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Jun 6, 2013

Foreign Affairs Minister withholds O.A.S. vote on discrimination convention

Wilfred Elrington

The General Assembly of the Organization of American States concludes tonight in Antigua, Guatemala. Aside from the drug problem in the Americas that foreign ministers have been debating, another issue that picked up traction has to with two Inter-American conventions that deal with racism and discrimination. Belize’s position in respect of the two conventions is linked to the Revised Gender Policy 2013, assigned by the National Women’s Commission, which adapted the term sexual orientation in place of the word sex, to mean male or female. That document has been stirring controversy since it was introduced almost three weeks ago.   The expression is in reference to racism and discrimination as stated within the preamble of the Constitution of Belize.  The argument that ensued in light of the existing Caleb Orozco challenge found its way to the O.A.S. General Assembly. Prior to attending the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, who is also the Attorney General, said that he was instructed by Solicitor General to reserve comment on a resolution dealing with the issue since the matter is presently before the Supreme Court.  On Wednesday, the assembly adopted both the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance and made them available for member states to sign and ratify.  Belize, however, has chosen to abstain from doing so.  Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington gave News Five his reason for refraining.


Marleni Cuellar

“We’ve had representatives of the gay rights group present in Guatemala at the civil society sideline events.  Obviously, they feel that Belize is one of the countries that has been challenging the resolution that includes the word sexual orientation, Belize, among other countries.  Is that the case and is there a particular reason why, if so?”


Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“My instructions are that before the assembly met an opinion had been obtained from the solicitor general’s office and the solicitor general was suggesting that it would not be prudent for us to support the resolution as formulated because it contains pronouncements in it that we think are going to be under discussion in the action that is before the court involving Mr. Orozco.  And, generally the practice is that when you have matters that are sub-judicial that are being dealt with by the courts it is not thought prudent for the government to comment on it.  So, to that extent we have decided that we are going to follow the advice of the solicitor general and not support the resolution.  We’ve expressed our reservation.”


Marleni Cuellar

“So your decision was not to support?”


Wilfred Elrington

“That was our instruction really, we can’t support it as presently formulated because we can’t support everything that is in it.  If we were to support it, it would have to be with reservations.”


Marleni Cuellar

“Is it pending the judge’s decision?”


Wilfred Elrington

“I think after we get some finality on it we’ll be able to be more positive in terms of our direction.”

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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4 Responses for “Foreign Affairs Minister withholds O.A.S. vote on discrimination convention”

  1. Hooyah says:

    So Minister, you are publicly acknowledging that “people in high places are involved” in the very lucrative drug trade. What does that say to those in your government, your party financiers and those next in the pecking order why may well be involved? Can we expect a public acknowledgement that a “no holds barred” INDEPENDENT investigation might be forthcoming? (Let’s be real, we simply cannot expect the Minister with responsibility for Police and Public Safety/National Security to spearhead such a critical investigation. I can’t trust NO RAT, NONE, fu coh tell me weh happen to all di cheese!)

  2. Seeni says:

    We do not expect you, Minister Elrington, to ask the Cabinet for their vote on this false equality and discrimination issue Minister, ask the PEOPLE of Belize, not the sold out, sodomizing, corrupt Cabinet. We the people will decide if we want this ton of crap to be dumped on us…not the UN, Obama and Hilary, not the OAS, nor our Chief Justice. Belizeans should and will make the choice in this issue of homosexuality and their bogus human rights agenda!!!

  3. Seeni says:

    No Minsiter Elrington! We do not expect you to ask the Cabinet for a vote on this false equity and discrimnation issue. The people of Belize will decide that, not this sodomizing and corrupt Cabinet and government, not Hilary, Obama, UN, OAS or the Belize Chief Justice. The people of Belize will decide whether we want this bogus human right claim from the homosexuals to be allowed in Belize. We do not want homosexuality taught as normal in our schools and we do not plan to hurt any person who chooses to be sexually perverse but like hell we will fight them out of our schools. Homosexuality is degenerate and unnatural so we will never accept that as normal in Belize. I hope you are hearing us loud and clear or do we need to do more for this government to get our attention?!!!

  4. ceo says:

    The GOB is not a religeous sect or a church. It is a government that is suppose to afford the citizens; all the citizens of Belize the same security and protection. Doing so does not mean that you agree with someonelses way of life. Churches does not agree with each others in their beliefs so does this mean we are suppose to make or support laws that infringes on the way others who are not like minded feel? There are several groups and within a group there are those who do not share the same beliefs. The point is that we all have friends that we do not agree with. We do not agree with our parents many times but do with make or support laws against them? No we find a way to live together. I am not gay and neither would I support them with my efforts and my finance but we need to work to find a peacefull way to live together.

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