- Published on Monday, 14 May 2012 01:00
- Written by DAHLI ASPILLERA
By A Web design Company
‘As President Obama announced his support for same sex marriage, Republicans in congress voted to stop his efforts to end discrimination against gays.’
GAY Filipinos are rejoicing over the decision of the administration of President Barrack Obama to eventually support marriage equality in the United States.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer--LGBTQ-- is challenging the Philippines’ chief executive President Benigno Aquino III to make the first few baby steps not for marriage yet, but for the most basic human rights.
The Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay) said while it is not yet pushing Aquino to fight for Obama’s advocacy, it said that the administration can at least address the more pressing human rights violations being committed against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Filipinos.
“We are not asking for wedding bells soon, we are merely requesting the government to face up to the reports ProGay gave the United Nations Human Rights Council which will be reviewing the Philippines on May 28th in Geneva during its Universal Period Review or UPR,” said Goya Candelario, spokesperson of ProGay.
In the so-called shadow report titled “A Report on Violations of Human Rights Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the Philippines” ProGay listed complaints including Malacañang’s snub of the Anti-Discrimination Bill in Congress already pending for twelve years. The report also scored incidents of hate-motivated agitation by groups opposed to gay pride events in Baguio City, and violent fly-by shootings of transgendered women in Cebu.
The ProGay report also highlighted discrimination that forces LGBT students and teachers in schools to conform to rigid gender-based rules on uniforms.
The report made a list of recommendations that the activists are putting forward to the government, such as:
Pass in local legislative councils in cities and provinces effective versions of the Anti-Discrimination Act, and put in place implementing structures with capacity building funded by the mandatory 5% Gender and Development budgets;
Order national agencies under the guidance of the National Council of Women to add to the Gender and Development desks tasks addressing the needs, issues and cases of LGBTQ Filipinos;
Assign the Presidential Human Rights Commission to incorporate in the National Human Rights Action Plan the human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity as stated in the Yogyakarta Principles;
Order the Department of Interior and Local Government to issue guidelines, capacity building documents, and memorandums for the Vice Mayors League, the Councilors League and other leagues concerning ordinances that can affect human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
Implement protective measures such as police presence during Pride parades and other cultural events of LGBTQs when organizers report such risks arising from hate groups;
Build capacity in the Department of Labor and Employment and develop educational programs among employers and managers on labor rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity;
Direct the Department of Labor and Employment to collect and analyze data on incidents of workplace discrimination targeting sexual orientation and gender identity. ProGay added that it expects the UNHRC to provide the Philippines representative in Geneva a list of instructions called Concluding Observations that the government needs to comply with. LGBTQ activists said they will keep on monitoring the government after it receives the document to ensure that state agencies build programs to uplift the social and political wellbeing of the gay community.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Community Church, which is pushing for marriage equality in the Philippines, praised Obama’s bold move to campaign for same-sex marriage. Rev. Ceejay Agbayani expressed hope that Aquino may soon consider promoting similar family rights for LGBTQ Filipinos.
Progay Philippines is a service and advocacy organization that provides counseling, training and education assistance to marginalized gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual Filipinos, especially the youth and the ageing sectors. ProGay initiated Pride traditions in the country when it led the first ever gay and lesbian Pride parade in the entire Asian region on 26 June 1994.
Mailing address: 35 Scout Delgado Street, Bgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City
1103 Philippines. Contact Goya Candelario 0999.5331065, Ceejay Agbayani 0915.2904310. Visit our website: www.progay.multiply.com