Friday, December 7, 2012

UNIBAM Gay Rights Case Slated for May 7-10, 2013

also see: United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM Makes A Comeback from sister blog GLBTQJA (Blogger)

meanwhile Amandala Newspaper reports

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.


We of course a keeping a close eye on this case as it could be the game changer for the Caribbean and the struggle for same sex intimacy to be finally become a real private matter and consensual. 

Our courts already have set a precedent over the years in terms of buggery cases that have adults caught in a "compromising position" (even non-penetratively - gross indecency) in a private setting, indeed my own experience having gone through the system as a person (along with others) charged for buggery in 1996, a doctor's report, an evasive examination with fingers inserted in my anus, swabs taken from my urethra and all to supposedly find spermatozoa cells inside my rectum and examination of my sphincter muscle to see if a dick was inserted so as to prove that penetration took place and not rupture caused by hardened stool yet the case was eventually adjourned sine die almost two years after as the arresting officers stop attending the sessions despite subpoenas being issued and there was no concrete evidence to suggest buggery it was all done to embarrass us, that part they succeeded only for a time but we have all moved on.

Most cases that do go to full trial with a conviction tend to be cases of a homo-paedophile nature where there is a younger victim but which also does not necessarily suggest the orientation of the perpetrator as we are told by the experts, 

Another valid reason I suppose for the law to be removed but by what means - an external challenge (two already exist), a referendum, a conscience vote (as suggested by PM Simpson Miller) or a proper debate in the houses of parliament with the necessary amendments with the commensurate actions to make such a radical constitutional change, wiping out saving clauses and all?

Peace and tolerance



Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.