US Embassy Hoists LGBTI Flag for Pride Month

By
Updated: June 21, 2017

The United States Embassy in Belize hosted members of the LGBTI community and supporters for a Flag Raising Ceremony in commemoration of LGBTI Pride Month. Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. The Stonewall riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. This is the second year that the US Embassy in Belize has decided to raise the pride flag in Belmopan. Here is the story.

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex, LGBTI, community and supporters attending a flag raising ceremony at the US Embassy in Belmopan. The flag which was raised was the ‘rainbow’ flag to celebrate LGBTI Pride Month.  According to the Charge d’Affaires for the US Embassy, Adrienne Galenek, the month also serves as a time to mourn the death of LGBTI individuals caused by homophobic actions.”

ADRIENNE GALANEK

Memorials are held during this month for members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes and HIV/AIDS an unfortunately even today in 2017 the struggle for LGBTI rights and security continues as tragically do the attacks on the LGBTI community.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“In Belize, no one knows more of the struggles and attacks than Caleb Orozco. He is the executive director of United Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM. He was the gay man who successfully challenged Section 53 of the Constitution of Belize.”

CALEB OROZCO

It’s clear that the state doesn’t move unless the people who are marginalized and are feeling pain on the ground organize themselves and demand some kind of response. And so for me the freedom and the flag is about giving the ideas and the values of freedom life through action and visibility.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“According to statistics, LGBTI youths are extremely vulnerable to suicide. The percentage of LGBTI youths who are shunned by the family are even more vulnerable to consider suicide. LGBTI youths are more likely to resort to self-harm when they are physical or and verbally assaulted in the streets because of their sexual preference.”

ADRIENNE GALANEK

The United States does not believe in a special set of rights solely for LGBTI individuals but we do believe that everyone is entitled to the same rights and freedoms as everyone else, free from stigma, free from discrimination, free from bullying and name calling and free from violence. The rainbow flag serves as a reminder to all of us that everyone no matter creed, race, or sexual orientation or identity deserves basic human rights and human dignity. It symbolises our commitment as citizens to show understanding and compassion to those who we may consider to be different from us.”

In other words inclusion- the People’s United Party is the party of inclusion. This is what PUP Senator Valeria Woods told the media at the ceremony.

VALERIE WOODS

The party leader the Honorable John Briceno has on many occasion made the statement that the party is the party of inclusion. There is a lot of work to be done legislatively, if we had a government that had a legislative calendar and allowed us to know when we start a session and when we close a session perhaps there could be more proactivity on what legislative gaps can be addressed but unfortunately that is not a reality and so the next government, who I hope is a PUP government has a lot of work ahead to fix a lot of those gaps.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING

“The flag will be flown until the end of the month. Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.”