Evangelical Christian Leaders to Meet with the PM over Gender Policy

vlcsnap-2014-05-06-17h57m45s231vlcsnap-2014-05-06-18h06m25s49On Wednesday morning (May 7th) The National Executive Team from Evangelical Association of Churches under the  Leadership of President Reverend Eugene Crawford intends to meet with the Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

The team requested a meeting with him to discuss comments made by Ann-Marie Williams, Executive Director of the Women’s Commission, to a Journalist from the Institute on Religion and Democracy on her most recent trip to the United Nations.

In the interview, Ms. Williams stated that the Barrow Administration will NOT be implementing the report from the Church on the Gender Policy.

In her interview with John Goerke, Ann Marie Williams noted the inclusion of the phrase ‘sexual orientation’ in the Policy caused a considerable backlash.  “We included ‘sexual orientation’ in the document and the Catholic Church went crazy, so did the Evangelicals, she said.

“The Catholic Church and Evangelicals, like in your country, have been concerned about the effect these kinds of policies and laws will have on them”. Journalist:  Have they offered concessions or points of compromise on the policy?”

“Yes,” she responded.

“Are you working with those concessions?”

“No, we have to move forward.” She, [Williams] was further baffled that anyone could even raise an objection to the topic of homosexuality.  About the church, she added  “These people (who disapproved of the inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’) just don’t understand the importance of these issues.  Gay men are a vulnerable population.”  Ann-Marie Williams insisted that she was not content with the policy staying in Belize, but in spreading it to other nations in the Caribbean”.

The Evangelical Association has apparently interpreted the comments made in the international forum as backtracking by the Barrow Administration.

Last year after receiving commitments from the Prime Minister regarding accepting changes to the National Revised gender Policy 2013, the  Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association submitted their collective recommendations after having sought technical support from several lawyers, sociologists, and counselors.

vlcsnap-2014-05-06-18h15m41s238The Presidents from both church parties, Reverend Papouloute and Pastor Eugene Crawford visited the PM’s home on Saturday, November 1st 2013, where they dropped off the document.

Of primary concern to the Evangelical Association is that, after six months, the Gender Policy remains.

Still included, then, are the terms “sexual orientation” in the descriptive listing of Belize’ “diversity,” as well as “special legal & infrastructural measures to safeguard the rights of sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), Transgender Populations and many more controversial points.

The meeting between the National Executive Team from the Evangelical Association and Prime Minister Dean Barrow takes place in Belize City tomorrow.

SEE ALSO… Related article containing Anne-Marie Williams’ comments > http:/juicyecumenism.com/2014/03/17/csw-58-catholics-and-evangelicals-bypassed-in-belize/

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