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May 6, 2013

UNIBAM and U-RAP pretrial conference

Westmin James

The landmark case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize goes to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, and both sides, and the churches as interested parties, are gearing up for what will be a very significant trial challenging section fifty-three of the criminal code which states that persons who engage in carnal knowledge against the order of nature shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years. The opposition to Orozco has launched a very vocal and spirited media propaganda campaign, but today Orozco hit the ground running with a pre-trial press conference facilitated by the University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project, U-RAP. Orozco’s attorneys include senior counsels: Trinidad-based Christopher Hamel-Smith; Lisa Shoman and Simeon Sampson. None were present today, as Orozco faced the media along with U-RAP representative Westmin James. Both refuted the assertion that even if the case is won nothing will change in regard to the stigma attached to the issue.

 

Westmin James, U-RAP Litigation Specialist

“These particular legislation promulgate prejudice and this stigma and the removal thereof certainly assists persons in relation to that. Of course there are persons that are going to hold certain views and they are entitled to hold views because in the constitution you are entitled to express those views. However it certainly goes a long way in combating prejudice and stigma and discrimination—it certainly helps. And furthermore, it certainly helps those persons who run on the ground because they are afraid to disclose their sexual orientation for the purpose of receiving medical treatment and so on because they feel that they are felons because of the law.”

 

Caleb Orozco

Caleb Orozco, Claimant

“For far too long, the state has ignored its LGBT citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms in other lower level laws. It means that it immediately individual citizen’s prejudices immediately but it is certainly a heck of a debate and a journey to get there. More precisely, the value for this thing is that it removes the justification of the state by omission or indifference to resist addressing the issues of fundamental rights and freedoms of its LGBT citizens. That to me is core. It removes the reason why the state should not address issues that are directly impacting the community. That to me is one of the immediate values for this case.”

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1 Response for “UNIBAM and U-RAP pretrial conference”

  1. Storm says:

    There’s no “right” to immoral and unnatural behavior. Nobody can be forced to accept perversion.

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