A coalition of Christian organizations is condemning as judicial overreach a decision by the Belize Court of Appeal upholding a ruling rendering that country’s buggery law unconstitutional.
The Christian groups are calling on CARICOM heads of government to act.
Local representative of the group, Caribbean Cause, Dr. Wayne West, says the decision may have ramifications for local jurisprudence in Jamaica and other Caribbean territories.
Belize Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, in 2016 ruled in favour of prominent LGBT activist, Caleb Orozco’s challenge of the country’s colonial era buggery law.
The Belizean government challenged portions of the ruling, but the Court of Appeal upheld the Chief Justice’s decision.
Caribbean Cause says it notes with alarm that the Appeals Court supported Chief Justice Benjamin’s decision.
The group’s local representative, Dr. Wayne West, says the judiciary in Belize has taken to itself powers that it does not have.
Dr. West says the courts have no power to change the constitution and the conduct of the judges in this matter has led to an untenable crisis.
He’s calling on the CARICOM Heads of Government to intervene.
Dr. West says no judge must be allowed to unilaterally alter the content and intent of the Constitution of a democratic society.
Meanwhile, Dr. West argues that the decision could have far reaching ramifications for other Caribbean territories in terms of jurisprudence.