Social / Weekend News

Belize joins region in continued support of ousted professor

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

A little over 100 Belizeans gathered in front of the Supreme Court this weekend, joining in with others in the Caribbean to support ousted professor, Dr. Brendan Bain.

The crowd gathered at the Battlefield Park from 11 a.m. till noon on Saturday bearing placards and signs condemning the University of the West Indies for terminating Dr. Bain, and warning passersby that their freedom of speech and conscience was under attack.

Pastor Scott Stirm of Belize Action emphasized that the follow-up protest is to resonate with Caribbean partners in keeping the issues in the realm of public discussion. “When we heard that our Caribbean partners are scheduling protests for next week, we decided to keep hammering because this is bigger than just Bain.”

Stirm said that Jamaica, in particular, is scheduling two more protests for the coming week, to rally support behind Bain and the data that he presented in court.

He added that, according to his research, anyone with an anti-LGBT view is being victimized and forced out of their jobs. He contended that scientific evidence points to the behavioral practices of men having sex with men as being a major driving factor in sexually related illnesses. “The CDC recently released a report on a whole new syphilis outbreak, specifically & specially among MSM. Syphilis [is] going down everywhere else, with MSM [there’s] an outbreak! Out of a sample of people with anal cancer, 96 percent of them were MSM! (We’d bet the other four were probably female recipients of anal sex.) MSM are 18 times more at risk to contract HIV. HIV/AIDS rates are going down in the main Western countries, EXCEPT AMONG MSM!”

Dr. Bain was terminated from his post as the Director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDs Regional Training Network, CHART for his participation in the Caleb Orozco challenge of Section 53 of the Belizean Constitution. Some 33 lobby groups many of them representing the LGBT community called for his removal saying that he had violated their trust in him.

UWI has stood by its decision to terminate Dr. Bain and this week several sources have come forward to support their decision, including UWI professor, Rose-Marie Belle Antoine. In Belize former Director of the National AIDS Commission, Kathy Esquivel, said that Dr. Bain’s stance supporting anti-sodomy laws did not align with the principles of CHART which made him unfit to be the network’s director.


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