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May 9, 2013

Objection in the Court! UNIBAM

Day three started much the same with the procession of attorneys for the claimant, the state and interested parties and observers from both sides of the legal battle heading into the court to take their seats. Today was set aside for arguments from the defendant and from the fourth to sixth interested parties, the churches. But first, there was a matter of very significant housecleaning brought before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin by Deputy Solicitor-General Nigel Hawke. Hawke claimed that Articles eleven, twelve and sixteen of the Constitution, which formed part of the submission by the lead counsel for the claimant, were not laid before the Court and therefore could not be allowed as part of the submission. Mike Rudon was at court today as that situation played out.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Even before the day’s arguments started, the proceeding was slowed down by a preliminary objection brought before the Court by Deputy Solicitor-General Nigel Hawke. Attorney Rodwell Williams, representing the churches, broke down the procedural matter for us.


Rodwell Williams

Rodwell Williams, Attorney for Churches

“It was on the nature of our preliminary objection on a technical basis that the claim form which commence the proceedings by the claimant, specifically brought into issue specific sections of the constitution. Where as in the course of the submissions that they were making, their raise alleged infringement of additional sections.”


Christopher Hamel-Smith, Lead Counsel for Caleb Orozco

“Counsel for the state took the position that because there wasn’t a specific reference to those provisions in the claim form that we weren’t entitled to raise arguments that mentioned those sections. It would have made no preference. To me it was a just tiny, technical provision. I don’t it would have made no different to anyone one way or the other.”


The arguments presented by both the Deputy Solicitor-General and attorney for the churches are premised on an assertion that the matter of Caleb Orozco should not be before the Courts, but Hamel-Smith disputes that, saying that this matter can be played out nowhere but in the Courts.


Christopher Hamel-Smith

Christopher Hamel-Smith

“The Constitution of Belize says expressly that it is the supreme law of this country and that any other law to the extent that it is inconsistence with the constitution is void. The only person in the country to decide whether it is contravening the constitution is the job of the courts.  But the courts, the guardians of the constitution and they have to apply the constitution and I am sure they will do.”


And with arguments just about concluded, Hamel-Smith feels that the claimant has a good case, made better because it is happening here in Belize.


Christopher Hamel-Smith

“My feeling after the arguments, we haven’t finished the arguments. But my feeling about the case all along is that we have an extremely powerful case. The constitution of Belize is an extremely well-written document. One of the things the advantages that Belize had is that because it developed its constitution later than some of the Caribbean. Clearly whoever did the drafting and framing played a lot of attention to show the weaknesses that were discovered in the other constitutions in the Caribbean and took great care to film those gaps. One of the reasons why this case skills are talking place in Belize is because the Belize constitution is a particularly well drafter document that provides very clear guidance to the court to the government and the people of Belize on matters that include their fundamental rights. So I feel that in that context, I think this is a case that is very strong. Whether we win, whether we lose, I am a lawyer and there is a judge. The decision is with his lordship, the judge.”


Mike Rudon for News Five.


With the matter of the preliminary objection out of the way, Nigel Hawke, on behalf of the Attorney-General presented his arguments in three hours. Hawke stated that the matter is one which relates to social policy, and that falls within the purview of certain organs of the state, but not the court. He asserted that Orozco and the homosexual community should go before the people of Belize, to the National Assembly, for a decision on whether the law should be changed. Eamon Courtenay, on behalf of the churches, then spoke for two and a half hours, and stated that Orozco, as a matter of law, does not qualify to have this issue answered by the Court. Courtenay also asserted that the entire case presented by the claimant, from its beginning was misconceived, and at its end is asking for remedies which would be a flagrant violation of the Constitution. Courtenay wraps up his argument on Friday.

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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24 Responses for “Objection in the Court! UNIBAM”

  1. Ladybug says:

    Why r u guys been so hard on mr orzo there’s a lot of gAys in belize threat every one equal let them live there live they choose

  2. Storm says:

    @Ladybug, it was Orozco and his homosexual coalition that brought the case to court, not any church or straight Belizean.

    The gays attacked, do we not have the right to defend ourselves, our law, our country, and preserve our society for our children?

    The truth of the Bible still means something to most Belizeans, and we don’t want our nation to go to hell, to put it bluntly.

  3. OriginalWoman says:

    Mr. Orzo can and is living the life he has chosen. But a human made law, against God’s is NOT accepted in HIS KINGDOM…. Same-sex marriages should NOT become lawful in Belize!!!

  4. Cuda Eva says:

    every person in belize has rights, d only reason this is in court is because they want “special” rights.
    belize is already in too much trouble, God wont give belize more it can take,
    54% of belize says “No” to gays rights,
    if you all want special rights, fly urselves to US of A’s

  5. Gerald Underwood says:

    Ladybug I think you are !@#$%^& crazy just like a those ….. why should they change the laws just for the convenience of some mentally disturb individuals the law has been there before they were born if do change it I would go to court to decriminalize bigamy also and then ask to decriminalize homicide and murder do you think its a good idea to do that

  6. REAL MAN says:

    If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (NKJ, Leviticus 20:13)


    Next will be decriminalizing murder, murder, robbery, etc and any sexual attack will be legal in Belize !!!

  8. Proud 2b Belizean says:

    Ladybug, Mr. Orozco is bringing this upon himself. If he were live this life he has chosen and not try to change the laws of Belize then nobody would be hard on him so don’t go feeling sorry for him. I do however feel sad for him because he knows the outcome of the life he has chosen and is still going ahead with it.

  9. Louisville,Ky says:

    @ Gerald Underwood, I wouldn’t go as far as decriminalizing murder and homicides but, the very thought of decriminalizing bigamy gave me something to think about. The old Player that I used to be, brought a smile to my face. Then I was brought back to my senses and recall God’s sacred law on bigamy.
    Point is, even though some of us have our own private desires and agendas, are they morally RIGHT from a secular and biblical standpoint?
    Change the laws in our constitution on sodomy, and ALL hell’s gonna break loose as we say. Oh!

  10. ceo says:

    Change never come easy!

  11. ceo says:

    Louiville God has no “sacred law on bigamy”! King Solomon had 700 wifes and 300 concubines and God referred to him as a man after his own heart.

    So you are suggesting that if the revise on phrase in the constitution “all hell will break lose”? I guess our entire constitution hinges on one phrase; can you make a more ignorant statement?

  12. Amazed says:

    It is simply amazing on how some people can be so ignorant and out of tune with a changing world! The laws are of Belize are there to PROTECT individuals and for these not to have their right infringed. Gays are normal people. It is not like they just appeared all of sudden – gays have been here since the beginning of time…You would be SURPRISED at the amount of “closeted” gays that are here in Belize! It seems that people want to live in oblivion — THAT is dangerous, but it seems that ‘hiding’ things continues to be the order of the day — People prefer things to be within the shades of the day – WAKE UP BELIZE! We cannot live in the past. Those same one who criticize and are out there beating their chests proclaiming to be so righteous are the same ones living in more sinful and shameful lives – hypocrites! I WISH Pastor Wade ant that other white Wanna-Be Belizean would find out that one of their children is gay! GAYS ARE NORMAL PEOPLE!! Unscrupulous people are everywhere and not only within the gay community – People are too quick to judge! LET THE COURTS DECIDE and stop the publicity! If gay is such a sin, then let God decide what is good or bad — I am so tired of hearing all these senseless theories and unfounded claims — One thing wraps it up – RESPECT! Each and everybody deserves RESPECT – I KNOW THE COURTS WILL DECIDE WHATS BEST!!

  13. HUH says:

    Someday the people of Belize will let go of the shroud of ignorance set upon them by some of the archaic teachings of religion. I respect people who choose to live by the principles of Christianity: benevolence, love, faith and respect and it is hard for me to understand why their is so much hate being spewed by clerics and pastors. Let homosexual love freely and if it bothers you that much then don’t get involved in homosexual practices as easy as that.

  14. Bmp Chic says:

    @Amazed, to each his own, but the gays need to respect that this is yes a free and Beautiful country , since when we can walk about flaunting our “GAYness” in public???? we respect each other yes but come on dont be pushing this Shyt in people face …..thats exactly what Orosco and his followers doing…BRAVE

  15. Bmp Chic says:

    @ amazed …….God will decide whats best not the court

  16. Louisville,Ky says:

    @ ceo, its more than revising a phrase dude. You missed my entire point. God forbid, sodomy is decriminalized, others that are as just as depraved and morally bankrupt,(thieves, rapist, murderers etc.) will have the same legal RIGHT to clamor for changes to our laws.
    By the way, your opinions do not make you ignorant, they make you nasty and disgusting.

  17. legodis says:

    Why did GOD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah,the word say it all sodoma (sodomy),It might seem like ignorance for some of you but guest what ,it is a sin and should not be even contemplated in the courts .

  18. Seletar says:

    Serious discussions, time for comic relief.

    About bigamy: Someone, possibly Mark Twain, once said something like, “God punishes the Muslims by making them have four wives.”

    As for same-sex marriage, I’m against it, but if they must legalize it, then MAKE IT MANDATORY — make EVERY gay get married, so they can see what heterosexuals have had to suffer forever! “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!”

  19. Gc says:

    i think these case should be taken to the National Assembly…..!!!! that’s all i will say,

  20. Bajan Bossman says:

    These homosexuals have been doing their style of whatever for centuries. My questions are ”
    1. Why are we to change the laws that have served so many well for so long for these openly gay folks?
    2 Are they special because they are gay and we are not
    3. Is there a hidden agenda behind this stance being taken by these openly gay people
    4. How are we to be sure that this isn’t the first step to legalising an open attack on our you boys

  21. Hey says:

    It is ironic how Belize wanted to get out of British rule and colonization yet they keep their laws. Come on Belize, you are about the only country in central america that hasn’t rid itself of it. What are you afraid of. Nothing is going to happen. It is just people wanting to live their life. In the end, if Section 53 of the constitution is ammended or not, Belize is going to be laughed at for something that has been generally accepted worldwide as normal.

  22. NY says:

    I’m not taken aback by these comments that I’m reading on here in regards to why so many of my fellow BELIZEANS are close minded when it comes to gay rights, and the reason is that so many of them have been brain washed their entire lives by the churches. They have all been educated by the churches and thus they tend to believe that GOD SAID homosexuality is a sin. If you ask any of these people who see homosexuality as being vile if they were present when GOD wrote those words, or if they know or heard of anyone who witnessed GOD saying those words, they would defer to the bible, because the answer is NO. As I’ve said in my post in response to ELGIN’s rebuttal to a previous posting, that homosexuality is not a choice but rather it is something that is dictated by BIOLOGY. I said that there is a an imbalance in the hormones that are responsible for masculine and feminine behaviors, therefore people act in accordance to the dominant side of the imbalance. Hence if a girl was born with male hormones dominating the female hormones in her body, then people should not be surprised when she behaves like a boy, or show male tendencies; and the same thing applies to a male whose male hormones is dominated by the female hormones, that male will act like a female.
    The question then become, who are we to judge these people BEHAVIOR, because these Jesus freaks who believe that society should condemn these innocent folks from the gay community, if they are true to themselves, they should apply this to their reasoning, GOD made everyone in his own image (this was what I was taught when I attended a few of the catholic schools), and they should know that GOD is infallible. Therefore the gay community was not a mistake because GOD does not make mistakes. Elgin’s response was that if Biology was responsible for people being gay, then biology was responsible for basically all other criminal behaviors such as murder and pedophilia. I then wrote that murderers and pedophiles prey on the weak and vulnerable, therefore they were a menace to society and they needed to be condemn. The reason why the criminal elements commit these heinous acts, is usually based on some mental trauma they themselves may have experienced as a child or at a very early age, therefore as a result they lash out at society in the hope of imparting or delivering that same pain that they may have went through. So criminal behaviors are more psychological rather than biological. To the people who are discriminating against other people i.e. the gay community, who have done nothing wrong against anyone, but because of something they have no control over…. try imagining yourselves on the other side of the discrimination equation, where the masses thought that you and your people were not deem worthy therefore you should be condemn. As a fierce human rights advocate, I would be the first to defend you and your people if you were being prosecuted unjustly.

  23. NY says:

    @ storm, has anyone you know, or heard of, been to heaven or hell and then came back (resurrected) and told you about their experience. Only Jesus would fit the bill, but ask yourself, who wrote that story…. fallible men, therefore most of the stories in the bible have been embellished in order to make them more cogent so as to attract ignorant and naïve individuals, because with masses of people on your side you get power. Most people because of their lack of intelligence ( storm I’m not including you as being one of those people who lack intelligence, because I think you are well read based on some of your previous postings) are scared of the unknown so they tend to be prejudice towards people or anything that is different

  24. Felix Stanwood says:

    Anyone who talks about how God’s law is all that should matter should move to Saudi Arabia or Iran and see what happens when religion becomes the only source of law in a land. Extremism, violence, terror, that is what happens when you live in a theocracy.

    Democracy means respecting everyone’s right to live their life however they feel is right as long as they are not harming anyone else. If you are so obsessed and upset by what two men or two women do behind closed doors, the problem lies in your brain. Get a hobby. Do not try to impose a theocracy on the Jewel!!

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