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Nov 7, 2017

Immigration Department Resolving LGBT Controversy

The Immigration Department has quickly responded to allegations raised on this newscast on Friday by members of the LGBT community. Director Diana Locke has told executive director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement Caleb Orozco by email that her office has not received any application for visas from any Haitian national other than those attending the World Youth Conference this week.  Locke notes that she has spoken with Simone Hill, leader of PETAL, and advised her on what potential visitors need to do and that the applications, once received, will be forwarded to this week’s meeting of the Visa Vetting Committee for approval.  Calling Orozco’s charges of homophobia and transphobia by Immigration officials “very disturbing,” Locke states that there is no requirement by law or policy for a declaration of sexual status or preference on entry per the C.C.J. judgment against Maurice Tomlinson in 2016 in which Belize said that the law only refers to those visitors who attempt to profit from prostitution or homosexuality. Orozco maintained in a response, however, that based on the complaints he receives the issue has to be aired out, and offered to share a report which outlines the level of homophobia and transphobia that exist in the Immigration Department.

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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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