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Apr 26, 2013

Holy War in Chief Justice chambers; Church defends against UNIBAM

On May seventh, the landmark case on the constitutionality of section fifty-three of the Criminal Code gets underway before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Section fifty-three states that persons who engage in carnal knowledge against the order of nature shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years. It is a highly controversial case in which the churches have joined the government to defend the challenge brought by Caleb Orozco, the President of UNIBAM.  As the case inches closer, both sides are defending their positions. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The Church and the State have joined forces to defend UNIBAM’s challenge of section fifty-three of the criminal code, which outlaws their lifestyle. Canon Leroy Flowers says that it is the church’s obligation to fight this battle.

 

Canon Leroy Flowers

Canon Leroy Flowers

“The church’s position has not change, will not change. We are seeking to protect what we call the moral fiber of society. And we see this part of the law as very important. This is not about a particular individual or name calling and bashing. We are simply seeking and we have become a party to the case per say; it’s the government’s responsibility to defend the constitution. We simply as the moral voice of the society felt that we had an obligation to be a part to that suggestion. And that is all we are seeking to do.”

 

UNIBAM and Caleb Orozco intend to amend laws and perceptions of human rights.

 

Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, UNIBAM

“The pessimism I was feeling previously has changed to one of cautious optimism.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Speaking of pessimism…you’re going up against the state and the church; that’s God. God is saying no.”

 

Caleb Orozco

Caleb Orozco

“Well it’s fascinating. I know this idea of God all knowing and so on and so on; that they are representative of God. This is the point. Churches are institutions which are built by man, led by men and men who have frailties. And as I am learning through their communication, these leaders are not high enough to break that moral authority they claim through their ads. These leaders—and I am talking about the leaders and not the church itself—because the members of the church may not necessarily share the same passionate sentiments as the leaders.”

 

And if you believe the numbers, the National Aids Commission says that there is an increased activity of people practicing alternative lifestyles.

 

Dr. Martin Cuellar, Executive Director, National Aids Commission

“We are looking at new evidence that supports for first time the establishment of an estimation of population size for bisexuals, homosexuals and lesbians in Belize.  Previously we never had these numbers around and the numbers are suggesting that the overall percentage of men who have sex with men for example is looking at as high as fifteen percent of the population; these are self-identified. Bisexuals as much as eight percent. So when you add that on top, you are looking at about twenty-three percent of the male population having sex with men. We are looking at numbers coming out for lesbians as well. This information is pivotal because it identifies the size of population that we need to address. And that then helps us to manage the different appropriate methodologies and ways that we need to target these populations to try to seek the changes we desire.”

 

Canon Leroy Flowers

Martin Cuellar

“We are justified in what we are doing and we have no problem with that. If we were to go by polling and take a vote in Belize, there is no question as to who would win that argument per say. Having said that, we are simply seeking to uphold what we believe to be the truth in the relationship between man and his fellow man. That is all.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“They are also pointing to their own studies that show an increase this type of lifestyle.”

 

Canon Leroy Flowers

“There is no denying the fact that that lifestyle has been from ever since. But remember this is for us one of the many sins of which we are seeking to call mankind to repent from and to seek its God. And so this fight will always be there. This fight has always been there and this fight will continue. That is the Church’s understanding of the moral law that god calls us to uphold. That is all.”

 

Caleb Orozco

“That moral authority; that traditional moral authority that they have, does not give them the right to deny LGBT citizens their concerns for right enforcement. And not because they are religious leaders or they are part of the religion means that they have a right to discriminate. What they need to recognize within the context is belief is an individual right. It is not a collective right to discriminate against a population.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Do you believe in God?

 

Caleb Orozco

“There is no issue as to the belief in God. There is an issue in manipulating the traditional beliefs and practices of love and how that love is expressed.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Do you believe in what they would say the natural order of biology; man and woman procreate to make children?”

 

Caleb Orozco

“Again all things are relative and in my mind, I exist in as much of the natural order as their belief exists.”

 

Canon Leroy Flowers

“We always think that when we are wrong that we are right, because we seek to justify ourselves. It’s very clear sin is sin. In whatever form, in whatever shape, by whoever does it, it doesn’t matter who. And it is the church’s moral task to call mankind to repentance. That is the whole purpose of Christianity.”

 

The holy battle begins inside the Chief Justice’s chambers on May seventh.  Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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27 Responses for “Holy War in Chief Justice chambers; Church defends against UNIBAM”

  1. BT says:

    The constitutional challenge to S.53 is simply about whether it should be a crime for consenting adults to engage in same sex activity. Why in nearly two years of following this story has no reporter ever asked this simple question to all concerned” “Do you believe it should be a crime, punishable by 10 years in prison, for an adult to have consensual sexual relations in private with an adult of the same sex?”. Next time you interview a member of Belize Action or the Council of Churches ask them to go on the record about that. That is your responsibility as journalists.

    Society can deal with all the various other issues regarding LGBT rights separately as it feels necessary. But to simply make it a CRIME to be gay, because it is the easiest way to keep the homosexuals in check is abhorrent. Protection under the constitution is not dependent on prescribing to a particular faith.

  2. Louisville,Ky says:

    First of all, talking about ‘rights’, I really don’t appreciate Caleb and these homosexual people challenging the rights of the Belizean constitution. Evidently, they have absolutely no regard even for what the bible, the pre-eminent constitution has to say.
    Indeed, to satisfy their perverted agenda, these people are prepared to go to any lengths which includes, but is not limited to ripping to shreds the very moral fiber of our society.
    When individuals begin to convince themselves that what is wrong is ‘right’, we are in big trouble.
    Homosexuals clamoring for what they believe are their rights, are no different from a Thief who believes he has the ‘right’, to your belongings. For real.
    Second of all and most importantly, nobody gives a rat’s backside (pun intended) who ‘you people’ want to do your slackness with. Just don’t mess with our little boys and our constitution, or we are going to have a REAL problem.

  3. Uncle Benji says:

    Stop! Stop! Belize we are an independent country these days, but mentally we are stagnated and stuck in the middle of the 19th century.

    UNIBAM should not back down in their fight. Homosexuals are human beings and deserve to be treated with all the respect warranted to human beings. So keep fighting for your rights UNIBAM.

    CALEB OROZCO – tone down the slut looking image you are trying so hard to portray. It is acceptable to be whatever you want to be; but if you keep up wanting to look and act like a woman, you are inviting a gang rape on one rainy night.

    RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES – The vast amount of homosexualism in Belize has been started by religious freaks disguise as men and women of God. Your sanctimonious approach to homosexualism is simply showing the world your hypocrisy.

    PARENTS – Be careful how you trust your little ones around so called men of God. In Belize, the religious frock is a disguise used by sexual predators. If it walks, talks or act like a priest, pastor or nun…… then it must be a……………..

  4. Neville says:

    As for their “studies,” it is important to remember the saying, “Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.”

    Their numbers are both ridiculous and offensive to Belize — 23% of our men have sex with other men?

    Reporters should make them disclose the statistical assumptions they make, and analyze their “evidence.” It is key that the numbers come from an AIDS group, which has a financial motive to make ALL Belizean men homosexual, so they can obtain more money to deal with the gay scourge of AIDS. IT IS THEIR AGENDA, AND THEY WILL LIE TO ADVANCE IT.

    There are and have always been homosexuals, but it is and has always been recognized as a deviant practice and an ungodly behavior. Most of us have faith that sex between man and woman was created by God to multiply mankind, and other forms of “intercourse” that can never lead to procreation are sinful and should be resisted by moral people.

    When we see the radicals lying to try to change our society in a deviant way, let’s call them out on those lies!

  5. Belizean says:

    Mr Orozco is an ANTI-CHRIST! He disrespects God in His Deity. He demands others to respect what he calls rights, thereby running over morals, everything that makes a country upright, all sensitiveness to wrong…etc. Its an erosion of society on the whole, embodied in this very very sick agenda. Whoever figures things out the way Caleb does, goes to such great extent to prove that sin is right, defies the voice of the conscience, is putting him/herself into a very grave consequence, and I would warn them, do not keep on living in wickedness.

  6. Storm says:

    Well spoken, Canon Flowers. We can sympathize with sinners without justifying their sin or joining with them.

  7. Storm says:

    Well spoken, Canon Flowers. We can sympathize with sinners without justifying their sin or joining with them. In the end, they need our prayers more than sympathy or anything else.

  8. watamelan says:

    I dont know why we entertaining this issue, just put it to a referendum and lets see who the winner will be, the constitution was enshrined by majorities, not minorities, therefore, minorities must respect the decisions of the majorities esp on moral issues which makes the basic and most direct fabric of our very existence. my fellow Belizean parents, would you want ur son to be in ur house making love to another man or men??? We still in time to contain this thing and if we continue entertaining it, then we will eventually self destruct as it has happened in history, so i encourage those to reflect back, think wats best for the country and not for a minority group or a few individuals.

  9. Initiate says:

    The devil is demanding an equal playing field!! God, are you going to give it to him?

  10. beachman says:

    Caleb was quoted, “Again, all things are relative…” This is part of the problem. Some things are relative and some things remain absolute. Absolutes exist even if a person doesn’t believe in them. (Gravity exists even if I don’t believe it exists. There is a true north, whether I have a compass or not!) Moral Absolutes still exist (God is love; Jesus said He was the way, the truth & the life, etc) even if I don’t believe in them. Not ALL things are relative. Some things are relative & some things are absolute.

  11. Jill says:

    Caleb Orozco is like a pesting fly that keeps buzzing by my ear,shoo fly, with the nonsense you bring.i believe that those statistics i’ve read above about gay men in Belize are bogus! theres no way in hell 23 percent of Belizean men are gay. when asked about the natural order of biology he had to stuttter on that one, however, he answered correctly he began by saying “in my mind ” yes Orozco only in your mind and a minority of deviants that shares your sentements so get away FOGOSCO! we have more important things to worry our minds like the guatemala dispute or if guatemala wants to invade us not a small minority of freaks that wants to force Belizeans to accept their grimy un- natural behaviour!

  12. Marie says:

    The devil is attacking Belize in every way. Get rid of this man ASAP.

  13. Rev Mary Martin says:

    With all due respec for journalism, “Holy War?” What next “Jihad?”

    Belize has a Criminal Code 53 Chapter 101 which states, “If any person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” A Belizean who happens to have been born Gay, Caleb Orosco is the only face who dares to stand before the Supreme Court Justice to challenge this archaic Code.
    Retribution is very real and fear is heightened as this case is on the Supreme Court Docket for May 7 – May 10, 2013. The Attorney General’s Office of the Belize Government, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Evangelical Churches and the Council of Churches vigorously oppose this Challenge! The Church holds a Seat in Government and most of the schools are church-run. Local media and some religious leaders spread misinformation and engage in fear mongering..
    Even though this Criminal Code is ambiguous, it is understood by many to protect Belizean society from Homosexuality and is called the “Homosexuality Act. Caleb Orosco’s legal case is the section, “any person or” violates his human right to the expression of his sexual life. This Challenge requests the Government of Belize remove this phrase from the law.
    While this Challenge is about sexual freedom for consenting adults in Belize, it has been allowed to morph into Homophobic rhetoric. Examples: Due to current Immigration Law, members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender) Community (as well as the Hearing Impaired/ Deaf and Persons with Disabilities) may be denied entry into the country. Those affected with HIV/AIDS are stigmatized and denied equal access. Consenting adults who engage in sex acts other than for pro-creation in the Missionary position are judged to be criminals. Open and honest dialogue on the subject of Homosexuality while consistently offered, is discouraged and rejected in this religiously conservative culture.
    The removal of these three words, “any person or” from Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code Chapter 101 must be dropped.

  14. humanrightsbze says:

    Best of luck to Mr. Orozco’s cause in defending human rights of all our Belizean brothers and sisters– not just the ones who happen to be straight– on May 7th.

    I can only hope Belizean Christians recall and understand Matthew 7:1-5.

  15. John Doe says:

    With all these alarming statistics, I believe we, the real men, have more women to us.

    On a positive note, I fully agree with Uncle Benji. They are human beings, and should have a right to do what they want in private.

    BUT, this whole movement will open a pandora box as soon they will want to start adopting kids and THAT, I oppose 100%.

    But, let them come out of the closet so we can see how many women will be come single. I look at it this way, the more gays, the more women for me and other heterosexuals like miself.

  16. GrigaMan says:

    Unfortunately for the Church in Belize, they will lose this case. To see how this will play out, all you have to do is look at the UK and the US, where the LGBT community is more ‘equal’ than the straight community. Eventually the Belizean constitution will be amended, because neither the state nor the church should dictate what consenting adults do to each other; after that happens the LGBT community will flaunt their controversial behavior in full public view. Sadly, just like the crime situation, Belize is starting to slide down a long slippery slope with regards to sexuality.

  17. twosweetinez says:

    Being Gay is a preference as a result that’s not a human rights issue.Maybe the gang members should challenge the constitution also because at the end of the day they are all human being.

  18. Twosweetinez says:

    @Rev Mary Martin:What prove do you have that Caleb was born Gay?Furthermore you stated that the criminal code is ambiguous but yet you understan the part that violates Caleb’s rights.

  19. For Belize says:

    If we were taught (in the right manner), knew, studied, or read on our own one bit – just one bit – of law we would not have this cacophony.

    Since most of us don’t–I find amusing this spectacle of verbal stupidity that the church, the state, homophobes, anti-human rights freaks make.

    I hope that the Chief Justice practice JURISPRUDENCE, one with an evolving view of society [the one that is really out there, not the one that the State and Church preaches and defends---as a just war. There is no crap as a just/moral war.] For the Chief Justice I have the following quote concerning the Unconstitutionality of Capital Punishment by Belize in the Privy Council:
    “As in the case of any other instrument, the court must begin its task of constitutional interpretation by carefully considering the language used in the constitution. But it does not treat the language of the constitution as if it were found in a will or a deed or a charterparty. A generous and purposive interpretation is to be given to constitutional provisions protecting human rights. The court has no licence to read its own predilections and moral values into the constitution, but it is required to consider the substance of the fundamental right at issue and ensure contemporary protection of that right in the light of evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society (see Trop v Dulles, above, at 101).”
    Found here: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/2002/11.html

    Key words: EVOLVING STANDARDS OF DECENCY.

  20. Seletar says:

    It’s interesting that @For Belize injects an insidious argument, that our Constitution must “evolve” as his view of society changes.

    NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

    A Constitution is a CONTRACT between people, who agree to give up or compromise some of their natural freedom for the sake of creating an agreeable form of government.

    Contracts do not simply “evolve” as people start to feel differently about them, or use words differently over time. Contracts must be read and interpeted as the parties intended AT THE TIME THEY WERE MADE.

    Later, if someone wants to change what they mean or do, then the people involved at that time can agree to amend them.

    But that is not what the “evolution” of a Constitution means, and this same corrupt approach has been used in the USA to subvert and pervert constitutions there. IF SOMEONE WANTS TO AMEND OUR CONSTITUTION, IT MUST BE DONE IN THE WAY PRESCRIBED IN THE CONSTITUTION, NOT BY A COURT FINDING THAT “TIMES HAVE CHANGED,” AND IT MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN WHEN IT WAS WRITTEN JUST 30+ YEARS AGO.

    BEWARE THIS CHEATER’S ARGUMENT!

  21. sally nellie says:

    well done Cannon,let them take their homo self to any other part of the world that will welcome them.Belize have enough SINS as it is .two “pot covers” cannot close that is why POT & COVER
    was made.two men can’t produce that is why God made ADAM and EVE not Steve & Cleve.

  22. Initiate says:

    Well said Seletar, and if you want to change the contract/constitution, than we need a majority vote to change it. How else will you possibly change our very constitution! And if you can’t live with this contract, GET OUT!! You are a foreigner, and don’t belong in Belize. Make your home somewhere else!

  23. For Belize says:

    @Seletar: Do we need to resurrect those that wrote the constitution to ask them what they meant? Or, should we read the spirit (as wretched, bigoted, sane, just, etc.) of the Constitution which they wrote. Besides, in some instances the Belize Constitution was a copy & paste of archaic common laws from guess where….

    @Initiate: In the name of the majority civil, economic, political, and cultural rights are violated. There is a famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr which goes as “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” Of course, this is an analogy, but it serves well to illustrate that if something is in the Constitution, it does not necessarily mean that it is fair/right/or representative of the spirit of our societies [Note: societies--by which I mean our standing not only at home but abroad.] And in theory, you cannot kick someone out of their country if they are born there….and that part of the Constitution too :) . And many people, not in particular Belizeans, but others from other regions of the world who suffer from discrimination based on their sexuality seek political asylum in other countries that are less grotesquely backward thinking–such as our beloved Belize.

    Belize has poor transparency ranking, high poverty rates, high crime rate, et cetera. [And I do not want to continue listing more ills.] But we have great achievements too: such as “stable democracy,” great environmental ethic, et cetera. Do we really want to sacrifice our standing by discriminating the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender community? I think it is not only, pathetic, stupid, senseless, archaic, denigrating, inhumane, or et cetera, to do discriminate the LGBT community; I think it is unconstitutional! If we understood constitutional and international jurisprudence we would conclude so.

    Cheers. And much education friends. [But as I continue to believe; in instances where naturalized wrong beliefs are defended not only by bigots, states and churches---in the name of gods--a majority of those people need to all die before any meaningful conversation can be held. Now, I wish no one death--honestly I don't--but in reality (statistically actually) that is the only way forward. That is, that the bigots die, hopefully without leaving their poisonous venom to perpetuate their bigotry.] Have a nice and educational day ;)

  24. Initiate says:

    @ For Belize: of course you think…… ” I think it is not only, pathetic, stupid, senseless, archaic, denigrating, inhumane, or et cetera, to do discriminate the LGBT community; I think it is unconstitutional! If we understood constitutional and international jurisprudence we would conclude so.”

    I think the same thing of you, that what you think is pathetic, stupid, senseless, archaic, denigrating, inhumane, Furthermore you “think it is unconstitutional”, while I don’t’ just know it is constitutional…. IT IS constitutional, and why are you so much more important than me to change my constitution??

  25. Jill says:

    not for belize is what you should call yourself, your not in the best interest of the country your in the best interest of making sure you can run around digging beans freely! LOOK nobody give a rats — what you do in ur home, but don’t think, you will ever be free. The bible clearly opposes homosexuality,so you gonna blame the church for beleiving in what the bible clearly speak against? check your self the problem is with you, don’t come and try to come impose your filthy life style on us, you are the angry souls, wishing death on people now? if all who you wish dies civilization would end cause from the last time i check …… can’t mek picni ooooooh!

  26. For Belize [Without apologies] says:

    @ Initiate and @Jill, I will not address your comments because I think I have done so. Though I have not addressed the issue of the Bible/Church, which unnecessarily drains essential energy. So, I noh wah taak bout di bible, needa god, nor di chuch.

    I find it quite interesting that you assume – believe maybe – that I am a homosexual male. How revealing is your presumption! Only men can be gay — it is quite chauvinistic and homophobic; I do not know which is worst. You know, females can be homosexuals too, and maybe we don’t dig beans! And by the way, heterosexuals do practice anal sex too. Now, I will move to what I intended to respond in the first place.

    Standing up for the LGBT community does not automatically make me one of them. Maybe I have family and friends, or parents that are homosexuals and that make me interested in their plight. LGBT people are exactly like you and me… made in the image of god [whatever that may mean for you]. The reason why I stand for LGBT rights is because I am a liberal thinker. Period. Similar to gay rights, I am willing to stand for “illegal immigrants’” rights, indigenous people’s right, environmental rights, animal rights, and all that which is vulnerable. I am of the position that if one injustice is committed against anyone in the world, it is an injustice committed against humanity. I invite you to view gay equality within this perspective. I invite you to use that Christianly love which is assumed that Christians have to understand and love the LGBT community. Set aside your hatred, prejudice, antagonism, negativity, et cetera and for once TRY to understand them through one of the greatest virtues: empathy.

    After this invitation, I must tell you that I do not intend to continue with this chatter/bickering/small talk that goes no where, except in planting more hatred amongst humanity. If I don’t respond to your responses it is not because I feel “defeated,” much less scared. I rest my case, since, as your bible says, “it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than to convert a bigot into something else.” Have a peaceful and enlightened day. Cheers.

  27. jill says:

    @ not for belize you make me laugh,,,,, acting so dainty now huh? when the last time you were wishing death on people who believe in what is right ,now what reflect more hate against humanity than that? i hardly care if your granny ,grampa ,pa ,ma or you are gay , that doesn;t mean it’s right , That’s the problem with people, because they do something wrong they tend to try and justify their wrongs ,you could turn it, twist it, slant it, to try give a better angle your only convinciving yourself and a few of the nasty deviants that want to feel better about themself for being they way they are, you know you are gay just by how defenssive you are , the choice of words you use against people , you,re defending yourself and thanks you want me to know your a lesbo!, ruby duby, hair burner, licky licky, sorry if you felt left out , that nasty toooooo! so stop try to convince yourselves that you are normal. and who care who practice anal sex they are nasty too! i;m not partial ! you don’t have any other choice but to rest your case , cause you will stress out and dead before any body will convert or agree to your life style , this is not about hating anyoone it’s about not allowing a minority to drag us down and force us to agree with something so repulssive just rub and dig ina unu hole ( homes) and don’t F with our constitution amen ? amen!

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