United States Embassy Raises Rainbow Flag to Recognize Pride Month in Belize
The month of June is observed as International Pride Month, a period set aside to acknowledge the struggles and celebrate the victories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community as they continue to advocate for their human rights around the world. International Pride Month is celebrated in June in honor of the 1969 stonewall riots, a series of spontaneous protests by LGBTQ community members in the United States. Today the United States Embassy in Belmopan raised a rainbow flag in acknowledgement of pride month but also to celebrate the victories LGBTQI+ persons have won in Belize. Love News spoke with Caleb Orozco, Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement UNIBAM, who said that while LGBT groups appreciate the gesture, Belize has its own celebration of pride in August for historical reasons.
On August 10, the Supreme Court of Belize ruled that Section 53 of the Criminal Code, which criminalized sodomy was unconstitutional. The ruling, handed down by then Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, brought an end to litigation that began back in May of 2013. The ruling was celebrated by LGBTQ community members in Belize, and applauded by organizations all over the world. The ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeal in 2019.