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Belize Decriminalizes Gay Sex, Raising Hopes for Other Caribbean Countries

Repeating Islands

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A report by Dominic Preston for Frontiers Media.

Belize’s Supreme Court yesterday struck down an anti-sodomy law dating from the colonial era, sparking hope among activists and legal experts that it could influence similar campaigns and legal cases across the Caribbean.

Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, an old British colonial law, banned ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’, effectively criminalizing consensual gay sex. There were few convictions under the law, which threatened up to 10 years in prison, but it worked to stigmatize gay men in the country.

Now, six years after a lawsuit was first filed by gay rights activist Caleb Orozco, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin agreed that Section 53 amounts to a violation of the constitutional rights to dignity, privacy, equality and non-discrimination on grounds of sex.

“In striking down Section 53, Belize has also rejected a poisonous remnant of colonial rule,” Orozco said…

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