Belize top court strikes down anti-homosexuality law
Belize top court strikes down anti-homosexuality law

The Belize Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday struck down a law banning sodomy, declaring it unconstitutional. Section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” The law was challenged in 2010 by Caleb Orozco, whose organization, UniBAM [advocacy website], reported the ruling on Twitter [Tweet]. Section 53 had been law in Belize since colonial times, and Belize is the first Caribbean nation where such a law has been declared unconstitutional. The court has not yet published a copy of the judgment.

The lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community (LGBT) continues to face legal challenges throughout the world. Last December voters in Slovenia rejected a law [JURIST report] that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. In November the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled [JURIST report] that same-sex couples can legally adopt children. The UN has become increasingly focused on the rights of LGBT individuals. In September 2015, 12 UN agencies released a joint statement [JURIST report] arguing that abuses toward the LGBT population are human rights abuses impacting society as a whole. In June 2015 the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights reported [JURIST report] that members of the LGBT community continue to face discrimination and human rights abuses.