In a long-awaited decision published on 10 August 2016, Belize’s Supreme Court finally struck down a colonial-era anti-gay law, concluding that it violated constitutional rights to dignity, privacy, equality, and freedom from gender discrimination.
The decision came three years and three months after the case was heard, and six years after it was first filed.
The judgment strikes down Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, which banned “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” therefore primarily targeting gay and bisexual men. The law was a legacy from British colonial rule in the Central American nation (formerly British Honduras).
The Belize ruling follows shortly after a ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice that acknowledged that certain anti-gay laws restricting free movement of people were unconstitutional and unenforceable.
A copy of the Belize court’s judgment is available at https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/belizes-supreme-court-just-struck-down-a-law-that-made-homos?utm_term=.xip90l8aY#.epzPJgLGA
In a separate development in the Cayman Islands, Dr Leonardo Raznovich announced in late July 2016 that his 14-month battle with the Cayman Islands’ immigration authorities had ended in victory with the Immigration Appeals Tribunal (IAT) ruling in his favour, thereby paving the way for him to be added as a dependent on his partner’s work permit.