Campaign seeks repeal of Belize gay immigration ban
LGBT rights activist Maurice Tomlinson asks supporters to send letters to officials in Belize, urging them to repeal the law that bars LGBT people from visiting the country. His appeal is timely because Tomlinson wishes he could visit Belize to see his son compete in the national spelling bee finals, as described in the article “Anti-gay law bars father from son’s spelling bee in Belize.”
Please consider writing a letter directly to the persons listed at the end of the article expressing your opinion about the Immigration Law.
A sample letter could be:
Dear Honourable Prime Minister Barrow,
I am a [lesbian; gay man; disabled individual; parent of a gay child; friend of a gay/disabled individual] living in [name your country]. I have heard wonderful things about your country’s beauty, history and culture, and I would love to visit. However, I simply cannot do so, as long as the discriminatory section 5 remains in the Immigration Act.
Out of [self-respect and/or out of solidarity with my friend], I am writing to ask that your government immediately introduce legislation to repeal the discriminatory section 5 of the Immigration Act.
As you know, this section bans the entry of homosexuals, as well as persons who are mentally challenged (described as ‘any idiot or any person who is insane or mentally deficient…’) and the physically disabled (described as ‘deaf and dumb or deaf and blind, or dumb and blind…’). Together, we [they] are all considered ‘prohibited classes’.
I am sure you will agree that such an unfairly biased law has no place in a modern society such as Belize.
Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter as this law is a major blot on your country’s reputation.
I would suggest one letter addressed to the Prime Minister and copied to the Attorney-General/Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the Minister of Tourism and Culture.
As the spelling bee is coming up in a matter of weeks, it would be GREAT if you could send your letters out this week.
The addresses are below:
HON. DEAN O. BARROW
Sir Edney Cain Building
HON. WILFRED PETER ELRINGTON
Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs
2nd Floor Nemo Building
HON. JOSE MANUEL HEREDIA, JR.
Minister of Tourism and Culture
106 South Street
This appeal is made with the full knowledge and support of LGBT in Belize. As the Immigration Law does not apply to nationals, they can not challenge it in local courts.