Posted February 8th, 2013
Today, the United Belize Advocacy Movement attended the Launch of the Universal Periodic Review for government at the George Price Center. The U.P.R was introduced to the organization in 2009 by the Sexual Rights Initiative where we found that the Government of Belize, did not even make a mentioned of its L.G.B.T citizens in its report. In the addendum, they responded that they needed a political mandate, but this is in my mind is dis-ingenious as they can pull together nationalization with in a week, but cannot advance issues of its L.G.B.T citizens. The format for the government report, it seems, is set up as a Country background; Challenge and Priorities; Expectation of the State. A presentation dealt with Promotion and Protection around Women and Children's Rights, Trafficking in persons, Culture, Aging/elderly and Prisoners Rights. However, the presentation fell short of its value of indigenous rights concerns and persons with disabilities. What grabbed my attention was the lack of regard of the indigenous population, nevertheless, an intervention done by the representative of the Mayan community point out there were 20,000 Mayan people being disregarded.
Antoinette Moore presentation sought to strike a balance between the excellent ratification record Belize has with 7 of 9 core Human Rights Instruments for the United Nation and disconnection on the ground of the realities. This ratification record included the Convention of the Rights of the Child, Convention for the Elimination of all Discrimination Against Women, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, The Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. and Convention around Migrant Workers and Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Her most memorable comments were that we should not compare ourselves to the worse violators of human rights, but compare ourselves to the Global standards. She went on and said, "Human Rights is not up for a vote!" and pointed out to the more that 50 agencies at the meeting that it is there for those who is least popular, hated and maligned who the state is obligated to protect. The meeting included representative from Belize action Scott Stirm, but it was his fellow evangelical colleague who highlighted the reference to recommendation 9 and 28 and asked the question whether this as a back door process to gay marriage. He even quoted the bible and compared the usual bible quotes to bestiality. He mentioned about his concern for addressing same sex activity and that we are violating the constitution as it speaks to the Supremacy of GOD. I expressed my appreciated for the extended invitation to the meeting to CEO Rosado and pointed out to the gentleman that the Supremacy of God had nothing to do with religion or churches, but with human dignity. I continued that just as he values the constitution, I do as well and claim the fundamental rights and freedoms as my own as a Belizean and L.G.B.T citizens. I pointed out that we will always have disagreement, but there is an opportunity to establish common ground.
Afterwards private meetings where held with CEO Rosado regarding 5 SOGI resolution past at the OAS, he gave me his email and left. Of note, the Maya community showed up at the meeting in a contingency and remains an inspiration for evaluating strategic approaches.