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

Belize Supreme Court to decide legality of homosexuality in May
09 December 2012

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.



No thumbnail available

Send gay Brits to work in Russia, former BP boss says

Lord Browne, who was forced to quit as CEO after it was revealed he was in a relationship with another man, says he now hopes to live long enough to see a gay Prime Minister
No thumbnail available

Soldiers dance to Barbie Girl

Pair create video for the classic 90s pop song in YouTube post
No thumbnail available

State Duma confirms gays won’t be safe from arrest at Sochi Olympics

International Olympic Committee had said Winter Olympics 2014 would be a safe zone for LGBT people, but government says otherwise
No thumbnail available

Australian state Youth Parliament backs marriage equality

The Youth Parliament of the Australian state of New South Wales has voted overwhelmingly to support the rights of same-sex couples
No thumbnail available

Ellen Page and Julianne Moore’s gay drama is barred from filming at Catholic school

A Catholic high school in New York has reversed its decision for a fact-based drama about a lesbian couple, starring Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, to shoot scenes on its premises
No thumbnail available

Searching for The Cure

Gay Star News interviews the director of a new documentary about Christian ‘gay cure’ programmes, and their survivors, in Australia
Gay Star News builds global audience

Gay Star News builds global audience

The news service that is being read around the world
No thumbnail available

X Factor lesbian Lucy Spraggan snubbed by live tour

Gay singer-songwriter, who has impressed audiences with her self-penned tracks, will not return for show's UK tour
No thumbnail available

Gay UKIP politician: 'Equality Nazis Labour and Lib Dems want to ban sex'

He also thinks same-sex marriage is just for 'old queens who want to dance like the Village People'
No thumbnail available

Italy gets first gay themed pasta television commercial

Findus Italia pasta has launched a new TV commercial in which a gay son comes out to his mother over pasta, but she already knew