Next week Thursday will mark one year since the historic judgment handed down by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The UNIBAM Judgment was handed down on August 10 in favor of Caleb Orozco and members of the LGBT community in Belize. Orozco launched a case challenging Section 53 of the constitution of Belize six years before the ruling was handed down. And to celebrate the ruling, the LGBT community in Belize has decided to host Pride Week. This afternoon, Orozco along with Ifasina Efuneymi of PETAL and Derricia Castillo of Our Circle hosted the media.
“Well it was a lot of dialogue but mainly Our Circle suggestion that August 10 2016 was a historical day not only for the LGBT community but also for our history as Belizeans that a marginalized group finally got their rights acknowledged in court. More precisely if our community is to ever be inspired the indignities and the violence that they experience as individuals and as citizens then we need to then have something to hold on to. So Pride week is about building the morale of our community and advancing the idea of inclusivity and that respect for diversity matters in our citizenry as Belizeans.”
“We’re having an extravaganza which is actually an opportunity for members of the community and allies to express creativity and just have a space how traditionally we would have variety shows will this is an extravaganza where people get the opportunity to show off whatever talent they have they can come and express that in show of pride and support, its just a positive fun filled space that we want to create that is a creative space also so that people can come and sing and dance and perform and also socialize with each other.”
“We are looking at of course engaging in social activities. Our Circle looks at the Pride week as an opportunity to not only accept and embrace ourselves but to also accept and embrace our entire community which by extension means our families as well so we’ve put together a week of activities, very small activities. We have for example our resource center which is one of our bigger events which we will be opening on Wednesday at 14 New Road a place for the entire LGBT community. For us this is a big step because this is actually going to be a place that is for and is run by the LGBT community with launching that event we will also be launching a document that we have been working on under our strengthening LGBT families project. This is a guide book which brings into one concise document all the procedures and policies that are in place to protect our same sex families as well as the children and the family we have within our family.”
The first pride event will be held in Belmopan.