Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2019. 3:32 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Before three years ago – indeed, still true in some areas – an event such as Saturday’s Pride Festival would not have taken place, or at least not without many recriminations.
But apart from a small band of protestors outside the ITVET compound – who in fact claim their picket did not concern what was happening inside – the out and proud members of the LGBT community and their supporters were together under the theme, “United by Pride, Bound for Equality, Together building Belize,” and left unmolested.
Members of the LGBT community and the general public gathered to support LGBT entrepreneurs and organizations and to celebrate their achievements in their fight for human rights.
Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman, one of the attorneys representing the “skinny, annoying” (her words and not ours) Caleb Orozco in the landmark court case decided three years ago, reminded that decriminalization of sexual orientation, whether homosexual, heterosexual or otherwise, says she didn’t need much persuasion from a legal standpoint. But, she added, it was about live and let live, and further that the private lives of Belizeans are nobody’s business but our own.
Orozco himself, who has spoken of his personal struggles before, during and after the court case, reminded that some have sacrificed their own lives to the struggle, and advocacy is to save lives, especially LGBT.
Others such as artist Briheda Haylock and U.S. charge d’affaires Keith Gilges spoke to both the personal and economic contributions of the LGBT community to Belize, and the need to celebrate and support those efforts.
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