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Jan 27, 2012

UNIBAM launches “We are one” wristband campaign

United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) came to prominence in mid 2011 when, under the leadership of Caleb Orosco, it launched a constitutional challenge against the Government of Belize. Through its challenge, UNIBAM is asking the Supreme Court to declare section fifty-three of the Criminal Code to be unconstitutional since it criminalizes same-sex relationships. While that matter will be taken up before the courts in the weeks to come, UNIBAM has embarked on an awareness campaign to promote its call for equal rights. The organization plans to do so through the widespread distribution of a wristband with a very distinct message. This morning at the Radisson, before a host of partner NGOs, UNIBAM launched its new media crusade in an effort to garner much needed support. It’s a single public service announcement that they believe will change the hearts and minds of the Belizean public. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was there when the wristbands were being distributed.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

“We are one in dignity and rights” is a universal mantra that signifies equality among men and women regardless of gender, creed, and sexual orientation.  That’s the profound message that wearing this multicolored wristband is intended to send to the Belizean public.  The group behind this initiative, the United Belize Advocacy Movement which supports the cause of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, has quickly become arguably the most controversial organization to champion social change within an otherwise homophobic society.  Leading the charge is UNIBAM’s president Caleb Orosco.

Caleb Orosco

Caleb Orosco, President, UNIBAM

“The context of the campaign, “We are one in dignity and rights,” is related to our need to address some of the vile and flammatory language that has been used in the media for the past year and a half. It is to remind people that as individual human beings, individual dignity and rights do not change. We may disagree with many, many things, but we all have the same expectations about the treatment of dignity and rights. That is the context of the campaign itself.”

To accompany the wristbands a short public service announcement is scheduled to air in the local media across the country.

The drive aims to raise awareness of the plight of the LGBT kinship in light of upcoming litigation to repeal section fifty-three of the Criminal Code which outlaws carnal intercourse against the order of nature.  Representing UNIBAM at the Supreme Court is Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman.

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Attorney, UNIBAM

“It’s not just to launch a unified front; it is to say to Belizeans that this is about human rights and human dignity. It is not about whether you are gay, it’s not about whether you bi, it’s not whether you are transgendered; it is whether you are a Belizean person and you deserve to enjoy the fundamental rights and freedoms which are guaranteed in the constitution; that’s what really the constitutional challenge is about. It is challenging the criminal code stating that the criminal code violates the rights of Belizeans when it comes to the freedom of expression, the freedom of association, their inalienable rights and other fundamental rights and freedoms such as the right to privacy and lack of discrimination.”

UNIBAM, Orosco says, has come a long way since the organization was formed.   Recent news articles on the constitutional challenge, according to Orosco, has garnered attention thereby creating newfound support for the cause.

Caleb Orosco

“When we first started, there was no structure of support. Our group, Belize constitutional challenge. It is a close group because it’s not; there is no interest for us to have individuals there who are not of liked minds about the issue. More importantly our friends in the Caribbean for example are watching the case closely and the friends I am talking about are other LGBT activists who are looking not only at the process but the lessons learnt and the challenges in order to decide how they will approach their filing. We know for example that Jamaica did a similar filing of their case at the Inter-American Human Rights Court and so between February second and the eight, I’ll be at the regional meeting looking at not only at the documentation of this case, but the history and the cultural context of homophobia as it exist in the entire region.”

For Shoman the matter has forced her to change her position from an abstract approach initially to one where she is now standing up for basic human rights.

Lisa Shoman

“I think when I started out on this case; I had a very academic approach. I was dealing with it as a lawyer; as a solicitor and the more I became involved, the more I saw that this is fundamental to me as a human and a Belizean—not because I’m straight, not because I chose to love and be married to a man as a woman. That doesn’t really make as much difference to me but that as a Belizean, I uphold the right of all Belizeans to have their human rights respected. And so I have moved from being a solicitor really to being an advocate on the issue.”

Wristbands are being distributed through UNIBAM by contacting Caleb Orosco. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

The case will be argued on either side by a distinguished team of both local and international attorneys, including Rodwell Williams, Eamon Courtenay, Michel Chebat, Jackie Marshalleck and Chris Coye on behalf of the Council of Churches and Lord Peter Goldsmith, Lisa Shoman and Godfrey Smith on behalf of UNIBAM.

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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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36 Responses for “UNIBAM launches “We are one” wristband campaign”

  1. Jones says:

    WHAT IS GOING ON IN BELIZE?

    Why don’t we focus on more pressing topics such as education, infrastructure, improving the standard of living…

    Stop using ‘basic human rights’ as an excuse to your foolishness.

    Wake up Belize. We are a third world country. Go back into your closets and get your morals and values…..we seemed to have forgotten them

  2. JahKid says:

    Nasty people with beautifull way of putting things. So Sad, but it is their dirty lifestyle. Nasty nasty rights they have or want, I will respect them and keep far from these creatures. May God come quick and let us go where we each belong. But I pray that they may be able to move away from it and change into a more clean life style. They are humans too, only that they choose the wrong way to satisfy there evil desires. How can well educated people go that way. I just can’t believe or even think of what they doo to one another. Nasty!!! Lisa talks of being mariied or was married or is straight. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Peace out.

  3. NOway says:

    You all think that Belizeans will be united with you? haven’t you get the message, no no no no…. keep your nasty freaky secret in your bedroom and nobody will pay you mind.

  4. Samsung says:

    No, no noooooooooooo! Not here! Theres goes Belize!!!!!! Please dont support these confusing people!

  5. brightman says:

    It is time to end homophobia, bigotry, and discrimination. Whether one is straight or gay, dignity and human rights are universal. We must depart from biases and prejudices and allow Belize to move forward in a progressive, tolerant, peaceful, and non-judgmental manner. Then and only then, will people stop lying about who they really are and cease from living double lives due to fear of reprisals. We should no longer sit back as a society and allow that a minority group be bullied for being ‘different’ and deprive CONSENTING ADULTS from their right to love whom they choose. There are TOO MANY other truly pressing issues that require our attention: political corruption, murder, blatant stealing, misappropriation of public funds, deception, homelessness, lack of quality medical attention/healthcare for all, poverty,education, unemployment…!!! Those of us who claim to be Christians, though we may have our differing views on the issues, should be lining up to support UNIBAM out of love and compassion, after all, Jesus did say that the truth would set us free. For the sake of our children and their children, it is time to champion tolerance, respect, and dignity for ALL–black, white, gay, straight, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, rich, poor, powerful, or weak!!!!!!!! Those hundreds of thousands of dollars that are being used to perpetuate discrimination should be used to address those genuine issues I have listed. Wake up Belize–remove the blinders from your eyes and get your priorities in order.

  6. menuhknow says:

    Nuh bwoiiiii!!!! Nasty no puss bakfut!

  7. soulenz says:

    For the sake of my children i say no to UNIBAM, for the sake of their children really????can fagz have kids????

  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    It’s ironic how the GOB keep crying about not having the money to curb crimes in the Jewel and yet find the money and time to spend on this issue bunch of hypocrytes.

  9. Lina says:

    This UNIBAM and their lawers can go to hell! There’s no way I will support gay in Belize, it’s a total disgrace and abomination to God. We have corruption and crime already going on in Belize, adding this would turn Belize to a total ‘Sodom and Gomora’.

  10. brightman says:

    Those of you speaking about ‘nasty’ apparently speak from experience. And, soulenz, learn some grammar: our children’s children was the implication. You are the perfect example of the great IGNORANCE that is keeping back this nation. And, gays can have children. Read a book. Wait…start by learning to read. And, I pity your children.

  11. Be Real says:

    Even if UNIBAM wins their case will that change much? A simple court case will not change reality if a vast majority of us (me included) are against their ideology. Just my unbiased and unfettered daily 2 cents.

  12. Intelligence says:

    It’s so sad that these people are ignorant about Belize being established under a Godly constitution with Godly values and morals. UNIBAM you are an abomination to God. Hope you ponder on who you are and turn your lives around, may it be pleasing in God’s eyes. We don’t want our country to be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorah.

  13. Dracula says:

    I no know bout some of these comments that you guys are making. Its obvious that they will legalize it!! the world is coming to an end very soon anyways, just make your peace all of you with the most high.

    PS it obvious that “brightman” dah wah Unibomber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. narrow-minded people says:

    All those who dare to comment negatively on this particular topic, show that Belize on a whole is homophobic.. since each Belizean is an ambassador to his country. Come on I totally agree that Belize is a very Religious country, however there are many things in the Bible that we tend to over look or not practice. So, why Now will we be quoting and finger pointing people because they want a certain life style. I might not be the ideal life style according to OUR SOCIETY but it is an alternative and its one of humanity. We say we are an evolving country as the years go by but today all we can offer is crab days .. we tend to be going backwards,, Being LGBT is not by choice its by DNA.. Lets say lucky for those whose DNA is Normal so to say… I have Siblings and cousin like every single Belizean ,, and that will not make me love them less.. because of one tiny thing I AM SURE OF MY SELF AND I EMBRACE PEOPLE’S FEELINGS.. ALL THOSE SAYS nasty.. nasty,, SAYS I AM AFRAID BECAUSE I AM NOT SURE OF MYSELF AND I MIGHT LET GO AND BE HAPPY…… COME ON!!!! BELIZE IS FOR ALL OF US,, LET PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES AND LETS CONCENTRATE ON OTHER ISSUES MORE PRESSING.. BUT LETS GIVE ROOM TO EVERYONE.. AND LETS BE BELIZEANS.. DISCRIMATION WAS SO LAST DECADE.. COME ON IT’S 2012.. BELIZE DA FU ALL A WE..

  15. narrow-minded people says:

    IF WE WANT TO FOR BELIZE ECONOMY TO GROW .. WE NEED TO BE OPENED MINDED BECAUSE IN THIS DAY AND AGE, MANY PEOPLE FROM STREET VENDORS TO WALL STREET INVESTORS AND THE GUYS IN BETWEEN MIGHT BE OR HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS WITH THIS ALTERNATE LIFESTYLE ..AND THEY MIGHT NO LONGER CONSIDER BELIZE FOR INVESTMENTS. .WE SHOULD BE.. MOTHER’S NATURE BEST KEEP SECRET …AND IF WE KEEP THIS CLOSED MIND AND ARE UNABLE TO BE TOLERANT. WE WILL BE A WELL KEEP A SECRET,, ..
    BELIZE NEEDS AND FROM EVERYONE SO LETS BE WHAT WE ARE WELCOMING.. WE WELCOME EVERY ONE.. SO.. LETS CONTINUE,, ALL THAT WE SHOULD ASK IS FOR LGBT FOR THEM NOT BE EXPOSED IN PUBLIC..

  16. Barack Obama says:

    The laws can be altered in their favour, however, once this generation is not ready to openly accept homos, then it is still worthless. The discrimination will still be present and you only risk your little dirty @$$ for getting a beat down. It would be best to prepare yourselves mentally for the next two generations that may then have a better perspective of your views.

  17. bzn2dbone says:

    Just so everyone knows, unibam says they are fighting for their right, but if you look at it carefully, what they want is not a right to be who they are, but an urge to fulfill their own personal ill-gotten desire. So it is far from a right, it is a desire. In addition, going to the court will NEVER make me accept homosexuality. Everyone knows that it is wrong.

  18. Louisville,Ky says:

    Someone commented about the government spending money on this homosexual issue but complained about the lack of funds to fight crime, which is hypocritical.
    I don’t know that it is in fact the government that’s agitating for a constitutional review of the laws as it relates to gay people. My understanding is that it’s the other way around.
    And, did the government really say that they did not have any money to fight crime? Did they, for real?

  19. Head says:

    I don’t see what UNIBAM is fighting for? the Gov’t should pull the rug from under their feet by amending the law and say ‘without consent.’ that way a person can bring a charge of rape if done without consent. . . ‘adults are already engaging in these activities whether there is a law or not…..and now look at the minister of police wanting to decriminalize marijuana……..its the same issue…..human rights blah blah blah…….next it will be cocaine ……so why not go all the way and say multiple couples allowed.. . . .guess we headed for one big stoned sex party……..
    Belizean have to realize this is a moral issue and a personal one………our choice ……..heaven or hell..is the bottom line

  20. the real issue says:

    Let me just bring to your attention the following…if the law does not go in favor of UNIBAM the following will happen and I shall be very sad

    *Lesbian Porn will be considered illegal !

    Please…have a heart….keep lesbian porn legal… and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all straight men when i say that….

  21. Gaz says:

    First thing UNIBAM needs to do is provide a way to contact them. I have attempted to find a way each time I’ve seen a news article about their efforts, to offer my support, but can find no way.
    Go UNIBAM – Belize REALLY NEEDS you!

  22. Toledoans says:

    Disgusting lifestyle!!! We are not the least supportive of this in PG!!!

  23. Brightman says:

    @ Dracula and others like you..your childish remarks sparked from a lack of emotional intelligence, or any other kind for that matter, simply confirms to those who can and do see issues from ALL angles, that ignorance, paranoia, and sensationalism is what motivates your squawk. You have no grounds to substantiate your bigotry and therefore you reach far and make non-sensible aspersions in desperation. Most Belizeans ARE ready to defend human rights and advocate freedom to choose among consenting adults. We do NOT live in a police state and in a democracy EVERYONE has the right to live as they please, regardless of the self-righteous prejudices and bigotry of others. Just talk to those Black persons who had to fight for equal rights, and for the freedom to marry white persons…educate yourselves and free your minds. Unless straight people stop having children, gays will always be born–they aren’t going anywhere. Get with the times. End discrimination.

  24. John Boy,Carson,Ca says:

    What is the big deal.Gay and Lesbian are a part of society.They should have the same rights as I a straight person.There was a time when blacks and whites could not get married.That was wrong.The same way how gays and lesbians could not get married.Stupid people gays and lesbians are in every walk of life.They are doctors,nurse,police officer.Being gay or lesbian is just one aspect of life.

  25. Jones says:

    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

    All this stupidity of ‘open minds’….

    Belize is not homophobic….UNIBAM IS HETEROPHOBIC

    What they are fighting for is not a right….it’s a stupid TANTRUM. It seems a few rich people don’t have anything good to do with their money.

    What we need to do is straighten out the younger generation where this problem has its breeding grounds.

    Effective censorship of bad influences through the internet and television should be put into place.

    We defend human rights to live and live better; to improve ourselves. NOT TO CONDONE UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR.

    Does everyone notice that UNIBAM does not marches? BECAUSE THEY KNOW NO PERSON WOULD SUPPORT THEM. The lawyers do it for the money. Business is Business.

    They are just a group of people with nothing better to do with their money or time.

    Black people fought for their right or participation. NOT SOME FOOLISHNESS. We as Belizeans fought for our Indenpendce, our right to have a decent country. NOT TO CONDONE THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR.

    If you want people to accept your ‘situation’ go to the US where gay marriages are acceptable.

    BELIZE IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE THE STATES AND SO WILL NEVER CONDONE YOUR STUPIDNESS.

    End discrimination? END YOUR FOOLISHNESS.

    You get with the times. We need to develop our country.

    and please note ITS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF BELIZE against your small little group.

    Your money can only go so far. And Belizeans can only take so much. We are not patient with foolishness.

  26. Jones says:

    A little wake up call:

    GAY IS BY INFLUENCE AND INFLUENCE ALONE

    NOT BY DNA

    (you could tell these people don’t know a thing about Biology, or Common Sense for that matter)

    Why don’t you all embrace our views instead THAT WE DON’T WANT YOUR SIMPLENESS!

  27. openmindedgyal says:

    All you “haters” think about your children, the way you are behaving is absolutely ridiculous. You want other people to stifle who they are for the sake of your own security. I hope some day some one close and dear to your heart breaks the chain and comes out, I’d love to see what you would say!!! When the topic hits home then you can sympathize with the gays. Even if you won’t , it’s pathetic if you would outcast your own flesh and blood for something they did not choose! Do you think the gays wanted to be like this!?! Do you think it is a choice?! Would you want to be different? No, but you cannot simply choose to be straight.

    “There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”
    Martin Luther King

  28. ignoranceisbliss says:

    !*** da haters unibam ;)

  29. OriginalWoman says:

    Gayness is nastiness….and a true reflection of how upside down our world has become…everything good is just about bad now, and everything bad is generally being considered good and acceptable….those in power that Re pushing legalization of gay marriges have been a part of thisifestyle on the down low, it has become so normal to them they want to use their power to get it legally accepted…..STAND STRONG AND SAY NO TO GAY MARRIAGES MY FELLOW BELIZEANS….BRIGHTMAN YOUR RAINBOW COLORS ARE DEFINITELY BRIGHTLY SHOWING….EVEN IF YOU DENY IT!!!!!

  30. ConcernedBzean says:

    this is an ABSOLUTE SHAME to our nation.

  31. Dracula says:

    @ Brightman say what you want to say with all your big words and facyness! I am a straight male person that LOVES what a WOMAN has to offer sometimes i find my self EATING what she has to offer. My thing to you is that if that rows your boat then you go for it bro! its obvious that hOmOs3XU@15 are very colourful when they speak and write. Makes me wonder if Brightman dah no Kaleb Orosco in disguise

  32. Bisexual Woman says:

    I’m an older bisexual woman who’s married to a wonderful str8 man,and know from experience that one does not,not,choose their sexuality. So please,all you nay sayers with your minds in the gutter,do take the time on educating your selves regarding not only the homosexual lifestyle,but your life in general. As one poster commented above…Learn how to read,your ignorances are coming through loud and clear. Choice of parteners is not all about sex,it involves common interests,compatibility,understanding,love,respect and the desire to give unconditionally to each other. My husband has given me his blessings to have love another woman,and no,not with the inclusion of his presence,never….this is for me,as a woman loves another woman.
    We all have the right,God given right to freedom to be…Yes,to be!

  33. ...XXX.. says:

    I do not support this bulls***. I’ve seen these fags around and its a disgrace to the country to engage in this type of behaviour, worse now to promote it? Belize doesn’t need this rubbish. UNIBAM be gone

  34. Silicone Wristband says:

    i like this.thanks for sharing.it is used by the modern genration.

  35. westide says:

    WE DO NOT SUPPORT GAY PEOPLE IN BELIZE…WE WANT A BETTER FUTURE FOR BELIZE AND OUR FUTURE GENERATION!!! WE WONT BE ABLE TO TAKE OUR CHILDREN TO THE PARKS CAUSE OF THOSE GAYS….

  36. westide says:

    I personlly dont supprt this b s! I think this whole homosexual thing is not good for our beautiful society. If is gets legalize there will be some serious problems with our country Belize and will affect our future generation and those to come.Say no to homosexual rights in Belize. GOD BLESS OUR COUNTRY OF BELIZE :D

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