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Jun 26, 2019

L.G.B.T.I. Community Speaks on Challenges Faced in Belize

Derricia Castillo-Salazar

The U.S. Embassy held its annual Pride Month commemorative event today in Belmopan. It joins the rest of the world this month to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex persons and reaffirms its commitment to protect and defend the human rights of all, including L.G.B.T.I. persons.  A brief ceremony was held in Belmopan where Derricia Castillo Salazar, co-founder of the L.G.B.T.I. organization, Our Circle, spoke about how laws and policies in Belize keep the L.G.B.T.I. community disenfranchised and discriminated against in society. Here’s more from Salazar.


Derricia Castillo-Salazar, Co-Founder, Our Circle

“Belize, unfortunately, has many systems riddled with discrimination which determines the rights of a person, based on the laws or what is considered normal in our community. We are a country that has had a long journey in regards to protecting families; protecting our children; however adding families, children and any representation of being LGBT makes my friend Kiki the ‘Lesbian mother”; a foreign concept in Belize where our policies and our policy makers still don’t understand that we are being disadvantaged. Yes, we have managed to provide laws and charges based on physical abuse, however, what happens to the threat that is imposed on my gay friend at work or over social media that are brought up to the authorities. Does he have to be humiliated, attacked or ridiculed to bring up the fact that he has been discriminated upon.  Not only do we have laws which discriminate against us. We have an HFLE curriculum which does not directly educate against prejudice. It doesn’t protect our LGBT children in schools. It doesn’t protect our LGBT adolescence from bullying. It goes to the fact of having the policy makers and the creators behind the HFLE being bullied to take out anything that had to do with sexual orientation or gender identity.  There is no need for an LGBT rights. There is no need for rights for persons with a disability. There is no need for rights for sex workers or persons living with HIV.  There is just a need for human rights. We are either moving together as humans in Belize or we are not moving together any at all.”

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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