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Since the landmark ruling was handed down for the amendment of section 53 which saw the removal of Belize’s long standing sodomy law, the churches have been in complete disarray over the issue.

Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with the church leaders in an attempt to deflect some of the pressure that's been building up following the section 53 judgment. The churches, first and foremost want GOB to appeal the judgment but furthermore they want the institution of marriage between a man and a woman protected.

The Prime Minister walked into the meeting with a range of options, given to him by Cabinet, to propose to the Churches. The meeting which took place at the Headquarters of the Catholic Diocese in Belize City, encompassed the different Church leaders, including the Catholic Bishop, the Anglican Bishop, the President of the Methodist Churches, the Presidents of the two Evangelical Church Associations, and the President of the Alliance of Ministers and Leaders.

The discussion which lasted little over an hour and a half- according to the PM and church leaders was a productive one.

DeanRt. Honorable Dean Barrow –Prime Minister of Belize Insert: Pm meets churches

"We've had an extremely useful, constructive, responsible and respectable cordial dialogue. I'm going to take back some of what was said to cabinet tomorrow. The reverent gentlemen will reflect on the substance of the discussion, we'll meet again on Friday at the Biltmore at 10 o'clock and thereafter we hope to have a final position to give to you."


Bishop Phillip Wright - VP, Belize Council of Churches

"I think it was a very good meeting with the Prime Minister. We made some progress and we are meeting again on Friday when we will put more concrete plans on the table. It was a productive meeting, we made some progress, we're meeting again on Friday and I think that's when we will have more details to the way forward with the church and the government on these salient issues."


"Sir is it at this time the churches' strong position at an appeal should be logged or was there give and take?"


Bishop Phillip Wright - VP, Belize Council of Churches

"I would describe it more as give and take. We still have to get our minds wrapped around exactly what we want to appeal."

Pastor Scott Stirm - VP, NEAB

"I think some steps were made forward. Things that were suggested on both sides; the Prime Minister mentioned that he needs to take that back to cabinet and we're schedules to meet again for Friday so I think that's a good sign."



"Sir was it a unified strong stance or more of a give and take to hear the Prime Minister out on his position?"


Pastor Scott Stirm - VP, NEAB

"It was hard to figure out at first but I think everybody had concerns and all those concerns were shared including by the government. I think we're in a good position to be able to have some potential steps forward so.  We have a difference of opinion on the chief justice's ruling. Prime Minister said it was a very narrow ruling, we and all our attorneys say it was a broad ruling with an open ended blank cheque. So it's all the stuff that has to be worked out.”


Patrick Menzies - President, Alliance and Ministers of Belize

"I believe that it was a very important meeting and I think a lot was achieved in the sense that some doors were opened that were previously closed. As a matter of fact I brought up the issue of the gender policy being the root of this thing so that's now on the table as something that could be looked at. So for us we have if you go to our website, if you go anywhere you would find that we had plans for all this week and I'm saying it right now in public everything that we had planned for this week is now on hold. There is no school boycott tomorrow, there is no protest until after the meeting Friday when we meet and go in more detail and see if we could get what we're requesting or demanding. So I am very encouraged."

Pastor Howell Longsworth - President, Belize Evangelical Assoc. of Churches

"I think we had a wonderful dialogue on the issue, we've voiced the concern of the extended ruling of the chief justice and we will continue to meet with him this week to discuss the matter."

The Prime minster is scheduled to meet with church leaders again on Friday to disclose his Government's newest position. 

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