General — 23 August 2013
Slim turnout; strong resolve

The march on Independence Hill today, led by Patrick Menzies and Belize Can, did not attract the thousands who showed up to support the Constitution Marches held in recent weeks; and although the turnout has been estimated at roughly 100 supporters, the resolve of those who did participate was notable.

Heavy rains did not deter the participants from standing their ground, as they continued their call to the Government of Belize for the retraction—or at least the “freezing and fixing” of the Gender Policy.

The Belmopan march, predominantly attended by Hispanic Christians, did not have the support of the mainstream churches from across Belize.

Pastor Scott Stirm of Belize Action, one of the lead mobilizers of the church community, issued a short statement Tuesday evening, saying, “The Constitution marches were brilliant, and we appreciate Patrick Menzies’ zeal. There was broad support due to the theme of the Constitution Marches. In consulting with leaders all over the nation, there was not a resounding AMEN on Menzies’ UB demonstration. Nothing personal; just different theme. No corporate AMEN.”

Menzies told journalists in Belmopan Tuesday that the lack of support was due to a misunderstanding.

“I was in the US and I just came back, and so a lot of misunderstanding was circulated, so some people were told that we’re going to go to UB [the University of Belize], so that I could get the students to get their money that [was] ripped off. It has nothing to do with that! They were told that we’re going to UB so I could get my job back. Nothing to do with that! This is 100% to do with two basic things: the gender policy and victimization,” Menzies said.

Menzies’ organization, along with the Alliance of Ministers & Leaders of Belize and Social Partners, calls for 1) retraction of the Gender Policy 2013; 2) a declaration that gender equals male and female ONLY; 3) stiffer punishment for authors and/or instigators of victimization in Belize; and 4) the guarding of the preamble of the Belize Constitution – as it currently is.

He said at today’s demonstration that, “…while we are waiting for the PM to decide what he will and won’t accept, during that time the policy is being implemented and if in 6 months to 18 months it’s already entrenched and then it’s decided – guess what guys, we’ve already hired all these people and they have a five-year contract, so we really can’t change these things. So then the policy is in!”

Menzies continues to call on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to not implement any part of the Gender Policy.

Subsequent to their march on Independence Hill, where they protested in front of the National Assembly, the school marched over to UB, protesting the creation of a new Gender Department.

Menzies contends that Government intends to implement the policy, which promotes an LGBT agenda, at all levels of the education system.

(Photos: Belize Can)

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