Monday, February 7, 2011

Media Homophobia

Case One:
The homosexual factor
Posted: 16/02/2007 - 09:18 AM
Author: Stephen Okeke

Wed. 14 Feb 2007
 
Dear Editor,
 
I was not surprised with Mr. Orozco regarding the first article that prompted his response. But it was great that you gave him an opening to air his views.
 
I think Mr. Orozco is either pretending not to get the message regarding his blunder, or is so consumed by his pursuit of clearly perverted pedophilic support that he despises intelligent reason. What is at stake is, firstly, the protection of the violated innocent, not his sexual preference.
 
I think Belizeans should rise up as one people (at least those who do not have similar views to life as Mr. Orozco) and condemn the danger Mr. Orozco’s views pose to the safety of children and balanced social development.
 
I would still like to write the article on the “incidence of homosexuality and the formation of homosexual tendencies,” based on conservatively liberal perspectives. But I would like to know if you will be interested in publishing them. I would prefer to write them as an educational series of three or four parts. I would like to compact it as a referable material. It would be better in a number of articles, instead of burdening people with one lengthy, yet
informationally truncated article.
 
It has been very heart warming to hear a significant number of people comment on how educational and eye-opening the article I wrote on the gay factor has been to them. And they look forward to an opportunity to read more.
 
Hope to hear from you.
 
Thanks,
Stephen Okeke
 
Source :http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=5420
 
Case 2 
Dealing with the real of homosexuality
 
Posted: 18/11/2009 - 06:21 PM
Author: Charles X

I saw a picture on my email page with two men close up as if in a kissing position. It looks sickening. It turns my stomach, and that is not intended as any offence against homosexuals. It is just a fact. The sight of a mixed couple in such a pose may be exciting to “straight” people, because we each may envision ourselves taking the part of the other sex. And even, as a male, seeing two lesbians in such a pose, it is not as repulsive, as one might imagine it for a straight female, since the male can imagine himself “dealing with” each of the individuals separately. But seeing two men, uggghhh! It is sickening.
  
Now, how can homosexuals say I am homophobic (or whatever they call it)? I am not afraid of them because of their likes. The thought of what they do is just sickening for me to imagine.
  
It’s the same with our culinary tastes. Crab soup is delicious to me; I bet it turns some people’s stomach, just the thought of those creatures crawling in the mud and the crab holes in the ground.     
  
When cleaning conchs at the cayes, some of us would relish to “slurp” the so-called “conchs’ strength” (the gonads, the scientists say) down our throats raw; others find it disgusting.
  
Now, there is a reason for everything. Some we just can’t explain. But if the laws of science and nature rule the planet, then it seems to me that any man who looks at another man and finds him sexually attractive, the aforementioned “man” is not a man sexually in his mind, but actually a woman, or at least a part of his mind is. And when we see two gay “men” looking to “tie the knot” in this modern age, I bet each of them has a part of them that is a sexual woman inside, that is sexually attracted to males. 
  
Now, imagine that. You look like a male, but you are a female inside, where your sexual instincts are concerned. No normal male will want anything to do with you. Only another male outside who is really a female inside, also looking for another male who will tolerate his advances, will fit the bill. It is a narrow field to choose from. So when a lucky match is found, I guess they do enjoy some form of “nuptial bliss”, however disgusting it appears to us normal people.
  
The only unfortunate and insurmountable problem for homosexuals is the unnatural use of the sexual organs which inevitably will lead to illness, as the human anus is designed by our Creator for one thing only — to expel faeces, s—. Regardless of any psychological explanation as to why some people get trapped into the deviant form of sexual expression, the biological facts cannot be escaped or ignored. Anus use for sex creates tremendous risks for ruptures and infection.   It is no weird coincidence that AIDS is most common among homosexuals; according to the scientist experts, the anus does not automatically self-lubricate as the female vagina does during the sex act. Abrasions and bleeding lead to vulnerability to disease.
  
It’s crazy, but this homosexual thing has been happening for generations, just that it had always been “under cover”. Many youths have ended up committing suicide in frustration, when they couldn’t find a way to live in a society that didn’t understand their predicament.
  
Perhaps it is nature’s way of controlling the population explosion from over-populating the earth. Who knows? But there is still no justification for lewd public displays, reckless promiscuity, and the decadent public behavior, especially on television, that may even be responsible for skewing the normal sexual development of children, thus leading more of our young population into this sad predicament. Accepting the fact of some abnormal individuals is one thing; broadcasting, endorsing, and promoting this lifestyle and behavior is dangerous, as it can unduly impact on the young population still making the delicate passage through the process of puberty and sexual orientation. Accepting gays for who they are is one thing; I think we all should try to understand their situation and empathize. But do we want to encourage it, and even run the risk of one day making it the dominant lifestyle in our society? Where will the next generation come from?
Talking about HIV/AIDS
  
It is as important for us to accept gays and lesbians for who they are, without trying to portray it as a virtue, as it is for us to accept those unfortunate among us who are stricken with the AIDS virus. There are many, many ways of getting infected with the AIDS virus. Homosexual sex used to be considered the most common mode of infection, but normal heterosexual sex may have overtaken that by now; and as well there are drug needles, blood transfusion errors, etc. There are perhaps also many ways an unborn or very young child can be impacted in its early psychological/sexual development, to eventually manifest homosexual orientation.
  
It is time for our society to face the issues, so we can try to solve them. How can we know if there is really a high percentage “cure” already out there for AIDS, if we allow stigma and agendas to keep everything “under cover”?
  
There would be much less confusion and heartache in our society if youngsters would not feel threatened and “outcast” to admit their sexual difficulties to their doctor, their teacher or their parents. Likewise, many AIDS sufferers are dying quickly, simply because they are starving in this recession, and cannot sustain themselves to fight back, even with the availability of the retroviral drugs. Moreover, the “establishment”, which has vested interests in the billion-dollar AIDS treatment and counseling business, keeps frowning upon our herbal people who may have helped a number of individuals to put up a good strong fight, perhaps even better than the official retroviral drugs, against the killer virus.
  
Part of the problem in stopping the spread of AIDS in Belize undoubtedly has to do with the fact that so many people are ignorant of their own condition; but there is so much stigma and fear of finding out or revealing one’s status, that as a population we are all behaving like ostriches. Belize reportedly has the highest AIDS rate in the hemisphere, and there are only 300,000 of us; and we’re dying fast from violence and AIDS, plus diabetes. We’re also near the highest in the murder rate per capita. This is a national population crisis. Are our authorities satisfied to solve it only by Central American immigration? Will the so-called Kriols and the Garinagu be allowed to just die out and disappear? Is that the plan?               
  
One suggestion to stop this unnecessary fear and stigma, and put this fight in the open is to stop the questions about past sexual partners. That is too intrusive, and it is not necessary. No one should feel compelled or encouraged to reveal their past sexual encounters. That’s probably what keeps the taboo on this disease. But it should be your civic duty to our nation to reveal your status openly and without fear of being ostracized. For homosexuals, there would be less confusion and easier chances of finding a mate if they had an easy and acceptable way of making their orientation known. For those of us with the virus, when you declare, or are reported as testing positive, anyone who had sexual relations with you will automatically know that they have to get tested. The next thing is to let people know that we can overcome AIDS; it’s not a hundred percent. The evidence shows that some people have been treated with pharmaceutical and herbal remedies, and have rebounded to live long and fruitful lives. It should no longer be viewed as the automatic end of the world. That terrible fear and terror is what is helping to stress out and kill many of us.
 
Let’s put the fight out in the open so we can conquer these demons together; or we’ll continue dying out by our lonesome selves, and our people are two few and precious to lose without a fight. Let’s talk about it.  

source: http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=9283

 
Case 3
 
Sir Paul discusses homosexuality and Bishop Robinson
Posted: 22/01/2009 - 12:33 PM
Author: Paul Rodriguez

Homosexuality is a blessing from God. So says Bishop Eugene Robinson of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America.
 
The gay Bishop once again captured media attention when he was chosen by President Obama to deliver the Invocation at the celebration starting the inaugural festivities on Sunday, January 18, 2009.
 
Not having had an opportunity to interview his lordship, I can only speculate about the meaning of his pronouncement.
 
My faith has always taught and thought throughout the centuries of the Christian era that homosexuality is an unnatural expression of sexuality and is a very grave sin – what we Catholics call “mortal sin”.
 
The Apostle Paul two thousand years ago in a letter to the Romans at Chapter 1, verse 26, referred to it as a curse from Almighty God in punishment for unbelief.
 
Centuries before Paul, Leviticus at Chapter 18 verse 23, condemned homosexuality as an abomination: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination.”
 
Therefore, I am puzzled about the bishop’s meaning.
 
Does he mean that having a feeling of physical attraction to a person of the same sex may become an opening of great blessing? If this is his meaning, I agree; for disorder does not arise from mere feelings. It is the result of a deliberate choice in which reason is fully engaged.
 
The Apostle Paul in several places speaks of resisting temptation. Therein may be the opportunity for blessings in spite of human weakness, which all flesh is heir to.
 
Heterosexuals too must overcome temptation, for the sexual appetite in a healthy person is ever alive to the attractions of the opposite sex. Herein is the blessing when one moves the imagination away from the fantasies; and reason focuses on the personality, the character, intelligence, beauty and goodness of the person.
 
Moreover, as one grows in maturity in an intimate relationship, one learns the great importance of building a lasting friendship with one’s wife or husband.
 
In the above sense, a homosexual relationship, without sexual expression, could be a blessing. Nevertheless, it cannot be a blessing if it involves sexual expression, except if it leads to repentance and a renouncing of the homosexual lifestyle. Judaeo–Christian thought has always been that the sex act should never deliberately exclude the primary purpose of the act. Deliberate exclusion of the first end of the sexual act, which is procreation, makes the intercourse immoral.
 
Therefore, to be credible Bishop Robinson should explain to his flock how he or his male partner can possibly conceive and bear a child.
 
The secondary purpose of the sexual act, which is to show love, may be expressed in millions of other ways, without the act of copulation. When one is kind, merciful, considerate, etc., to any other human being, it becomes a blessing both to him who gives and to her who receives.
 
It has always been a habit of most people I know well, to be respectful of all manner of human beings, including gays. However, there has always been an expression of resistance to a gay lifestyle that is aggressive, that seems dedicated to turning our children into homosexuals. There is a deep hatred for this – and against preying upon the youthful and the weak.
 
Although the scientific opinion that homosexuality is caused by a special hormone has been discredited, the debate about nature or nurture no doubt will rage on.
 
It is amazing how almost every human being continues to acknowledge the existence of goodness (and of God) by insisting in word and argument that what they do is morally right. We always seem to justify our actions by saying that they are good.
 
In my philosophical studies five decades ago, I learned that the human will/does not ever choose what it sees to be evil. It was true then; it was true at the beginning of human time with Adam and Eve; and it will remain true forever.
 
Bishop Robinson first attracted media attention a few years ago as the first self-proclaimed gay priest to be ordained bishop by the Episcopal Church of the United States. He later divorced his wife and married a man.
 
In this context, I would like to repeat my often stated position: what two consenting adults do in the privacy of a bedroom is God’s business. It is none of mine. Emphasis on “consenting’ and on “adult.”
 
source: http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=8041

 Case 4
MEDICAL AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT HOMOSEXUALS DO Posted: 13/04/2007 - 10:48 AM
Author: Stephen Okeke

Millions of people all over the United States are suffering from addiction to different kinds of drugs. And millions of people all over the world are suffering from the abuse and addiction to different kinds of drugs. Some begin to get gripped in the vice of these drugs early in life, while others discover the euphoria of drugs later in life. In all, all those who submit themselves to the ravages of drug abuse definitely enjoy the experience, and will fight doggedly against any suggestion that drugs hurt. However, it does hurt those who adapt themselves to it, and hurts those that care for them. In view of the fact that drugs eventually destroy lives, governments and authorities wade in to rescue and protect those who are gripped in its claws. The society defies the protest of the addicts, not just because it kills only its victims sweetly and they enjoy it, but because it costs the society. And once governments are involved in anything, there will likely be forms of politics associated with it. Therefore, we must note fairly the effect of social politics to every facet of society that has to do with mores and morals. In the same vein, we should expect to find, at least, skirmishes of politics in the access to, and control of drugs. And without fail, a close examination will reveal a glaring jolt of politics in the issues of sexuality as well.
 
The vehemence with which sexual practices are upheld or condemned by society, civil authority and the religious rites, seems to depend on how many people within the upper or lower wrungs of society have adopted them. That seems to suggest that pedophilia, homosexuality, bestiality and every other form of unnatural sexual practice and deviance will eventually find their way up the ladder of public acceptance once the cream of the society are willing to show themselves in it publicly.
 
Although those who practice unnatural and uncommon sexual activities may enjoy them, it is important that we mark out some of the cost of their pleasure. It does cost them, and it costs the society dearly. Their sexual preference comes at a tremendous price. Let’s pick on the gay lifestyle. We hope to pick on the lesbian lifestyle at another occasion. Nonetheless, because there are no comprehensive data on the medical consequences of the homosexual lifestyle in Belize, I will base this summary on studies done by Harvard Medical Professors, and other published data from the San Francisco Department of Public Health, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Epidemiology. And of note is that throughout history, the major civilizations and their major religions have condemned homosexuality. Until 1961 homosexual acts were illegal throughout America.
 
HOMOSEXUALITY EFFECTS ON LIFESPAN
 
Smokers and drug addicts don’t live as long as non-smokers or non-addicts, so we consider smoking and narcotics abuse harmful. The typical life-span of homosexuals suggests that their activities are more destructive than smoking, and as dangerous as drugs.
 
Obituaries numbering 6,516 from 16 U.S. homosexual journals over the past 12 years were compared to a large sample of obituaries from regular newspapers. The obituaries from the newspapers were similar to U.S. averages for longevity; the medium age of married men was 75. And 80% of those men can be said to have died old (age 65 or older) for unmarried or divorced men, the median age was 57, and 32% of them died old. Married women averaged age 79 at death; and 85% died old. Unmarried and divorced women averaged 71, and 60% of them died old.
 
For the homosexuals, less than 2% survived to old age. If AIDS was the cause of death, the median age was 39. In that survey, for 829 gays who died from something other than AIDS, the median age of death was 42, and only 9% died old.
 
Of this survey and similar surveys, gays were 116 times more apt to be murdered; 24 times more apt to commit suicide; and had an accident traffic rate 18 times the rate of comparably aged males. Heart attacks, cancer and liver failure were exceptionally common. Twenty percent of lesbians died of murder, suicide or accident – a rate 487 times higher than that of other females aged 25-44.
 
Homosexuals rode into the dawn of sexual freedom and returned with a plague that gives every indication of destroying most of them, those who care for them, and those around them. They returned with the plague of AIDS and its accompanying lethal chain of dangerous epidemics. Those who treat AIDS patients are at great risk, not only from HIV infection, but also from new strains of other diseases. Those who are housed with AIDS patients are also at risk.
 
Dr. Max Essex, Chair of the Harvard AIDS institute, warned the American Congress in 1992 that “AIDS has already led to other kinds of dangerous epidemics …. If AIDS is not eliminated, other new lethal microbes will emerge, and neither safe sex nor drug free practices will prevent them.” And since then, we have witnessed new strains of drug-resistant AIDS in different parts of the United States, especially San Francisco.
DISEASE SWAPPING
 
The typical sexual practices of homosexuals are a medical horror story – imagine exchanging saliva, feces, semen and or blood with dozens of different men each year. Imagine drinking urine, ingesting feces and experiencing rectal trauma on a regular basis. Often, these encounters occur while the participants are drunk, high, or in an orgy setting. Further, many of them occur in extremely unsanitary places (bathrooms, dirty peep shows, etc), or, because homosexuals travel so frequently, in other parts of the world.
 
Every year, a quarter or more of homosexuals visit another country. Fresh American germs get taken to Europe, Africa, Asia, and even Central America, etc. And fresh pathogens from those continents return to America. Foreign homosexuals usually visit the U.S. and participate in what may be termed biological swapmeet.
PATTERN OF INFECTION
 
Unfortunately, the danger of these exchanges does not merely affect homosexuals. Gays carried HIV from New York, where it was first discovered among gays, to the rest of the world. Most of the women in California who got AIDS through heterosexual activity got it from men who engaged in homosexual behavior. Most of the men who get AIDS in Belize today through heterosexual activity get it from women who engaged in heterosexual activity with men who engage in homosexual activity, and vice versa. The vicious cycle of the AIDS epidemic starts from gays, and stops with gays. If there must be a solution to the ravages of AIDS, it has to center around the gay incidence. Even the rare form of airborne scarlet fever that stalked San Francisco in 1976 also started among homosexuals. Gay and bisexual men make up less than 7% of the population of Los Angeles County, but account for more than 75% of the people living with HIV/AIDS. Let the gays in Belize stand up to responsibility and dignity and help stem the tide of this ravaging HIV/AIDS, for it is a gay disease, but hurts everyone.
LET US SHOW GENUINE COMPASSION
 
We as a society, rightly, should be genuinely concerned with health risks, because gays and their lifestyle impact our taxes and everyone’s chances of illness and injury. Because we care about them, smokers are discouraged from smoking by higher insurance premiums, taxes on cigarettes and bans against smoking in public. These social pressures cause many to quit. They likewise encourage non-smokers to stay non-smokers.
Homosexuals are sexually troubled people engaging in dangerous activities. Because we care about them and those tempted to join them, it is important that we neither encourage nor legitimize such a destructive lifestyle. It should not be a matter of one person passing moral judgment against another, because most of those judges themselves may be found to be engaging in activities which would have been completely unacceptable in a traditional or moralistic society. And all concerned Belizeans should not sit back and hope that the gay/AIDS connection will drive designated NGOs or such to fight against legitimizing the gay lifestyle. This is because there is no urgency to stop the spread of AIDS (don’t mind the politics) – AIDS is a money making disease. Bird Flu was stopped, and is still being hunted militantly, because it was a money losing disease.
 
NEXT: What causes homosexual desires, and can it be changed?
Your brother and friend,
Sokeke1@yahoo.com
 Source: http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=5567

   
 

Acts of Violence Againts Gay Men in Belize and Cases of discrimination

The cases below are examples of violence and discrimination that LGBT persons have experienced in Belize. We have counted 17 murders and 8 assaults from 1997 to 2010 thus far that we are aware of using newspaper articles and interviews as sources of information. Because of the sensitive nature of  privacy, we will never be able to file all cases for public viewing.

 
Brutal Murder in Orange Walk; Throat Slit & Beaten with Bat
posted (February 13, 2009)

There was a brutal murder this morning in Orange Walk. 44 year old Enrique Castillo was found dead around 9 this morning inside his home on the Belize-Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. He had been beaten to death with a baseball bat and his throat was cut with a kitchen knife. It is a horrible murder and police say they know who did it. But why? - was it robbery or was it because of Enrique Castillo’s lifestyle? Keith Swift went to Orange Walk to find answers.
Keith Swift Reporting,
This dramatic video is from the inside Enrique Castillo’s home where blood was everywhere - the bedroom, the bathroom, but principally in the kitchen in which the tiles, appliances, and counters were covered in blood. And it is in the kitchen this morning that the 44 year old’s family found him dead and in the nude.
Antonette Young, Sister of Deceased
“I came by this morning at about 9:15 and when I came by I normally would knock on his bedroom window and would call out his name and he would answer me on the second call and he would get up and open the door. But this morning when I came, I did the same and I didn’t hear a response. So the kitchen was opened and I peeped in there and when I peeped in there I saw the faucet was running and blood all over the sink.”
Orquidi Castillo, Brother of Deceased
“My wife immediately called me and I informed them to call the police. So I was here just as the police was arriving and I was the one that walked in and saw him in his own house brutally murdered in no different term.”
Antonette Young,
“There was blood all over the house. The house was upside down and he was murdered. My brother is dead.”
Orquidi Castillo,
“He was killed. In a nutshell he was killed. Murdered, slaughtered – how could I put it? In no different way, it was a bloody mess. His throat was slashed.”
Ric – as his family and friends called him – lived alone in the two bedroom bungalow in Orange Walk but worked in Caye Chapel. He returned home yesterday and his sister in law last saw him alive partying around midnight.
Estella August, Sister in Law of Victim
“He came in yesterday and he normally parties when he comes in right at his house. So peeped at the window because I heard music and I saw him dancing with two guys, I don’t really want to call their names right now, and that was like after 12. We went back to bed and we didn’t hear anything until this morning.”
Keith Swift,
And these people he was partying with, they were his usual friends?
Estella August,
“No they are his friends.”
Keith Swift,
So there were no suspicious guys?
Estella August,
“No because he normally parties his friends but right at home.”
Enrique Castillo’s house was ransacked. His jewellery, his cell phone, his money were call stolen. So robbery appears to be the motive but his family says you also have to consider his sexual preference and the fact that he may have been killed by someone he knew.
Antonette Young,
“He was a good brother. In spite of his sexual preferences or anything, I mean he was a brother, a good brother and it is so sad that he was murdered this way. His attackers, it was two of them. We know it was two of them, my brother is a big hefty guy and one person he would have handled. But two of them and he died a brutal death. My brother yes was a homosexual, he had people who cared for him, he had friends all over the place and the ones that did it to him knew him. There was no forced entry and apparently one of them had some type of relationship with him and this was not a hate crime. This was just malicious.”
Keith Swift,
You said it was someone he had a relationship with so could it have been domestic?
Antonette Young,
“No it wouldn’t have been a domestic because my brother lived with no one. He was free, he was single but he had friends.”
Keith Swift,
You think someone who knew him did this?
Estella August,
“Yeah I guess they wanted money because he brought money home with him last night because I know.”
The police agree.
DC Jeffrey Williams, Lead Investigator
“It shows so far that robbery, some items were stolen from the house and again we know that there was a indoor party at that house.”
Keith Swift,
How many people were at that party?
DC Jeffrey Williams,
“We believe that there were four persons we understand so far but there could be more.”
Keith Swift,
So the person who killed him is somebody he knew?
DC Jeffrey Williams,
“Definitely someone he knew.”
Keith Swift,
What’s this person’s relationship to Mr. Castillo?
DC Jeffrey Williams,
“There is no specific relation but we understand that they see each other on a daily basis as they relatively live beside each other as neighbours. We understand from some eyewitnesses that there are two persons that left the area. So apparently there could be another person that joined the party afterwards.”
Keith Swift,
Have you found the murder weapon?
DC Jeffrey Williams,
“We believe, our initial investigations revealed so far that it likely could be two items that were used to cause the fatal to Mr. Castillo. One we suspect a wooden baseball bat and second a sharp object, probably a knife to slit his throat.”
A brutal death for a man everyone loved.
Orquidi Castillo,
“He was good to each and every one, to anybody, and sometimes I think too good and that is the sad part.”
Antonette Young,
“Whoever did this to my brother will get it, we will find them, and I pray that this will be a wakeup call. As my brother said, justice will prevail.”
So police tonight are searching for Nimrod Tillett. Anyone with information can call the nearest police station. Police though still believe he is in the Orange Walk District hiding. We should note that while Castillo’s sister discussed the gay angle – police say it is not part of their consideration since robbery seems to have been the only motive. A post mortem will be conducted on Enrique Castillo next week. He worked as the food and beverage manager at the Caye Chapel Resort. We understand he might have had as much as three thousand dollars on him.

 Source: http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=13346&frmsrch=1

Posted: 30/07/2010 - 10:12 AM
Author: Aaron Humes

Rafael Mencias, 21, aka “Bull”, a horse trainer and jockey originally of Orange Walk Town, who was wanted in connection with a brutal murder on Monday night in the small village of Carolina, has been apprehended after briefly eluding the law, and charged with murder.
  
He appeared in Magistrate’s Court in Corozal Town today, Thursday, as Magistrate Leslie Hamilton was not in office yesterday when Mencias was supposed to have been arraigned. He was remanded until his next appearance, on October 27.
 
An additional charge of arson may be in the works for Mencias, pending an investigation by the Fire Service in Corozal.
  
“Bull” was caught at the bus station in Corozal Town around 9:30 Tuesday night, just shy of 24 hours after a fatal meeting with Phillip Moses Hall, 41, of Carolina, about 3 miles out of Corozal Town on the Northern Highway.
  
Mencias is accused of stabbing Hall to death at his, Mencias’ residence in the village, and then allegedly setting the room on fire.
  
According to police, they visited a two-storey 9- by 13-foot concrete building in the village, the top section of which was incomplete, just before 10:00 Monday night and observed the lower flat in flames. Fire Service personnel put out the fire and an inspection of the building led to the discovery of Hall’s motionless body, an examination of which showed about 15 stab wounds in the neck, chest and abdomen; the body was severely burnt below the waist.
  
Initial reports were that Hall’s genitals had been hacked off, but according to Police Department press officer Sgt. Fitzroy Yearwood, the genitals were found to have been severely burnt, as well as the right leg, but not cut off. This was confirmed in the post-mortem examination conducted on Hall on Wednesday, in Belize City, which certified the cause of death as exhumation from internal and external bleeding due to multiple stab wounds.
  
A Corozal Fire Service official told us today that they were called by their police counterparts at 10:00 Monday night about the fire, and responded with three trucks, arriving at 10:05 p.m. It was at this point they were told of the body inside the building, not yet identified.
  
The fire was put out at 10:18 p.m. Hall’s body was found face up near the only exit of the building, the front door, and apparently nude.
  
Subsequent investigation of the premises by the Fire Service personnel uncovered an empty gallon bottle inside the residence and some cloth which appeared to have been soaked in a substance suspected to be gasoline. They also found an aluminum pole outside the residence, with some cloth tied on the end, also appearing to have been soaked in the same substance as the cloth found inside. It is suspected that this may have been used to set the fire, by means of being pushed through one of the two board louver windows.
  
Damage was caused to half the bed and mattress, a standing fan, and some clothes inside the premises.
  
Officially, the Corozal Fire Service says it suspects that the fire was “deliberately set,” but refuses to speculate on possible arson charges for Mencias.
  
Police say Hall and Mencias were socializing in Rafael’s room on Monday night, where it appears they got into a misunderstanding resulting in the attack and subsequent fire.
  
But it is what is behind that attack that has shocked Hall’s family and residents of the close-knit community of Carolina.
  
Amandala understands from family and friends that Hall, formerly a bartender but unemployed at the time of his death, Mencias and a group of their friends were socializing on Sunday night at the stable where Mencias worked when Hall made comments to the effect that he “liked seeing” Mencias, whereupon the younger man responded that he wasn’t “like that.” At the time, the group thought that Hall was merely making a joke.
  
A niece of Hall admitted to us on Wednesday that he had exhibited homosexual tendencies, and possibly a sexual advance on Mencias by Hall on Monday night may have turned out to be a fatal mistake. She insisted, however, that to her knowledge, her uncle never approached anyone in a sexual manner.
  
A caretaker at the stable where Mencias worked told our colleagues at CTV-3 News that “Bull” allegedly went to him at the stable on Monday night and confessed to Hall’s murder, asking for assistance in disposing of the body. When he, the caretaker, went inside to talk to his boss, he reports, “Bull” disappeared and was not seen again until his capture at the bus station on Tuesday. It is thought that he stabbed Hall during the altercation, went to the stable, and later returned to set the building on fire.
  
Family members of Hall told Amandala on Tuesday afternoon in the village that they had no idea why “Bull” would kill Hall, and say that Hall was never a troublemaker, even while drinking liquor, as he was known to do frequently. He is survived by a sister, brothers, and other relatives.
  
On Wednesday, Hall’s niece told us via telephone from Carolina that the family wants justice for Hall’s death. “That is all we can hope for…He did not deserve to die the way he did even for what he was,” she said, referring to his homosexual lifestyle, adding that she hoped Mencias got a long stint in jail as punishment if he is convicted.
 
source: http://www.amandala.com.bz/index.php?id=10132
 
Belize: Protect Students from Discrimination and Expulsion
12/03/2009


Join the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) in calling on the Ministry of Education of Belize and other authorities to take legal action to ensure that Jose Garcia is not prevented from attending school because of his sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and to protect him from harassment and discrimination.

Expelled!

On October 1 and 5, 2009, Jose Garcia, a 19-year-old student at Baptist School of Adult and Continuing Education in Belmopan, Belize, received letters from the school threatening to dismiss him is because "he acts like a girl," "dresses effeminately," "uses the female bathroom," and "carries a purse as his school bag." On October 20, Jose received a letter from the school principal, Norman Willacey, asking that Jose withdraw from the school and seek counseling. Later, he told Jose, "You have me so embarrassed. I don't want to see you here in the compound. If you [don't] leave right now I will call the police!"
Authorities seem to be unwilling to act to protect Jose Garcia's right to education. The Public Information Officer of Belmopan, Arlette Gomez, has stated that it is their aim to ensure that Mr. Garcia's constitutional rights are not being infringed upon and that the guidelines of the Education Act and Rules are being followed. The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has also stated that the school is "bound to follow the constitution, otherwise anybody can take them to court." Nonetheless, the Minister has offered no concrete protection for Jose Garcia, stating that "it is a Baptist High School, there is not much the Ministry can do."
“I am not hurting anybody because of the way I dress.”
–Jose Garcia
Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in education systems is a serious problem all over the world that has not been addressed at all. Harassment, mistreatment, violence, and other human rights violations threaten students' physical or emotional well-being, influence how well students do in school, make it difficult for students to achieve their career goals, and excludes thousands of students all over the world entirely from education systems.


All people have the right to education under international human rights law without discrimination based on, and taking into account sexual orientation and gender identity (Yogyakarta Principle 16). Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education, all of which Belize is party to, ensure the right to education of all. Additionally, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and the ICESCR are explicitly interpreted to include protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity (Human Rights Committee: Toonen v. Australia; Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment 20; Committee Against Torture General Comment 2).
Furthermore, the right to education without discrimination exists in Belize law as well. The preamble to the Belize Constitution states that "a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality," and the Education Act dictates that "[s]chools shall be free of gender, racial and other biases (Art. 25 (2))." Jose Garcia's rights to education and non-discrimination under international and Belize law are being violated by his expulsion, threatening all other rights underpinned by equal access to education, including his right to work, to housing, and to health.

Belize: Protect Students from Discrimination and Expulsion
12/03/2009


Join the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) in calling on the Ministry of Education of Belize and other authorities to take legal action to ensure that Jose Garcia is not prevented from attending school because of his sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and to protect him from harassment and discrimination.

Expelled!

On October 1 and 5, 2009, Jose Garcia, a 19-year-old student at Baptist School of Adult and Continuing Education in Belmopan, Belize, received letters from the school threatening to dismiss him is because "he acts like a girl," "dresses effeminately," "uses the female bathroom," and "carries a purse as his school bag." On October 20, Jose received a letter from the school principal, Norman Willacey, asking that Jose withdraw from the school and seek counseling. Later, he told Jose, "You have me so embarrassed. I don't want to see you here in the compound. If you [don't] leave right now I will call the police!"
Authorities seem to be unwilling to act to protect Jose Garcia's right to education. The Public Information Officer of Belmopan, Arlette Gomez, has stated that it is their aim to ensure that Mr. Garcia's constitutional rights are not being infringed upon and that the guidelines of the Education Act and Rules are being followed. The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has also stated that the school is "bound to follow the constitution, otherwise anybody can take them to court." Nonetheless, the Minister has offered no concrete protection for Jose Garcia, stating that "it is a Baptist High School, there is not much the Ministry can do."
“I am not hurting anybody because of the way I dress.”
–Jose Garcia
Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in education systems is a serious problem all over the world that has not been addressed at all. Harassment, mistreatment, violence, and other human rights violations threaten students' physical or emotional well-being, influence how well students do in school, make it difficult for students to achieve their career goals, and excludes thousands of students all over the world entirely from education systems.
Find out more about violations of students' right to education for being lesbian in Chile and transgender in Argentina »
All people have the right to education under international human rights law without discrimination based on, and taking into account sexual orientation and gender identity (Yogyakarta Principle 16). Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention against Discrimination in Education, all of which Belize is party to, ensure the right to education of all. Additionally, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and the ICESCR are explicitly interpreted to include protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity (Human Rights Committee: Toonen v. Australia; Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights General Comment 20; Committee Against Torture General Comment 2).
Furthermore, the right to education without discrimination exists in Belize law as well. The preamble to the Belize Constitution states that "a just system should be ensured to provide for education and health on the basis of equality," and the Education Act dictates that "[s]chools shall be free of gender, racial and other biases (Art. 25 (2))." Jose Garcia's rights to education and non-discrimination under international and Belize law are being violated by his expulsion, threatening all other rights underpinned by equal access to education, including his right to work, to housing, and to health.

source: http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/globalactionalerts/1032.html


 
 
 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Belize Rights Environment

In 2009 the case of Jose Garica highlighted how weak our system is defending young  LGBT persons from discrimination even though constitutional rights are said to be in place.http://www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/globalactionalerts/1032.html.
The political environment seem to seek to render LGBT issues invisible by  couching general language into all things policy. The result of this recognition led to The United Belize Advocacy Movement issues a report to the Human Rights Council in 2009. The report can be seen at this link.http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session5/BZ/UNIBAM_SRI _BLZ_ UPR_ S5_ 2009 _UnitedBelizeAdvocacyMovement_theSexualRightsInitiative_JOINT.pdf  The result of this effort led government for the first time in a formal forum to state its position on LGBT issues. The following link records government response to our report at http://lib.ohchr.org /HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session5/BZ/A_HRC_12_4_Add1_BLZ_E.pdf  Government response was established in recommendation 9, 12, and 28. Additional points to establish a mechanism was in recommendation 10 and 13. As the Executive President, we note with alarm from recommendation 28 the following:

While there is no political mandate at this time to amend the relevant legislation, the
Government is nonetheless committed to protecting all members of society from discrimination.
Indeed protection from discrimination is protected by the Belize Constitution.

    For us as a human rights organization, we believe that human rights of a marginalize population does not need a political mandate, for its, the state responsibility to enforce the human rights of all its citizens with value. This kind of double speak politically, helps to frame that rights of its citizens are  more equal than others. More importantly it ignores the preamble to our constitution. The preamble reads as follows:
  
"Affirm that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon …... faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms, the position of the …... the dignity of the human person and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed by their creator."

Note,  the preamble to the constitution at no point says except homosexuals, transgender, or lesbians. In practice, however, socio-cultural isolation is the norm and basic rights are eroded through self-censorship, the church state-educational system and family without regard for rights.

In an undated letter sent in  2007, sent by The United Belize Advocacy Movement , seeking the party position with reference to an inquiry into The Political Reform Commission Report of 2000 with particular reference to section 5.6 of the report which stated:

" The Commission received several suggestions to add "sexual orientation" to section 3. The main argument was that sexual orientation has been a basis for discrimination in Belize and that including section 3 would enhance the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of person of Belize. Notwithstanding some reservations, the majority of the Commission agreed that it should be included...."
The United Belize Advocacy Movement received a letter dated, 15th, February, 2007 the then PM responded in the following way:
"As party and as government we remain committed to t he fundamental principle and practice of non-discrimination. This is especially relevant in the implementation of the national HIV policy to ensure that no person irrespective of one's sexual orientation should experience stigma. Amending the constitution, as was suggested, will not in our view address what is a socio-cultural matter. "
A similar letter was sent to the UDP office, but with no response.It wasn't till 2009 in the Universal Periodic review process that government finally had a formal position.
 Navigating, the environment of health can be said to be a little bit more easier for institutional dialogue around discrimination and rights concern is ongoing. In a press release, dated April 18th, 2007, the National AIDS Commission responded to a vile article called "The Medical and Economic Consequence of What Homosexuals Do." The National AIDS Commission did take a stand in which it issued a release stating the following:
  “......We must also respond to dispel  the perpetuation of the myth that HIV/AIDS is a gay disease that “starts with gays and ends with gays”  The distinct impression  that Mr. Okeke gives  is that  HIV started with gays in New York and spread to the rest of the world. Whereas there is no definitive answer to the origin of HIV, it certainly did not originate in homosexual s in The United States of America ….
The NAC  must therefore stand firmly on the side of reducing stigma and discrimination  against all persons living with HIV and all vulnerable groups as we  continue to struggle against the epidemic.  Mr. Okeke article will only fuel debilitating fear, stigma and discrimination that all our partners have been trying so hard to reduce . His statement must therefore be expose d as being directly contrary to the National HIV/AIDS Policy and therefore the Commission, squarely condemns them .”

 The interesting thing about this release was that it only could printed in the Belize times and Reporter because of certain positions taken by parts of the media. The Belize Red Cross issued its own statement supporting the National AIDS Commission rebuttal statement.Further in its release it stated the following:

"The Red Cross promotes the ideals of tolerance, and non-discrimination among all people of the world. We strive to alleviate human suffering wherever it is found.. Mr. Okeke article serves to further demonstrate the infinite importance of the work of the NACNGO's...." 


This was important as only BFLA since then have declared that sexual rights are human rights on LIK ROAD. 

 We must say that from 2007 to January 31, 2011 is a long time. The date mentioned highlights further discussion around human rights. In a release issued to Commissioners, Political Parties, Council of Churches, Media houses and the Attorney General Office the National AIDS Commission once again issued an open letter after Ugandian activists David Kato was bludgeoned to death with a hammer. The release stated: 


The recent murder of David Kato, a human rights activist in Uganda who spoke out on behalf of the rights of sexual minorities, has served as a forceful reminder of the consequences of stigma and discrimination.....We therefore call on government to continue its work against stigma and discrimination by changing policies to prevent discrimination based on sexuality by members of the uniformed services. ...In addition, we call on leaders, owners and managers of all organizations, including religious groups and media outlets, to institute their own firm policies against stigma and discrimination, with penalties for those who violate these policies..." 



Building on all these efforts to increase sexual minority issues we have been working with our partners in CARIFLAGS and at the OAS to advance the human rights of LGBT populations. Through CARIFLAGS we coordinated action to press our foreign Ministry to include sexual orientation into the UN resolution on Extrajudicial Killings after they voted to remove the reference after 10 years.  It was a proud moment when we worked with 13 other Caribbean  LGBT activist to push reverse positions on the issue. This reversal, builds on resolution 2345, 2504 and 2600 which all condemns acts of violence and other human rights abuses against LGBT individuals in the Americas. It an enlightening experience for Belize as it was getting a taste of political dialogue. 


We also participated in the political dialogue dealing with the Summit of the Americas in Washington and the regional meetings in preparation for the final meeting in Port of Spain. We learnt quickly, how, LGBT issues could be rendered invisible in this document in couched language like " vulnerable groups."  We discovered quickly that the Civil Society was going  to be excluded from any revisions evn though we were invited to contribute our thoughts.
 
Building on these successes, we held a meeting in Guyana to strengthen the work of LGBT activists in the region, with Belize being one of three country facilitating the meeting as we worked to sensitize activists about the importance of the OAS system. The result lead to the development of a regional report on LGBT Violence in the region that was presented in 2010 to the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in one of their thematic hearings in 2010.

In the next post, will look at documentations of discrimination, and dig deeper into what the community is doing do foster community dialogue.