Government agrees to challenge part of Section 53 ruling

Posted: Friday, September 9, 2016. 10:02 p.m. CST.

dean barrow

By Aaron Humes: As previously indicated, the Government of Belize and the religious community, including the Belize Council of Churches, have reached accord to appeal part of the amended criminal code which also interprets sex to include sexual orientation, following a series of meetings between the church and the state.  The outcome of those discussions will now see the Attorney General filing an appeal in the days ahead.  While government’s case will be heard by the superior court individually, the move allows for all interested parties to appeal Section Fifty-three in its entirety.  GOB’s position to apply to the Court of Appeal for a reversal of that piece of law which deals solely with sex and sexual orientation is in line with its view that there is little basis to challenge the substantive part of the Supreme Court ruling.

The Prime Minister reported during a briefing earlier today that the decision of the Supreme Court on Section Fifty-three was perfected on August twenty-sixth, effectively commencing a twenty-one day period during which government, as well as the churches, can challenge the ruling.  The appeal, aside from the call of the churches, was equally prompted by the fact that the interpretation of sex came after the Human Dignity Trust signed on to the challenge as an interested party with that clarification as its primary agenda.

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