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Apr 27, 2012

Churches deliver a holy blow to UNIBAM

Michel Chebat

The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) received a major blow inside the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana.  UNIBAM is challenging Section Fifty-Three of the criminal code, which bars carnal intercourse against the order of nature. The crime is an indictable matter with the possibility of ten years in prison.  This morning, a ruling was handed down that struck out UNIBAM as an interested party in the case. The attorneys for the Council of Churches submitted that UNIBAM has no locus standing, and therefore asked for their application to be struck out. In January, the Council of Churches’ attorney, Rodwell Williams made the arguments that some expert affidavits were given, contrary to the rules, and without the leave of the court. Outside the Supreme Court another attorney for the Council of Churches, Michel Chebat explained what the ruling means for the interested parties.


Michel Chebat, Attorney for Council of Churches

“The judge handed down her decision today and what she did was she allowed the application by the church interested parties which were twofold. The initial application was to have UNIBAM struck from the case, which was granted and secondly to have the affidavits of the purported experts filed by the claimant for those to be struck out as having not complied with the rules. And so they were both granted. However, the judge has also granted leave for them to re-file in the event they wish to do so.”


Jose Sanchez

“How significant is the fact that the UNIBAM has been struck out? What role does that play in the entire case?”


Michel Chebat

“As I said, I don’t believe it will stop the case from going forward because there is a second claimant. But in terms of—I suspect—in terms of the bigger picture and appearances, I understand UNIBAM is the umbrella organization, so it may or may not be detrimental to them. I am not sure.”


Jose Sanchez

“In terms of your case, where does it go from here? Procedurally, where do you go?”


Michel Chebat

“Our next step is to file our expert witnesses affidavits which will be done within sixty days of today’s date and then we come back to court for a case management at which time the court will set the stage going forward in terms of trial date and so forth.”


Jose Sanchez

“So in essence the victory if there is any is minimal. Would that be correct?”


Michel Chebat

“I would not say minimal. I think the fact that UNIBAM has been removed, may be a significant blow to them and to their financial support because I believe I believe it is through UNIBAM that the financial support is coming for the case. Leave has been granted to all parties to file expert evidence within sixty days.”


Jules Vasquez, 7 News

“Now all your experts except for Mister Henry Lawrence have been accepted. Am I right?”


Michel Chebat

“Yes that is correct; that is correct. All of the affidavits filed on behalf of the Church interested parties have been accepted by the Court except for Mister Lawrence’s.”


In January, attorney for UNIBAM, Lisa Shoman said that it really didn’t matter whether UNIBAM survived as an applicant, because the case would go on. She said, “I rather suspect that at this point, really doesn’t matter how the judge rules and there may very well be an appeal in either case… We’d like to get the matter before the courts; so that we have several options open and we will look at them when that arises.”

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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8 Responses for “Churches deliver a holy blow to UNIBAM”

  1. belizeans says:

    I am Happy for the church and Belize as a whole!!!

  2. belizeans says:

    I am Happy for the church and Belize as a whole!!!

  3. KINGSKID says:

    Praise God, and kudos and ‘nuf respect to the attorneys for the Council of Churches!!! May God continue to guide you with wisdom in these proceedings, and may the victory in the long run revert to our once national sense of decency and morality.

  4. Al says:

    This country has enough punishment taking place, just look at the satanic things that are happening. The suffering of this country is not natural, it is a part of satans plan to steal, kill and destroy. If you add homosexual marriage to this already bad situation, you will suffer the faith of Sodom and Gomorah. The Bible talks about those who do unnatural things with their bodies as sinful. Put this UNIBAM to death, UNIBAM = Un-Natural Immoral Bad Acting Men (neutral gender). There was a time when these people whould have been shunned in this Country. Please people of Belize get some morality back, and stand up for some positive agenda.

  5. Belizean says:

    Gay people will never be welcome in my community, I CAN TELL YOU THAT!!! Regardless of what the court says, this kind of lifestyle is COMPLETELY IMMORAL! The gay group says they get discriminated, but what will happen if they would get their way? The people that are STRAIGHT will be the ones! Let those that wanna do it do it in secret and Please!!, dont bring this into court.

  6. now i see says:

    Worry and deal with the real problem: CRIME IN BELIZE.

  7. jasj says:

    these ppl will be the ones that end up being murdered for their nastiness….

  8. Amircito says:

    The real demons in this country are the hateful prejudice. Hateful behavior should be a crime. We are all human no matter Straight, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual or Transgender. A gay person should have the same rights as a heterosexual being. You study the “Holy Bible” which instructs you to love one another as you love yourself.

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