I realized something when I read my last post: I didn’t explain why one door was closing on my tropical retirement idea.
As you’ve read, I’m a proud Canadian, and I want to live in a country that has, at the very minimum, similar values to my own. Although Belize has an attractive retirement incentives program, and although I should meet its qualifications, it doesn’t meet mine.
One way to measure how free a country is is to determine if it protects the rights and freedoms of its marginalized members. Belize does not. Among other things, it is a strongly homophobic country; gay persons aren’t even allowed to cross its borders. I am not a gay person, but nor am I a black person (or a _____ person; fill in the blanks, it really doesn’t matter); as Martin Luther King said, “discrimination somewhere is discrimination everywhere.” It’s an assault to us all.
I am a strong supporter of human rights, of which LGBT rights is part. How a country could summarily reject a class of persons outright (and get away with it) is beyond my comprehension.
When I was a child growing up in Windsor, Ontario, my grandmother, a devout Catholic, had a favourite saying: we are all god’s children. We had a aunt who lived in Detroit, a stone’s throw away. During the race riots of 1967, my aunt blamed “the niggers” for all the trouble. My aunt, born in Hungary and raised in a nazified country, wasn’t being cruel; she was just horribly ignorant. My grandmother’s admonishments stopped her in her tracks (at least for awhile), because she saw herself as a good Christian. Funny how “good Christians” espouse views antithetical to the religion they hold dear.
Anyway, enough of my rambling. Just had to get that off my chest.