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Jun 23, 2016

A Judgment in Section Fifty-three Challenge is Nigh

Gay rights activist Caleb Orozco and members of the local LGBT community are eagerly anticipating a decision from the Supreme Court on a constitutional challenge to strikeout Section Fifty-three of the Criminal Code.  The case has been languishing before the high court since 2013 after submissions had been heard by all interested parties, including the Council of Churches and the Government of Belize.  The good news for the gay community is that the handing down of a decision is right around the corner.  That judgment is expected to be handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin no later than July twenty-seventh.  But however the gavel drops; it will further divide an already polarized Belizean society.


Lisa Shoman, Attorney for Caleb Orozco

“I think what’s important to say is that we are coming towards the first phase of a very long journey.  Caleb has been at this ten years, I’ve been at this seven years and we are absolutely delighted that in about six weeks we expect to finally get a decision on this matter.  So no matter the outcome we feel as though we’ve already won because, as Caleb says, we are getting people to listen and take notice.  It’s sad that something like the Orlando massacre woke people up in Belize but it did and that is the important message.  We not only expect to win but we expect to win even if we have to take it all the way to the CCJ and a win won’t be for Caleb alone.  The win won’t be for me.  The win will be for all Belizeans and we are looking forward to that.”


Lisa Shoman

Isani Cayetano

“Do you believe that whatever the outcome of the decision is it will further polarize an already divided Belizean society?”


Lisa Shoman

“It may at first but any legal decision is only one component but there is a cultural shift and the groups that Caleb mentioned that have been growing and getting support demonstrate that polarization is only one face.  The other face is unification and that is absolutely happening.”


Caleb Orozco, Gay Rights Activist

“I’d like to compliment that and reference the UN Aids report of 2014.  The UN Aids report points out that sixty-eight percent of people are accepting or tolerant.  What we are seeing or what we are allowing is a small minority of our population to take hostage of the upholding of the dignity and rights of their own citizens based on extreme thinking.  We’re not a society of extreme thinking, we’re not fascist in our response to governance and we are not fascist or extreme in our response of excluding people based on a personal bias.”

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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2 Responses for “A Judgment in Section Fifty-three Challenge is Nigh”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    “The win will be for all Belizeans and we are looking forward to that.” hold it, hold it right there Mrs. Shoman I as a Belizean will not win anything but loose the right to believe that this agenda is the worst thing you are trying to fight for and push into out little nation. So please don’t include me cause I ain’t winning anything but losing.

  2. MNHG says:

    The win will be for all Belizeans and we are looking forward to that.”
    I AM NOT IN YOU “FN” ALL !!!

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