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Showing posts from December, 2012

Gay Rights And Great Leaders

Posted: 30th December, 2012
Gay Rights And Great Leaders Published:  Sunday, December 30, 2012 Denzil Mohammed
Great leaders are the ones who do historic things. Free slaves, end wars, empower the disenfranchised, put men on the moon...The Prime Minister’s apparent promise to produce a “policy (that) will forge the way forward for T&T as (her) government seeks to put an end to all discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation” can be Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s historic move to catapult her into the realm of great leaders in history.

 Why? Because even though we decided to become independent of our former colonial power, we retain the worst of its legacies: its archaic, discriminatory laws, which even it has long changed. Because even though we’ve done away with the Privy Council as our ultimate arbiter of justice, we’ve retained a strange pride in these laws that patently victimise some of our citizens.

Because despite rare statements by regional leaders of openness…

To not be safe in ones Bed

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Dignity and Death in the Cayo Community

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Posted December 29th, 2012

When we received word that Rene Vera, 36 was killed in his house and was found him around 3 o'clock the following day, I was stunned. Rene was funeral services was held at the Sacred Heart Church at 10:00am. To my surprise the church was almost filled, but more important, San Ignacio citizen's did not judge his death, but proceeded to mourn his passing as a human being. The fact that people came out is an acknowledgement that all human beings are equal in dignity and rights, and as such not state can remove that acknowledgement in death.


At the funeral, relatives  mourned his  his death, friends were emotional as prayers were said, songs sung and as he was being placed in his final resting place. He may have been stabbed 9 times, his partner may have been held as a person of interest for 14 hours, an experience that adds insult to trauma, but what remains in this community is that one of their own died and that he deserved respect in death as in lif…

Kamla praised for moves to remove laws against gays

December 29th, 2012  Kamla praised for moves to remove laws against gays Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has been congratulated by regional and international organisations on her commitment to end discrimination against gay people in T&T. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organ of the Organisation of American States (OAS), issued a statement on December 20 welcoming Persad-Bissessar’s comments in a letter to Lance Price of the UK-based Kaleidoscope Trust.  Price had written to the PM complaining about T&T’s immigration law and the Sexual Offences Act, which he said discriminated against homosexuals. Section 8 of the Immigration Act bars entry to homosexuals, describing them as a “prohibited class.” In her response, dated August 14, Persad-Bissessar said her Government was giving due consideration to the issues raised by Price. IACHR noted the PM’s position was consistent with “the commitment made by OAS member states on June 4, 2012 …

C-FAM 2010 Five Best Moments

Posted: December 29th, 2012 Dec 27, 2012 C-FAM’s 2012 Five Best Moments For Life and Family at the United Nations By Stefano Gennarini, J.D. NEW YORK, December 27 (C-FAM) The United Nations is not a place where you expect human life and dignity, or the natural family to be valued. But on rare occasions life and family are defended at the United Nations. Below are five such instances from the past year. 1. Rio + 20 – UN Member States Reject Population Control and a Right to Abortion Touted as the most important UN conference ever by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the long awaited UN Conference on Sustainable Development proved a bitter disappointment for environmentalists who were far from reassured that the world’s continuing dependence on fossil fuels is stronger than the green agenda. Environmentalists were not the only ones disappointed. Abortion advocates and population control groups were left fuming after UN member states rejected language linking sexual and repro…

C-FAM at the UN

Posted December 29th, 2012 Jan 12, 2012 Russia and Other States Move to Reform Broken Treaty System By Timothy Herrmann NEW YORK, January 13 (C-FAM) Wresting many delegations from their vacation slumber, Russia held an informal meeting early this week to propose a resolution calling for states to take a central role in the restructuring and reform of treaty monitoring and compliance. Until now, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, a bureaucratic office located in Geneva, has dominated the reform process and limited the role of member states to the submission of formal statements. Russia has intervened and demanded that more power in the reform process be placed in the hands of governments. Russia wants to “conduct open, transparent, and inclusive negotiations on the issue of the reform of the human rights treaty body system” giving them a leading role in the reform process.
Intertwined with reform process, there are two underlying issues. First, treaty…

Rene Vera 140th murder in 2012

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Date: Mon 24, Dec 2012 
Christmas Day is tomorrow but there are some Belizean families who are mourning instead of celebrating. That's because there was a murder in Santa Elena and another one in Dangriga over the weekend, both caused by stabbings. We'll begin this evening  with the Santa Elena murder. 36 year old Rene Vera is the victim who was stabbed to death in his home and it appears to be a crime of passion. Vera's body was found inside his home on Bishop Martin Street in Santa Elena town where three males reside.  When Rene's partner  arrived home on Saturday afternoon after a month of being away at work in Pine Ridge, the sight that greeted him  was gruesome; a ransacked house with blood everywhere and Vera's lifeless body with multiple stab wounds. Vera was found in his bedroom with nine stab wounds to his heart, neck and lungs.

POLICE OFFICER:

Inside one of the bedrooms, Police saw the lifeless body of Mr Vera lying on the left side of his bo…

Debate on Love FM with Christain Right Opponent

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Posted 22nd December, 2012

While the debate happened June 28th, 2012 on loveFM around our L.G.B.T Human Rights work, its historical relevance becomes important as we move into the 2013 and the full hearings on 7th to 10th May, 2013. The work of public education is never done as it is a long-term investment in changing hearts and minds. I didnt think that it was important to win the argument, but to hold ground firmly that the Christian rights wing extremist thinking should not go unchallenged in the media. I was extremely happy with my performance as every answer was engaged properly, except when wade referenced the Legal Judgement of April where justice Arana stuck out UniBAM as claimant in the case. This debate follows, efforts to educate the students at Galen University about section 53 and a debate for a student divergent forum done on the Belmopan campus at the University of Belize and on January 16th, 2012 that was aired on channel 5 called the Dickie Bradley Show wher…

Belize Immigration Law Challenge

AIDS-Free World adds offensive Belize Immigration Law to the chopping block

December 19, 2012: Only two countries in the Western Hemisphere, Belize and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, arbitrarily ban the entry of homosexuals as a “prohibited class”. AIDS-Free World is working to bring that to an end.
As Legal Advisor for Marginalized Groups at AIDS-Free World, Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican LGBT and HIV activist, travels to all parts of the Caribbean. He has made presentations about the devastating impact of homophobia on the HIV response before UN conferences, government ministers, senior judicial officers, and national AIDS councils across the region. He has also conducted human rights documentation and advocacy training with groups engaged in the Caribbean HIV and AIDS response. Mr. Tomlinson is gay, and as such he is legally barred from entering Belize and Trinidad.
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, Belize’s only civil society group working exclusively to promote the health a…

Protection Order for Belizean Same Sex household

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Posted December 11th, 2012

The Belizean Domestic Violence Act of 2007, it seems does cover protections orders that can be extended to same sex couple household. It has been presumed for a while that same sex couldn't get a protection order of any kind. This interpretation of the law however, is not true based on consultation ,two Family practitioners agree that under S.3(2) (b) of the Domestic Violence Act, an APPLICANT for any order under the act - including Protection, Occupation, Tenancy CAN apply in respect of ANY OTHER PERSON with whom the applicant is sharing a household residence. That would include women living with women, and men living with men in the SAME household. This is important with the recent death of Pamela Perez who was stabbed by her partner. See television coverage below. Section 3 of the Act reads...

3. (1) A person referred to in subsection (2) may apply to the Court for any of the Orders provided under this Acton the ground that the respondent is enga…

Coverage Of UniBAM equal Footing with Churches

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Posted 11th December, 2012

Hearing dates set for challenge to Section 53 of the Criminal Code December 5, 2012 
CALEB OROZCO In April of this year, the Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement suffered a setback in their challenge of section fifty three of Belize’s criminal code when the judge in the case Michelle Arana struck off UNIBAM as a claimant in the case. Section fifty three makes it a criminal offence for same sex intercourse, calling it carnal intercourse against the order of nature and Orozco and UNIBAM were contending that the law contravenes their constitutional rights to human dignity and fundamental rights and freedoms. The move to have UNIBAM struck off was one of the primary applications made by the church as an interested party in the proceedings.  But UNIBAM and its president Caleb Orozco are persistent if nothing else, and so when the case came back to court today for a continuation of the preliminaries, UNIBAM scored a comeback.  According…

UniBAM profile of Rev Mary

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Posted: December, 9th, 2012

The point of this profile to recognize valued individuals for their stance and the support they provide as an effort to address hearts and minds progress. Rev Mary Martin, in is a spiritual tiger, who can reduce the loudest persons into a mere wimper. Her contribution in social movement in the United States is an untold local story.Her contribution to our efforts in Belize has been a quiet breeze, slowly, working up a spiritual storm. Rev. Mary Martin  can be scene below from Free Spirit Worship Center in Grand Rapids (center) gathers at Calder plaza in 2009 with a group in favor of gay marriage. While is was an issue intensified by the Christian right in Belize, it gives us pause as a community to ask what do we want for social protection, is it gay marriage or is it simply family acceptance.Source:( http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/state_of_the_state_survey_majo.html)


The issue of family will have a resurgence, but in the mean time, Mary remi…

Do students have Rights in Belize.