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Tires burnt on highways in protest of Equal Opportunities Bill

ST. MATTHEWS, Cayo District, Wed. Sept. 16, 2020– At about 5:00 yesterday morning, traffic on the George Price Highway in St. Matthews was halted near the Beaver Dam Bridge because tires were burning in the middle of the road.

Belmopan firefighters went to the scene and put out the fire, and traffic began to flow again.

Also, at about the same time that morning, tires were burning in the middle of the road in Carmelita on the Philip Goldson Highway, and was similarly halting traffic. Firemen from Orange Walk Town had to also put out that fire so that traffic could flow.

Reliable information to us is that the tire-burning on both highways was an act of protest against the Equal Opportunities Bill that was to be discussed and tabled in a Cabinet meeting yesterday and would have then made its way to the House of Representatives.

The bill, however, was shelved for the present time and will not be presented in the House.

No one has yet been held responsible for setting the fires, and no arrests have so far been made.

There are many in the community who fear that the bill would infringe on the rights of individuals in the community who may, for religious or other reasons, not approve of certain ideas and behaviors that are being promoted by certain special interest groups who support the bill.

Specifically, a group of churches and persons of religious faith (particularly the National Evangelical Association of Belize), led by Pastor Louis Wade and Pastor Scott Stirm of Belmopan, have expressed their belief that members of the community should take a stand and reject the bill before it is passed in the House.

Yesterday morning, a motorcade protesting the bill was held in Belmopan and the surrounding areas. It was comprised of about 20 vehicles, led by Pastor Wade, and the protesters were chanting “Kill the Bill, Kill the Bill!”

Pastor Wade told the media that different leaders were responsible for protesting the bill in different areas, and that the bill would be the harbinger of a new, harmful set of moral standards in Belize, and it should be presented to the people in a referendum for their approval before it is taken to the House.

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