This afternoon in Belize City, members of Belize’s Christian community, about a hundred of them, led by Belize Action showed their support for fired UWI professor Dr. Brendan Bain.
Bain was released after pressure from LGBT rights organizations for his testimony in the Caleb Orozco Case last May.
They taped their mouths shut, displaying a message stating “freedom under attack” as well as additional slogans on placards. We spoke to My Refuge Radio director Richard Smith of Roaring Creek who participated in the peaceful protest.
“Well, it is not a matter of church fuss with them; it is family values. Everybody, no matter where you stand, you desire family values. The truth will prevail. While you might say UWI might have done nothing, when they realize how devastating this is, then they will realize that they need to make a different decision. Of course, most of these things are motivated by funding. It is not funding that builds a nation; it’s family values. If we don’t have people, we don’t have a nation. So, we are here to say that we believe that the time is now to stand for freedom; freedom is under attack”.
Shepherd felt the wrath of the LGBT movement when last year she wrote an opinionated column in the Amandala newspaper. That prompted the LGBT community to lobby for her dismal, resulting in Matura’s stepping down as vice-president of OCEANA in Belize. She told us why she supports the protest held today.
“He is not saying ‘criminalize or decriminalize. He is saying, whether you criminalize it or decriminalize it, it will not reduce the amount of HIV among men having sex with other men. I think they are upset because the opposition said we should decriminalize it because it will reduce AIDS; he is saying “whether it is criminal or not, it will not reduce it because the problem is not the law; the problem is the behavior”, and people can’t wrap their head around that because they are being taken as victim. But, I think we need to take a stand. If you don’t take a stand today, you will be surprised, not only this country, but the entire region. And look at the people behind it; it all comes back to funding. Remember, the funding that the CHART Programme is getting is from a lot of US Agencies. Do not let the US become our new colonizers!
Free at last! Thank Gd I am free at last, because if I was at OCEANA, they would not allow me to stand up and speak out. I am glad that they came after me because now I could stand up for everybody else they will come after”.
The short protest occurred during lunch hour, here are some of the highlights.
“There is a higher infection among MSM than among the other groups; That is all he said, but her they are trying to move heaven and earth. Caleb Orozco has said “take heed”. Nation of Belize, we are saying take heed. We have been talking about this for the last two or three years, and now right here it is, right on our doorsteps”.
Audrey Matura Shepherd: “Remember, the AIDS issue is not [exclusively] a homosexual issue, it is not an LGBT issue. HIV AIDS can be contracted by anyone with any risky behaviour; if you are a prostitute, or a person who is not a prostitute; if you just keep changing partners, or if you are heterosexual, you can infect anyone. The minority group serviced by CHART pushed for the removal of Professor Bain. What happens to the majority who are no longer getting the service of one of the best individuals? That is the selfishness of these people, and I keep saying, it is not only the LGBT community as a lump because not all of them are of the same view”.
“This case is a case against the government of Belize. I expect that the government of Belize is going to make a statement on this case as it pertains to the termination of Dr. Bain. So, we are also watching how the government of Belize is going to respond to the allegations that I have laid out”.
Crowd of Protesters: “Yeah Oh, yes!”