And in a move that is sure to make the LBGT community wince in distress, the Barrow Administration has gone one step further in its renewed partnership with the churches. Government has agreed to set up a "Church State Commission on Public Morality. " Now, if this sounds like some Orwellian concoction, the Prime Minister today told the media that it's not anything that serious, just a logical continuation of their dialog from Monday and today:...
Rt., Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"We will set up a church state commission to be cheered by the Deputy Prime Minister to in fact look at issues having to do with public morality and its role in our society, having to do with the institution of marriage and safeguarding that institution. Government believes, it's a shared position of all of us that marriage is between a man and a woman. The whole question of how to protect family values in an inclusive society. All those weighty matters would be within the provenance of the work of the commission which would undertake studies guided by lawyers and which will consult the general public."
Bishop Philip Wright, Anglican Diocese of Belize
"One of the things that matters a lot to us is the whole idea of public morality and who ultimately determines that. We whole heartedly welcome this idea of a church state commission to continue to look at issues that affect us as a people."
Pastor Lance Lewis, President - NEAB
"We thought that the cabinet would have accepted the removal of the gender policy but they said no to that according to what the Prime Minister said, but now this will come under the commission for public morality."
Patrick Menzies, President - Spanish Church's Alliance of Ministers and Leaders
"We see here the genuine part of government where it has been decided that this month on the 25th of September will be the first meeting. so I don't see this as a point in time and something I need to commend the prime minister on the fact that on Monday I saw the government as not being the problem of pushing things back, I saw the government as being ready to actually take the bull by the horns and that was something that I hadn't seen."
Bishop Roosevelt Papouloute - Methodist Church
"We are also in support of that church state commission to look at the implications that they willingly have on society in general and we are on board with that first part of the work that is being said to begin on the 26th of September."