Statement on Equal Opportunity Bill
For: Press Release
Date: January 31, 2020
The Belize People’s Front (BPF), after carefully reviewing this proposed Equal Opportunity Bill, cannot support this in its present form. While the Bill seeks to grant Rights to ‘’Protected Groups’’ it takes away the fundamental rights of the common citizens. There is just too much leeway in how this proposed Bill would be interpreted and violates the rights of accused citizens to defend themselves with the assistance of an attorney. (#79 5-6)
The commission being able to investigate without a complaint will cause bias and unjust persecution. (#75 79- 88) While the police cannot continue to prosecute an offender, if the complainant decides to withdraw the charges, this option is not available in this proposed Bill. (#79-2)
There are just way too many violations of our freedom as we know it, which will be affected negatively by this Bill in its present form.
While we agree that equal opportunities should be granted to all, this should not come at the expense of others. In no way do we condone discrimination, but this proposed Bill takes us back to being victimized if a person in the groups mentioned should decide to press charges on another, based on any number of issues stated, and the accused, without the presence of an attorney, seem to be presumed guilty until proven innocent.
The commission wields too much power and is not subject to or controlled by any other person or authority. (#72-74)
End of Statement