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Morality Commission collapses

Posted: Thursday, June 8, 2017. 8:41 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Two churches have reportedly withdrawn from the Church State Commission on Public Morality, following fallout over the position paper to be presented to the government later this week.

Reports are that two Bishops have recused themselves, feeling that the views of the denominations they represent were not being adequately reflected in the position paper.

That position paper is expected to inform government in going forward with the limited appeal of the Section 53 constitutional challenge, which Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), won in 2016.

Despite the fallout, the position paper will be presented to the Government of Belize (GOB) as planned.

When Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin delivered the judgement in August 2016, GOB took the initial position that it would not appeal the judgment, because it protected the rights of consenting adults to enjoy their privacy.

Later, Prime minister Dean Barrow said that GOB would file a limited appeal based on the concession that the Chief Justice made in his judgement, allowing for the word ‘sex’ in the constitution to include sexual orientation.

GOB said that it would appeal that aspect of the judgment because it did not form a part of the relief that Orozco sought, and that the interested party that requested the concession was not even a Belizean entity.

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