Belize, Central America

Belize, formerly British Honduras, became an independent on September 21, 1981. Belizean human rights statutes prohibit discrimination based on "sexuality," which is sometimes interpreted as including sexual orientation. However, not only are same-gender sex acts treated as illegal, but immigration by "homosexual males or females" (as well as those making money from homosexual behaviour) is prohibited. Comments from a lesbian Peace Corps worker: "The few gay and lesbian Belizeans that I know are very closeted and very discreet about their sexuality. Due to the laws of this country, the only place for people to meet with one another is at private parties. There are no openly gay bars or discos. There are no support groups or organizations for lesbigay people. There is no such thing as Gay Pride Month in Belize... It seems that most lesbigay people in Belize somehow find others like them through word of mouth, which isn’t always the most reliable. Many move to the States to enjoy more freedom and more opportunities to be open and honest about who they are. As everyone knows, Belize has a small population, once you are discovered as either a lesbian or gay man life can become rather difficult. In some cases, people are guilty by association."


News & Reports:


Belize Supreme Court Overturns Anti-Gay Law

A law in Belize criminalizing same-sex intimacy was ruled unconstitutional on Wednesday by the country’s Supreme Court. The challenge to Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and disproportionately affected gay men, was brought by Caleb Orozco, who leads LGBTQ rights group United Belize Advocacy Movement.… Read more »

Sir Ian McKellen honours Belizean LGBT activist who battled to overturn anti-gay law

Sir Ian McKellen has presented this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award to an activist who successfully battled to overturn Belize’s anti-gay laws. The David Kato Vision and Voice Award is presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato. This year, the award was presented by veteran actor and LGBT… Read more »

Belizean LGBT activist to be honoured with David Kato Award for battle to overturn anti-gay law

An LGBT activist from Belize is the winner of this year’s David Kato Vision and Voice Award, in recognition of his successful battle to overturn his country’s anti-gay laws. The David Kato Vision and Voice Award is presented every year in memory of murdered Ugandan LGBT campaigner David Kato. Mr Kato, a Sexual Minorities Uganda… Read more »

Belize Government Opens Door For Appeal Of Court Ruling That Legalized Gay Sex

Belmopan, Belize, Monday September 12, 2016 – After weeks of insisting it would not appeal a decision by the country’s chief justice that made sex between consenting homosexuals legal, the Belize government is challenging one aspect of it. It wants the interpretation of the word “sex” in the Constitution to remain male/female instead of extending… Read more »

Belize Won’t Appeal Ruling Overturning Ban On Gay Sex

The government of Belize announced Wednesday that it would not appeal a ruling that overturned the nation’s anti-sodomy laws. Last week, Belize Supreme Court Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled unconstitutional Section 53 of the country’s Criminal Code, which banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” widely interpreted to mean sodomy between two men or… Read more »

Belize Overturns Ban On Gay Sex

Belize’s highest court on Wednesday struck down the tiny nation’s anti-sodomy laws, making it the first Caribbean nation to do so. The country’s Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Section 53 of its Criminal Code, which banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” widely interpreted to mean sodomy between two men or between a man and… Read more »

LGBTI rights: Important legal precedent in the Caribbean

In a landmark decision delivered on Friday, June 10, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that as a homosexual I must be allowed into Belize and Trinidad notwithstanding their laws that ban the entry of gays. The court also urged both countries to repeal these archaic bits of legislation, which create confusion for travel… Read more »

Hearings begin over LGBT rights to travel in Caribbean

LGBTI rights activist Maurice Tomlinson provides this report on the first day of hearings at the Caribbean Court of Justice in connection with his case challenging the ban against gays entering Belize and Trinidad & Tobago. The case started with me giving evidence based on my witness statement. As expected, the lawyer for Trinidad and… Read more »

7 battlefields: The fight for LGBTI rights in the Caribbean

A recap of recent gains, losses and ongoing battles over LGBTI rights in seven Caribbean nations (Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize, Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands), with help from coverage in the Caribbean IRN Blog of the International Resource Network: Areas With Anti-Gay Laws Guyana U.N. action: During Guyana’s recent Universal Periodic Review before the… Read more »

Belizean LGBT Rights Violations

Blog is all LGBT Belizean experiences about homophobia, violence and general discrimination. Deconstructing a System of Oppression in Belize and the Caribbean 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 could share our experience on L.G.B.T activism in… Read more »

Belize faces heat over rights of Maya, LGBTI and migrant workers

Belize City—In a recent meeting held in Mexico City, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), called out Belize over alleged human rights violations against the Maya community, migrant workers and the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex) community. The IACHR, which took issue with… Read more »

Belize Transgender Woman Stoned And Beaten By Mob

Belize City, Belize – An 18 year-old transgender woman was attacked with stones and beaten by a mob on Tuesday evening in Belize City. The incident happened just after 6 pm. The young woman identifying as Vanessa Champagne Paris reported she was verbally attacked when a man spotted and shouted at her “why is a… Read more »

Belize, Trinidad, fight LGBTs at CCJ

Maurice Tomlinson, who filed the challenge, is Jamaica’s leading LGBT lobbyist Belize and its sister Caribbean nation – Trinidad and Tobago, appear tomorrow before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), to face a challenge filed against both countries by Jamaica’s leading LGBT lobbyist, Maurice Tomlinson – the man who alleges that Belize’s immigration laws violate… Read more »

Belize prepares for gay sex law to be axed

With a court due to rule whether the gay sex ban is unconstitutional, experts say the Belize government is paving the way for consensual anal sex to become legal Belize is preparing for their law against sodomy to be struck down by the courts. Gay anal sex, considered ‘against the order of nature’, is illegal… Read more »

An LGBT victory in Belize

September 21, 2013 marked Belize’s 32nd independence day and, in an unprecedented move, the country’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, used the opportunity to support the right to equality for LGBT citizens. In his message to mark the day the PM said: “Government will therefore fully respect the right of the churches to propagate their understanding… Read more »

Gay in Belize? You’re breaking the law. Still.

A vestige of British colonial times, Belize’s anti-sodomy law punishes gay sex with up to 10 years in prison. Its Supreme Court is due to rule whether to scrap the law, but Belize’s religious right — backed by a Texas missionary — is pushing to uphold it. Belize City, Belize — As a growing number… Read more »

Belize gay rights campaigner is facing more death threats, says lawyer

Caleb Orozco, fighting to overturn country’s anti-gay laws, is said to have faced more threats of violence since start of court case Death threats against Caleb Orozco, the gay rights campaigner attempting to overturn laws that criminalise homosexuality in Belize, have escalated during the four-day courtroom hearing, his lawyer has claimed. The high-profile challenge to… Read more »

Activist challenges Belize’s church and state over anti-gay law

In a climate of anti-gay moral panic, Caleb Orozco leads a fight to force Belize to repeal its law punishing gay sex with up to ten years imprisonment Caleb Orozco, an LGBT rights advocate is taking to court Belize’s government and an anti-gay religious lobby in an attempt to overturn the country’s anti-gay sex law.… Read more »

Gay Murders in Belize

In Belize there have been over 300 murders since 2010 (145 the most in a year ever in 2012). Of that there were 27 murders of gay men in its various forms between 1997-2012. The recent murders of the four men is a sign of the times and how our LGBT organizations operating environment is… Read more »

Belize Human Rights Defenders Crime and Violence Data

Previous to this a report was circulated that was noted as not exhaustive. We have looked thoroughly through our files and are able to pull together current data that we can verify as having on file or have collected have newspaper clippings. The total cases we have accumulated is 73 and counting from 1997-2012. This… Read more »

Barrow meets with Belize gang leaders in the aftermath of brutal murders (Non gay background story)

Belmopan, Belize – Prime Minister Dean Barrow has confirmed holding talks with the leaders of a notorious criminal gang here after four men were found murdered in an apartment building on Tuesday. Barrow told reporters that he led a delegation that included National Security Minister John Saldivar for talks with the leaders of the George… Read more »

Do you have advice for LGBT rights activists in Belize?

Caleb Orozco of United Belize Advocacy Movement (Photo courtesy of CTagOnline) What strategy should an LGBT rights group pursue when homophobic religious leaders launch a counterattack? That’s what Caleb Orozco, executive president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, wants to know. He is hoping that experienced LGBT activists and others around the world will make… Read more »

Feature: Decriminalising homosexuality in Belize

Caleb Orozco is the executive president of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, and is part of a constitutional challenge to overturn the law in Belize which criminalises homosexuality. Visiting London, he briefed on the case. Under Belize’s Criminal Code, gays face a penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment. Section 53 states: “Every… Read more »

My friend Alvin marks the birth of a movement.

We have had this Ex-Gay minister here for a week and apparently the LGBT community has reached a boiling point. A second protest was held today at the University of the West Indies for this vile and peculiar person to spout his misinformation. I assume that UWI will also be hosting the KKK when they… Read more »

Gay Belize News & Reports

Also see: Lesbian Life 1 Pride in Belize, an Adult Education Volunteer Report  8/06 2 Comments from a Belizean Lesbian   4/09 3 Belize: Protect Students from Discrimination and Expulsion 12/09 4 Good Day All: 5/10 5 Transgender Belizean Discriminated Against at Airport 4/11 6 Belize churches join GOB in court battle against homosexuals 5/11 7… Read more »