Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Miscellaneous, People & Places, Social Issues » What the Equal Opportunities Bill is NOT About
Jan 21, 2020

What the Equal Opportunities Bill is NOT About

Public consultations have taken place countrywide on the controversial Equal Opportunities Bill.  This morning, the media gathered at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City, at the invitation of the National AIDS Commission, the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, the Attorney General’s Ministry and the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation.  The session was held to enhance understanding of the fundamental issues of the Bill that have been misrepresented.  Proponents of the bill say the proposed legislation will regulate specific conduct in areas of public life in order to protect individuals belonging to the identified nineteen vulnerable groups from violence. Once enacted, it is expected that the law will improve the lives of Belizeans, without discrimination. Special Envoy Kim Simplis Barrow spoke about what the Bill is NOT about.


Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women & Children

“This Bill is not about establishing the crime of hate speech; this already exists in our Criminal Code and will remain untouched by the Bill. Our constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression, as long as they do no harm; all Belizeans remain free to express their religious views and to invite others to share their fate. This Bill is not about same sex marriage. Marriage is regulated by the Marriage Act which again will remain untouched by this Bill. In Belize, the institution of marriage is only currently understood to be a union between a man and a woman. This Bill is not about abortion. Abortion is already regulated under section 111 of our Criminal Code and remains intact. This Bill does not create a parallel justice apparatus. The Equal Opportunities Tribunal will be created to resolve disputes and will be integrated in our justice system. It will operate on the same level and within the same civil procedural framework as the Supreme Court. This forward looking legislation places a strong emphasis on advice, prevention, mediation and conciliation as tools to remove barriers that today prevent many people in our society from fulfilling their potential and playing a part in building a prosperous Belize.”

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed