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Jul 24, 2012

UNIBAM discusses sexual orientation; is it a choice?

The President of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), Caleb Orosco, is taking the government to court, challenging Section Fifty-Three of the criminal code on the grounds that it criminalizes homosexuality. This morning the organization held a meeting at the Radisson to dialogue with various human rights agencies. It discussed a myriad of issues including sexual discrimination and ways to increase the understanding of gender based violence, homophobia and LGBT human rights issues. According to Orosco, the LGBT movement is raising consciousness on sexual orientation across demographic lines. Clinical Psychologist, Asa DeMatteo, presented scientific findings on the origins of sexual orientation and Orosco says it is not a choice.

 

Caleb Orosco, President, UNIBAM

Caleb Orosco

“I am proud to say that the one thousand or so people that we have in our close group in Belize for the Constitutional Challenge have not only raised awareness, but they have engaged the Christian right and their position. I am most proud of the fact that we’ve taken sexuality out of the closet—and not just LGBT sexuality; I mean sexuality as a whole. Nobody in this country can ever say that they do not or have not had a discussion on sexual orientation. Nobody can ever say that they don’t know what discrimination is like or they cannot say that there isn’t a face to the issue of discrimination. We had invited a clinical psychologist to try to build new research around epigenics and basically it is scientific research that talks about the origins of sexual orientation. For us, his presence here has value because he brings not only a professional perspective but a scientific background in explaining what things are. His value is also to break up some of the myths that have been projected out there in the media; that sexual orientation is a choice, that sexual orientation you can pray the gay away. These are fundamental issues which have hardly begun to be address within the media or the education system. So his presence is about increasing the awareness of the other scientific research.”

 

According to Orosco, no individual should endure abuse because of their sexual orientation. According to Clinical Psychologist, Asa DeMatteo, the court challenge is the beginning of a long process which will inevitably lead to the tolerance of differences on sexual orientations.

 

Asa DeMatteo

Asa DeMatteo, Clinical Psychologist

“Gay people say I’m a citizen, I pay my taxes, I live a life in this country or my country and I want to be equal under the law.  Belize is like the United States in the 1970s or England in the 1980s; this is moved faster in some places than others. A lot of people, particularly here in Belize talk about it as a gay agenda or as a conspiracy. I don’t know how you call it a conspiracy for someone to say I wanna be equal. I want to be treated equally under the law.  The biggest opposition—but not all the opposition—comes from the religious community and that’s just a segment of the religious community. I don’t think they should be asked to accept it. What they have to be asked to do is keep the laws out of discrimination. No church has to accept that homosexuality is not a sin; no church has to accept gay marriage or anything like that. Religion like sexuality is a private matter that each person gets to choose. And so what they need to do is tolerate differences. This issue is for me and for gay people; this is our life. This is our everyday twenty-four seven life that we have to cope with; this insult kind of insult to our dignity and our civil rights. For the church it is a side issue. It’s an important to them, but it is not central. Central to their belief is their love of god and their adherence to biblical principles; that is their central focus. And why they are going to accept it is that they are just gonna give up. That’s what happen all across the world. They’re gonna say all right already we understand the equality and how that happens so far—and I can only look at history to predict how it happens in the future—is that gay people say I’m gay. Caleb Orosco started this thing but that’s not gonna change. What’s gonna change people is when they find out; oh my butcher is gay; oh my nephew is gay; oh my son is gay; my daughter is in love with a woman. When you know that someone is gay, you can’t hate them anymore because they’re your community; they’re your brothers and sisters and friends and neighbors and business men and stuff like that. And that’s how it happens all over the world. And Belize isn’t different from the rest of the world. And it will come. This is the beginning of a long process.”

 

UNIBAM, as an organization has been struck off from the case by the court, but Caleb Orosco, its president is continuing with the legal challenge.

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21 Responses for “UNIBAM discusses sexual orientation; is it a choice?”

  1. Storm says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think it is of any interest to anyone but himself what Orosco’s sexuality is. The entire movement is pretty indecent.

    Probably all of us know some gay person, maybe we like them — but in almost every case I have known, it came about because someone molested the person at a young age, and profoundly changed who they were. Is it right to affect some child’s sexual identification by perversely molesting him or her?

    It’s a private matter, it’s not normal nor God’s design, so please, keep it to the privacy of your bedroom. God can deal with you, I just don’t want my children to have to watch how you deal with yourself.

  2. Belizean says:

    Demon possessed people. Gay people are NOT part of my community, and they will be shunned and removed if they exist here!!!!! at. “Religion like sexuality is a private matter that each person gets to choose” This is what the guy says. Well if its such a private matter, why, why why does this have to be aired, fought for, if you already do it all the time!!!??? These devil worshipper’s need no law changes to live their ugly dirty God forsaken life. I prefer to live in the 50′s, if that’s what it takes to continue to be a normal person. These guys have a sick sick sick agenda, and they’re getting paid for it. But believe you me, the Church will never never give up. Maybe some Organizations will give up, but the Church as the Body of Christ, will, never ever agree. If this country will let that law be changed, CURSED WE WILL BE!

  3. Brightman says:

    Storm and Belizean, it is important you engage in thorough research to try to gain understanding of the complexity of human nature and that of the scriptures as well. When you speak from passions and ignorance, you lose credibility. Fortunately, more and more people in Belize are moving away from such a limited and distorted perspective as yours. For too long your short-sighted views have caused many individuals to live tormented for something that is innate, a part of their biology. But praise God, more and more people are becoming more compassionate, understanding, and supportive as they gain knowledge and understanding, and soon enough the misinformed like you will become the minority. We need to accept people’s differences and respect the right of every individual, only then can peace and harmony, and a blessed country progress.

  4. shocked says:

    You people sound simple. I wish that you would educate yourself on the topic before you cast judegment. U can’t make an evaluation or pass judgement on something ; that from the way you’re talking, you know nothing about. The only aspect of homosexuality that you seem to focus on is the sexual part but that’s not the only aspect it’s concerned with. It has all d same dimensions as a heterosexual relationship. The only difference is that there are two of the same kind. They love, quarrel, get hurt just as anyone else in a relationship. “Belizean” have you seen them worshiping the devil? How do you know they do that? And if that’s the case, does every person doing something classified as bring wrong according to d Bible a devil worshipper? I’m surer you’ve lied countless times in your life. That’s wrong according to d Bible also. Can i then draw from.that, that you are a devil worshipper also???

  5. playa says:

    so i am a married man that loves to womanize… i know its wrong.. i should form an organization that will allow the laws of my country to accept this type of behaviour and put it into law that its ok.

    I know all di men out here like myself will support it… (and the married women that cheat on their husbands/boyfriends too)

  6. Belizean says:

    Talk about the Scriptures “Brightman” be careful what you say. Not one Place in the Bible is it ok to be gay. If you want to find grounds for your nasty perverted thoughts, dont look in the scriptures. Just remember, God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.
    @shocked,. Do 2 wrongs make a right? I dont think so. Yes lying is wrong, and I have done so, because we are human, but I have cleared that part up, which is none of your business. Homosexuality is a state of sin that people want to be in, to rebel against what God has put in place. What I can see is that humanity degrades as time goes on, and God will judge and judge with stong fire. I am not the one to judge but I can sure voice my thoughts. Homosexuality is brought in by the devil and if people choose to rebel against God, and live in sin, it is a worship and following of the Devil.

  7. .... says:

    Hey shocked, yes people lie and steel and do all sort of things. Guess what all those wrong things do have consequences. Nobody is trying to change the law and say oh the law is prejudice because I want to lie and con people and get away with it or oh I like killing so the law is against my rights. So what lets change the law according to what I like to do? We can add a whole list of other things. Bigamy, polygamy and all sort of other craziness. The question is with all our faults and mistakes and sins, what is your tendency are you inclining to stop lie to stop steel to stop doing the things you shouldn’t or are you inclined to continue doing what you so love although it is wrong, and to make things worst seeking permission and approval from others? The more we get permission to do the things we should not do the more society and the entire human race degrades until eventually we be wiped out again. The decision is yours, at the end we all will answer for our own mistakes.

  8. Beliceano says:

    Trust God and have Faith in him. He made a woman for man. So it was in the beginning and so it is to day. Haven’t your heard, where is your faith. It was sin that has made this world unbearable and unpleasant. Satan is a master of sins and is misleading the world, for he knows his time is very short. God loves you and me, believe in Jesus , Change your ways of life. The time is now.

  9. Against discrimination says:

    It is funny how people love bringing God into this equation but yet they forget that God made each and every single one of us just the way he intended. Does anyone recall the movement for anti slavery? Or to give rights to women to vote? Or give rights to blacks? Whether people want to believe it or not but homosexuality is not something you choose for yourself..you are born that way. Do you think that people in their right mind would subject themselves to the kind of hatred we see here? People call themselves Christians yet they are so quick to pass judgements. Learn to accept people in your lives!

  10. Tanya says:

    Even if we do not agree with it, those religious fantatics should understand that god showed compassion and forgiveness and not instilled hate.. I agree with brightman, more and more peeople of the new generation are undertadning human roghts and sexuality than the old generation and ignorants that cling misinformedly about homosexuality. To think in this 2012 that because someone obused you, you become gay is laughable and really makes me think about the culture and education of my country. Lets me rephrase it for you and please think ! so. if today i like women, i enjoy women and someone abuses you tomorrow, that means by the follwing days and weeks and months i will like men, just like that ?? does that make sense ? can any sensibel man out there see that happening to him ?? As a mother, i have a gay son and i would not want him to suffer in his own country because of ignorance.. he has a right to live in peace.. And by the way, he has been at the top of his class alwways with a scholarship for sixth form. I am proud of my gay son..

  11. Reasonable says:

    The Bible is not an appropriate book to quote from when discussing the law, we no longer take people outside the city gates and stone them to death for working on the sabbath, once you agree that we should not do that, then move on and put aside the ancient books of the old testament with their angry god. We have progressed (most of us) to a more enlightened age of reason.

  12. Ixchel Pop says:

    It is so unbelievable that those who claim to follow God’s word are quick to judge, condemn and advocate murder for gay people , when the very book they use as the basis also teaches a principle of love, understanding, forgiveness and tolerance. Hate and lies that are perpetuated in the name of religion is certainly not acceptable; having this vitriol delivered at the mouths of so call Christian leaders like Strim and Wade is not acceptable; let God be the judge of gay people…cast the first stone if you are without sin…..
    I am of the opinion that my Belizean people will respond to the UNIBAM issue as true Belizean, with- love and compassion; we will not hate monger nor judge as we leave that to the good lord. If these two gentleman and their ilk have a problem that they can settle in Iran and other theocratic states where there views will be more favored.

  13. Reasonable says:

    How should we deal with those who work on the Sabbath? Should we as the bible says take them outside the city walls and stone them to death. Well, if you think we have moved on from doing these things we can be free to leave the ancient books of the bible and progress from the angry god to a more enlightened one remembering that whoever we imagine god to be is a reflection of ourselves.

  14. Ixchel Pop says:

    Let the religious leaders get out of people bedroom and concentrate on people souls….why so focus on the mechanics of the gay sex act? Live and let live. Cho strim and wade need to be exorcised of those bad things they keep writing about.

  15. FoolishYouth says:

    Whether the law is passed or not. The opinions on gay people will always be split in BZE. I say change the law because it is not appropriate or politically correct anymore. I doubt this will make gay people more open especially since the majority opinion on what they doing is wrong. Let them have their law and we can still keep our faith. I heard UNIBAM does charitable works as well so let’s take whatever good they have to offer. Give them their law. Of course if they want to claim that genetics has some role to play in orientation and they have scientific evidence that’s fine. But equally as integral a factor to sexual orientation is what we are exposed to as children. Thus I only think it is fair and right for the betterment of society that they not show what could be construed as gay behavior to children. I’m not saying u can’t be born gay. Just saying that my children n my fellow belizean’s children are impressionable and we would prefer them not to be corrupted. It is our faith that it is not right. Respect that n u will get respect. Be a man in public n be an example to the youth. Leave your questionable behind closed doors. They are equal in God’s eyes. Like us they are sinners. I hold no grudge or malice. They are my equal as God decreed.

  16. beachman says:

    It’s interesting to me that the following facts are often ommitted:
    1. There is no ‘gay’ gene. When the Human Genome Project tried to find a genetic component that determined a person’s sexual orientation, they found no such gay gene because it doesn’t exist. How can it be claimed a person was ‘born this way’ when there is no genetic or scientific proof?
    2. There is a gene that predisposes a person to having a dependency upon alcohol or drugs. Because the addict or alcoholic actually is ‘born this way’ doesn’t remove their responsibility for their personal actions & choices. Why is it any different for a homosexual person who could choose to not engage in gay sexual activities? I choose to be faithful to my wife despite feelings of attraction to other women. Since when did so many of our decisions get based on how we feel, rather than what we know to be right?

  17. helpful says:

    In order to condemn homosexuality using the Bible, people must use parts of the Good Book which they don’t even obey themselves… Anyone who followed ALL of Leviticus would find themselves in Hattieville real quick… oh, and you’d have to give up shrimps, and lobster (Lev. 10:11), eating pibil and other puerco dishes (Lev. 11:6-8) If someone plants corn and beans in the same field, or wears clothes made of different kinds of thread (check your labels for cotton/polyester blends!), or curses, Leviticus commands that we all get together and throw ROCKS at them… (Lev.24:10-16) … oh, and beachman? you may be right that a specific gene for gayness or bisexuality hasn’t been found, but there’s PLENTY of evidence showing intrauterine hormonal environment and immune system changes in a pregnant woman have a lot to do with people turning out to be gay or bi. Science doesn’t yet have a full understanding of the process that goes on during pregnancy, but it is real nevertheless.

  18. MellowBelizean says:

    Most of you are getting caught up in Religion and not looking at the discrimination issue. Yes, like “Playa” says, a womanizing married man doesn’t have a law protecting him. The difference is, a womanizer is not ostracized, beaten, or even killed for being this way. They aren’t threatened for who they are or what they do in the privacy of their home.

    A womanizing man can flaunt his affair on the street, and although it’s wrong he may even get high fives and knowing winks. Now let a gay person try that. See, it’s not about pushing gayness or promoting a lifestyle, but from a legal standpoint a gay Belizean should be able to walk down the street just like the womanizer, alcoholic, or anyone else and not be bothered or harassed simply because he or she is gay. The protection of the law would prevent some citizens from infringing on the rights of others. It’s that simple.

  19. AsaDeMatteo says:

    Calling me ugly names like demon will not change the great arc of history. I am an old gay man, and demon is the least of the names I’ve been called in my day. I am also legally married in the State of California to another gay man. He is 60 years old, and I am 65. We have made a home and a life together since he was 23 and I was 28. We are growing old together, and the first to die will do so in the other’s arms. We will be placed in a single companion urn, our ashes side by side for as long as the columbarium stands. It is all arranged and paid for. And our families and the many people who love and respect us will cry, grieve our passing, and remember us with a bittersweet fondness that will follow them for the rest of their days. My great love for my husband is the most rewarding aspect of my life, and his love for me as his husband is the shining light of his life. We helped each other through school, he through medical school and I through graduate school in psychology. We bought a home for ourselves, and bought my step-father’s home for him because he could no longer afford to pay his mortgage after my mother died. UNIBAM invited me to come, but I paid all of my expenses because I felt it was a mitzvah for Belize. Now what draws people to say ugly things about me as a gay person escapes me. It fails the test of common decency. And to the person who said keep it to yourselves: gay people will shut up when they have equality under the law and justice in the nations. Until then, you’d better get some ear plugs because we will shout and holler and continue until you understand. Don’t offer to ignore us if we crawl back into our closets. We will not be ignored.

  20. truth says:

    There are more important issues that we need to address as a nation on becoming 31 years of independence than unibamers.

  21. CEO says:

    Truth…tell that to storm who believes more in spreading lies, than addressing more important things. Beachman, you and storm seem to be best friends here. The issue is very simply, if its not your business, why you tripping. Morals really, tell that to Wallacy who had lots of morals.

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