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Jun 23, 2016

A Rainbow Flag Flies Over U.S. Embassy in Belmopan

An event took place in Belmopan today that is causing chatter and drawing controversy in some quarters. The Rainbow Flag, which is the recognized symbol of gay pride, was hoisted for the first time at the compound of the U.S. Embassy. There, it will fly until the end of the month to celebrate the ongoing LGBT Month. Ambassador Carlos Moreno was joined by members of the gay community in the celebration. But outside the gated compound, a small group of religious persons denounced what they see as a step backward. But is it a case of human rights? News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The symbolic hoisting of the Rainbow Flag, a banner of self-respect within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender social movement, is the start of a weeklong observation of LGBT Pride Month.  The multicolored emblem flies immediately below the Star-Spangled Banner at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan; its hues reflecting the diversity of the LGBT community.

 

Carlos Moreno

Carlos Moreno, U.S. Ambassador

“The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender individuals have had on our history: locally, nationally and internationally.  The Rainbow Flag serves as reminder to all of us that everyone, everyone, no matter what their creed or race or sexual orientation or identity deserves basic human rights and human dignity.  It symbolizes collectively our commitment as citizens to show understanding and compassion to those who may be different than us.”

 

That sympathy and kindness, however, flies in the face of the doctrine of the Evangelical Church.  While the gay pride standard was being winched on the flagstaff at the embassy compound, religious leaders from the National Evangelical Association of Belize were outside the gates praying.

 

Lance Lewis

Pastor Lance Lewis, President, NEAB

“For them now to put a flag with another flag, the American flag with an LGBT flag is sending a clear signal that they are pushing an LGBT agenda as far as I am concern.  We are concerned about that because LGBT represents a downgrade, a family division, a destruction and we will see more and more situations like what occurred in America happening around the world.”

 

What Pastor Lance Lewis alludes to is the mass murder of forty-nine club goers and the wounding of fifty-three others inside a popular gay bar in Orlando, Florida a little over a week and a half ago.  That incident is the described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

 

Carlos Moreno

“It’s coincidental that we’re having this event.  This is an event we’ve been planning prior to those events in Orlando and flag raisings have been done at various embassies throughout the world to symbolize and to recognize the many, many contributions of the LGBT community and the many issues that revolve around stigma and discrimination and hate for people who really when you think about it are our friends, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, people who serve and protect us.  And all that the U.S. is endeavoring to do throughout the world and not just Belize is to ensure that LGBT rights are accorded the same fundamental human rights that are recognized worldwide.”

 

Kerm Thimbrel

For U.S. Ambassador Carlos Moreno, the purpose is clear.  But is the wider Belizean society, including the churches, seeing eye-to-eye with that objective, as far as equal rights are concerned?

 

Kerm Thimbrel, Elder, Jubilee Ministries

“Our position is that we have separated the lifestyle of the individual from the actual agenda that they are pushing.  You guys have brought up an interesting term about the rights of those people which I believe pretty much everybody respects.  We all know that we have Section Fifty-three in our laws and none of these people have been arrested, none of them have been put in prison even though that law is in the books.  What we have said outright to the LGBT community is this: you guys want to live that lifestyle it’s a personal choice but whenever you formulate an agenda that you seek to push in the society, to redefine it, we have a very, very serious problem with that.”

 

Lisa Shoman

That fundamental issue is the reason for those litanies outside of the Consulate.  Those recitals were taken in stride by proponents of equal rights.

 

Lisa Shoman, Attorney

“A little prayer never hurts, so that was nice too. We welcome that.”

 

Leading the charge for the recognition of LGBT rights in Belize is Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow.  She was acknowledged today for her role by the United States Embassy.

 

Carlos Moreno

“Here in Belize, we have the honor, we have the pleasure of having the Special Envoy for Women and Children First Lady Kim Simplis-Barrow who has spoken out candidly and passionately on this issue of LGBT rights.  She has spoken out against violence and discrimination against the LGBT and Kim, I thank you profoundly that you have done.”

 

The LGBT community, Pastor Lewis maintains, is a minority in the Belizean society and should not be afforded any different or special rights than heterosexual majority.

 

Pastor Lance Lewis

“To bring up a group and say that they’re a small group and they need to be recognized, I think that is going the wrong way.  It is going against the order of nature and it is putting our whole family values to the bottom and putting things that are blatantly wrong and scripturally wrong to the forefront and we are against this.  So we think that this is a backward step.  It is a sad day in Belize and we are praying that this sad day will change or that people who have promoted it will face the consequences by Almighty God.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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17 Responses for “A Rainbow Flag Flies Over U.S. Embassy in Belmopan”

  1. Jorge says:

    Why is this surprising?? Every body knows Uncle Sam is ……….!!!

  2. fedup says:

    Jesus would be flying that flag too because He loved and accepted EVERYONE.

  3. Rod says:

    Why does this lousy no good impotent and gov. Give into to us on this matter why do we let other gov dictate to us what they want without standing up to them well I can tell you why no one is cowar dess no two corruption because they want money from the us if people wa be ……. let them be but don’t push them on us or on innocent children where is the cathiloc church on this you disappoint me so much but then again this has become another corrupt part of Belize under this gov.shame shame shame shame and scandal in the family.

  4. From the West says:

    Wow, America is more arrogant and disrespectful than ever. The fact that both major political parties can not put up a respectable presidential candidate is a sign of the state of the Union. Shame on America.

  5. Belizean Pride says:

    ……… I always had a respect for you but having you supporting this agenda really sucks. Hope that you can realize the big impact you are putting our nation into, you might enjoy the money and full your pocket but hope and pray that you regret this thing you’re fighting for. i see you physical expression is just for the money but behind it your life will be stained for pushing this agenda into our jewel with no knowledge of what we gonna go through later.

  6. steven says:

    Some of my greatest friends are Gay. I do not have an issue with their sexuality, that is their personal choice. I have no problem, eating, drinking, socializing with any member of the Gay community in Belize. They seem hardworking and productive and want the same as any other Belizean. The Gay community in Belize in the 80′s and 90′s was much smaller but today that is not the case, for every 1 Gay open Belizean, there are lots more in the closet. Some of them have the leave their home towns to live out their Gay lives. This new generation, the generation of today’s teens, today’s 20 plus is more open and tolerant of Gays in Belize. Pastor Lance Lewis and others live in a bubble, out of touch with the teens and hard working community of today. Preaching from the podium does not keep you in tune with the reality that Belize is becoming more Gay tolerant. In Mexico, Gay marriage is now legal. Its just a matter of time for Belize and the churches need to take a hard look as to what role they will play in all of this. Repeating the same bible quotes does not impress or change anything. Rather it will be the actions that churches take that will define who they are. So far most churches seems to exclude, outcast Gays. Gay Education is important and churches completely fail at this, opting to just continue to quote the bible over and over. You are born, Gay, as simple as that. Socializing with a Gay person will not make you Gay (thou some people actually think this). The scientific research says so. Now the churches ignore all of this, again, they live in their own bubble. It is indeed the actions that define who we are, the US Embassy in Belize has spoken, and our Belizean Churches by their reaction have also spoken, oh do not worry cause I am sure the Big and growing Gay community in Belize is watching, and they have faith that their day is coming. Congrats Gays in Belize, enjoy your Pride Month…

  7. VDAWN says:

    When will the so-called religious leaders in Belize stop trying to assign their versions of sins on people? Stealing, premarital sex, lying, murder, adultery, homosexuality are all considered sins so why just focus on homosexuality as THE SIN! We are all sinners and will have to respond to our maker, individually, when that time comes around. Whatever happened to the old adage of hating the sin and not the sinners. The grandstanding by the religious leaders is a sin in itself because they are judging God’s children which they are not entitled to do. You all go and pray for yourselves, your families and ALL the sinners of the world!

  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    ing James Version
    Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.

  9. Juniore Guerra says:

    Why is this even an issue? We are not back in the 1800′s.
    Instead of spending time and effort with this issue, why don’t Belizeans look at how the corrupted Barrow administration is plundering Belize? The Gov’t is going bankrupt which will affect your livelihood directly and Belizeans are worried about the LBGT! GROW UP BELIZEANS!!!!!!

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    Colossians 2:8King James Version (KJV)

    8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    Why do some people feel like they’ve got to conform to every philosophy pushed by the White man.I rather be a friend of God that this World and i say that with no apology.

  11. One Love says:

    Homosexuality, premarital sex, lying, murder, stealing, etc are all sins. Yet we don’t raise flags to promote murder rights, or thrives rights or give them special respect and recognition as some do for gays. We simply let the laws take effect…. The same should go for gays…. Gays should not be hated or despised but their sinful acts should not be recognized and promoted….

  12. OneLove says:

    Homosexuality, premarital sex, lying, murder, stealing, etc are all sins. Yet we don’t raise flags to promote murderer rights, or thrives rights or give them special respect and recognition as some do for gays. We simply let the laws take effect…. The same should go for gays…. Gays should not be hated or despised but their sinful acts should not be recognized and homosexuality should not be promoted….

  13. Marb says:

    Excuse Me! God loves the sinner but not his sin. If these lgbt do not repent they will suffer in hell along with all those you tolerate these disgraceful actions. God help Belize and the Gov. not to yield to satan. If america wants to live a corrupted sinful life let them do so on their land not in Gods’ Land, Belize!

  14. Mehalia Thornton says:

    Thank you Ambassador Moreno, on behalf of all Belizean LGBT’s and supporters we can appreciate the thought that went with this important gesture. As we all know, change does not come without a price, and or dissention, but we share prevail !.

  15. Liberty and Freedom says:

    The United States wants to control the GOB. They have given “gifts” to the GOB (guns, police vehicles, etc). These are not free gifts; there is a heavy price to pay for “free”. My wife and I have seen what the LGBT community has done to indoctrinate the children into their “lifestyle”. We have mentioned NAMBLA in the past https://www.nambla.org/ Do you want your children to be sodomized? Do you want them to be exposed to this lifestyle. All the parents and grandparents who want to insure that their children/grandchildren are exposed to a heterosexual life style must stand up and protest the actions of the United States government that are contrary to our Constitution. Adults have a lifestyle choices. Hitler indoctrinated the “Hitler Youth”; the United States is attempting to do the same thing here in Belize. We are a sovereign nation; we will not become a vassal of any nation.

  16. Beloved Michael says:

    Just as in the of Sodom and Gomorrah, so shall it be before the 2nd Coming of the Lord. We are living in last days of this Sinful Earth history. Jesus is Coming.

  17. Beloved Michael says:

    Just as in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, so shall it be before the 2nd Coming of the Lord. We are living in the last days of this Sinful Earth history. Jesus is Coming, Believe IT or NOT!!!

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