Belize edges toward LGBT rights in 2012

Belize, the only Central American country with an anti-homosexuality law, may be  moving slowly toward acceptance of LGBT people’s human rights.  Here are a few of the events of 2012, as listed by the United Belize Advocacy Movement (Unibam):

Caleb Orozco
Caleb Orozco

January 2012: Unibam files a legal challenge of the constitutionality of Section 53 of the criminal code, which criminalizes same-sex activity.

“Caleb Orozco is the lead claimant in the case against the Attorney General and the government along with other interested parties opposed to the criminalisation of homosexuality in Belize: the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the International Commission of Jurists and the Human Dignity Trust,” Pink News reports.

June 2012: Debate about homosexuality on local Love FM and Love Television between Caleb Orozco, president of Unibam, and Pastor Louis Wade Jr.

July 2012:  Another public dialogue about human rights.  Orozco says, “We are looking at the issue of gender-based violence, homophobia and LBGT human rights. …  Whether it’s sexual abuse, physical abuse or discrimination — all those persons who experience it belong to a family and that family has a mother and a father. When you look at the issues from a family perspective it’s a son or a daughter being impacted.”

Unibam has been removed from the constitutional challenge, but Orozco continues the case as an individual.

Coming up — May 2013:  Hearings on the constitutional challenge are scheduled for May 7-10,  2013.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.


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