Same Sex Intercourse Ruling in Belize Generates Reaction in Antigua and Barbuda

Same Sex Intercourse Ruling in Belize Generates Reaction in Antigua and Barbuda

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A recent high court ruling on same sex intercourse in Belize has generated some reaction in Antigua and Barbuda.

The Justice issued in a judgement handed down by chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, determined that section 53 which criminalizes consenting intercourse between two adults of the same sex, contravenes the right granted by the constitution of Belize, to not interfere with persons dignity and personal privacy as well as the equality of all persons before the law.

The decision was handed down six years after gay citizen advocate 42 yrs old Caleb Orozco brought the challenge against the attorney general of Belize.

Upon hearing the news, Well-Known Religious leader and head of the Christian Ministries Bishop Charlesworth Browne said that as a sovereign nation with strong Christian values, the ruling should not affect Antigua and Barbuda.

“We are a sovereign nation and not because it has happened in Britain, United Sates or Canada means that it should affect us because we have laws of our own and apart from that, I think of Antigua as a strong christian community with strong christian leadership,” he said.

The Bishop remained adamant that the government will preserve the position of Antigua and Barbuda as a Christian nation maintaining that any sexual activity between persons of the same sex is wrong.

“Antigua and Barbuda will preserve its position as a christian nation commencing from the word of God which clearly states that any kind of copulation …man and man..woman and woman is wrong, it’s simple.

He added, “You can’t make something that is sinful, ‘un-sinful’ and that is where I am concerned. The law does not rule against sin but God rules against sin.”

He said that with Antigua and Barbuda being a strong democratic nation, politicians should remember that they act on behalf of the people and added that once that is maintained, the ruling will have no effect on the judicial system in Antigua.

“I would like for the nation and for politicians to understand, particularly politicians, that we have a strong democracy here in Antigua and Barbuda and it’s not the parliamentarians who rules the country so to speak, they may sit to legislate on behalf of the people and as long as it remains that kind of democracy, it will not happen,” Browne said.

Meantime Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin commented on behalf of the Government describing the ruling as ‘interesting’. He told ZDK news that because of the potential impact it could have on Antigua and Barbuda’s society; they will be studying it to determine if a policy should be implemented in the future.

“The Government has not at this particular point in time, decided on a policy on matters such as those but I can assure you that bearing mind the ruling and the impact it can have on our society, that the Government will be looking at it and very shortly we will be developing a policy touching matters of that nature,” the Attorney General said.

 

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