Quiz: you’re a Christian / pro-“family” organization and you have a choice. Either 1) allow the legalization of homosexuality, giving way to its eventual peaceful acceptance by society or 2) campaign ceaselessly to keep it illegal, knowing that your efforts – even if unsuccessful – will greatly exacerbate violence against the LGBT community because of fearmongering and misinformation. What do you do?
I bring this up is because I found an article on the Southern Poverty Law Center website, showing how American right wing groups are interfering with Caribbean nations – specifically Belize – in order to ensure that homosexual activities remain illegal.
Dangerous Liaisons: The American Religious Right & the Criminalization of Homosexuality in Belize examines how these groups are working in countries where anti-gay attitudes are strong and violence against the LGBT community is common. Several prominent groups have descended on the tiny Central American country of Belize to prevent Section 53, a statute criminalizing gay sex, from being struck down in court. Their efforts already have intensified anti-LGBT attitudes in the country, where the plaintiff in the case has been threatened and physically assaulted.
According to the SLPC’s Intelligence Project, the strategy of organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is to influence countries where there is still a chance to seal strong anti-gay legislation since the winds appear to be shifting against them here in America. The problem is that places like Belize and the Caribbean in general have very real problems of violence against the LGBT community that commonly goes unpunished. Sometimes it’s even initiated by the authorities themselves.
Orozco [an opponent of Section 53] has been physically assaulted in the streets and threatened with death. His lawyers worry that he could be assassinated, an event that would end the lawsuit, since he is the only plaintiff.
A report released this March by the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance, a human rights group, found that the LGBT community in Belize is routinely subjected to violence, even from law enforcement officials. The report cited, among other violent crimes, the bludgeoning death of an openly gay doctor and the murder of a politician’s gay brother in his own home. It also noted that border officials have regularly detained and harassed visitors they suspect of being gay.
There are other groups involved in this project. Listed on SLPC’s article are the American Center for Law and Justice, the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, Family Watch International, United Families International, and the World Congress of Families. Their influence has come in the form of legal advice for those defending the measure to spreading lies about homosexuality, like its supposed “link” to pedophilia.
The struggle in Belize is part of a larger legal strategy, since it belongs to the Caribbean Court of Justice. If Section 53 fails here, it could cause a cascade effect in other countries within the same court, allowing the entire region to become more LGBT friendly, at least from a legal point of view. And that would affect Christians all over the world … somehow. I’m not sure how, but it must be really bad for them to travel all around the world to make sure homosexuality remains illegal without either considering or caring about its aforementioned consequences.
If they are truly “Christian” organizations, it at least theoretically should give them pause to consider that the epidemic-level violence against the LGBT community is only going to be made worse if their actions continue. If they cared at all about establishing a truly Christian sense of morality around the world, they’d focus more on that and less on the demonstrably victimless crime that has taken all of their attention instead.