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Jan 13, 2022

Minister Usher Clarifies Statement on “Christian Principle;” Emphasizes Inclusion

Today, the new Minister of Religious Affairs, Henry Charles Usher, responded to the L.G.B.T. group, Our Circle. The human rights organization wrote an open letter to the minister, expressing concern and seeking clarity on a statement made by him earlier this week about aligning public service with Christian principles. While it didn’t sit too well with the organization, Minister Usher said today that there is no need for alarm. Usher says that even though he has not seen the open letter yet, as a government, inclusivity is still what they are aiming for, and no one will be left behind.


Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Minister of Religious Affairs

“The Christian principles that I really was referring to were principles of respect, inclusion, hard work, family, service, putting others above self – those are the principles that I really wanted to advocate for. And those principles are anchored by the main Christian principle which is love and those are principles shared by other religions as well – various religions, various groups. When it comes to the letter from the Our Circle group, I haven’t received the letter as yet, so I was surprised to see it in the media last night. My only response was let me look at your letter, I haven’t gotten it, I haven’t seen a copy of it and I will respond to it. I am willing to meet at any time to discuss. Let’s not prejudge the appointment; let’s not prejudice what can be achieved because I think it is an important appointment, I think it is an important portfolio and to have it aligned with the reform portfolio is very critical. It is about creating a value system. It’s about saying what does it mean to be a Belizean? How do we want to see our country going forward? What type of laws do we want? What type of public service do we want? Do we want one that is effective, that treats everyone equally, that does not discriminate against anyone? And I am absolutely in favour of that. I can certainly sit down with Miss Derricia and her group. I can sit down with the UNIBAM group, if they want to have a discussion as well. As a matter of fact, I met with Mister Orozco and his executive last year at the Ministry of Public Service and we had a very cordial, a very frank discussion on how we can take our country forward, including everyone and that is what this is about. It’s not about exclusion, it’s about inclusion.”


Minister Usher says that there are various laws within the Ministry of Public Service that may come across as discriminatory, and so it is important to put in place the People’s Constitutional Commission.

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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