Monday, June 22, 2015. BMG: The LGBT community is once again making waves throughout Belize after announcing its first annual “Temptation Island Pride Week”. The event, to be held at Caribbean Villas Resort in San Pedro, is being promoted as the ‘biggest LGBT pride event in Belize’s history’.
Caleb Orozco, executive director of UNIBAM, calls the event ‘part of the Belizean social fabric’, expressing that all people have the ‘right to freedom of association, expression and movement’. The event, however, has already enlisted the attention of local religious leaders and anti-gay supporters.
In an online post, Louis Wade Jr. shared his views on the event, saying that ‘It’s sex tourism, whether you are able to recognize it or not… Sodomy is illegal while free speech and Christianity are both legal’.
While one may argue that it was not long ago that free speech by black men was prohibited, Wade’s perception is shared by many of the religious leaders of the country. Pastor Scott Stirm expressed that the church leaders are still in discussion about the event, but maintain that they are firmly opposed to the advocacy of immorality, and that some type of protest or demonstration would take place that same week.
While the act of Sodomy is illegal in Belize, Police Press Coordinator, Douglas Hyde, assures that the gay pride event is a private one, and there will be no action by the police unless a crime is reported.
He maintained that regardless of orientation, all people had the right to socialize and associate freely. Due to the nature of the event, however, and the opposition it is receiving, measures may be put in place to ensure general public safety.