The Chief Justice of Belize ruled on Wednesday morning in the Supreme Court that the colonial law which makes sexual relations between men a crime and imposes a ten-year sentence for those convicted of such felony, is unconstitutional. The decision has been three years in the making, and there are knowledgeable Belizeans who have opined that this UNIBAM lawsuit, brought by the one Caleb Orozco, represents a test case with major implications for the other Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean.
The case has polarized militants in the Belizean society. On one side are the religious militants, most prominently the evangelical pastors and their organizations, who have vehemently opposed any change in the sodomy law. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Belize, Most Rev. Dorick Wright, has also been extremely aggressive in his campaigning against the liberalization of homosexuality which Wednesday morning’s decision represents. (The Roman Catholics are the largest religious group in Belize.) Supporting Orozco and celebrating Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin’s decision are the so-called LGBT militants. As we understand it, the LGBT acronym refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. The LGBT community is very much a minority group in Belize, but they are supported by the United States government, through the American Embassy in Belize, and the LGBT Belizeans say that the flag they wave is a flag for human rights.
The Europeans never cared about human rights when they were enslaving, colonizing, and exploiting our ancestors. The Europeans became the wealthiest people on planet earth by enslaving and colonizing us. When we non-white peoples of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean fought for self-determination and achieved political independence after World War II, the European peoples of the world, and we include the United States in their number because of America’s leadership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), insisted on continuing to impose their values on us. They have done so by tying their loan, aid, and other economic assistance packages to our supposed human rights records. Sometime ago, the Europeans decided that homosexuals and other sexual deviants should be free to do as they please in modern societies. Once they made that the norm in Europe, they decided that we Third World countries should follow suit.
In Belize, homosexuals and other deviants were already free in practice to do whatever they wanted to do in private. There have been instances in our lifetime when aggressive or conscientious police officers interrupted homosexual behavior in public places and took the culprits to the police station, but you can probably count these incidents on one hand. We have never heard of anyone being sentenced to jail for homosexual activity in Belize.
The UNIBAM case, supported by the Europeans, was intended to remove the sodomy law from the books in The Jewel. The religious militants felt that a removal of the sodomy law was intended to be the precursor to more aggressive homosexual postures in Belizean society, such as public display of affection, same-sex marriage and the introduction of pro-LGBT propaganda in school curriculum. As a result, the religious militants were extremely fearful of a pro-UNIBAM verdict, and they are now behaving as if it is the equivalent of Armageddon.
This newspaper believes that the majority of the Belizean people are quite upset by Wednesday’s pro-UNIBAM decision, but because of the repeated attempts by the U.S. Embassy to influence the Government of Belize and the society of Belize on this matter, the Belizean people may have been half expecting such a decision. In addition, the Belizean people believe that the Chief Justice’s decision does not introduce a radically new order of things: the decision only recognizes what has been the status quo here for decades and decades.
That status quo has allowed homosexuals and other deviants to do whatever they wish in private. That status quo has allowed homosexuals, theoretically criminals under the previous dispensation, to rise to the highest echelons of power here in religion, politics, business, the arts, entertainment, journalism, and whatever.
The Belizean people, we think, would not have wished for the sodomy law to be used against homosexuals, but the Belizean people unquestionably and unconditionally condemn sodomy. The Europeans have now said to us, that it is a violation of human rights for Belize to have a law which criminalizes sodomy. And, Belize has yielded to Europe.
Homosexuality is not the most pressing matter in Belize. We write this editorial reluctantly, and we do so mainly because it is expected of us to comment. We cannot run away from this issue. But, from the very beginning of this lawsuit three years ago, it struck us that there were people opposing the UNIBAM lawsuit whom we were convinced were practicing homosexuals. We thought that odd, and even suspicious. And, we also know that the American elements which most violently oppose homosexual rights are traditionally the most cruelly racist of the United States population.
At our foundation 47 years ago, this newspaper may have well been, as it is said, homophobic. We do not consider ourselves as such today. But, we believe in the absolute protection of the rights of our children to grow up without attempts to seduce them by introducing confusing sexual messages to them. It was in the matter of the “scandalizing” of children that Jesus the Christ was most draconian. He said that those who scandalize the children should have millstones tied around their necks and be thrown into the sea. Christ considered such scandalizing, therefore, a capital offence.
The declaration that sodomy is not a criminal offence, does not open the door for homosexuals to gain access to our innocent and vulnerable children. The masses of the Belizean people do not consider the Chief Justice’s ruling to constitute Armageddon. The masses of the Belizean people are, however, concerned, and now the people will become even more watchful than we have been. We know that our society has been under attack on different fronts, and we appreciate how perilous our Belizean situation has become.
If we are to go by the Bible, God Almighty instructed Adam and Eve to “increase and multiply” and grow strong. Historically, homosexuality has been a feature of imperial societies which are in decay. The Belizean people do not support or encourage homosexuality, but we have tolerated our Belizean homosexuals. It is good, we dare say, that our homosexuals are no longer considered criminals by the law, but we, the Belizean people, would really prefer for them to depart from their deviant ways and participate in the increasing and multiplying. We do believe in the Adam and Eve principle.
Power to the people. Remember Danny Conorquie – murdered at Caracol on September 25, 2014.