Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Deconstructing a System of Oppression in Belize and the Caribbean

Posted 4th November, 2014

As a presenter at  the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex Association World Conference in Mexico City in October. It was my hope that I can share our experience on L.G.B.T activism in Belize. Knowledge transfer, it seems is not static, as I learned to appreciate how activism have given life to the term,"Deconstructing a system of Oppression." Whether in Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Iran or Belize we have all sought to assert and defend our rights, freedoms and dignity, in creative ways. When compared to efforts in the Caribbean, the death sentence that hangs in five countries in the world does not hang over activists heads. In this blog, we will look at how our response to deconstructing system of oppression have evolved organically at the national and regional levels.



In over three decades of independence, Belize has not needed to address sexual orientation or gender identity issues. UniBAM mission of using a rights-base approach to reduce stigma and discrimination was magnified when it agreed to support the role of claimant in the constitutional case around section 53 of the criminal code, Belize's sodomy law. The case became 668 of 2010.


Looking back, we did not see that the strategy of litigation as an effort to deconstruct a system of oppression and that it would amplify, the gaping holes in our rights protection and enforcement mechanisms. We did not know how, it was a means to an end that would be transformational. We discovered very quickly, however, how, our opponents would defend the current system of oppression, driven by ideology. We saw the media play its part with a non-scientific polls trying the shape the narrative of public attitude and playing the sovereignty card that calls US support for L.G.B.T rights as a " war" on poor countries.



Advancing L.G.B.T Human Right through litigation was further met with threats, character assassination, physical assault, rallies, demands to remove the H.F.L.E teachers manual,blacklisting of the organization by the Catholic school system to do health and rights education work in in March 2013 and constitutional marches as well. A traditional strategy of institutional isolation, knowledge stigmatization and intimidation through mass mobilisation. In addition threats, but the lesson, it seems, is that rights advancement does not come without action that tries to maintain the social status quo of invisibility. It does not come without personal sacrifice and insecurity and one learns that fear, must inform, but not dictation how we live our lives. The national narrative has evolved, however, like never before.







One of the crucial things one learns about sustaining a system of oppression, is controlling information using half-truths with a goal to make people believe or trust the information given. The (HFLE)-Health and Family Life Education teachers Manual is an example. Scott Stirm on 13th September, 2012 was quoted as saying the following:


“It was obvious to us, you could see a homosexual agenda that was in the manual but the general feel and overtone of the whole manual was kind of like stepping on the gas concerning sexual activity and that flies right in the face of some of the policies of the Ministry of Health and some of the others that are saying to discourage sexual activity among young people, particularly adolescents or pre-adolescents and yet here this is geared for standards four, five and six, ages nine to twelve and it’s asking questions like: how long should a couple date before having sex?  If a guy pays for the date is he entitled to, you know, kissing, touching, having sex?  This is to our nine and ten year olds right, and so those kinds of things just immediately started to jump out, as well as at the beginning of the manual it’s very strongly the emphasis that they are talking.  They are intentionally presenting values that they know are going to fly right in the face of the parents of these children.”

Stirm Spoke of the homosexual agenda, but failed to inform the people of the fundamentalist agenda of propagandizing, using legitimate spaces like business, education etc. Proof of that agenda comes from the Belize Prayer Network which clearly speaks of control of a society using the seven pillars as referenced in this snapshot below. Stirm, through Belize Action, coalition paved the way to get the Anglican and Catholic Churches to signed up against the section 53 challenge and  supported a statement sent to the Secretary General of CariCOM that led to the deferment of regional leaders endorsing a road-map on reducing stigma and discrimination. Belize Action also worked on misrepresenting our presence at the OAS in March, 2014 where a circular spoke of " filing a complaints!" and additional statements that our concerns expressed was,"a pack of lies straight from the pits of hell!"

 











At the regional level, we saw Advocates International through its contacts, organize regional meeting with Lawyers across the Caribean.A meeting held in Jamaica in 2010 highlighted how American groups have sought to push the American Christian right wing agenda. We know that a meeting was held between November 5-7, 2010 with 50 lawyers from the Caribbean region whose agenda was to speak about the “Truth” of Human Rights from Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua, St. Lucia, Guyana, Jamaica and other English speaking territories that was hosted by Advocates Caribbean in association with the Lawyers Christian fellowship of Jamaica at Knutsford Courts Hotel. Among the international speakers were Pierro Tozzi, senior counsel for Global Alliance Defense Fund; Justice, Alice Soo Hon, judge of the court of Appeals for Trinidad and Tobago and attorney at law Carla Soverall of Trinidad and Tobago who spoke on 'The Truth Behind Discrimination Law: The Constitution and Equal Opportunity Legislation'. Local Jamaican speakers spoke of The Truth Behind Abortion', with presenters Hyacinth Griffith, Jamaican attorney-at-law; Roma Paul, attorney-at-law of Trinidad and Tobago and local advocates of pro-life Dr Wayne West and wife Dr Doreen Brady-West. Dr Brady-West and Dr West have been advocates of the anti-abortion stance, working together with Shirley Richards and members of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship of Jamaica to lobby Government on the bill now before the Houses of Parliament for debate and ratification.



These meeting follows previous efforts in Jamaica, like one that happened on 10th December, 2011. Fellow activists reported that Pierro Tozzi was present at a human rights meeting at the University of the West Indies. Pierro was also present for a Belize Action meeting sharing his knowledge abut the ‘True Human Rights.”




At the seven hour long meeting, fellow activists Maurice Tomlinson wrote his experience below:
…Among the persons who sacrificed an entire Saturday to be in attendance at this event (which ran from 8:30 a.m. to well after its stated end of 2:30) were two sitting judges of Jamaica’s Supreme Court, the country's Attorney General (who brought greetings on behalf of the Justice Minister), the Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission (which regulates content distributed via the electronic media), Jamaica's Chief Parliamentary Counsel (who is responsible for drafting the country’s laws), the Legal Counsel to all Parliamentarians, the Director of the Norman Law School Legal Aid Clinic (which is responsible for training all lawyers in Jamaica) and the Executive Director of the Airports Authority of Jamaica. Special mention was made of the presence of a Jamaican couple now residing in Britain who were denied the right to foster children there because they objected to homosexuality.   

The stated aims of the symposium were to:
1) Re-examine the role of law in society;
2) Increase public awareness of the potential danger that exists if human rights are freed from their traditional moral foundations;
3) Examine the subversive effect of the “fallacies” of popular human rights rhetoric on the democracy and
4) Examine major human rights treaties.


These meeting follows previous efforts in Jamaica, like one that happened on 10th December, 2011. Fellow activists reported that Pierro Tozzi was present at a human rights meeting at the University of the West Indies. Pierro was also present for a Belize Action meeting sharing his knowledge of ‘True Human Rights.” In Addition, he has been to meetings in the Caribbean on November 5-7, 2010 with 50 Caribbean lawyers again September 21-23, 2012. The Accra Beach Hotel in Christ Church, Barbados as a speaker.

This is important, as US right wing groups attack not only the gatekeepers of rights, but the social and cultural issues related to gender and sexuality. Way Out Ministries have sought to promote Reparative Therapy as a solution to cure homosexuals. They have offices in Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana. This is despite, Exodus International denouncing the approach as not working.
The work of Right wing groups continued in 2013 with World Congress for Families meeting in Port of Spain as they did their thing. We saw the presence of the Elpis Centre,   Rebekah Ali-Gouveia speak at the August 2013 event in Port of Spain, along with many other speaks of dominionists ideology mindset. In addition, Sarah Flood Beaubrun of St. Lucia, former Health Minister, former Minister of Home Affair and Gender Relations, and UN Deputy Permanent Representative. We saw Justice Alice So Hon as well  as seen below. A familiar face, Pierro Tozzi, a US lawyer, has been working the Caribbean for quite awhile now. He has shown up in Belize, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.





Deconstructing oppression, it seems is a process, it is opportunistic in nature and must be sustain with a clear vision. The United Belize Advocacy work is about policy engagement and research at the national, hemispheric, regional and Global levels. When the state refused to engaged us locally, we simply wrote a shadow report for the Universal Periodic Review in 2009 and got a statement globally, to frame our narrative. When we needed to leverage platform issues, we joined WIN Belize and became a Commissioner of the National AIDS Commission. When we had the constitutional marches in 2013 against UniBAM and the Gender policy, we simply supported the launched of the Southern Poverty Law Center Report, Dangerous Liaisons. When the state did not take us seriously, we engaged the OAS General Assembly in 2008 to 2014 and worked as part of the LAC coalition to advance sexual orientation and gender identity resolutions which created systems of support, like the L.G.B.T Unit, thematic hearing, calls for research on legislation and member states to address adequate protections in policies and laws base on sexual orientation and gender identity. We wrote again shadow reports in 2013 for the Universal Periodic Review and The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.The result, was direct engagement with the state. When we needed a Global Voice, we joined the Sexual Rights Initiative, Global Rights and Heartland Alliance. 


Regionally,we re-joined CARIFLAGS in 2014 after a couple of years of laps and continued our approach to leveraging spaces in international relationships. When we wanted regional support on Professor Bain, the regional relationships were leveraged to get the UWI to respond to our concerns and 35 organizations joined in support.  It was the first time that Civil Society collectively showed their political muscle in the region. Now, its about harnessing that energy again. At the regional level, our Jamaican allies, filed, constitutional challenges on against their buggery law locally,another on right to information against the media and another case at the OAS. Furthermore, a case was filed against Belize and Trinidad Immigration law to advance rights concerns at the regional level. While we are not there yet at dismantling our system of oppression, we certainly are on the right track in the use of section 53  of the criminal code  and other litigation, as tools to try to deconstruct systems of oppression.

In addition, we have used research to build a knowledge infrastructure, that is both international and local. For example,we have the only L.G..B.T legal Review that looks at constitutional protections and gaps in subsidiary laws among CARICOM member states and have seen the political tone changed nationally as  a result of eight years of Advocacy.


In an interview done May 13th, 2011 the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow made the comment about our litigation and it’s consequence in the following way:

one of the things that we have to be grateful for in this country is the culture wars we see in the United States have not been imported into Belize Well obviously this is the start of exactly such a phenomenon,...

Until the Prime Minister Of Belize said in his response to the Gender Policy, which came up on May 30th, 2013. The Belize Prime Minister of Dean Barrow is noted as saying, “There can be no discrimination in terms of employment opportunities, in terms of access to health care, in terms of the services that the society offers. This administration certainly is not concerned about what happens in the bedrooms of the employees of the government, there are constitutional protections for public officers, properly appointed, and even with respect to open vote workers there can never be any kind of interference, any kind of surveillance, any kind of concern about the sexual orientation of the employees of government"


While the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca said prior on 29th May, 2013, “I am the leader of a political party that embraces all Belizeans. I have Belizeans in my party who are homosexuals and we embrace all Belizeans........that will make for a stronger and vibrant party that is reflective of Belize and our society..."





 Later on Independence day, the Prime Minister Of Belize added in his Independence Day Speech in 2013, the following, "...Government will therefore fully respect the right of the churches to propagate their understanding of the morality, or immorality, of homosexuality. But what Government cannot do is to shirk its duty to ensure that all citizens, without exception, enjoy the full protection of the law."



What this indicated to us, was a change in the political tone in Belize, but the substance remains a challenge. What this indicated was that The United Belize Advocacy Movement work in litigation, community mobilisation and political engagement  had challenged the system to reflect on protection-gaps that are a concern specifically for L.G.B.T Citizenry, but as a whole as well. While we are far from advancing the work of societal acknowledgement and broader protection. The work we have done so far, has enabled us to refine our work better, not only in Belize, but in our response among CARICOM member states.Time will tell, how far we get in addressing violence and discrimination. At the moment, its one hell of a ride, as we struggle to refine our approach to deconstruct hundreds of years of oppression.



PM 2013 Independence Day Address

Source:http://www.guardian.bz/index.php?option=com_content&id=6824:prime-minister-dean-barrows-independence-day-address

PM comments on the Gender Policy 2013
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=25663 

Leader of the Opposition Speaking on Gender Policy and inclusion
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=25639&frmsrch=1

Blacklisting of UniBAM
 http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=28150http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=28150

HFLE Blacklisting
http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/75834

Elpis Centre
http://elpiscentre.weebly.com/the-elpis-centre.html 

Speakers for the WCF meeting in Port of Spain
http://elpiscentre.weebly.com/the-elpis-centre.html 

AIDS Free World Comments on right wing in Jamaica
http://www.aidsfreeworld.org/Publications-Multimedia/Countdown-to-Tolerance/2011/December/Christian-fundamentalists-homophobia-on-display.aspx

Sarah Flood Beaubrun CARIFAM
http://www.carifam.com/about-us/our-history http://www.carifam.com/about-us/our-history  

Way Out Ministries
http://hiswayout.com/caribbean-ministry-trinidadtobago-and-guyana-2013/




 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The power of violent Lyrics as Entertainment in Belize

Post 7th October, 2014


The point  of  UniBAM press release is that the organization is seeking assurances that promoters will have a clean show devoid of violent lyrics and be socially responsibility to help reinforce psychological sense of safety in communities.The power of violent lyrics through talented artists that people listen to can be argued as inconsequential because many do not murder, abuse their spouse, partners or wives. It can be said that critics of murder music are simply blowing concerns about murder music out of proportion. However, when an individual looks at the song by Beenie Man Doctor Mi Rate Yu or Have Yu Man (2009),  the lyrics speaks to, "Doctor we rate yuh (Ahhh!!!) Dats why we wa rape yuh (yah!)." The song continue with, "Knock a gal in har face she caan knock yuh back, fool stop!!!"  Such lyrics have impact! Arguably, such lyrics can be said to be harmless, that it does not affect men's behavior, but when a women is raped or experience a level of brutal domestic violence that leads to the loss of her life, it is an instance where art is intimidating life.  The report on September 1st, 2014 of Agropina Coc and elderly woman who was raped and murdered in San Pedro Colombia is one example. Nicole Swazo was recently reportedly killed on October 6th, 2014 by her husband who eventually killed himself.











Such lyrics as mentioned above, helped to reinforced a culture of  indifference about sexual violence  among men, a minimalist view  of violence women experience and reinforce gender socialization roles that men are entitled to women bodies or the control of sexual minority groups. This channel seven report said "A 16 year-old girl reported to police that on May 2, she woke up and found Jeffrey Pott on top of her 17 year-old sister having intercourse with her against her will because the young woman was drunk and asleep."












While in the Eugene Reneau case, he was found by Police raping a women at knife point at mile 10  on the Northern Highway. At no point, do we hear women raping men at knife point. Such an idea would be seen as luducris. One can argue that these men actions has nothing to do with the songs, but is a result of already mentally disturbed men. What the United Belize Advocacy Movement is pointing to, is that these songs have a gradual effect of eroding community security, poisoning the mind-set of those prone to violence as a solution to social and economic problems they are experiencing as individuals. When we look at crime data for murders and rape in Belize between 2000-2009 803 persons were lost to murder and 482 to rapes. These lyrics do no help in inspiring conflict resolution strategies among men, but serves only to discourage it.


When we looked at the song that's right which was produced in 2010, the lyrics offers no solace to the LGBT community in Belize who are often disrespected with words heard from these songs. The lyrics of that's right speaks to, "A from mi bun chi chi man and we go bun sodemite  and everybody bawl out seh that's right (lt's alright)" is not a complement to any LGBT person walking the streets of Belize City or Belize. When one looks at the murder of Enrique Castillo in Orange Walk in 2009 that blood stain in his kitchen and his slit throat did not speak to outcomes being harmless. One may argue that it was not the artists that did this, but let us not forget, that if no one is socially responsible or conscious about the need to cultivate environments that are healthy for families and safe to walk for all, inclusive of transgendered person, like Enrique, then we should not be surprised in how much more people we loose to violence across Belize.



Being called a Sodomite or a chi chi man while walking Belize City as an LGBT person is a direct result of individuals being inspired by these songs that its OK to demean or threaten individuals in this manner. When total stranger who care nothing of respect or upholding human dignity using chi chi man or bun fire, the terms had to  come from somewhere. When Joseph Sanchez was murdered back in January 2014. He did not attend a beenie man like concert, nevertheless the message of hate and indifference to violence that gives other men permission to inflict harm on this transgendered teen was already delivered. It was done through threats, insults and mockery. Such social communication to Cenida Ramos, Joseph Sanchez, trans name, was not a complement to this youth life or sense of  personal security. Symbols of the state called it a robbery/ murder, never acknowledging that this person gender identity could be a factor.  When we add murder data for 2010, 2011, 2012 and additional 400 murders brings the total murders from 2000 to 2012 to 1,203 people. Of which, we don't have an official count of those murdered base on sexual orientation or gender identity.

 









 I challenge anyone who believes that not going to a concert  that promotes violent lyrics, to argue that avoiding that concert protects that individual from violence. It did not protect Enrique Castillo, nor did it protect Joseph Sanchez.  If freedom of speech  and expression is the argument, that applies to trans individuals  as well, who has that same right, as well as the right to life, personal liberty, association and movement and the pursuit of happiness.Their rights was snuff out.

Our point in the end, is if a pastor wants to say, gays will go to hell in a Church or on a street, he or she is free to do so, but when a pastor or artists directly incites violence in the form of "bun fire" against gays and call it free speech, it then crosses the line of right and becomes a case of prosecution. More importantly, in citation of violence becomes a tool to restrict the right to movement, association, expression, political participation etc, as it forces the other person to restrict the exercise of their rights to prevent the experience of harm.




Source:
Agropina Coc Raped and murdered
http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/103366

Swazo murder
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=30264&frmsrch=1


Pott brothers charged
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=28890&frmsrch=1

Police find Reneau Raping Woman
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=28330&frmsrch=1

Police Department Data
http://www.police.gov.bz/index.php/downloads/crime-statistics

Joseph Sanchez
http://www.7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=27568&frmsrch=1

OSAC Report
https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=14034https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=14034

Crime Report
http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/436411/Belize_2012_Crime_and_Safety_R.html


 

Monday, October 6, 2014

CARIFLAGS History in LGBT Movement in the Caribbean



Posted 6th October, 2014 

The Caribbean can be said to have, arguably and embryonic LGBT movement building process that have been evolving since 1997, with activists being more successful at advancing rights protection and enforcement issues at the national than regional level. There has been litigation work in Guyana, Jamaica and Belize while the use of UN Human rights system has allowed Guyana to put the issue of decriminalisation in the laps of Government once more. CAISO had pushed the issue of adding AGE, Sexual orientation to be added to the Equal Opportunity Act in TnT while all organizations in the region have been influenced by HIV issues, an effort, is underway to institutionalised strategies in human rights, culture, health, spirituality and research that takes advantage of the regions regional institutions.

In 2006, a regional meeting  was held to revitalise C-FLAG as it was known in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
with activists from 15 countries who decided to relaunch C-FLAG with a yahoo listserve while in 2007 Belize attended a meeting in the Dominican Republic which triggered UniBAM decriminaliation strategy that became case 668 of 2010. While it was an informal discussion base on an initiative from the University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), the initiation and development of legal documents was pushed hard by UniBAM after its first UNDP meeting on marginalized groups organized by the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities.


While in Barbados, 2008 LGBT activists sought to develop a regional plan around the issues of Human Rights, Culture, Health and Research. The relationship and times has evolved but the principle of regionalism have not been lost since 1997 when the first effort was made in Curacao to have the first LGBT meeting in the region. Belize contributed extensively to the contents of this regional plan and while there, received news that it was an alternate speaker at the High Level meeting in New York on HIV and worked with the Dominican Republic speaker Leonardo Sanchez, to draft a 2 minute speech for his translation into Spanish at the United Nations seen below. From this experience came the slow awareness about the value of international education on the region activities in expanding the fight. Though, it was not our first effort at regional representation, as Kelvin Ramnarace of Belize, along with a female doctor were the at the then called C-FLAG meeting in 1997. 

The Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of all Genders and Sexualities was founded in 1997 at a meeting in CuraƧao of around 70 LGBT people from 17 countries, with a focus on community empowerment, HIV and other issues. It faced challenges with communication and sustainability, and did not survive. But new local LGBT groups did emerge, as well as a new HIV-funded region wide group focused on several Caribbean Vulnerable Communities. Starting in 2008, in Barbados, the name was changed to CariFLAGS, and the mission re-focused on human rights, health, culture and spirituality. Further plans were made for registration, a communications secretariat, and a shift from individual to organizational membership – but leaders had mixed success working together. Recognizing this and the sense that we still need to build a regional movement, 35 LGBT leaders from 13 countries reviewed the mistakes of the past and decided to take a new approach to this work and use a meeting in St. Lucia to move forward in a new way.





 Advancing the Principle of regionalism, can be said, to be as difficult as the development and evolution of CARICOM institutions and effort at economic and political integration, for C-FLAGS, changed leadership structure with the passing of the baton to Joel Simpson of SASOD in Guyana. 
Over time, as meetings were held off and on, activists began to become aware that the work of regionalism  existed in an atmosphere of closet politics, 11  anglo-phone countries retaining buggery or sodomy laws, little protection or engagement about social justice issues and the effect of US evangelical exportation of hate. As, health-base organizations gained capacity in administration and community mobilisation, their experience has collective helped to shaped how activists in the region saw strategy like the value of political engagement and regional funding; taking advantage of Human Rights systems like the Universal Periodic Review, the use of the OAS system etc. and the leveraging of finite resources to advance rights at home.

So work was undertaken in 2012 in Port of Spain, to  refine  regional strategies at a meeting that had representatives of Jamaica, Belize, TnT, St. Lucia and others to refine the vision and mission of what is now known as CARIFLAGS or the Caribbean Forum for the Liberation and Acceptance of all Genders and Sexualities. That process continued in 2014 with a regional meeting in Belize-as seen in photo below- and follow-up meeting in Guyana in November, 2014 to finally develop a regional advocacy plan. With the approval of a regional grant from the Democracy, Rights and Labour Office of the US State Department, it is believed the region has come a long way in structuring itself and understanding its political regional environment.

 

We now see, The American had Stone Wall, but the region now has, in Jamaica JFLAG, SaSOD in Guyana, UniBAM in Belize, United and Strong in St. Lucia, CAISO and Friends for Life in TnT, GrenChaps in Grenada, MirDom in Dominica, SASH in Bahamas, Rainbow Alliance in Bermuda, Amigos Siempre Amigos in the Dominican Republic, The Pink House in Curacao.  The Mexicans had Tlatelolco massacre in the afternoon and night of October 2, 1968, in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City where an estimate 200-300 deaths were reported with many more wounded or arrested in the thousands. Challenges has not been this bloody in any country, as that experience in the lost of life in Mexico, but the challenges remains in the advancement of social, cultural and political protections. Below is a summary of these issues along with efforts made in the region.


St. Lucia United and Strong:

St Lucia’s first and only LGBT organisation, United and Strong Inc (U&S) formed in 2001 and was registered in November of 2005 in collaboration with the Caribbean AIDS Alliance in response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. It has leveraged its relationship Globally, Regionally, hemispherically to improve its impact back at home. Issuing Shadow reports to the UPR process and making its constitutional submission in 2009.

Guyana SASOD:
Seemingly inspired by post-apartheid South Africa's robust constitution, the National Assembly in 2001 unanimously passed a constitutional amendment bill with comprehensive reforms, including new expressly prohibited grounds of discrimination. Three new grounds in particular raised the ire of sections of the religious community: marital status, religious vilification and sexual orientation. Initially campaigning against all three, but eventually settling for the biggest perceived sin, sections of the evangelical Christian and Muslim communities managed to convince then-President Bharrat Jagdeo not to assent to the bill but to send it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration. The bill came up in Parliament again in 2003, and this was a key moment in SASOD's genesis.

Bermuda Rainbow Alliance


The Alliance is a group of allies who operate as a collective, founded July30th, 2012 has much to celebrate, including the long-awaited passing of the Human Rights Act amendment in June 2013. Unfortunately, however, this amendment falls short when it comes to protection with regard to discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and gender expression.


Belize:
The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UniBAM) became and NGO on May 4th, 2006. Some 8 years after the founding of JFLAG. With American Scott Stirm being quoted in the Amandala about UniBAM decriminalisation work as opening a "demonic gate way" while his colleague speaking on his Rise and Shine Morning Show calling UniBAM OAS presentation in 2014, "a pack of lies straight from the Pitts of hell." The organization have watched at Church leaders attack the criminal code amendments of 2013 that extended protection of sexual violence to boys and march against the gender policy and UNIBAM in 2013. While the Belize PM speech of September 2013 has changed the tone of political engagement, like Portia Simpson, there has been no substance to the adjustment in tone to extend legislative protection to address discrimination, hate speech and crime. Belize too has turned to litigation as a strategy to push its rights protection and enforcement concerns.


Jamaica:

JFLAG  was founded in 1998. Since then, The European Parliament in 2005 passed a resolution calling on Jamaica to repeal its "antiquated and discriminatory sodomy laws and to actively combat widespread homophobia" while Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson's pledge that "no one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Maurice Tomlinson filed a case against Jamaica at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in February 2012 and another in February 2013 to challenge the buggery law which was withdrawn because for safety reasons from the Jamaican courts. He filed a 3rd case on censorship in the media with hearings done in May, 2013, which he lost.

CFLAGS remain as a regional potential, as its presence have been leveraged to address the Professor Bain issue, its had signed on the numerous petitions, press releases and have coordinated in the region work on the UN resolution on Extrajudicial Killings. What it does in the next couple of years in pushing faster institutional change will remain a fascinating process, as its activists learn to define regional strategy that has a regional effort..

 


Source: 

Rainbow Alliance:

Latin American Paper on LGBT Movement Building

The Queer Caribbean Conflicting use of post Colonial Past
 http://notchesblog.com/2014/05/29/the-queer-caribbean-conflicting-uses-of-the-colonial-past/

Jamaica:

Censorship Case

St. Lucia:
 Constitutional Reform Submission


SaSOD