What strategy should an LGBT rights group pursue when homophobic religious leaders launch a counterattack?
That’s what Caleb Orozco, executive president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, wants to know.
He is hoping that experienced LGBT activists and others around the world will make suggestions in the comments section below.
Earlier this month, the country’s health ministry withdrew a health manual over concerns about how it discussed homosexuality. Here’s the situation, as Orozco describes it:
As Belize’s legal challenge of its sodomy law moves through our Supreme Court, we have found the Christian right conflating our case with the issue of gay marriage. They have also conflated the broader issue of advancing the human rights of LGBT persons with the manual for health and family life, and then made even more assertions.
Opponents have been saying:
- The manual is a tool to support the gay agenda;
- We will want gay pride and
- We are after the children.
In response, the LGBT community has organized itself on Facebook to act as news monitors, report on cases of discrimination, provide advice on promotional ideas and other PR activities. Except, now we are stuck on the following:
- How does one energize a base to get them to want to demand rights protection in legislation, despite fears?
- How do we get political and build alliances in a small civil society environment where organizations are sheepish to take a public stand?
- How do we draw the private sector in and more well-placed L.G.B.T persons to support?
- How do we deliver our message in an environment restricted by a media prone to sensationalizing and creating controversy?
- How do we speak to politicians and build a base of policymaker support?
These questions are critical to understanding best practices, strategies, etc. and how it could be applied. Any response to these questions would be greatly appreciated.
United Belize Advocacy Movement