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Dec 7, 2011

UNIBAM gets boost from Obama

Turning to a story that has been persistently in the headlines; that’s the case of Caleb Orosco and UNIBAM versus the Attorney General. UNIBAM is challenging section fifty-three of the criminal code that states that sexual intercourse against the order of nature is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment. Two days before the start of the case an announcement by United States President, Barack Obama, could give UNIBAM a major boost. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the United States will begin using American foreign aid to fight discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender persons abroad. Obama issued a memorandum directing American agencies to look for ways to combat efforts by foreign governments to criminalize homosexuality. The presidential memorandum said that federal agencies engaged abroad had been directed to “combat the criminalization of L.G.B.T. status or conduct; protect vulnerable L.G.B.T. refugees and asylum seekers; leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination; ensure swift and meaningful U.S. response to human rights abuses of L.G.B.T. persons abroad; and engage international organizations in the fight against L.G.B.T. discrimination.” The presidential announcement was followed today by a live webinar hosted in Washington, with experts responding to questions from across the Caribbean region on issues relating to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. The event attracted supporters from both sides of the debate at the US Embassy where the webinar took place. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Interested parties from across the region converged on the internet this morning for live webchat on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in the Caribbean.

Paula Uribe

The discussion was hosted by the US State Department and featured three experts on human rights issues. Belizeans joined the conversation at the US Embassy in Belmopan and one concern raised was if Foreign Aid funds from the US would be withheld from countries that don’t support LGBT rights.

Paula Uribe, Senior Advisor, Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Dept. of State

“No, the US is not going to withhold funds. We always take very carefully the allegations of human rights abuse and we study the situation, not just on LGBT grounds but in general in each country and then we decide what we do with our foreign aid. But no, it’s not going to happen and that has been actually a conversation that started yesterday after the secretary’s speech and the president’s memorandum.”

Other questions posed from Belize, included whether it is legal for US diplomats to support UNIBAM when it is entangled in a legal battle with government and people.

Paula Uribe

“We can support groups, civil society groups in the ground when they are fighting for their human rights but we are not going to get into domestic legal battles. That’s for civil society groups and lawyers in the country. We would just support them from the background.”

Victor Madrigal

Victor Madrigal, Head of Registry, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

“Even if one were to accept, for argument sake, that the majority of citizens of one country doesn’t want LGBTI persons not to be subject to violence or to be able to walk the streets and not be beaten, even if we were to accept that for the sake of argument that’s not a valid argument for actually having it be so because the rights of this person, historically subjected to discrimination, need to be protected also from the will of the majority if the will is that.”

Going a step further, it was also asked whether adapting the UN Human Rights in Belize would open the doors to same sex marriages.

Charles Radcliffe, Chief of Global Issues, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Charles Radcliffe

“Neither the Universal Declaration of Human Rights nor the International Covenant on civil and political rights talks about gay marriage. What we’re talking about is making sure—we’re not talking about creating new rights or LGBT rights either—we’re just trying to ensure that everybody is able to enjoy the same rights and that the laws themselves are not discriminatory. But when it comes to the institution of marriage, there’s no obligation under international human rights law to open marriage to same sex couples.”

And with the churches’ involvement in the case, Charles Radcliffe of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that while the church is a moral authority, it has no say over basic human rights.

Charles Radcliffe

“The church, which we know in many societies including the Caribbean is playing a very constructive role and important role in terms of inclusion and teaching values, does not have a veto on universal human rights. And there is such a thing as freedom of belief and freedom of religion and people are completely entitled to do what they want. But they’re not entitled on the basis of those religious beliefs to insist that other people who don’t share them are stripped of their basic human rights and treated in some way as less human. So I think we have to resist the notion that nothing can change unless the church gives its agreement.”

Josh King, Senior Public Policy Advocate, Human Rights Campaign

Josh King

“I would caution that families come in very different strains and I think any time you kind of use that to justify offering rights to one group or another, I think you kind of miss the point that it’s not really about the family, it’s about the person.”

Paula Uribe

“There are many ideas that are wrong about the LGBT community; the perception that pedophiles are the same as gay people or that it’s contagious to be gay and that you know they are going to give it to their children. Those ideas need to be debunked I think.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.


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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68 Responses for “UNIBAM gets boost from Obama”

  1. Belize1st says:

    I personally have nothing against gays, for as long as their behavior (acts) remains private!!! That is their preference in life
    There is nothing new under the sun.
    However to impose this on the rest of the population is in no way the direction to take. It is MY opinion that if UNIBAM is allowed the change in the Law it will serve as a stepping stone to other things…
    Plain and straightforward…Persons of all cultural and religious backgrounds could argue all day! Both sides putting forward very good points…BUT there is no way! A male & male or a female & female are able to bring another life into being; Therefore It is MY opinion that this point should be the absolute deciding factor, making sodomy an unnatural act.
    “KEEP IT IN THE BEDROOM GUYS “

  2. OriginalWoman says:

    Gay Sex Is Perverted and Immoral!!!! YES THAT IS MY OPINION!!!!

  3. OriginalWoman says:

    Obviously some of you are for the “freedom” to legalize gay sex and gay marriages”….but, that still doesn’t make it right…UNO NASTTTTTTTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

  4. brightman says:

    Originalwoman, if you knew anything about gays, you would find that they are some of the cleanest beings out there, taking proper measures for all things–that stereotype is true. Seems to me you’re hurt ’cause somewhere in your past you had feelings for some guy who didn’t reciprocate because he was gay–of course, I am simply speculating. But, if I am right, get over it, hun. I am certain that someday your ‘prince’ might come. And, if he does, 1. I hope he is ready for what he’s getting into, and 2. that your emasculating and bitter disposition don’t “turn” him gay. God be praised…day by day ignorant, intolerant, and bigoted persons like you become the minority. Peace and love, dearest.

  5. OriginalWoman says:

    If that is your assupmtion about me brightman…then I am assuming that you must be gay and had your feelings hurt by a straight woman somewhere in your life……but you know what they say about assumtions, you only end up making an A$$ out of yourself….andIi think you are the @$$ here!!!

  6. OriginalWoman says:

    @ brightman….some gays may be clean but having gay sex is still nasty and immoral and unnatural….just because you do it, doesn’t make it correct….I can tell that you are “gay”. GAY SEX IS NASTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

  7. Beautifulpempem says:

    Originalwoman i applaud you good point!Brightman no so bright after all.He is definitely! the @$$…

  8. brightman says:

    Oh oh! Seems like I hit a nerve! Ok, so I probably got carried away. It’s difficult to keep level head when so many play unfair here. My bad. And, no I am not gay, but I have many loved ones, relatives and acquaintances, who are and they are fantastic beings, most of whom are successful and highly productive members of society, and they certainly do not deserve to be condemned and treated with such disdain simply because of their sexual preference. It is neither right that many of them should have to live life in fear because of people like you. Equality and justice for all. And btw, were I the @$$ here, you’d be my viscera.

  9. Beautifulpempem says:

    Marriage is not a right.as far as the government is concerned or church,marriage is
    a contract that comes with a bunch of legal/financial benefits).Initially it was meanth
    to encourage and protect the the idea of a family,(the traditional cell and procreation
    machine of civilization society).In this day and age that may be obsolet.if we were to re-define things and re-write laws that are more “general”we could either do away with the government sanction unions.i mean completely .Private,religious,weddings okay.But no more government benefits to anyone!Or ,if we were open the “club” LGBT,then we have to open it for everyone(over 18)See where i am getting at?Poligamy,incest,basicaly anyone that wants to get married to anyone everything has to be on the table!I have nothing against gays its your life style you are the one that’s going to answer to God!But gays please let your life be private. we don’t want to know!

  10. Jill says:

    don’t fallow bright man original woman, he wants to make you feel bad about youself but he is just angry cause your more likely to be noticed by another man than him….lol, don’t get it twisted bright man most man would rather punch you than kiss you,hahahahaah

  11. Skywalker says:

    Why does no one in Belize address the fact that both the highest offices of the Anglican and Catholic (straight from the pontiff !!!) have both gone on record to say that countries should do away with discriminatory laws against gays? Some Anglican diocese even have gay priests. The same goes for some chapters of Baptist, Methodist and whatever other Christian denomination there is. Times have changed. Get over it.

  12. StandUP says:

    To think that they WON’T push this upon the rest of society is absolutely RIDICULOUS! Gays can’t reproduce, so they have to recruit. this is the legalities of their recruitment. they will push for rights that will override everyone elses rights. just wait till a homosexual teacher shows up in the womens dress for teachers to teach YOUR kids. U ready for that? thats what they are shooting for. look up gay pride parade on the internet and see what they want to do in belize with rights!! Obama & Hilary will be right there, signing the checks for them to shove it in everyone elses face because they have rights and nobody else will!! if we no want this, you gotta STAND UP!!

  13. StandUP says:

    and if they change S.53 so they are not stripped of their basic human rights concerning their homosexual practices, well what about the bestiality ppl? they’re left alone with section 53 stripping THEM of their basic human rights to do dogs or whatever!! so then they will have to do their own lawsuit for their basic human rights to do whoever or whatever they WANT to do! but by that time, Obama & Hilary will be long gone, slipped into the history books of having unleashed a global wave of perversion in the earth. poor bestiality ppl, stripped of their basic human rights. oh, by the way PETA has reacted to all this on behalf of ANIMAL RIGHTS!! Damn, everyone has rights, even animals, except NORMAL PPL!!

  14. A Hopkins says:

    Belize1st makes a good point that gay (presumably sexual) acts should remain private. Surely all such acts – hetero or homosexual – should remain private. I don’t want to see sex acts on the streets. But a change in the law will do nothing to alter that. Gay sex acts in private will simply not be against the law. Where is the wrong in that? What you don’t see don’t harm. As for it being wrong because two gay men can’t bring life into being, well what about sterile men and barren women? What about post-menopausal women? Are they to be stigmatized too for what they get up to? And are we seriously being asked to think that all heterosexual acts are designed to bring life into being? I think there’s a deep failure of imagination at work here, just as with OriginalWoman who seemingly can’t think of any perverted and immoral acts committed by men and women. Just men and men. It’s all getting a bit silly.

  15. juan mendez...big falls says:

    i have nothing against gays-lesbians-transexuals….what i will not tolerate is the fact that they want to impose their unatrual culture and habits upon the general public. we all have freedom of religion, freedom of belief. i am free to believe that a man must be wed to a woman. and that is what d majority of belizeans believe. this is a democratic country, and until that changes, what the majority wants MUSST come to pass. if u gays want to wed, go to canada……if u want to kiss and hug and hold hands, go to vegas……do not destroy the innocence of my children by doing it here in our righteous country. keep ur practices behind closed doors……..now, as a real street bwauy…if i c any one ah uno gay boy d try !@#$ with any ah my youths bout ya…..we..n by that i mean youths ya..we wah mes uno up bad

  16. Belize 1st says:

    Excuse me “A Hopkins” UNIBAM’s agreement is that…they don’t want sodomy to be categorized as an UNNATURAL act. So unless you want to argue the fact that some persons were born with a barren brain or a sterile way comprehending…then I would ask you to keep those unfortunate barren & sterile persons out of this.

  17. OriginalWoman says:

    @brightman…wow, you are straight???? You sure you are nor gay on the “down low”??? I too have relatives, and other people whom I know that are “gay, successful, and highly productive members of society.” I don’t love them any less, and don’t hate them at all…..I HATE THE LIFESTYLE, IT IS UNNATURAL, NASTY & IMMORAL!!!!
    As much as you can attempt to turn the TRUTH into a LIE, not you or, anyone like you can change that fact!!!!

    STAND UP MY FELLOW BELIZEANS AGAINST GAY MARRIAGES IN OUR JEWEL!!!!!

  18. fire says:

    Tell me, unu done fu reel. 9 amendments and …………… lets go, Bum bye bye ina ….. man head”, no fall off the cliff like the others. This thing all started behind jail, let them keep it behind jail. No need to bring it outside and make a puppet show. I tell you Belize come far to let it go down so easy. We should know by now by just looking at the others, no need to practice and then say we sorry later. AIDS one of the main human killer started because of this practice. STOP IT NOW BELIZE!!!!! Send the ….. man and lesbians somewhere else. Keep them out. Run them away
    Brothers I know you want a woman, but no need to haunt each other, don’t worry you’ll get one.
    Sisters I know you want a man also but no need to haunt sister. Patience is a virtue, don’t worry you’ll get one. DON”T !@# BELIZE LIKE THIS, RASPECT.

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