BIG PICTURE

First Lady Of Belize Outraged Over Antigay Violence, Fails To Mention Belize’s Antigay Laws

20000-RallyFirst Lady of Belize Kim Simplis made headlines by coming out strongly against violence targeted at LGBT people.

Speaking via video message at an event at the House of Culture in honor of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, she offered a moral argument for the safety and protection of all citizens.

Except she doesn’t exactly mention that fact that gay sex is currently punishable by ten years in prison in Belize.

Standing with an oppressed minority is great and all, but perhaps she could use her passion and influence to gain the ear of the president on changing the country’s laws.

Since, you know, he’s her husband and all.

Here’s what she told the crowd:

“The universal declaration of human rights gives us all the right to life, liberty and security of person. It speaks of a world that is free and equal,’ she said.

‘And yet, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to terrible violence. They are deprived of their most basic rights, most importantly, the right to security of person because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

‘Hate crimes and hate speech against the LGBT community continue to rear its ugly head. And we have seen cases in Belize where they have been physically attacked or subjected to insults without provocation.

‘I continue to assert that violence is never justified despite our differences. Just as we fight to end racism and gender inequalities we must also seek to end the practice of bullying others because they are different.

‘No-one deserves to the inhumane treatment that many LGBT person suffer. They are often in fear, not only for their physical safety, but for their lives and that is no way to live.”

Inhumane treatment doesn’t come from fists and shoves alone. That legal system isn’t exactly working for us either.

h/t Gay Star News

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11 Comments

  • ouragannyc

    It is a begining, a (first) step in the right direction.
    I’m happy she did that.

  • Cam

    When you dehumanize a minority this is what happens. Hopefully her husband is using her statements as a trial balloon to see what the reaction is to them and is planning on moving ahead with changing the laws….we can hope.

  • Mezaien

    @ouragannyc: I am, so happy I could shit! don`t forget she is a bloody catholic.

  • Kangol

    Good for her for speaking out against homophobia.

    But let’s not forget, Belize, formerly British Honduras, was part of the British Empire, and has the homophobic legal legacy typical of most former British colonies (cf. Jamaica, Nigeria, Uganda, India, Malaysia, Singapore, the USA, etc.).

  • Kangol

    Just closing the bold tag.

  • btoombs

    The issue is awaiting decision from the Chief Justice of Belize. For her to publicly advocate for the removal or repeal of the law at this moment would be inappropriate at best and at worst seen to be interfering with the independence of the judiciary. As “first lady” of Belize, Mrs. Barrow has lent her voice and support to the LGBT community regardless of the political repercussion to the PM and his party. She is a wonderful ally in the struggle for full equality of all persons in Belize.

  • toberlin

    (Sadly,International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia is 365 days a year…the 17.5 should be a Day off.)
    Do I understand it right that this Law punishes Men who have Sex with Men and O.K Sex between Women???

  • AsaDeMatteo

    This is unfair to this marvelous first lady. Belize’s anti-sodomy law in currently being adjudicated in the Belize Supreme Court and its immigration law forbidding entry of homosexuals, prostitutes, and deaf-mute individuals is currently in litigation in the Caribbean Court of Justice. It would be entirely inappropriate for her, as wife of the Prime Minister, to comment on these laws or these cases.

  • btoombs

    @toberlin, Section 53 of the Laws of Belize states “any person who has carnal knowledge against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to incarceration in prison for a period of 10 years”. In practice the law is only applied against men who have sex with men. Law enforcement and the general public have chosen to interpret “against the order of nature” to refer to male on male sodomy only. Personally, I take a much broader interpretation of the law and to me it refers to any non-procreative sexual activity. It’s a poorly drafted and very ambiguous piece of legislation. But the effect of the law remains that men who have sex with men are considered to be un-apprehended felons in Belize.

  • toberlin

    :)Thanks for your Answer.I read that Interpretation at WIKI ( not always up-to -date) but I do not know much more about Belize and the Law System/Reality there

  • Tackle

    Not knowing much about Belize and thier anti-gay laws, I at least she spoke-up and came out against violence against LGBT people. Secondly, it’s not like her and her husband are responsible for the anti gay laws that are inplace. And simular to here in the US, a president cannot just come into office and start repealing laws. There is a due process that elected officials must go through.

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