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Jul 16, 2013

No to Gender Policy road show reaches Belize City

The pro-constitution anti-gender policy movement touched down in the city today, proclaiming the bold message NO TO UNIBAM…YES TO GOD. While the underlying theme has been the condemnation of homosexuality as an abomination, the focus has been on the gender policy. The government has committed to making amendments based on input from the church, but the church, or at least some members of the church have decided to make some noise to speed things up and get Belmopan’s attention. And in our neck of the woods today there was noise, and plenty of it, as the movement came to the city. Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

It was nine a.m., and at the start of what would be a march through the main streets of Belize City lasting two and a half hours, the crowd was already large, and with placards, signs and banners held high, were ready to go. Young, old and in-between, these Belizeans were united in their cause, which is saying no to the gender policy, no to homosexuality and YES to God. Even COLA joined in to send a message which its president Giovanni Brackett says is simple.

 

Giovanni Brackett

Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“It’s very simple that we believe that umm there needs to be modification within the gender policy and clarification. The executive met over several meetings, we had a committee who read the document. And COLA believes that you take out the word church, there are thousands of people who are opposing to the gender policy. And we believe that if the policy is causing such discontent, then the government needs to bring back the churches and the leaders who are opposing this document—I take it that it is not just the churches, but other religious sectors; sectors like Muslins who probably may oppose the document and come around the negotiating table once again.”

 

But by far the biggest, boldest message was sent by this man at the head of the parade. Bishop Dorick Wright is the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Belize, and his presence was a major coup for organizers of the march and rally. The gathering, which we estimated at between one thousand and fifteen hundred was energized and focused – and everything that was missing in Dangriga over the weekend was here – the numbers, the signs, the banners, the floats, the music and the message.

 

Prominent parishioners of the Roman Catholic Church were there…even former Mayor Zenaida Moya was there. And so was president of the Association of Evangelical Churches Eugene Crawford, who told us at the rally following the march that it has never been about hate, or even about protesting anything. He says that it is about standing up and standing together, and the church is not divided.

 

Eugene Crawford

Eugene Crawford, President, Association of Evangelical Churches

“That was never the intention. But you’re realizing that dealing with a mass of people, especially when they were not so well informed. Some may still tell you that this is a protest when it is not. It is just to get the proper understanding and the philosophies of what is behind all of this. It is very supportive. That’s why I am saying I have no problem. And as you can see, people would say the church is not divided. There are also members of the house of churches that are out here. I would say that maybe there is not a full understanding throughout the entire council. But by and by we are not divided.”

 

And that is easy to believe today because this man was there. Bishop Dorick Wright led the rally with a special prayer for Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who has been on record to say that nothing on earth can make him draw back the gender policy.

 

Dorick Wright, Bishop, Roman Catholic Church

Dorick Wright

“And so we ask lord to form the minds and the hearts of our leaders so that they will change their minds even though it has been said that nothing on this earth would change their minds.”

 

The Prime Minister and G.O.B. will get their chance to change their minds on the gender policy, or not, when it is presented to them by the church, as one united body, very soon.

 

Eugene Crawford

“It won’t be different documents. It would be a document that would be vetted by both associations and then one presentation—we are hopeful that one presentation be made. But you gotta remember that people must exercise their democratic rights. The Spanish arm of Jesuit country has been very silent for a long time. They have representation. They come under the association because they are actually evangelical churches. But they have rose up and said listen, we are a part of this, we need to have a voice; we want to see these things curbed. So in that light, even though this is happening, we have got to support them likewise.”

 

When we left after midday today, the rally was in full swing, complete with live religious band. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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20 Responses for “No to Gender Policy road show reaches Belize City”

  1. Democracy says:

    Seriously? The church and its followers has major turnouts when it comes to the gender policy. Ive been born and raised catholic in this “religious” nation. I WAS TAUGHT BY my teachers and religious leaders that everyone is entitled to their beliefs and mutual respect should be given (THE GOLDEN RULE).
    I am not for nor against as it is not my business nor should it be anyone else’s business what people decide to do with their business. I am just confused as to why do they react so carelessly and blindly to matters that make them “appear” hypocritical to the actual religious doctrines.
    MY CONCERN and the concern of EVERYONE else here should lie in the impious actions taken by our leaders into running this country into the sewer.
    Now my question is this, since we are a religious nation…
    WHERE DOES THE CHURCH STAND in corruption? where does it stand in the fact that our leaders are allowed to divorce? where our leaders are allowed to have sweethearts and children outside of wedlock? Where do they stand in our leaders being womanizers, liars, cheaters, robbing the poor?
    MY QUESTION IS, WHY HASNT THE CHURCH MADE ITS STANCE on these very, VERY, social issues that affects THE ENTIRE POPULATION.
    After reading all the news and seeing that there are bigger and by far more important issues happening, why hasnt the church over the years voiced their concern over the ungodly conduct and management of the country?
    I am still perplexed at the rate this has risen, and the amount of negativity and hate being produced. How can we go about living and understanding and respecting if we dont educate ourselves on the issues and stop being biased?
    WHERE ARE OUR EXAMPLES? our political leaders sure as hell aren’t exemplary role-models and now this, our religious leaders are stirring up unnecessary loathing against our own people.
    WAH MORE BACKWAY SOCIETY WI KIANT HAVE
    But in all honesty and putting yourself outside of the situation and analyzing it all, i conclude with what my grandmother use to always say.
    EMPTY VESSELS MAKES THE MOST NOISE.
    Good luck Belize, you have officially lost it.

  2. May says:

    How would I react to an individual who is an Homosexual? First I hope I wouldn’t know because they really should keep such stuff to themselves. But if I did I would not act out of hate. That would be inappropriate. Why heap on additional burdens upon a person whose own poor life choices is going to make life quite difficult? I don’t hate homosexuals. I pity them. And it wrong to act in a violent way towards any individual who doesn’t mean to do you harm. So, that is not what this is about. People have the right to be wrong as long as that wrong doesn’t impact on others. In a very real sense what they do is between them and God and I will kindly warn them if I am close to them of the consequences but why hate them or beat them up? So this isn’t about hate.

    So what is this about? We can say “live and let live” bur that’s not enough for them, Mere tolerance isn’t enough. They have to force acceptance. They have to through law make us accept what we see as a sin against God and Nature and give it a societal stamp of approval. They have the right to a certain degree of tolerance, but when they demand approval that’s when they infringe upon my rights, That’s when they threaten my religious liberty to my beliefs.

    Look, I am not of Belize so what I should say on this topic is limited. I recognize and respect that this must be a decision that comes from the heart of the people of Belize and should be what the people of Belize feels in their heart to be in their best interests in accordance to their traditions and culture. For me to tell the people of Belize what to do regarding this is as wrong as the foreign LGBT is being by pushing this upon Belize without any concern for its culture.

    But since the LGBT agenda is international in scope I do feel it’s appropriate just to explain the implications of accepting the LBGT movement. Again, perhaps the people of Belize are willing to live with the implications, that’s up to them, but they should be aware of the direction the international LBGT have taken other cultures with their agenda.

    In the United States for example, people have been sued for not allowing their business to participate in a gay ceremony. One specific case has to do with this woman who owned a flower shop. When she was asked by some customers to provide some flowers for a gay wedding she politely, not rudely, but politely refused saying that her religious views would not allow her to participate in something that she finds to be fundamentally wrong. She is now being sued by the government. This is how in one society at least the acceptance of gay marriage has led to the infringement upon religious liberty..

    See Democracy you talk about how mutual respect should be given. And how everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Where was mutual respect for that lady? Instead of respecting that she was entitled to her beliefs on this subject the government is prosecuting her for them.

    Won’t happen in Belize? Perhaps not, but it has happened in another society where the international LGBT agenda has been adopted so it is something that is a possible outcome.

  3. May says:

    Another issue where “live and let live” and “entitled to their beliefs” really doesn’t play out is on the whole transgendered issue. Transgendered is where someone of one sex feels like they are of the other sex and wants others to recognize them of that sex as well. Seems strange to me as one can pretend to be something they aren’t but that doesn’t change what they are. To me a person of one sex thinking they are another sex is really mentally ill. It gets really disturbing when the person is young and something that might have just been “a phase” is actively supported and encouraged ruining the child’s whole life.

    We are just beginning to really see this being played out in the the United States, but I am sure that as time goes on this will increasingly become an issue. Already in the United States there has been cases for example where schools are forced by the government to allow “transgendered girls” and when I say that I mean biological boys to use the girls bathroom.

    Perhaps this can be solved by designing another bathroom? Boys, Girls, other? Seems like a undue burden upon all ready financially stressed school systems. And would other public places who provide restrooms have to do that as well? And even if they did would that be acceptable to the “transgendered girl” (really, biologically a boy). After all he wants society to recognize him as if he was female and so perhaps for him only by being allowed to use the female bathroom would give him the recognition he feels so entitled to.

    So here’s another case where we can’t say “everyone’s entitled to their beliefs” and have it not effect us beyond that. If the LBGT international agenda is accepted biological males, some surgically altered but others who feel no need for the surgery but somehow expect people to believe their delusion anyway of being a sex which they clearly are not (you can call a cat a dog but it’s still a cat), they will be sharing a bathroom with your sister, with your daughter at school. And yeah, your sons and brothers will be sharing a bathroom with some biological girl who thinks she is a boy.

    And perhaps the people of Belize is fine with that. It’s their decision. But it’s a decision they should make regardless of what I think about it or what the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered (LGBT) movement thinks about it. Because it’s your culture. It’s your society.

    All I am trying to do here is just give you all the facts of where this agenda, international in scope has led other societies into. Whether you want to go down the same path is up to you.

  4. Young Gial says:

    Democracy, there comes a time in every nation, when enough is enough and here is where we start to draw the line of this foreign influence and agenda. The people are speaking up, why bicker about what has not been done in the past, i am a proud Christian and proud to see our churches uniting in a cause that brings us all together. I think it has taken too long, but I welcome the change and the active stand we are now taking. This is Good for Belize! Proud of my Belize and proud to be a Belizean standing up for what is right.

  5. May says:

    “Perhaps this can be solved by designing another bathroom? Boys, Girls, other? Seems like a undue burden upon all ready financially stressed school systems.”

    The specific case which I am remembering where the school was forced by law to allow the biological boy (a six year old) to use the girls bathroom the school had previously allowed the transgendered girl (biological boy) to use the teacher’s bathroom instead of using the boys bathroom, so I have a feeling that the international LGBT movement would not accept having a separate bathrooms just for the so called transgendered as a solution. They want society to recognize them as something they aren’t – the opposite sex – and that is why anything less than them being allowed to use the other sex’s bathroom will not be tolerated by them.

    Now I guess perhaps the solution is to build bathrooms not based on gender but where only one individual can enter at a time, but the burden of offering such bathrooms would probably be too much. But again, if it’s not about the bathrooms to them but about societal recognition of their ill delusion, that they are the opposite of what biology has made them into.

    See, they aren’t the tolerant ones. They won’t allow you to have a difference of their opinion. Live and Let Live isn’t enough for them. It’s not about hate, not on our part, what I have for them is pity and prayers that they stop with ways that are personally ruinous to them. I recognize that for people who respect freedom, they must respect the right for others to have other opinions, and quite honestly to have freedom you must respect the right for others to be wrong. But you respect the right for others to be wrong as long as others aren’t hurt by that wrong. Societies outlaw stealing for example not because its morally wrong, although it is, they outlaw it because it hurts another. It infringes upon another’s right to their property.

    What they want infringes upon my rights. It infringes upon my right to practice my religious beliefs regarding homosexuality by requiring my business to participate in their homosexual ceremonies. What they want infringes upon my rights to go to a bathroom with people only of my same sex. Now again, societies are always balancing rights so perhaps for the people of Belize they don’t value religious liberties or have any problem with boys and girls in the same bathrooms, I guess all cultures are different. I probably have gone too far here explaining my problems with the international LGBT movement and in the end it must be for the people of Belize to decide. It doesn’t matter what I think, but by the same token it shouldn’t matter what the international LGBT movement thinks either. The people of Belize needs to push all foreign pressures aside and do what they feel based on their culture and traditions is best for their society. Societies have the right to be different and if you indeed want to embrace the LGBT movement then okay, But do it because it is right for your society. And do it with full understanding where following the international LGBT movement’s agenda might lead. If that’s an acceptable direction for the people of your society then I have no right to criticize it.

  6. May says:

    “United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that governments like Belize must do everything in their jurisdiction to modify their laws to protect people who are transgender or who are engaged in same-sex relations.”

    What makes Ms Clinton think she should tell Belize or any other country for that matter what their government must do in their internal affairs.

    I want to apologize to the people of Belize for this. That is really “sticking one’s nose into where it doesn’t belong”.

    It also suggests that this indeed all might be happening as a result of undo foreign pressures against the best interests of the culture of Belize. What has the United States government under Obama threaten Belize with behind the scenes if the government of Belize doesn’t yield to Clinton’s demand? Trade sanctions? How will the United States punish you for non-compliance?

    This is why, I as a foreigner feel I must at least explain the implications of what Hillary Clinton and the International LGBT is demanding of you. I am ashamed that my people would be so arrogant to think they have anything to say with your domestic affairs. That is why I am so careful to, while admittedly opposed to how the international LGBT agenda is playing out in my society, always state that in the end if the people of Belize wants what the international LGBT agenda offers then they should accept it. But all I am saying is they should know what they are accepting and if they don’t want it they should have courage to stand up against those international forces including my own government who will punish you for noncompliance.

    I pray you will do what is best for your culture, for your people, regardless of cost. I am ashamed that Ms. Clinton stepped outside her appropriate authority and have threatened you in this matter. This is solely an internal affair that should be based on what is best for your society. All societies are different and what might be best for one society might not be best for another but it’s up to the people of that society to decide and not some foreign leader.

  7. May says:

    Gosh, Clinton didn’t even say “should” which would be inappropriate enough. She said Belize MUST, which from someone of her position of influence amounts to nothing less than an Ultimatum. She is (or at least was at the time the statement was made as of course I realize she has since retired) the person assigned with United States foreign policy and so it is to be understood that she speaks US policy.

    That was indeed a threat from the world’s biggest superpower for Belize to change their internal cultural affairs to suit their dictates. And as a member of the US society I am horrified that the power I have trusted my leaders with is being used to bully a country like Belize to change its whole culture. I expect my Secretary of State to promote the best interests of my country in its relations with other nations, but not to interfere in internal matters outside my country. Ms Clinton totally overstepped the authority she was assigned with by my people and her policy of intimidation of Belize gives me much shame and heartache.

  8. Brightman says:

    Democracy, you’ll be happy to know that there were only 350 empty vessels making the most noise, although they claim far more… It’s refreshing to see that Belizeans aren’t jumping on their band wagon so readily. These noise makers hold no clout!

  9. Jackie says:

    @ Democracy, I salute you. You have said it so nicely, there are so many other social ills, Incest, carnal knowledge, rape, poverty, murder, children bearing children, and where is everybody? I TOTALLY agree whenyou say “I am not for nor against as it is not my business nor should it be anyone else’s business what people decide to do with their business.” What is worst, man sleeping with man, woman sleeping with woman or father sleeping with altar children or nuns.

  10. Brightman says:

    @ May… there you go trying to instill fear in the minds of the gullible! What is BEST for Belizean culture, as you put it, is for people to learn to live and let others live… in peace, with respect for diversity, tolerance, love, where everyone is free to be who they are without fear of discrimination. We are NOT a theocratic nation, but a multicultural nation where believers are free to practice their religion, but should NEVER force their belief on others…even ‘God/Jesus’ gives us a choice to follow Him…He gently knocks at our heart’s door–He doesn’t barge in toppling us over–the Church (well a few zealots) has lost its way!

  11. May says:

    Brightman, isn’t “Jumping on the band wagon” on this case those who jump onto compliance with the international LGBT agenda.

    I mean gosh, my country threatened you. And you are going to just comply? Which I guess is your right. If I say you should stand up to us than ironically I would then be guilty of the same sin of telling you what to do with your internal affairs.

    So, instead of suggesting a course of action, which would be inappropriate for me to do, let me just leave you with one thought. When a bully gets what he demands on something it doesn’t satisfy him. It has the exact opposite effect.. It spurs him on all the more to more bullying.

    So complying with the international LGBT agenda will have the effect of the United States government bullying Belize all the more. So, I just ask and I am just asking do you want the US government to decide the internal affairs of your country? Or do you want the fate of Belize decided by the people of the people of Belize. Because once the US Federal government gets their hands on you, let me tell you they never let go.

    Please read this comment again:

    United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that governments like Belize must do everything in their jurisdiction to modify their laws to protect people who are transgender or who are engaged in same-sex relations.

    Gosh, doesn’t that make you angry? I know if a foreign leader told me that the leaders of my society Must (or even Should) do something I would be outraged. Must, MUST? The fact that Must is in there implies a threat. Diplomats as part of their profession choose their words, very very carefully so the fact that the world MUST is used instead of SHOULD (which again would still be very very offensive) is very important indeed. It implies a threat, however subtly. and given she was Secretary of State of the most powerful country of the world that threat has some weight indeed.

    I guess I kind of identify with this because actually ironically my people were faced once with a situation where we were controlled by another nation who thought they could determine our internal affairs. And it just happened to be the most powerful country in the world at the time. But just because we resisted it doesn’t mean you have to. Again, that would be telling you what to do, which is exactly what the US government is doing to you right now.

  12. moses EX PC says:

    I am tired of reading about the b^$%*man issues in Belize. No one should be discriminated against because of their disabilities or sexual gender displaysia. No one chooses to be a b^$%*man. It is an unfortunate defect of nature. The people who argue about acceptance of b^$%*manism think its a choice. That’s where the problem arises. And the the b^$%*man them, don’t help their cause by being flamboyant and throwing their deformity in peoples faces. And when you throw in the bible and the church in this biological defect in this argument there is no winning, no room for discussion. That’s the problem. Biological defect vs spiritual morality. it would be better is b^$%*man abstain from their sexual impulses and become asexual, but that is their personal choice. Church and bible have nothing to do with this. If I were a believer in god, I would blame him. As the creator and all knowing, he could fix all problems and defects but you see how ridiculous this argument could get.

  13. Brightman says:

    @May…for someone who “is not of Belize” as you claim, you surely have a LOT to say…interesting how there is a LOT of foreign agenda from BOTH sides…it’s a good thing your participation confirms that. Kudos to ENGLAND for moving progressively with LGBT rights, while respecting religious considerations…May, you have to try harder!

  14. May says:

    MUST, doesn’t that word does burn you?

    Should would have been enough for me.

    BUT MUST?

    I guess that just shows me that people of different societies do react to things differently but then again that is one good reason why people should be allowed to handle internal situations internally. What does Ms. Clinton, or admittedly myself, but Ms. Clinton know of Belize? What do either of us know of its people, its culture? But the difference between myself and Ms Clinton is I am not using the full threat and force of the US government to force a course of action, but instead only delicately trying to lay out the agenda of the international LGBT community which unfortunately I have had some experience in my society.

    In the end, I pray that you let it be about you, either way. I pray that you don’t let the US Federal Government pressure you into something that is harmful to your society and your people. But then again, that is your right too. If you feel that the LBGT agenda is harmful to your society but what the US government could do to you would be worse and therefore decide to adopt the LBGT agenda instead of resisting if only for the sake of resisting and proving that the US government can’t bully you, that is certainly the course you are free to take. It’s not what I would do but then again, I am not of your society (but neither is Ms Clinton).

  15. May says:

    ““I am not for nor against as it is not my business nor should it be anyone else’s business what people decide to do with their business.”

    Jackie, I can only speak of my experience with the international LGBT community and how their agenda impacted my community but when they assaulted my society it was THEY who made it part of MY business. Not the other way around.

    I don’t ask, no do I want people to tell me who they sleep around with. But they went around with their parades and stuff LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I”M QUEER (another word for Homosexual).

    I would rather them don’t talk about it. Don’t ask don’t tell was our policy in our military for quite some time and I think it’s a good way for my society as well. Look you don’t tell me I don’t care.

    But again, at least what ultimately happened in my society is in the end it wasn’t about tolerance. It was about forced acceptance. To the point now like I said a woman who simply said she didn’t want her business to be used for a gay marriage is now fighting for her business’s very life. That’s what the international LGBT agenda did in my society to my government, and that is what will quite likely happen in your society as well.

    And if that is what your people want, if that’s what your people feel is best for their society then fine. I am just so upset that this is something my society is using threats against yours to bring about in your society. If you do it you should do it because you believe it’s best for your society, not because we bullied you into it.

  16. May says:

    Must, you MUST do this?

    Gosh, it makes ME mad to hear that. I can only try to imagine how it makes all of you feel. Has Ms. Clinton even been to Belize? Doesn’t matter if she has. She still doesn’t have any business telling you how to run your lives and but she did only tell you how you should run your lives she told you how you MUST run your lives and the word Must always carries an implied threat, an implied consequence for not doing what you MUST do.

    I am so sadden by this. And angry at my Government. This isn’t what I put people into such positions to do. A Secretary of State indeed is supposed to handle the external affairs of our country as it relates to its relations with other nations, Your internal policy regarding LGBT issues is your internal policy and we shouldn’t be spending our time, resources, energy and influence in such a manner.

    So yeah, I am embarrassed, angered, and sadden that Ms. Clinton would use the tools of her office in such a matter. Meanwhile we still haven’t gotten a clear picture of what happened at Benghazi which unlike this is within the jurisdiction of her office.

    And yes, I know she is no longer in the office of the United States Secretary of State. We now have a guy by the name of John Kerry in there. Let me apologize in advance for him because he is a real idiot. He ran for United States President once and lost.

  17. Belize land of the free says:

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.

    AR

  18. Belize land of the free says:

    Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
    AR

  19. May says:

    Brightman, I have attempted to just state the facts on how the International LGBT agenda has impacted other cultures – namely my own. I recognize that if this a direction that the people of Belize wants to take then indeed they certainly should feel free to. But I just want them to know what they are getting into because those International LGBT political activists LIE.

    My public officials have threatened yours in what really should be regarded as your business either way. My tax money is being used to advance the International LGBT agenda in your nation. That is indeed something I feel totally free to comment on and from my perspective it is an abuse of the authority we have granted them.

    Your course of action is your own, but just be aware that when bullies get what they want that just encourages them to bully all the more. The US Federal Government has been acting like a bully here and while I love my country and try not to speak ill of it when among those who are not fellow citizens of the United States, Hillary Clinton and her gang has really left me with no other choice here. She has brought US tax payers into a situation that we really don’t belong in and at the same time have brought the People of Belize into the internal conflict in our country against our culture. Our culture war as it is called in the United States has seemed to spill over to you and that is wrong indeed.

    The LBGT movement is destroying the culture I love. It hurts me that it is also using my tax money and my political leaders to target your culture as well.

  20. suicide7 says:

    I dont support LGBT agenda, i will reject as much as i can. However, keep in mind that one day we will all have to give account to GOD for our actions here on earth. How will you tell Jesus your reasons for supporting such abomination when Jesus himself rejects it.
    Jude 7
    And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.

    Leviticus 20:13
    “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.”

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