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Gender Policy wanted to legalize prostitution #465424
05/29/13 05:48 AM
05/29/13 05:48 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,353
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

The Revised Gender Policy 2013 was released on May sixteenth. The policy was the product of the Women’s Commission of Belize and considered progressive because it surpassed the Caribbean’s response to several issues that are objectionable to church and the law. It is so controversial it has prompted two retractions or clarifications in one day. The document would have made Belize akin to the red-light district of Amsterdam where the oldest trade on the planet, prostitution, is legal. That’s right, in March, Cabinet approved of the updated Gender Policy and today the lines that read, “Amend existing legislation to legalize and regulate the sex work industry.” was removed from the document. The Women’s Commission has pledged regret and says it was an oversight that caused the error. But there was another amendment made this afternoon, this time by Cabinet. Cabinet members apparently have been contacted by various churches regarding a section of the Gender Policy called “Respect for Diversity.” The section makes reference to respect for sexual orientation, a term which has numerous categories. But it wasn’t those words that caused the retraction; it was “the customary religious and cultural practices must be subject to the right of equality.” Taken in the same statement about respect for sexual orientation, the language on religion and equality could have opened the doors for gay marriage. News Five tried to contact Ann Marie Williams, Executive Director of the Women’s Commission for comment, but we were told she was on holiday. News Five did speak to her following the launch about the inclusion of people of various sexual identities at the launch of the policy, and she indicated the amendments to the gender policy were made in conjunction with the preamble to the constitution.

Adele Catzim

Adele Catzim, Presenter, Revised Gender Policy, 2013

“Things that we had to make sure for example was that sexual minorities issues is also represented in the national gender policy because gender policy because gender orientation is also a gender issue. It includes domestic violence that happens within the family environment; it also includes sexual harassment that happens within the workplace. And it includes rape that happens either at home or on the streets…but it also includes all the harassment and the discrimination against persons because of their gender orientation or sexual identity.”

Jose Sanchez

“According to what you have here in respect for diversity, refers to sexual orientation. Is the women commission going against the grain and supports UNIBAM? I see Mr. Caleb Orozco is also here in full support you.”

Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director, Women’s Commission

“I invited Caleb because Caleb works as a member of the N.G.O. community, but I’m not sure what you’re asking me.”

Jose Sanchez

“I am asking you if the Women’s Commission supports the removal of that portion of the penal code regarding sodomy because you are referring to sexual orientation in relation to diversity.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“Well, regarding the code I cannot speak for the Women’s Commission. And we never had a statement out on that. But the policy speaks to the constitution. Part of the preamble of the policy speaks that in 1981, the constitution says that all citizens of Belize are part of this gender equality, mixed…”

Jose Sanchez

Ann-Marie Williams

“But it didn’t refer to sexual orientation.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“I’m telling you, they are part of the gender equality mix. And they should not be discriminated against regardless of race, color, creed, political affiliation, or sex. And it’s part of the preamble of the policy and it’s in the constitution.”

Jose Sanchez

“So basically you are saying that the policy and the constitution supports UNIBAM; that’s what you are saying.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“I am not saying that. I am not saying that. And don’t try to put me to saying that. The police is saying that all Belizeans have a right to non-discrimination regardless of race, sex, color or creed. And make sure you quote me correctly.”

Channel 5

Re: Gender Policy wanted to legalize prostitution [Re: Marty] #465609
05/31/13 05:07 AM
05/31/13 05:07 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,353
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

PM Says Gender Policy Not Law

And in one last bit of political news for tonight – the PM was grilled on the flap over the Revised National Gender Policy. As we’ve reported that document has come under intense scrutiny from the Christian for seeming to suggest that homosexual rights should be mainstreamed into cultural and religious practices. The mere suggestion has started an angry crusade against the document and, by extension, the government. A lot of it centers around the fact that the churches were not consulted while UNIBAM apparently was. The PM answered this criticism:

Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"Churches were not consulted specifically, they are on various sort of satellite bodies, the Aids Commission, the National Committee for Families and Children, but in terms of the writing up of the policy by the consultant and it's finalization, it is my understanding that the churches were not directly involved. But as I've said to Bishop Phillip Wright, the policy is not a platform for legislative action, the policy is to some extent, aspirational, and it can do no more than inform governments' attitude. If we ever wanted to legislate, and the question of whether there ought to be legislation in certain areas to make the word flesh with respect to protection of peoples' rights, If we ever wanted to legislate there would have to be wide spread consultation and an effort at some sort of a consensus, so when people see the policy as the thinning of the wedge - when they get from there to the suggestion that this opening the door to some kind of legislation that would sanction same sex marriages, my God, that's entirely bizarre, its completely out of the question and not a factor in the equation at all. We also, as I think the press release made clear, took out the last few words in the paragraph dealing with respect for diversity because those few last words could have well been interpreted as government trying to oblige the religious community to in fact act in a certain way. This is governments' policy and this is what ought to inform governments' actions and we certainly are prepared to maintain very strongly that paragraph, absent those words, which then, results mainly in the statement that government policy is going to be informed and should be informed by a respect for diversity of all types, including diversity of sexual orientation."

Jules Vasquez
"But there are homosexuals within the ranks of every realm of human endeavor in Belize and the leader of the opposition has acknowledged, which can't be argued as a matter of fact that there are homosexuals in the PUP and they are certainly welcome. Will you say the same for the UDP?"

Hon. Dean Barrow
"I don't want to say anything that the leader of the opposition has said, you will understand, I can speak for myself. But the fact of the homosexuality is, as you say, a fact of life, certainly it is very much a part of what is happening in Belizean society. There can be no discrimination in terms of employment opportunities, in terms of access to health care, in terms of the services that the society offers. This administration certainly is not concerned about what happens in the bedrooms of the employees of the government, there are constitutional protections for public officers, properly appointed, and even with respect to open vote workers there can never be any kind of interference, any kind of surveillance, any kind of concern about the sexual orientation of the employees of government."

Channel 7

Re: Gender Policy wanted to legalize prostitution [Re: Marty] #465666
05/31/13 11:06 PM
05/31/13 11:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 333
San Pedro
Wizardofaahs Offline
Wizardofaahs  Offline
Wow. Just wow.

Words have power. Speak it into existence.
Re: Gender Policy wanted to legalize prostitution [Re: Marty] #465682
06/01/13 05:55 AM
06/01/13 05:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,353
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

VIDEO: PM Speaks on Gender Policy

Gender Policy seeks to harmonize but highlights divisions about sex, prostitution and politics. "Government policy is going to be informed and should be informed by a respect for diversity of all types including diversity of sexual orientations.” says PM. Church was not consulted on the policy.

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