Jan 30, 2012
Church’s Holy, but Legal War with UNIBAM
It’s a situation that many would have preferred to stay inside a closet. But since Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement opened the doors to challenging old law, controversy of a biblical proportion has emerged. It’s considered the Church’s Holy war but for the homosexual community it’s a legal and human rights battle. Can the Church’s Good Book hold up against the leviathan of legal doctrines? It’s not yet decided but day one of the case took place today in the Supreme Court. News Five Andrea Polanco Reports.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
Proponents of the Council Churches and religious leaders gathered outside the Supreme Court since nine this morning. Armed with prayers, flags and rosaries, they prayed as the Council of Churches takes on UNIBAM in the court in round one. The small group walked the streets and offered prayers during the court’s proceedings. But inside the court the legal battle between the two got underway The Attorneys for the Council of Churches submitted that UNIBAM has no standing, and therefore asked for the application to be struck out:
Rodwell Williams, Attorney Council of Churches
“The application was that, that organization has no locus standi and we believe we have made reasonable arguments to support that we request that it be struck and that certain affidavits that are effectively expert affidavits were given and contrary to the rules without the leave of the court and so on and those also should be struck and I feel reasonably confident about the applications and the prospect of success of course, litigation has it risk. But we believe that as interested parties we have standing to bring that application and as you can readily appreciate, interested parties have appealed the decisions of this court all the way up to the Privy Council.”
Jules Vasquez, 7News
“However, all the experts, you say have not been brought, been introduced properly in the courts, are you trying to have it struck out on a technicalities?”
“No, we’ve made a proper application and we are obliged to make proper applications and if they are made on the merits and if they are successful, it will remove that particular claimant from the claim and if the other limbs are successful it will remove certain affidavits from persons who purports to be experts but have not complied with law and procedure.”
While the churches support system was visibly larger, the small number of UNIBAM advocates was present, along with Caleb Orozco. Attorneys for UNIBAM, say they are in it for the long haul:
Lisa Shoman, Attorney UNIBAM
“It really matters not whether UNIBAM survives as an applicant, this case will go on. 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. Suffice to say, the claimants very well wants to get the case heard and it’s no part of the intentions of the claimants to have the matter drag on and on. 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, and you can appreciate, there’s no way to tell and I don’t like guessing as to how the judge will rule.”
Simeon Sampson, Attorney UNIBAM
“I am onboard this and when I get involve I always try to assure success; but it’s only just begun; we have a long way to go and I will be there every step of the way.”
Justice Michelle Arana is expected to return with a decision. No date has been set for the ruling. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.