Anglican Bishop Phillip Wright and Bishop Roosevelt Papouloute of the Methodist Church both decided to break away from the Church State Commission, dubbed the Morality Commission. The church leaders’ withdrawal has to do with the final proposal which is expected to be made to the Government of Belize. Wright and Roosevelt believe their views are underrepresented by the commission. However, Executive Director of UNIBAM, Caleb Orozco, says the views of the LGBTI Community in Belize is completely absent from the commission.
“The problem with the Morality Commission is that, its optics is bad when you’re going to Legitimize extreme thinking in a society which is about Live and Let Live. The problem with the Morality Commission as Minister Faber says The Church State Commission is that it not only legitimizes extremism, it also excluded the marginalized group in that discussion and did not uphold the values of natural justice which require that government arbitrue the issue by bringing both parties at the table. What we have not had and there is an opportunity for Minister Faber and government to do is to sit both sides on the table and outline what the issues are because Cabinet nor Church leaders have ever studied or taken the time out to study what our issues are, nor have they considered the impact of their position in regards to opposing section 53 on our lives. So we have issues that must be addressed constructively and what has happened to the Commission is that it shows that as Belizeans we are not a society of extreme thinkers. We are open to constructive and logical responses and that is the way we move forward. Let’s see in my mind, whether the arbitration part of this, the dialogue part can be constructed and logical as well.”
Last week Orozco responded to what Deputy Minister Patrick Faber said on Love TV in respect to the Morality Commission. Orozco said the commission was the first structure that government became complicit, in advance marginalization of its own citizens in the name of bigotry and holding on to political power.