The Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), Caleb Orozco took to social media yesterday to make a statement as it relates to their issues with the Social Security Board. The movement has been advocating for LGBT members to choose their beneficiaries. Orozco posted on his Facebook page a picture of him lying on the ground with a rainbow flag wrapped around him with the caption “Making a quiet statement that this institution needs to address”. We spoke with Orozco who told us more about SSB’s response to the issue back in 2017 and his statement to the government and the board.
Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM): “In their letter essentially they were waiting for the court to define sex. Well fast forward 2020 the case around Section 53 is done and I’ve heard nothing with regards to their progress towards giving us the option to define our own beneficiaries. Now as LGBT Belizeans if you make $300 for example you put in about $660 a year into the system when you add for example say 10% there’s an estimate which says 10% of a given population is gay and so with the given population of 42,000 and the average contribution of $660 per year we essentially contribute $27 million plus dollars to Social Security and for me it’s time for Social Security Board, it’s CEO, to examine whether they like our money to contribute to the system but they don’t like us. We cannot have an arrangement where the benefits are given to one group of people but those same benefits are denied to the next. So being wrapped up in the rainbow flag is symbolic of Social Security stifling our access to those benefits and in that regard I thought it was time for them to go back to the policy table and revise their position with regards to access to benefits specifically and deal with us as proper citizens who contribute to the system.”
Orozco hopes that the new government upholds its slogan “all a we fi win” and moves towards improving the lives of the minority group in Belize.