressed in the Amandala is the position of the principals of Oceana. According to Matura-Shepherd on her Facebook page, a person by the name of Kenrick Diaz then sent a note to her C.E.O. in Washington D.C. condemning her for those comments and claiming that those comments are, “really not what Oceana wants to have as their platform in any foreign country.” That was the end of the back and forth until rumors of her departure circulated today, and as a motive it is still just speculation.

Channel 5

05/31/13 04:58 AM
05/31/13 04:58 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Audrey Matura Shepherd Confirms Resignation and Speaks Out on Threats She Received

Rumors had been circulating that Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd had stepped down from her post. Well today, the smoke was cleared and Matura-Shepherd confirmed that she has indeed resigned. Following a statement from her and the Chief Executive Officer in Belize, Andy Sharpless, this morning, Matura Shepherd called a press conference this afternoon to relay the details into her resignation. There she informed the media that she submitted her resignation last week Thursday and got a response accepting it on Friday, but she and her boss had opted to not make it public until today.


“I think I need to clarify that I was never asked to resign from Oceana. Oceana values my work deeply and I value the norms and the campaigns that they do but there comes a point in everyone’s life when you make a personal choice and it was my personal choice to resign. For some time I knew that I would not always be at Oceana; I shared that with you all now and then, I know I won’t always be there. When I was hired to start Oceana it wasn’t even in my plan to be doing that kind of work but you go where God leads you. So, that’s where I ended up and I always said I would only do three years. Last year, May 1 made three years and I was ready to leave and Oceana begged me to stay on and renegotiated with me and I think at that point I knew I was lying to myself because time had passed and things had to happen the way it did for me to get the message that it’s time to move on.”

Matura-Shepherd pointed out that she had felt from earlier in the year that she had a bigger calling, but tried to restrain from being vocal person but she says it’s clearly her calling. She had more to say on her resignation.


“It culminated last two weeks when I did write an article in the newspaper which I do for free and I will never stop writing because I love writing. I wrote an article in the newspaper in which I made it known that the same way there is a group of people calling themselves UNIBAM demanding that their sexual orientation be accepted, it is not unlikely that there could be another group calling themselves whatever BAM they want to be also demanding the right to be with animals and I could go down the list of all the things that are criminalized in this country. I never said it to offend anyone, I never said it because I wanted to enter a debate into the issue, I have always written very provocatively. I never thought that I would be entering this issue but it all had to happen because maybe I was being a coward sitting on the fence and not prepared to take a stance and so it had to happen this way. Key things that happened that really stirred my heart which made me resign, I know I am very vocal, I stand on what I believe and am assertive but when I saw the level of attack and at the lengths that they would go to quiet people, I realize it wasn’t about sodomy or bestiality, it was about reaching a point in this country where people would not be able to speak openly and I feel that all my life I have fought for other people. You all know me, as members of the press, trail blazing as to what you can do or say in the press and I couldn’t see myself in a position where they would hold my organization unfairly at ransom and then I have to be a part of that; it’s just not within my principles, it just goes contrary to everything I can live by. So, what I did, I deliberate and I noticed what really happened. One of the things that really happened was it all started with Ms. Lisa Shoman first calling me out on Facebook; I had not seen the post and it didn’t really bothered me but I was wondering why I was getting so many queries. I have never asked Lisa Shoman if when she goes on Facebook on this recent move against me is her position or the position of the organization who she represents that is UNIBAM; I don’t know if she is acting on her personal capacity or her professional capacity but I won’t even go there because that is not how I deal with issues; so, it started there but after that there was a slew of emails, all of them have not been produced to me that was sent to my organization; I really applaud Oceana because they were very professional. At no point, had they said you must resign, they felt we can work through this, they valued my work and we can work through this. But I had to think about it, the objective is not so much to destroy the great work that Oceana has done and all of you know that what Oceana does is greatly needed in this country; the objective was to go after me and I realize that if I remain there the organization, no matter what they do, would be a target and I am not afraid to stand on this issue alone if I have to; so, I made the bold move and said I would resign. My boss is a bit taken aback because it was not what they expected; they expected that this too shall pass but I do not believe that this too shall pass.”

According to Matura-Shepherd she has undergone a number of attacks


“I have been there; I have seen the level of attack and let me tell you how low it is. I brought with me and you all can go on Oceana Belize Facebook Page and read the comment from one, Paul Smith and Christian Riveroll and they literally say that they will call on all the LGBT to come forward and denounce the work of Oceana – that is low. So, if I’m the one that they are really after, I don’t see why I should stand there and let them attack an organization that really is here doing fantastic work. It says right here, do not ever forget that there are over 30,000 LGBT persons living in this country; we have the power to swing a vote where we want. You of all persons should be ashamed of your remarks; I can no longer support the cause.”

On the day of the People’s Referendum, there were a lot of forthcoming threats including death threats, Matura Shepherd announced, but she had decided to not bring those to light. Now she’s getting mild threats she explained but threats nevertheless.


“One of the things I never revealed to people was that during the referendum, I did get death threats and I reported it to the police but I never made it public because I never wanted to detract from the campaign; only those really close to me knew about it and some strange characters did show up at our office, the police did come to protect us and we counted the ballots till the end. I never made it public because I just feel that we need to steer the course on the issue. Since then, again, the way the LGBT did, at least one person wrote to our CEO demanding my removal but that person, although we wrote back never answered so we think it’s a fictitious name and I have had other threats but it’s part of what happens when you’re vocal.”

Stepping down was a choice she had to made, Matura Shepherd says, between bowing to the powers of money or to the powers of her conscience and she chose the latter. She also vowed to not stop fighting.


“Me, stepping away from Ocean does not mean that the fight has ended, it is just starting. I, openly will speak as a Christian and I denounce any sexual orientation law in this country and I am not ashamed to say it and those who want to sit on the fence. What the people who are against me should understand is that they were safer had they left me where I was because I would have been so occupied doing the work of Oceana but when I see as a woman, as a mother, as a Belizean that you are prepared to destroy my job; that is low and when you are prepared to tell me that I cannot speak up, I draw the line there, So, that’s the reason I am leaving.”

OCEANA is being governed by new policies and Matura Shepherd says she could not have continued working under those


“I would have had to abide by a policy where I would not be able to write or speak on any issue and I deliberated on that; while it was never said to me directly, I knew it would come down to that; everybody’s smart and know how these things go and I did not feel it fair for me to put anyone in my organization in that position to even have to say that. I think that I am smart enough, I can see things as they come, before they come and I knew clearly that it would be selfish of me to put anyone in the position that they have to exert pressure because to my heart I knew that I could never stop writing or stop speaking on any other issues; so, it’s really a personal choice of mine.”

If she could turn back the hands of time when it comes to expressing her opinions the way she did and writing the article in the newspaper, Matura-Shepherd says she wouldn’t change a thing. She encourages everyone to continue supporting OCEANA’s cause and she also had some words for those aspiring to apply for the position she’s leaving.


“I do make a difference but I hope that I have been a role model to many other young Belizeans that they would want to step up. I want to see people applying hand over fist to take over this job and to really do it; you just need the passion and the will to want to make a change to do it, you don’t need any big degrees, you need to believe in yourself

That you can do it and I think that needs to be done and the truth is and I have said this to Oceana that I will always support their work.”

The statement by CEO, Andy Sharpless says quote “We have big shoes to fill but are confident that we can find a new local leader as smart, brave and determined as Audrey”, end quote. He goes on, quote “I and Oceana’s Board of Directors thank Audrey for her service and wish her continued success as she moves onto the next steps in her remarkable career” end quote. This afternoon, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage issued a statement regarding the resignation of Matura Shepherd. In it, it thanks her and gives her good wishes saying quote “ While the Coalition is disappointed that one of the strongest advocates for a properly planned oil industry, particularly as it relates to banning offshore oil exploration is leaving in an official capacity, the Coalition is assured that Ms. Matura-Shepherd will continue to support the cause.” End quote. It also states quote “As Oceana’s Vice President, Audrey has been instrumental in forwarding one of the goals of the Coalition as it relates to achieving a ban on offshore drilling in Belize’s territorial waters. Her dynamism, legal training and unbridled passion for her work has changed environmental advocacy in Belize and as well, garnered the support of thousands of Belizeans as Oceana as a member of the Coalition was a leading force behind the People’s Referendum and petition drive. In addition, Audrey in representing Oceana, led the recent legal challenge to the offshore contracts. Her legal training and acumen also led to the nullification of illegal oil contracts” end quote. Matura Shepherd will remain as Vice President to OCEANA for three more months.


06/02/13 05:11 AM
06/02/13 05:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP
from friends.....

the UNIBAM challenge is not a crisis nor a scandal.. it's about privacy for consenting adult conduct...

nobody wants the government peeking in bedroom windows... I know lots of heterosexual couples who practice sodomy, but the law as it is is ONLY used to marginalize homosexuals.

it's about time Belize entered the 21st century, and stopped discriminating against a normal variation of human-kind...

same-sex activity has been shown in over 1500 species, and well-documented in 500 of those... gay people have always been part of humanity, and always will.

as for Audrey, she wrote some quite senseless Facebook posts regarding UNIBAM, thoughtlessly comparing consenting adults to bestiality... of course, animals cannot consent.

her posts offended and hurt a great many people, who looked up to her for her excellent conservation work for our reef.

Audrey resigned from Oceana, because she would not retract her crude comments... that's not a crisis either, as all she needs to do is educate herself on the subject, but the poor dear seems stuck on a linguistically erroneous translation of the Bible (which actually strictly forbids sex with pagan shrine prostitutes, rather than prohibiting loving adult same-sex relationships...)

JESUS never said a single word about homosexuality, by the way

the only scandal with Audrey is her complete refusal to listen to reason, and stop clinging stubbornly to faulty religious beliefs.

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