Plus TV's owner Louis Wade, appointed Friday last week by the independent media to represent them on the People’s Constitution Commission, says he does not intend to step down from that post, despite objections by UNIBAM, which suggested that he is not fit for the job due to his track record.
On Tuesday, Wade told The Reporter, ‘’I do not intend to step down. The LGBTQI+ is only one sector of the Belizean society; they are entitled to their opinion, and they have their representative on the Commission. However, no other entity has supported their call, and there is no reason for another Commissioner with an agenda to disparage and defame my good name and reputation publicly.’’
Wade was elected last week Friday by six of the 11 independent media houses to be a part of the process that will see the updating and reforming of Belize’s Constitution. Shortly after his appointment, UNIBAM issued a press release stating, ‘’Louis Wade's nomination by the majority of the eleven media organizations demonstrates the media complicity by omission, inaction, and indifference in supporting the anti-right history of Louis Wade who has shaped or influence the tone of misogyny and homophobia for the last decade.’’
UNIBAM referred to Wade’s involvement in an Anti-Gay rally at Battlefield Park in Belize City in 2011, then the Anti-Rights march against the Gender Policy in 2013, and lastly, the ‘’Kill the Bill’’ Campaign. In a conversation with Channel 7, UNIBAM’s Executive Director Caleb Orozco indicated that if Wade had a singular agenda in serving the media or had a history of demanding fairness for all citizens of this country, then his appointment would not be frowned upon.
‘’Louis Wade, however, has over ten years, has a track record of generating hostility against the sexual reproductive rights of women and has generated an environment of hostility that has affected LGBT populations. Have generated an environment of hostility regarding progressive rights protection for all our people. Louis Wade's ten years record does not reflect his current position that the constitution belongs to all of us and that it should be possible for everybody to be protected," reiterated Orozco.
We also asked Wade for a comment on those remarks, and he reiterated that he ‘’is not representing the churches’’ on the commission but the media, who nominated and then voted him in through a democratic process.
Wade said while he is a businessman, a member of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a musician, a music producer, and a teacher for 14 years, as well as a member of the Belize National Teachers Union, he is not representing any of them and neither has those capacities been called into question.
In a conversation with Channel 7’s News Director Jules Vasquez, he indicated that while he would have preferred Channel 7’s nominee Daniel Ortiz to represent the media on the Commission, he will support Wade wholeheartedly in advancing the press because he was the democratic choice.
Vasquez also said that he disagreed with Orozco’s statement in which he attempted to falsely paint all media with the same brush because he disagreed with the results of the media’s democratic process.
‘’The media also elected, though, a fierce and loyal advocate to faithfully represent media interests on the commission in Louis Wade, and I will support him wholeheartedly in advancing the press' cause because he was the democratic choice," reiterated Vasquez.
One other senior media representative that we spoke to off the record indicated that while Wade is known as a devoted Christian, that does not define the entirety of who he is and does not take away from the fact that he is a seasoned and established media representative with years of experience, including being vocal on a wide range of issues. That individual pointed out that Wade was not appointed to be on the Commission to carry out his agenda or that of the churches and believes that Wade is mature enough to do the job he was elected to do. If he deviates from the process, then according to the individual, he can be removed by the same body that voted him in as per the Peoples’ Constitution Bill 2022.
Wade, who has over 25 years in the media industry, first started out as a journalist on My Refuge Radio, then his own magazine Perspective Magazine and is currently the owner of Plus TV News. He currently represents the media in the Belize Broadcasting Authority and has even represented the country in the same capacity both locally and internationally.