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Nov 22, 2011

Church holds discussion on UNIBAM

Canon Leroy Flowers

The debate is heating up on a legal challenge on homosexuality. In two weeks litigation in a novel case brought against the Attorney General’s Office by Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, to decriminalize homosexuality is set to begin in the Supreme Court. Represented by a team of prominent lawyers, including senior counsels Rodwell Williams and Eamon Courtenay, the Belize Council of Churches, which has aligned itself with the Government of Belize, has been named an interested party in the forthcoming case.  Its argument is that by undoing Section Fifty-Three of the Laws of Belize that currently prohibits carnal intercourse against the order of nature; the repeal will give rise to gay rights.  A coalition within the Council of Churches, known as the Belize Action Group, has organized a family focus forum for Wednesday seeking to educate members of the public, as well those of the clergy, on the potential impact of abrogating the law.  According to Canon Leroy Flowers the open discussion is intended to create awareness on the issue before it goes to trial.

Canon Leroy Flowers, President, Council of Churches

“Tomorrow the Belize Action Group is pulling together a group of what we call professionals to help to address this issue of the UNIBAM case against the government, of which the church has now become an interested party, and we’ll be looking at from the scriptural, from the medical [and] from the social aspect of what this implies as far as we are concerned and how this can impact our people.  And it is an awareness program, it is for Belizean citizens across the land to be more informed because one of the things that we’ve got to recognize is that this is a very emotionally charged debate.  As church leaders in particular we have got to lower the rhetoric and deal with the facts, help our people to understand what it is we are debating.”

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of what is taking place within the society, this is a highly charged moral argument one may say.  In terms of where the church stands the position has been unwavering.”

Canon Leroy Flowers

“Yes the church has made itself perfectly clear because while every Belizean as a citizen claims [that] the constitution is its bible, for the Christian church the bible is our constitution and that is our path to the way by which we get to Christ and so our understanding is that we will not waiver because what we are dealing with in reality is about sin.  And while Jesus despised the sin he loves the sinner and the church has got to be able to strike this, if you want to say, this happy medium in helping people to understand what is wrong and how the Lord loves them and rescues them in this process.  And that is what we are seeking to do, it is not about bashing anybody or gay bashing in any way or trying to rile up our people but it’s really to get into a dialogue.”

As we’ve mentioned UNIBAM is being represented by Queen’s Counsel Peter Goldsmith, as well as senior counsels Godfrey Smith and Lisa Shoman.  Goldsmith is the head of a newly formed British legal rights group known as the Human Dignity Trust which will be challenging homophobic laws within eighty predominantly Commonwealth countries where consensual sexual activity between gays and lesbians is banned.


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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18 Responses for “Church holds discussion on UNIBAM”

  1. Lucas says:

    Seek a referendum on the matter.

  2. Louisville,Ky says:

    What is it with this Goldsmith Dude? Why is he so hell bent on meddling in our constitutional affairs taking stuff all the way to the supreme court? This wanna be Colonial Master needs to back off; he and ……….., Godfrey Smith.
    Apart from the fact that Belizeans will not have our laws changed to accomodate homosexuals, we also do not take too kindly, the faceyness of any blue eyed devil, coming back to try and enslave us and ram thing down our throat with his Neo- Colonialism. For your information, Smith and Goldsmith, this is the 21st. Century, the third Millinium. Belize is a Soverign Nation and, in case you didn’t get the memo……… Slavery days are over !! So back off!!

  3. Earl Grey says:

    and ……….WHEN WILL THEY(the Church) SHOW THIS MUCH INTEREST IN CRIME AND POVERTY?

  4. gayinbelize says:

    @Louisville, Ky…it is very easy to complain when you are far away. You live in the US where gays have rights just like you. Quoting your words…”this is the 21st century” so why are YOU still stuck in the 19th century when the word “gay” was taboo. You need to wake and realize..that Gays will have the same rights as heterosexuals in Belize..nothing can stop that…its just a matter of time…of that you can rest 100% sure… May God bless you with an open mind…

  5. belizeanpride says:

    @gayinbelize

    check the poll and realize that we as a nation say NO!!! to this issue of gay rights or same sex marriage. majority wins bro.

  6. BlzCun says:

    Louisville,Ky who the hell is even talking about slavery. Like we know that those days are far behind us and they are not trying to enslave anyone. They are actually try to come and free us from close minded un educaded people like yourself who discriminate, and hate.

  7. Harriet says:

    I don’t know why these people want this same sex marriage agenda to pass. They are playing with fire!!!!!!!!!!!!. This agenda is an abomination. These people better be very careful because the wrath of God will come heavy on them. I am saying 109 % with every cell in my body, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! to this same sex marriage. Caleb if something happen to you in your childhood let God heal you and stop having satan having you like his puppet.

  8. Dennis Requena says:

    It’s a shame that we have some people in our country that call themselves Belizean and are selfish. I would never want to have my child grow up in such an environment. All who say yes to gay marriage I say to you think about the future generation and that this is a curse in God’s eyes. Belize is bless and we want it to be that way! Gay and abortion I say no, no, no no, no, noooooo!!!!!!!!1

  9. AshamedtobeBelizean says:

    I have thought long and hard if I should respond or not . When I was growing up in Belize, we were always thought that Belize was a diverse nation. I now realise that I was lied to by teachers and parents. I am ashamed that a “free nation” still subjects its citizens to institutional discrimination. It is apalling and deploring that those institutions (Church and Government) who are supposed to protect its citizens are continuing to subject gay men and women to live shamefully. I wonder if the Church and Government would openly discriminate against women, black Belizeans or disabled people? It is amazing and ironic that the institutions (Church and Government) who’s primary purpose is to promote justice and equality are themselves the biggest violators and openly promoting injustice and inequality against a sector of its population.

    We are all entitled to our opinions and it’s ok to not understand homosexuality. However, it is not acceptable to allow homosexuals or anyone in Belize to be discriminated against because of Age, Sex, Religion, Race or Sexual Orientation.

    Shame on the Church, Government and all those Belizeans who do nothing to support equality and justice.

  10. Belizean Diaspora says:

    While you are speaking about the issue of equal rights for those attracted to the same sex, what no one is realizing is that the church is not telling the country that there is no issue of same sex marriage, simply because of the separations of church and state, that is enshrined in our constitution. Therefore, the government has no say as to who gets married in that particular church, it is for the church to decide. Having said that, the issue of protecting the sanctity of marriage is false and unfounded, as a matter of fact, the government trying to legislate to the churches who to get married is unconstitutional. Why do you think there are civil unions or common law marriages, so the sanctity of the institution marriage, as defined by religion is not changed by the law. By the way, trying to deny the fundamental rights of people to simply seek access to vital health services, based on the their conduct in their bedroom is unconstitutional, so is the further denial of their right to privacy, violated by those who out them, under the guise of this law.

  11. Louisville,Ky says:

    gayinbelize, first of all where I live has nothing to do with my rejection of that dispicable, nasty, loathsome life style. Second and most importantly, if you think the constituation will be changed just to facilitate your abominable behavior, then you have another guess coming.
    Your desires are contrary to nature. And if your arguement is that it is your right to do as you please, let me inform you that it is that same mentality that murderers and rapist have. A murderer convinces himself that he has the right to (take) another person’s life and a rapist/pedophile feels pretty much the same.
    Quite Frankly, I could not care any less what Slackness ‘you people’ want to do with each other.My concern is for those innocent little boys that you all are ‘reding’ your eyes on.
    God may bless me with an open mind…..but he will certainly curse you for going contrary to his wonderful purpose when he created Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve.

  12. BlzCun says:

    THE FACT THAT SOMEONE IS GAY DOES NOT MAKE HIM OR HER NON CHRISTIAN. I went to a christian boarding school at the age of 16 going on to 17 i was sexually harased by a boy over 21 yrs at that school. But since they are so God Fearing they only suspended the “MAN” might i say since he was already an adult. Not only is this a crime that they covered up by not reporting it to the proper autority. but also held a meeting with my parents telling them i concented to it and looked for it. total hipocracy might i add since in their rule book rule # 10 says and i quote “homosexual behaviour will NOT be tolerated.. “WHY DONT YOU COMMENT ON THAT!!!!

  13. JahKid says:

    Homosexuality is calling …….. …….. That is how open their minds has gotten. We cannot change your way of thinking but only yourself and God. It is nasty even if you find very nice names to name it. !! Depravation to the max. How do you feel when you walk bare feet and you step on dog or cow $#!%. Do you continue playing that $#!% with your feet? I know you wouldn’t do that. God loves you my Brethrens, pray to GOD to open your minds again, because your minds have been closed by satan, and he is talking to you gays saying “tell does ones against your lifestyles that they are closed minded and are discriminating against you.” Comeon people you need to come back to earth and stop believing that you are right. I am so sad that gays have flanked some of the churches and have brought shame to the name of God, but noone laughs at God, he will have the last laugh. I don’t hate you gays and lesbians, I just want you to change your ways and seek God’s ways. Peace!!!

  14. ConsciousBelizean says:

    What can I say but Belize has a long way to go when it comes to UNDERSTANDING human rights!!!!!! If I were gay I would want to leave Belize….a lot of the people are a bunch of backward idiots that don’t get it!!! Too basic!!!! I pray for gay people in Belize….my heart goes out to you!!!!
    I abhor pedophiles and think they should be locked up for life and in some cases executed….but my Belizean people confuse what it means to be gay and what it means to be a pedophile….. Please educate yourself !!!!!! The next time you want hate a gay person…..imagine if your child were gay, best friend, sister, brother….please educate yourself and stop the HATE!!!!!

  15. lisamarie says:

    In the good book homosexuality is referred to as ‘inordinate affections.’ Ladies and Gentlemen let’s not follow the crowd. A crowd is made up of unstable individuals who cannot think for themselves; who have lost their individuality and who are scared to buff the crowd and console themselves by saying ‘it’s normal.’ To reject same sex marriage is not to reject the individual/s but the act itself. Belize will feel the wrath of Almighty God if we don’t put foot on this. Time changes but the creator does not change and His principles are eternal. @ AshamedtobeBelizean- When people cannot get their way they are always ready to cry “discrimination.’ So where should the line be drawn? So we gonna tolerate any and everything, right?

    People, Do not prostitute your virtue for gain.

    Sure the Church and The Gov’t could and should do better in a lot of things. Homosexuals in Belize, you are not challenging the Government or the Church, you are fighting against God himself by giving yourself over to a debased nature and then trying to ram it down everyone;s throat. Marriage is an institution by God and this lifestyle is contrary to God’s will. If you have and respect for the things of God, Do not attempt to pervert what He has sanctified.

    Finally, anyone in position who supports this move is not fit to lead this country i.e. Shoman and Smith. Belizeans, remember these names and faces.

  16. BelizeaninAsia says:

    In the good book homosexuality is referred to as ‘inordinate affections.’ Ladies and Gentlemen let’s not follow the crowd. A crowd is made up of unstable individuals who cannot think for themselves; who have lost their individuality and who are scared to buff the crowd and console themselves by saying ‘it’s normal.’ To reject same sex marriage is not to reject the individual/s but the act itself. Belize will feel the wrath of Almighty God if we don’t put foot on this. Time changes but the creator does not change and His principles are eternal. @ AshamedtobeBelizean- When people cannot get their way they are always ready to cry “discrimination.’ So where should the line be drawn? So we gonna tolerate any and everything, right?

    People, Do not prostitute your virtue for gain.

    Sure the Church and The Gov’t could and should do better in a lot of things. Homosexuals in Belize, you are not challenging the Government or the Church, you are fighting against God himself by giving yourself over to a debased nature and then trying to ram it down everyone;s throat. Marriage is an institution by God and this lifestyle is contrary to God’s will. If you have and respect for the things of God, Do not attempt to pervert what He has sanctified.

    Finally, anyone in position who supports this move is not fit to lead this country i.e. Shoman and Smith. Belizeans, remember these names and faces.

  17. Belizean Girl says:

    The fact that sodomy is against nature is major headline here. Sodomy/ Unnatural sexual act must remain illegal for all people (Christian or non Christian). This is a major concern for all citizens, it just happens that the Christian Community has decided to step in and voice the concern of the Church. No one is talking about only men who engage in sexual relations with men. This act is not right for any one to engage in. This is why we are standing up and saying it is not right especially if caught in public or done against someone’s consent. Therefore, end the discriminating remarks from both sides and lets focus on the actual sin itself. Furthermore, if other countries want to allow this kind of behavior, it is their business. In Belize however, it is our business and so the people will voice their concerns.

  18. Young says:

    @lisamarie/BelizeaninAsia: Timothy 2:12, “Do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man; she must be.” See, your own good book is telling you to keep quiet! Let’s not get too hung up over what it has to say: let’s look at social justice and the protection of the few. “Love thy neighbor” is the true Christian virtue.

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