Tag Archives: LGBTQ

[Statement] on Victim-blaming and Gender Stereotyping Amid the Investigations in the Christine Dacera Case -CHR

#HumanRights #Women #LGBTQI+

Statement of Commissioner Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit, Focal Commissioner on Women and LGBTQI+ Issues, on Victim-blaming and Gender Stereotyping Amid the Investigations in the Christine Dacera Case

The Commission on Human Rights is deeply concerned and alarmed by the victim-blaming and gender stereotyping amid the investigations in the killing of Christine Dacera. These acts disrespect the victim and cause further anguish to her family. Similarly, the alleged perpetrators who are members of the LGBTQI+ community are negatively affected.

As the Gender Ombud, the Commission takes this occasion to reiterate that victim-blaming is unacceptable, especially in cases of gender-based violence. Instead of responding to the act of violence in this case, as well as addressing the root causes of the human rights violation, victim-blaming is a violation of a woman’s dignity and shifts the focus of the investigation on what the victim wore, the company she kept, and the places she went to. It trivializes the violence and demonizes the woman, as the blame cast on her creates the perception that “she had it coming,” making her unworthy of protection and remedies. It must be remembered that the crux of gender-based violence cases is the acts of violence committed by the perpetrator, and never the character of the woman. We must all strive to stop victim-blaming.

Undeniably, rape is a grave and serious human rights violation requiring an urgent and immediate response from the State. The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee requires no less than the exercise by State authorities of due diligence in responding to all cases of violence against women. In investigating and discussing circumstances surrounding an alleged case of rape, all forms of victim-blaming are unacceptable. We remind the public that victim-blaming and reliance on gender stereotypes impact access to justice. These ultimately deny women protection from violence.

Click the link below to read the complete statement:

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Watch Now! Queer and Quarantined LIVESTREAM-talakayan hinggil sa lugar ng LGBTQI Community sa pagharap sa #CoViD19ph

Queer and Quarantined
LIVESTREAM-talakayan hinggil sa lugar ng LGBTQI Community sa pagharap sa #CoViD19ph

April 10, 2020; 4:00 pm.
John Andrew G. Evangelita
Sociologist, UP Diliman Professor

Naomi Fontaños
Executive Director, Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas

Maroz R. Ramos
Deputy Executive Director, GALANG Philippines

Jhay de Jesus
True Colors Coalition (TCC)

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[From the web] Philippines Uses Humiliation as COVID Curfew Punishment- LGBT People Ordered to Dance and Kiss on Video -HRW

Philippines Uses Humiliation as COVID Curfew Punishment
LGBT People Ordered to Dance and Kiss on Video

By Ryan Thoreson
Researcher, LGBT
Human Rights Watch

The spread of COVID-19 has given Philippines law enforcement broad discretion to enforce public health measures. When discrimination is added to the mix, that unfettered power can be particularly demeaning and dehumanizing for vulnerable groups.

On April 5, volunteers in the village of Pandacaqui, in Pampanga province stopped and detained three LGBT people outside after curfew, two of whom explained they were running an errand for their grandmother. A village official accused them of looking for illicit sex and, as punishment, publicly humiliated them by ordering them to kiss, dance, and do push-ups on live video broadcast on social media. They were identified by name and the videos of their punishment went viral, adding to their embarrassment.

The incident illustrates the danger of unrestrained law enforcement power under the guise of public health. Other individuals who violated curfew in Pandacaqui were also subject to a range of punishments broadcast on social media. Where curfews exist as a means of slowing the spread of the virus, they should be enforced in a professional, measured manner that does not jeopardize people’s rights and dignity.

Respect for human rights is crucial as measures to contain COVID-19 continue in the coming weeks. The Philippines has recorded over 3,700 cases of COVID-19, and President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the country’s lockdown to April 30. A COVID-19 law that went into effect on March 24 grants the administration broad powers to address the coronavirus, which has contributed to violations of human rights, including the right to life, freedom of expression, access to information, and children’s rights.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government, which has administrative control over officials in villages like Pandacaqui, should investigate incidents in which village officials and police mistreat violators of curfew and quarantine regulations. It should hold to account those responsible for these abuses.

Efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 are essential, but should not be used as an excuse to demean vulnerable groups. The humiliation of LGBT people and others in the Philippines demonstrates the need for oversight and accountability to ensure that officials across the country respect people’s rights and dignity during the current crisis.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/08/philippines-uses-humiliation-covid-curfew-punishment

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[Statement] 𝙷𝚞𝚠𝚊𝚐 𝚐𝚊𝚖𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚐𝚊 𝚙𝚘𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚒𝚢𝚊 𝚜𝚊 𝚒𝚕𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚖 𝚗𝚐 𝚔𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚊 𝚙𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚖𝚢𝚊 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚊 𝚕𝚊𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚊𝚒𝚐𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚒𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚔𝚛𝚒𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚊𝚜𝚢𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚝 𝚔𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚑𝚊𝚜𝚊𝚗 𝚜𝚊 𝚖𝚐𝚊 𝙻𝙶𝙱𝚃 𝚊𝚝 𝚜𝚊 𝚖𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚢𝚊𝚗! -TCC

𝙷𝚞𝚠𝚊𝚐 𝚐𝚊𝚖𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚖𝚐𝚊 𝚙𝚘𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚒𝚢𝚊 𝚜𝚊 𝚒𝚕𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚖 𝚗𝚐 𝚔𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚊 𝚙𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚖𝚢𝚊 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚊 𝚕𝚊𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚊𝚒𝚐𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚒𝚗 𝚊𝚗𝚐 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚔𝚛𝚒𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚊𝚜𝚢𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚝 𝚔𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚑𝚊𝚜𝚊𝚗 𝚜𝚊 𝚖𝚐𝚊 𝙻𝙶𝙱𝚃 𝚊𝚝 𝚜𝚊 𝚖𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚢𝚊𝚗!

Kinukundena ng True Colors Coalition (TCC) ang karahasan na ito ng isang barangay kapitan sa mga LGBT at sa mga kabataang nahuli sa curfew. Bilang opisyal, alam niya dapat kung hanggang saan ang pagpaparusa sa sinumang lumalabag, hindi ito dapat ginagamit para abusuhin ang kapangyarihan nila laban sa mga taong walang kalaban-laban.

Hinihimok namin ang aming mga kapatid na sampahan ng kaso ang kapitan na ito.

Patunay lamang ang insidenteng ito na mas lalong dapat ipaglabang maipasa ang Anti Discrimination Law sa ating bansa. Sa kalagitnaan ng krisis, ang maling paraan ng pagdidisiplina ay walang puwang, laluna ang marahas na paraan at pambabastos sa kapwa tao.

Sa barangay kapitan ng Pandacaqui, kailangan mong managot sa iyong kasalanan, kulang ang sorry sa iyong ginawa sa aming tatlong kapatid at sa iba pang mga kabataang iyong pinahirapan.

Iiwan namin sa iyo ang isang TAKNAYDAMU! All caps yan para ramdam na ramdam mo.

𝘼𝙣𝙩𝙞 𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙇𝙖𝙬 𝙉𝙊𝙒 𝙉𝘼!!!!
https://www.rappler.com/nation/257292-barangay-captain-lgbtq-quarantine-violators-lewd-acts-punishment?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1586261742

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[Statement] On police crackdown on transwomen and profiling of Muslim students -AIph

Amnesty International Philippines

Responding to the police crackdown on transwomen and profiling of Muslim students, Section Director Butch Olano said:

“Profiling entire communities solely on the basis of a single identity – whether based on gender, race or religion – supposedly in the name of curbing crime only fuels hate towards particular groups of people and intensifies fear of the police.

“The Makati police’s round-up operations targeting transwomen and the NCRPO’s profiling of Muslim students leave too many holes where peoples’ rights may be violated without sufficient accountability. It is imperative for the chief PNP to ensure that his officers are held to the highest human rights standards for law enforcement, and to look into police activities that are obviously discriminatory in nature and only serve to instigate transphobia and Islamophobia.

“What the police is doing in Metro Manila is a lazy way of preventing crime and discriminates entire communities by violating the constitutionally protected actions of individuals, solely on the basis of the criminal actions of a few.”

Read more @www.amnesty.org.ph

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[From the web] ‘Your fight is mine’: This dad’s pride story will leave you in tears -RAPPLER.com

Coming out and navigating life in a world that continues to be prejudiced against the LGBTQ community isn’t easy.

It’s even more difficult for many when they think about how their family – and parents, especially – would react. More often than not, it’s a journey.

And this pride story, of Twitter user “Isko Speaks,” proves that it’s a journey that can be worth it.

In a tweet that’s since been shared and liked by thousands, he talked about his dad’s experience while attending the 2018 Pride March in Marikina City.

“Isko Speaks,” who is bisexual, is in Japan for an internship, so his sister decided they would go to the Pride March for him.

“The moment my sister told me my parents went to the Pride March with her, I was already really happy. Still, a part of me thought that maybe my dad’s sole purpose of going there was to bring and fetch them, so I messaged him. Then for some reason he opened up, and talked to me about his experience,” he said in a message to Rappler.

Read more @www.rappler.com

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[From the web] An Open Letter to Bisexual People this Pride Month -HRC.org

Pride can be a hard time for those who fall within the bisexual, pansexual, queer and sexually fluid community.

Studies show that bi people make up nearly 50% of the LGBTQ community, but too often it can feel like we’re all alone, walking a line between being “too queer” or “not queer enough.”

Bisexual people often face skepticism, harmful stereotypes and can be ignored and excluded from LGBTQ spaces. Bi people are often invisible to each other — all things that can make going to your first Pride feel incredibly daunting.

As a bisexual person, this Pride Month, I want you to know that your experiences are valid and that you are queer enough.

People frequently make assumptions about our identities based on the gender of our past or current partners, and we often find ourselves having to come out over and over again to correct those assumptions. Pride can sometimes feel like the center of all this erasure and invisibility.

Read more @www.hrc.org

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[From the web] Statement on killings of human rights defenders -Metro Manila Pride

“Pride is, at its core, a political space built on the backs of human rights defenders. We cannot stand idly by as fellow activists are violently persecuted while they work on cultural and legislative reform.” #ResistTogether

Statement on killings of human rights defenders
Stop the attacks

On June 15, human rights activists Ryan Hubilla and Nelly Bagasala were gunned down in broad daylight, less than a kilometer away from the City Police Office. This attack happened following the heavy, targeted periodic surveillance of Karapatan members by government security forces. They are two out of four human rights activists slain in the region, in less than a week.

Ryan was set to appear as a witness in the Court of Appeals, where Karapatan and other human rights groups have lodged a petition seeking writ of amparo and habeas data.

He was a high school senior, co-founder of Anakbayan-Sorsogon, and an out gay 22-year-old.

His death, along with the recent killings of Karapatan Sorsogon leader Nelly Bagsala, Kasama Bukidnon member Nonoy Palma, Neptali Morada of Bayan Muna, and the bombings of Mangyan communities in Mindoro, are part of the alarming spate of violence suffered by human rights defenders in the Philippines.

Commenting on these events, Manila Officer PO3 Jupiter B. Tajonera of the Homicide Investigation Unit said, “Fight the stupid fight, you die a stupid death.”

According to Karapatan, 134 human rights defenders have been killed since Duterte took office in 2016. The links between the Duterte administration’s endorsement of targeted attacks, the AFP-PNP’s emulated rhetoric, and the rise of violence against human rights defenders are difficult to deny.

A CALL FOR SOLIDARITY

We condemn in the strongest terms the slaying of these human rights defenders.

We call for a stop to the vicious attacks and silencing suffered by activists and marginalized groups resisting oppression.

Pride is, at its core, a political space built on the backs of human rights defenders. We cannot stand idly by as fellow activists are violently persecuted while they work on cultural and legislative reform.

We call for solidarity across all sectors. The struggle of the LGBTQIA+ community is the struggle of women is the struggle of the urban poor is the struggle of the indigenous peoples is the struggle of the common Filipino.

PRIDE IS A PROTEST

JUSTICE FOR RYAN HUBILLA
JUSTICE FOR NANAY NELLY

JUSTICE FOR ALL HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

#ResistTogether

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[In the news] ‘Religion is not an excuse to hate’: Catriona Gray defends support for LGBTQ+ community -CNN Philippines

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray has expressed strong support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) community, shrugging off criticism that such stance betrays her Christian faith.

Gray posted on Instagram on Saturday a photo promoting “Pride Month”, a month-long celebration dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community.

Some Instagram users immediately threw negative comments at the beauty queen, who also has been public about her Christian background.

“My belief as a Christian does not limit me from fighting for the rights of others,” Gray argued. “Religion is never an excuse to hate, put down or act indifferent to the suffering of others.”

Read more @cnnphilippines.com

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[Event] 2019 Metro Manila Pride March and Festival | #ResistTogether

PRIDE IS COMMUNITY.

Pride is for all of us. For those who paved the way, for those forced to live in the dark, for those no longer with us, and for those who will march long after we have gone.

But as we grow bigger and as inequalities and human rights violations persist, Pride needs to be more about the most vulnerable among us.

PRIDE IS ROOTED IN PROTEST. IT MEANS “FIGHT BACK”.

Pride is not merely a celebration of our community—it is a protest against the status quo..

It is a place to express dissent against injustice and oppression; a chance for us to uphold our human rights and that of other minorities.

PRIDE IS SOLIDARITY IN ACTION.

At Metro Manila Pride, we stand together with all who are oppressed, from across the Philippines, to minorities the world over. Arms linked, we resist the roll back of human rights: not just the delay of the SOGIE equality bill, but all injustices against Filipino minorities.

When we came #HereTogether, we created a safe space where everyone can uplift one another, educate each other, and find support in the community—empowering 25,000 to #RiseUpTogether.

But standing strong and standing up for who we are is just the beginning. Together, we must act.

This year, with the strength of all our colors—different but united in a common goal—we #ResistTogether. ✊🌈

—-
#ResistTogether
2019 Metro Manila Pride March and Festival
29 June 2019
Marikina Sports Center, Marikina City
FREE ADMISSION
—-
VOLUNTEER: http://bit.ly/ResistTogetherVolApp
REGISTER: http://bit.ly/ResistTogetherReg
—-
#ResistTogether ✊🌈 Theme art and animation by Nowy Aratan

https://www.facebook.com/events/2341213862789218/

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[Statement] Pride is not a celebration, but a manifestation of resistance -Y4HRD

As one of the allies of the LGBTQ+ sector, Youth for Human Rights and Democracy pushes for a non-discriminatory environment for all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.

We march with LGBTQ+ members who have been discriminated in their schools for expressing their individuality. Let this be a reminder to keep schools as safe spaces for these institutions are in charge of developing children’s cognition and personality. We call on the concerned agencies such as the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to include subjects that will extensively tackle the history and the struggle of the LGBTQ+ and to implement policies that will ensure the safety of children who identify themselves as part of the spectrum.

We march with LGBTQ+ members who have been discriminated in their respective workplaces. We condemn workplaces that implicitly and explicitly propagate homophobic, sexist, and misogynistic ideas such as decreasing wages, stripping off benefits, manipulating bureaucratic functions, sexually abusing members of the sector, and threatening them of losing their jobs. We also stand with allies who have been victimized by the shameful acts of these institutions.

We march with the LGBTQ+ members who have been physically and emotionally violated by anyone including the people from the government and the church. We vehemently condemn the homophobic and sexist remarks uttered by Rodrigo Duterte. His remarks (which is a clear manifestation of his apathy towards the protection of the sector) have further proven his incompetence in running the country.

As citizens, we demand action from our government. Therefore, we call on the legislative body to hasten the passage of the anti-discrimination bill as it will fundamentally ensure the protection of the rights of the sector.

Homophobia, sexism, misogyny, and gender-related violence has no place in our society. For the longest time, we have gathered, connected, and learned about the struggles of the sector, and we believe that now is the best time to move. We believe that the fight of the LGBTQ+ is multi-sectoral and that we should now go beyond awareness.

The revolution has begun. It is time to #ResistTogether.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/youth-for-human-rights-and-democracy/pride-month-2019/515469688990247/

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[From the web] #PrideMonth2019 Higit sa Limampung Taong Pakikibaka ng LGBT sa Pagpapalaya ng Sarili at Pagpapalaya sa Bayan -TCC

TRUE COLORS COALITION – PILIPINAS

We forge on!

Ngayong taon, kasabay ng ika-50 taong paggunita sa Stonewall Riot na naganap sa New York, nagpapatuloy ang buong komunidad ng LGBT sa paglaban sa diskriminasyon at karahasang ginagawa sa ating buong komunidad.

Bago pa man ang mismong Stonewall Riot, pinatunayan na ng mga LGBT ang ating di-matatawarang katapangan at paglaban di lamang para sa karapatan ng bawat kasapi ng komunidad ng LGBT kundi para rin sa karapatan ng marami pang mamamayan. Kasabay ng paggunita natin sa mga magigiting na LGBT na lumaban sa Stonewall Riot, kinikilala at binibigyang-pugay rin natin ang mga nauna pa sa kanila.

Balikan natin ang ilan sa mga matitingkad na ambag ng ating komunidad para sa paglaban sa karapatan ng mamamayan sa Pilipinas at sa maraming panig ng daigdig:

Marso 27, 1943 – Sinugod at pinasabog ng grupong pinamumunuan ni Willem Arondeus, isang lantad na bading, ang Civil Registry Office ng Amsterdam upang mapigilan ang mga Nazi na tukuyin ang mga Jews sa panahon ng pamumuno ni Hitler. Nahuli at pinatawan ng parusang kamatayan sa Arondeus, kasama ng 13 pa niyang ka-grupo – kasama rito ang dalawa pang homosekswal na sina Bakker at Brouwer. Bago sila patayin, sinabihan ni Arondeus ang kanilang abogado na sabihin sa lahat ng tao na ang mga homosekswal ay hindi duwag.

November 11, 1950 – Ginanap ang unang pulong ng Society of Fools, kalaunang tinawag na Mattachine Society, sa pangunguna nina Harry Hay kasama sina Rudi Gernreich – na kanyang partner, Dale Jennings, at ang mag-partner na sina Bob Hull at at Chuck Rowland. Sumapi naman sa grupo sina James Gruber at Konrad Stevens ng sumunod na taon, kasabay nito ang pagpapalit ng pangalan at naging Mattachine Society. Naging aktibo ang Mattachine Society sa paglaban sa diskriminasyon sa trabaho at pandarahas ng mga pulis sa mga lugar tipunan ng mga homosekswal sa panahong iyon.

Oktubre 1955 – Itinatag ang Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) sa pangunguna ng magkarelasyong Del Martin at Phyllis Lyon kasama ang tatlo pang magkakarelasyong lesbyana. Nagsimula ang grupo bilang isang safe space para sa mga lesbyana – isang alternatibong social club upang makaiwas sa mga raid at pandarahas ng mga pulis sa mga lugar tipunan ng mga lesbyana, nang lumaon ang DOB ay nagbigay suporta sa mga lesbyanang takot na lumantad, itinuro nila ang mga karapatan ng mga lesbyana at ang kasaysayan ng homosekswal.

1963– Malaki ang naging papel ni Bayard Rustin, isang bading na lider ng kilusan ng mamamayan sa US, bilang mayor na organisador ng pinakamalaking martsa ng mga mamamayang Amerikano kung saan nagtalumpati si Martin Luther King, Jr. Ang martsang ito ay nanawagan para sa trabaho at kalayaan ng mga mamamayan laluna ng mga African-American.

Hunyo 28, 1969 – Sa araw na ito naganap ang Stonewall Riot. Ang riot na ito ang nagbunsod ng makabagong era ng pakikibaka para sa LGBT rights. Sa loob ng tatlong gabi ay tuluy-tuloy na ni-raid at dinahas ng mga pulis ang Stonewall Inn, isang kilalang tipunan ng mga LGBT at kanilang mga kaibigan. Sa pangunguna ng isang African-American transgender woman na si Marsha P. Johnson at ng isang Latina transgender woman na si Sylvia Ray Rivera lumaban ang mga LGBT sa mga pulis na walang tigil na nadarahas sa kanila. Dahil sa pangyayaring ito, nabuo ang Gay Liberation Front (GLF). Ang organisasyong ito ay naglayon na lumaban sa patuloy na diskiriminasyon at karahasang dinaranas ng komunidad ng LGBT. Kasunod nitong nabuo ang Gay Activist Alliance (GAA). Ang riot rin na ito ang nagbunsod ng pinaka-unang Pride March na nilahukan ng mahigit sa 100,00 na mga LGBT bilang protesta laban sa diskriminasyon at karahasan.

Click the link to read more:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/true-colors-coalition-pilipinas/pridemonth2019-higit-sa-limampung-taong-pakikibaka-ng-lgbt-sa-pagpapalaya-ng-sar/2516439815042597/

 

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[In the news] Lesbian couple viciously beaten in homophobic attack on London bus -CNN Philippines

Four teenagers have been arrested in connection with a homophobic attack on two women on a London bus that prompted widespread condemnation in the UK.

The attack took place on a night bus on May 30 as the couple, Melania Geymonat and her partner Chris, were traveling home from an evening out together.

Geymonat posted a photograph on Facebook of the aftermath of the attack, showing the pair sitting on the bus, covered in blood.

In the accompanying account of the attack, in English and Spanish, Geymonat said that at least four men began harassing the couple when they saw them kissing. The group made lewd comments, demanded that they kiss and eventually assaulted and robbed them, Geymonat said.

“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions,” she wrote.

Geymonat said she started making jokes in an attempt to defuse the situation. But the men “kept on harassing us, throwing us coins and becoming more enthusiastic about it.”

“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,” Geymonat said. “On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched.”

Read more @cnnphilippines.com

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[From the web] Someday they will understand why we hold each other’s hands -RAPPLER.com

I went on my very first date with a girl (who is now my girlfriend) 5 months ago. Seeing her for the first time after weeks of flirting online was amazing. As I made my way to her, my heart started to pound twice its normal speed and my hands shook while I was trying to think of the first words to say.

I immediately went in for a hug. We then decided to go for a walk, our arms intertwined, occasionally holding each other’s hands and kissing each other on the cheek.

But after a while, fear consumed me. I realized that what felt like the most natural thing for us was unnatural in the eyes of many around us. I’d never wanted to be the subject of scrutiny, and holding hands with a girl in public seemed like I was handing myself over for judgment. I was scared that strangers might come right up and tell us to fuck off for being too affectionate.

Read more @www.rappler.com

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[From the web] Before ‘same-sex unions,’ let’s talk about the Anti-Discrimination Bill first -CNN Philippines

On May 17, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to pass marriage equality into law. A few days later, Congress released an online poll on its website asking citizens whether they are in favor of legalizing “same-sex unions as civil partnerships” in the Philippines. Suddenly, social media was abuzz with varying opinions on the poll.

Conservatives expressed their staunch disapproval, pushing the poll’s results to lean heavily towards “no.” Meanwhile, within the LGBTQ+ community, there was no general consensus on the poll. Some were angered by the phrasing of the options (Why was “personal opinions” an acceptable basis for answering “no”?). Others were wary of the use of “unions” rather than “marriage.” There were also those who, though dismayed by the results but hopeful for change, clamored for more LGBTQ+ members and allies to vote.

But how much do these online polls affect public policy anyway? And how crucial is it for the local LGBTQ+ community to bring it into the spotlight?

According to Jeff Crisostomo, communications officer of outgoing Representative and Governor-Elect Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Islands, the online poll has “very little to no” bearing on policy. Gov. Kaka Bag-ao is the principal author of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), also known as the SOGIE Equality Bill.

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[In the news] Miss Spain breaking barriers as first transgender Miss Universe hopeful -Rappler.com

Miss Spain breaking barriers as first transgender Miss Universe hopeful

BANGKOK, Thailand – Carrying a bold message of inclusion, transgender rights and a sharp rebuke to US President Donald Trump, Miss Spain’s Angela Ponce is blazing a trail as the first transgender contestant in Miss Universe’s 66-year history.

The willowy beauty is making history since the pageant reversed a longstanding policy in 2012 that participants must be “naturally born” women.

Explaining her broad appeal the plain-speaking 27-year-old says “who hasn’t suffered from prejudice? Who hasn’t had to deal with bullying?”

Outside the walls of Miss Universe – whose finals will be held early Monday in Thailand’s capital Bangkok – the transgender community continues to be marginalized and misunderstood, with high rates of suicide.

Read full article @www.rappler.com

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[Right-Up] The bigotry, discrimination and inhumanity of a hypocrite by Jose Mario de Vega

The bigotry, discrimination and inhumanity of a hypocrite

Mario De VegaThis article is my humble solidarity to the LGBT community and my fierce condemnation of the utterly uncouth, incontestably inhumane and undeniably degrading statement expressed by Mr. Manny Pacquiao who described and equated said people or fellows who belong to the said community as “worst than animals”!

Here is what he said:

“Common sense lang. Makakita ka ba ng any animals na lalake sa lalake o babae sa babae?”

“Mas mabuti pa ‘yung hayop, marunong kumikilala kung [lalake o babae], ‘di ba? Ngayon, kung lalake sa lalake o babae sa babae — mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao…”

I respect his right and stand on same-sex marriage, but to characterize, to portrayed and to tagged people who belong to the LGBT community as “masahol pa sa hayop” is not only unjust, but undeniably unpardonable.

If those people who belong to the LGBT community are worst than the animal, then what the hell do you call a man who is already married but goes around fucking other women? What kind of “man” is that creature? What kind of animal is that bloody bastard freakish hypocrite of the lowest order?

It is my firm and vehement view that what Manny stated is a clear case of bigotry which is rooted on idiocy, discrimination and indeed, inhumanity!

As a humanist philosopher, a social activist and a radical revolutionary, on behalf of the LGBT community of the whole world, I am condemning him to the highest possible degree for his arrogance, his ignorance and narrow-mindedness which in my view is a product of his dogmatic and ecclesiastical idiocy.

His idiocy and inhumanity is so disgusting and so bloody detestable!

What is a bigot? According to the simple definition given Merriam-Webster Dictionary, said creature is:

“a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group).”

Manny should never ever forget that before he should issue a statement or conduct an interview, he must always bear in mind (if he has) that (even though it’s ironic) he is a legislator (though he did not make any law, worst he is always absent) of the Republic of the Philippines.

As a member of the House of Representative, I hope that he is aware (though this is highly questionable) that this country is a government of laws and not of men, that all the citizens have the same right as everyone else.

I also hope (though I know that this is a false hope) that the Republic of the Philippines is governed by the 1987 Constitution and said Highest Law of the Land is Secular and Humanistic.

If he wants his bible and his religious beliefs to be shared on public, then he should give up his office (which is a public one) and be a full-time pastor or preacher.

I am saying this, because what he is doing is a clear violation of the fundamental law. Article 2, Section 6 of the Constitution expressly provides that:

“The separation of church and state shall be inviolable.”

As a legislator, he should be a role model for our society, yet what he did is that by his utterance and statement, he revealed his bigotry, discrimination and inhumanity.

Article 2, Section 10 provides that:

“The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development.”

While Article 2, Section 11 emphatically states that:

“The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.”

Further, Article 3, Section 1 of the Bill of Rights clearly expressed that:

“No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”

Hence, it is crystal clear from the Constitution that our charter is anti-discrimination, anti-sexism, against bigotry, abhors all forms of cruelty and inhumanity; in a word: it is a pro-human beings political instrument of the Republic. It is a document of justice, equality, fairness and if I may say, in a melodramatic sense, but indeed true, of love.

The fundamental law did not use the word or the term man or woman, but rather PERSON. Therefore, it follows that the Constitution is gender-free, humanistic and sexually neutral.

Our LGBT community

Mother Nature is sometimes harsh and not precise in her creation. Yet, nonetheless, it is our duty and responsibility as members of the same human society to accept and respect each other despite our differences.

It is precisely our variety, diversity and indeed differences that will transform our society to develop fully, to grow and reach unlimited heights!

People who belong to the LGBT community are our fellow human beings; the only difference is that we are certain of our sexual orientation and gender affiliation.

They also deserve to be loved and cherished. It is their inherent natural human right to love and be loved, regardless and irrespective of their “abnormalities”, “deformities” and “physiological-sexual limitations”.

The dichotomy of the individual and that of society has long been settled by both sociology and anthropology. The presence of varied elements is precisely one of the key ingredients for society to grow and develop.

Such a society would undeniably be vibrant, humane, accommodative to change and refreshingly adaptive to the prevailing circumstances.

In my conclusion, let me end this humble piece by paraphrasing the greatest speech delivered by the genius Charlie Chaplin:

Brothers and sisters, friends and comrades from the LBGT community:

Don’t give yourselves to brutes – men who despise you – enslave you – who regiment your lives – tell you what to do – what to think and what to feel! Who drill you – diet you – treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are HUMAN BEINGS! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural! Dearest friends, don’t ever be sway by slavery and idiocy! Let us all fight for liberty and Humanity!

It is written: “the Kingdom of Heaven is within US” – not one man or woman, gays, lesbians and/or transgender, but in all of US! In you! You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Hence, in the name of Humanity, I say: Love is all that matters!

To pacman, shame on you: Our love is more powerful than your hate, discrimination and intolerance!

In the stirring words of the noted British philosopher, Bertrand Russell:

“A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.”

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Instructor III
Unibersidad de Manila

Director,
Andres Bonifacio Course and the Katipunan Movement

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[Press Release] Pacquiao’s, govt’s inaction to address inequality “pinakamasahol,” says DIGNIDAD

Pacquiao’s, govt’s inaction to address inequality “pinakamasahol,” says DIGNIDAD

DIGNIDAD para sa lahatGroups advancing social protection hit Senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao’s derogatory remarks against LGBTs, calling him and the country’s leaders “pinakamasahol” for not lifting a finger against the disparate inequality in Philippine society  while they sit in Congress and Executive posts.

“Rep. Manny Pacquiao should know that this prevailing system of inequality, that has gotten worse over the years, is even more oppressive to LGBTs due to discrimination and homophobia,” said Ana Maria Nemenzo, DIGNIDAD co-convener and lead convener of Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay or KAMP.

“He insults the LGBTs for his uninformed remarks and insults the Filipino for daring to run as Senator having been an absentee House Representative with no significant bills filed,” she said.

Senatorial candidate Walden Bello, a champion of DIGNIDAD as well as Rep. Pacquiao’s colleague in Congress has earlier said that “Manny Pacquiao is a great boxer but his views on gender equality belong to the distant past. But aside from his views, can people really entertain voting for a person who holds the House of Representative’s highest record for non-attendance in the16th Congress? Manny is a nice guy, but I wish he had attended at least one session of the Committee on Overseas Workers’ Affairs of which he was Vice Chair and I was Chair. I really needed him to take on some of my heavy load but he was nowhere to be found.”

DIGNIDAD, a newly-established alliance of social movements calling for candidates to adopt transformative social protection measures, challenged the Senatorial aspirant to lay down his proposals and platform on how to correct the current inequality in the country where the top 10 of the Philippines’ richest have a net worth of nearly 50 billion US dollars while poverty incidence according to government statistics is 25% of the population.

“Government statistics show that one out of four Filipinos live in poverty and the situation has remained the same for the last two decades or so.   However, if the ridiculous official poverty threshold of roughly over P50 a day per capita is raised to at least P100 a day, half of the population shall automatically be classified as poor”, said Dr. Ed Tadem, DIGNIDAD co-convener and President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition

“As candidates offering themselves to the public, what do they plan to do about this?” he asked.

Particularly, DIGNIDAD wants Pacquiao as well as other Congressional, presidential and vice-presidential candidates to clarify his stand regarding the country’s outstanding debt and the Marcosian policy of automatic debt appropriations that have severely constrained government spending for vital social services and that is among the factors for widening inequality.

According to FDC figures, the country’s outstanding debt totals PhP 5.95 trillion. And 29.77% of the country’s total budget or PhP 776 billion goes to debt servicing (interest and amortization), which could have been spent to build roads, schools, classrooms and funded low-cost housing, health care including reproductive health measures and support to farmers, among others.

DIGNIDAD pointed to the Constitutional command to “give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good”

“The government violated the Constitution many times over by sticking to a Marcosian law guaranteeing foreign and domestic creditors automatic debt servicing (payment for interest and capital), which at certain years in the 1990s and 2000s ate up half of the national budgetary allocations. These debt payments and other government expenditures are taken from socially regressive taxes such as the VAT imposed on basic goods and services consumed by all, rich and poor alike,” Dr. Tadem said.

“As a lawmaker with the so-called heart for the poor, will Rep. Pacquiao and the other Presidential candidates support the call for repealing this unjust law?,” Dr. Tadem dared.

Dr. Tadem challenged Rep. Pacquiao and other candidates particularly the presidentiables to “commit to adopting social protection measures that would ensure a life with dignity for all, including the LGBTs, which he says he doesn’t condemn.”

Against a  background of worsening poverty and deepening inequality, DIGNIDAD calls on other electables for immediate social redistribution of wealth, resources, benefits, and privileges, to fulfil the social and economic rights of the people in order to live a life of dignity​. These people’s proposals must be legislated, with constitutional support,  institutionalised nationwide, and universalized to  guarantee  all Filipinos access to these necessities in life. These are: 1) ​Decent Work and Livelihood; 2) Decent and ​Affordable Housing, 3) ​Free and Quality Health Care; 4) Safe and Reliable Public Transport; 5) ​Free Education​ up to the Tertiary Level; 6) ​Living Pension​s for all Senior Citizens ​and income support to persons with disabilities, unemployed, and calamity victims.

DIGNIDAD members: AKBAYANlAlab KatipunanlArya Progresibo (ARYA)lAting GurolCoalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE) lFreedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) lHomeNet PhilippineslInstitute for Popular Democracy (IPD)lIntegrated Rural Development Foundation (IRDF)lKatipunang Bagong Pilipina (KABAPA)lKilos Maralita (KM) lKILUSANlKampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP) lMetro Manila Vendors AlliancelPambansangTagapag-ugnay ng mga Manggagawa sa Bahay (PATAMABA) lPambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan saKananayunan (PKKK) lPartidoManggagawa (PM) l  Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights)lSANLAKASl Sarilayal SENTROl UmalabKal WomanHealth Philippinesland numerous  sectoral and community-based networks. DIGNIDAD is part of the regional Network for Transformative Social Protection (NTSP) in Asia that advances an Agenda for a Social ASEAN.

DIGNIDAD
Buhay na may Dignidad para sa Lahat
c/o 85-B Masikap St. Extension, Barangay Central, Diliman, Quezon City | Tel.# 7097833/7097844
PRESS RELEASE
February 14, 2016
Contacts:  DIGNIDAD Media Liaison Officer Don Pangan (mobile: 09233250192)
Malu A. Mendoza (FDC) – 0932-8726168

 

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[Statement] On the Killing of Transpinay Jennifer Laude -QCPC

Statement on the Killing of Transpinay Jennifer Laude
Quezon City Pride Council (QCPC)
www.qcpridecouncil.com

Photo from QC Pride Council

Photo from QC Pride Council

Every human life is precious.

Jennifer Laude had lived a life of courage and strength embracing her gender identity as a Woman of Transgender experience. Last Oct 11, 2014, Jennifer was found dead at 11:45PM in a motel room severely beaten before being killed. The autopsy report revealed that she died from “asphyxia by drowning” and that the transgender woman’s body showed contusions and blood clots on the scalp, chest, arms and legs. Police investigators reported that she had cuts and bruising on her head and neck, including a cut on her tongue, bruising around her eyes and cheekbones, and abrasions on her left forearm and right leg. Furthermore, police described the killing as a “crime of hatred,” when the suspect, US Marine Pvt. 1st Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, “discovered that his sex partner was a gay (sic).”

QC Pride Council

A death perpetuated by hate. Hate perpetuated by Transphobia. Transphobia perpetuated by a myriad of issues, including but not limited to ignorance, economic situation, prejudice, and lack of respect.

A senseless ending of a beautiful life. ..

Even more disturbing is the reality that Transgender people lived in. Facing discrimination, prejudice and violence, Transpinays had to go through life risking their lives.

QCPC prides itself as a body that upholds the rights and celebrate the lives of LGBT people. As a steward of human dignity, We envision Quezon City as the most open and welcoming city that protects and promote the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons by promoting cultural, economic, environmental, educational and spiritual events without prejudice and discrimination.

QCPC’s unwavering efforts on education regarding LGBT concepts and issues hopes to combat ignorance and prejudice. Our livelihood programs targeted to LGBT people hopes to alleviate economic gap and lack of access to employment. Lastly, the recently passed Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill in Quezon City aims to uphold the individuality and lives of LGBT people.

With QCPC and everyone’s effort we truly hope to live a hate free society that values human dignity and human life. There will be no other Jennifer Laude, no other LGBT persons, Not in Quezon City, not in my beloved country.

ABOUT QCPC

Quezon City Pride Council (QCPC) was constituted to oversee the integration of all city programs and projects for the LGBTs (lesbian, gays, bisexual, and transgender) community. QCPC, created by Mayor Herbert Bautista thru an office order, was formally launched March 25, 2013 to highlight the city government’s continuing support for the implementation and enforcement of gender-based policies, programs and activities.

The QC Pride Council is a pioneering initiative of the QC local government and the first of its kind in the country. Learn More.

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[Press Release] Labor party demands turnover of US Marine suspect in transgender killing -PM

Labor party demands turnover of US Marine suspect in transgender killing

Partido Manggagawa (PM) condemns the killing of transgender woman, Jeffrey Serdoncillo Laude a.k.a. Jennifer Laude, allegedly by a US Marine participating in the Balikatan exercise in Olongapo City 11p.m. of October 11.

pmLogo1

PM expressed its readiness to mobilize its women and LGBT members and coordinate with other groups in a fight to seek justice for Laude. The group had also been active in the Nicole Subic rape case campaign.

According to reports, the US embassy had issued a statement assuring its full cooperation with Philippine law enforcement authorities.  The same commitment was expressed by the US government during the hearing of “Nicole” in the Subic rape case, but in the end convicted rapist Daniel Smith was allowed to escape by Philippine authorities in collusion with the US embassy.

“It has been almost three days yet both suspect and probable witnesses remain in the custody of American authorities in Philippines soil,” declared PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda. She added that “Similar to our demand during the trial of the Subic rape case, custody of suspect should in the hands of Philippine authorities.”

The group insists that nothing justifies Laude’s killing. “Being gay, hiding the fact that he is gay or being a prostitute does not make Laude’s killing right,” Miranda ended.

PM once more called for the repeal of the Visiting Forces Agreement under whose provisions the Balikatan exercises are conducted. “This recent incident again exposes that the VFA does not provide protection for Filipinos whose civil and social rights may be violated by US soldiers and moreover ties the Philippines to the imperialist agenda of the American government,” Miranda explained.

She furthered that ”We have nothing to gain and more to lose from allowing US soldiers, ships and planes to base in Philippine territory. An independent foreign policy is our best defense against external threats even against China’s claims on disputed islands.”

PARTIDO MANGGAGAWA
Press Release
14 October 2014
Contact Judy Ann Miranda @ 09175770777

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