Christian churches file court papers today in fight over sodomy in Belize
BELIZE CITY, MAY 13 (C-FAM) - A lawsuit backed by powerful international lawyers and pressure groups has placed the poor Central American country of Belize in the crosshairs of an international battle over homosexuality.
On one side of the battle stand three groups of international lawyers. On the other side is the government of Belize and a consortium of Christian Churches who have hired high- powered legal talent who are expected to file papers in court today.
The battle began last September when a homosexual advocacy group challenged Belize’s criminal code, which penalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person.”
The Solicitor General of Belize answered this challenge in February with an affidavit defending the sodomy laws, which drew a further response from a powerful group of lawyers including the International Commission of Jurists, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, and Human Dignity Trust to join the case as interested parties. One of the attorneys representing these parties is Lord Peter Goldsmith, the former Attorney General for England and Wales.
In their affidavit, the three international organizations claim that the Belize sodomy law is “incompatible with the rule of law and with respect for international law and international obligations enshrined in the Belize Constitution.”
The group that started the fight is the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UBIBAM). Self-described as a “voluntary human rights association of men who have sex with men and gay, bisexual and transgendered people”, UNIBAM issued a report last year that suggested that “a mother and son watch porn together” in order to help reduce HIV/AIDS. The group’s partners in this report were UNICEF, and the UN Population Fund.
The International Commission of Jurists was founded during the Cold War to expose human rights violations of the Soviet Union. At some point the group also joined the sexual left. Not long ago the ICJ started a Sexual Orientation and Gender Project, which included their spearheading of the Yogyakarta Principles, a non-binding “expert” statement that reinterpreted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
The ICJ’s partner in the lawsuit is the Commonwealth Lawyers Association which recently adopted a resolution calling for the decriminalization of sexual orientation legislation in the Commonwealth, while admitting that 41 of the 53 Commonwealth jurisdictions still retained such legislation.
A lawyer close to the coalition of Belizean Christians who filed court papers today said, “the homosexual agenda insists upon the promotion of homosexual acts in the schools and society, undermining the rights of parents as primary educators of their children and targeting even grammar school children under the guise of “comprehensive” sexual education programs that promote sodomy and immoral behavior.”
The preamble of the Belize Constitution states that the nation is “founded upon principles which recognize the supremacy of God”. A recent court decision affirmed that the preamble is to be considered as a substantive part of the constitution.
The hearing in the Belize Supreme Court on the lawsuit is scheduled for July.
Reprinted with permission from C-Fam.org