By Aaron Humes: On this day five years ago, the Supreme Court of Belize upheld the individual right to privacy and safeguarded the right of those who love someone of the same gender, of both genders and generally differently, to practice that love in the open without fear of criminal sanction.
Section 53 of the Criminal Code was stripped of its penalty for carnal intercourse “against the order of nature” by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and was upheld later by the Court of Appeal.
Since then, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has become more of a public presence and have begun to publicly mark this occasion as Pride Week.
Litigant in the case and executive director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, Caleb Orozco, posted this on social media this morning: “Today, we express our thanks to the court but await parliament acknowledgment of our equal citizenship in new and old legislation. In 2021 we remain 2nd class citizens relegated to discussions of intentions. The state is required to address the social an economic disparity between citizens but the burden remains with [us], not with the state. On this day, we show the diversity of community and the spirit of resilience.”
On Monday there was an official flag raising ceremony hosted by the British High Commission in Belmopan, with participation from parliamentarians, LGBT activists and others.