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Jun 7, 2013

Churches meet the P.M. to denounce gender policy

Church leaders of the Belmopan area met this morning with Prime Minister Dean Barrow in his Belmopan office. There were seven representatives from the churches and the PM’s team included Area Representative John Saldivar. The churches want the recently launched gender policy to be revisited and the Prime Minister has said he is not budging on it. So the meeting this morning was lengthy and spirited. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Sexual orientation is defined as a lasting personal quality that predisposes individuals to feel romantic or sexual attraction to others of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender.  These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality, while the lack of romantic or sexual attraction to others, asexuality, is sometimes identified as a fourth category.  The inclusion of the term in the National Gender Policy, to replace the word sex, male or female, as stated in the preamble of the constitution, has raised the ire of the churches.

 

Frank Wade

Pastor Frank Wade, Living Waters Fellowship Church, Roaring Creek

“The Prime Minister and the Cabinet ministers do understand or they have come now into the understanding that that term could easily mean that you are pro the LGBT agenda and so there will be work towards changing that.  There will not be the total retracting of it but that definition formed the crux of our conversation this morning.”

 

The Revised Gender Policy 2013, which was launched in mid-May, addresses discrimination against one’s race, color, creed and sexual orientation.  Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission, Ann-Marie Williams said that the term falls under the umbrella of gender equality.

 

Ann-Marie Williams

Ann-Marie Williams, Exec. Dir., National Women’s Commission [File: May 17th, 2013]

“I’m telling you, they are part of the gender equality mix. And they should not be discriminated against regardless of race, color, creed, political affiliation, or sex. And it’s part of the preamble of the policy and it’s in the constitution.

 

Jose Sanchez

“So basically you are saying that the policy and the constitution support UNIBAM; that’s what you are saying.

 

Ann-Marie Williams

“I am not saying that. I am not saying that. And don’t try to put me to saying that. The policy is saying that all Belizeans have a right to non-discrimination regardless of race, sex, color or creed.

 

In Belmopan today, a group of seven church leaders from the Cayo District was granted an audience with Prime Minister Barrow during which the controversial language found in the recently revised National Gender Policy 2013 was the topic of discussion.

 

Pastor Scott Stirm, Belize Action

“I think that we were able to connect together, heart to heart and in principle on some different issues that we feel strongly need to change in the Gender Policy.  And so I think that, I would call it definitely a positive meeting.”

 

Scott Stirm

Isani Cayetano

“In light of the fact that he has taken a firm position on not rescinding on the terms or the clauses within the [National] Gender Policy, how productive was this discourse?”

 

Pastor Frank Wade

“Yes, I believe that what he is adamant about is the retracting of the document in its entirety.  It’s not as if he said he is not open to dialogue pertaining to certain terminology and that is the crux of our problem.  As a church there are certain terms within that document that just literally scares us because it bodes ill for Belize in that it seemingly is taking an anti-God position.”

 

On Wednesday, the General Assembly of the Organization of American States passed a resolution adopting the Inter-American Convention Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination.  Belize, as a result of ongoing litigation on the matter, refrained from participating in the vote. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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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9 Responses for “Churches meet the P.M. to denounce gender policy”

  1. Rev. Mary Martin says:

    As an ordained clergy person with earned degrees and many years of experience, I am available to join in the discussion on the Revised Gender Policy as it relates to Church and society. There is certainly another point of view which, in fairness should be heard.

  2. Liberty & Freedom says:

    When you post a photo of Ms. Williams please show both sides of her face since she talks out of both sides of her mouth. The policy dictates to Churches that they have no right to set their own moral code according to God’s word. It basically wipes out religious freedom. Barrow has taken the stance of the one world government elites. Belize is a sovereign nation that needs to set its own identity in the world, a nation of compassionate people who are ruled by God, not man. Barrow has obviously been bought by the elites.

  3. BZNpeace says:

    Do the churches have any constitutional right to dictate government policy?

  4. Belizean Pride says:

    Not and a big thank you Rev. Martin your service is no longer required in this Jewel of ours.
    Just look at how the U.S is going down because of the vast immorality that they have agreed to live by with this agenda rights and see how the hell they are struggling to survive in a hell their gov. have amend in their constitution.
    So with due respect please don’t join, since we all no what your view are. Now a days we don’t swallow every agenda that tries to influence American/ European style to our nation.
    This come from be half of the many Belizeans who oppose this agendas.

  5. Belizean Pride says:

    @ BZNpeace

    a nation with out God is a doomed nation, so churches plays a vital role in our nation and should be a influence in agendas like such that can derail the basic moralities that we should live by.

  6. ceo says:

    Do churches realize that what they preach and teach are as offensive to some and others find their relighous ideas very unacceptable? Based on the way churches are behaving in Belize others groups that do not share your beliefs should conviene and preach their intollerance of your church, schedule a meet with the PM to have your teachings and practices banned from the country. I am sure that as Belizeans we can find a way to live in peach. ALL Belizeans should be afforded the same rights and privillages regardless if they share your religous beliefs of not. I too would not support the homosexual agenda however, there is enough land for us all to live in peace.

  7. Phillipa says:

    Have the LGBT ask them self if their mom and dad was LGBT would the be hear today?

  8. rabbit says:

    i think these church leaders should ind something better in their life to do instead of going around every minute worrying about gays r they so afraid if these people and u hear most of them talking about the bible and i know of some of them who have wife and sweetheart i know of some of them who is also playing with young girls or boys but i guess they r out there fighting this to cover their asses like they r the perfect person and the Bible say he without sin cast the first stone.
    hev u all ever loot at the crime rate in our little country and all the other thing happening around no but u all have money and time to wast the u go back to church begging you congregation for money

  9. Initiate says:

    LGBT essentially show themselves to be selfish true Phillipa? – deeply selfish to the very root and foundation of the LGBT. Totally SELFISH for sure! I repeat – FUNDAMENTALLY SELFISH = LGBT.

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