Wednesday

GAY AND LESBIAN GROUP WINS U.N. ACCREDITATION

Wednesday
The International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA) has finally won United Nations accreditation.
The group, which is one of the oldest international organisations fighting for gay rights, has been trying to gain recognition at the UN for years.
Yesterday, countries voted 30-16 to grant the group consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
ILGA gained consultative status in 1993 but lost it a year later.
Co-secretary general Renato Sabbadini said: “This is a historic day for our organisation, which heals a 17-year-old wound and we want to thank all, really all UN Members who voted in our favour.”
Countries which voted in favour: India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary.
Countries which voted against: Iraq, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ghana.
Abstentions: Guatemala, Mauritius, Philipines, Rwanda, Bahamas, Ivory Coast

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Tuesday

10th WHITE PARTY

Tuesday

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Sunday

Cebu Bloggers Society's Manifesto of Support for the Reproductive Health Bill

Sunday
We, the undersigned Board of Trustees, as official representatives of our organization Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc., support the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development Bill (House Bill 4244) and urge its immediate passage in Congress.

Cebu Bloggers Society
We see the need to fight for and uphold our sexual and reproductive rights – inalienable human rights which must be fulfilled by the State. Furthermore, we believe that the Reproductive Health Bill:
  • Will provide us with an appropriate, non-discriminatory and participatory avenue to learn and understand our sexuality and rights through comprehensive age-appropriate  sexuality and reproductive health education;

  • Promotes gender equality and equity, with no discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS or any individual based on sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, and ethnicity;

  • Can effectively reduce unplanned pregnancies which often result to induced abortions, maternal deaths, prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, and improve the quality of life of every child and youth through information and services on sexual and reproductive health; and

  • Recognizes, respects and promotes the right of every Filipino, including the youth, to free and informed choice.
We call on President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III to continue supporting the passage of the RH Bill.

Ultimately, we encourage fellow bloggers and our fellow Filipino youth to actively promote and educate the youth and the public of the salience of the RH Bill. We also call for strengthened lobbying efforts to congressional legislators to support and participate in ongoing campaigns for the passage of the RH Bill.

PASS THE RH BILL NOW!

Unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on the 2nd day of July 2011.
 
KEVIN RAY N. CHUA
President

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Friday

Joint Statement on the Rights of LGBT Persons at the Human Rights Council (US DEPARTMENT OF STATE)

Friday


At the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva 85 countries joined a Joint Statement entitled “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” This follows previous statements on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons issued at the United Nations, including a 2006 statement by 54 countries at the Human Rights Council, and a 2008 statement that has garnered 67 countries’ support at the General Assembly. The United States is amongst the signatory states to both previous efforts. The United States co-chaired the core group of countries that have worked to submit this statement, along with Colombia and Slovenia.

Key facts about the new statement:
  • A core group of over 30 countries engaged in discussions and sought signatures from other UN member states for the statement. In many places, United States diplomats joined diplomats from other states for these conversations.
  • This statement adds new references not seen in previous LGBT statements at the UN, including: welcoming attention to LGBT issues as a part of the Universal Periodic Review process, noting the increased attention to LGBT issues in regional human rights fora, encouraging the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue addressing LGBT issues, and calls for states to end criminal sanctions based on LGBT status.
  • 20 countries joined this statement that were neither signatory to the 2006 or 2008 statements.
  • The statement garnered support from every region of the world, including 21 signatories from the Western Hemisphere, 43 from Europe, 5 from Africa, and 16 from the Asia/Pacific region.

The full list of signatories and text of the statement follows:

Joint statement on ending acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation 
& gender identity

Delivered by Colombia on behalf of: Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Central African Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the former-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, and Venezuela

1. We recall the previous joint statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, presented at the Human Rights Council in 2006;

2. We express concern at continued evidence in every region of acts of violence and related human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity brought to the Council’s attention by Special Procedures since that time, including killings, rape, torture and criminal sanctions;

3. We recall the joint statement in the General Assembly on December 18, 2008 on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, supported by States from all five regional groups, and encourage States to consider joining the statement;

4. We commend the attention paid to these issues by international human rights mechanisms including relevant Special Procedures and treaty bodies and welcome continued attention to human rights issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity within the context of the Universal Periodic Review. As the United Nations Secretary General reminded us in his address to this Council at its Special Sitting of 25 January 2011, the Universal Declaration guarantees all human beings their basic rights without exception, and when individuals are attacked, abused or imprisoned because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the international community has an obligation to respond;

5. We welcome the positive developments on these issues in every region in recent years, such as the resolutions on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity adopted by consensus in each of the past three years by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, the initiative of the Asia-Pacific Forum on National Human Rights Institutions to integrate these issues within the work of national human rights institutions in the region, the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the increasing attention being paid to these issues by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and the many positive legislative and policy initiatives adopted by States at the national level in diverse regions;

6. We note that the Human Rights Council must also play its part in accordance with its mandate to “promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without discrimination of any kind, and in a fair and equal manner” (GA 60/251, OP 2);

7. We acknowledge that these are sensitive issues for many, including in our own societies. We affirm the importance of respectful dialogue, and trust that there is common ground in our shared recognition that no-one should face stigmatisation, violence or abuse on any ground. In dealing with sensitive issues, the Council must be guided by the principles of universality and non-discrimination;

8. We encourage the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to address human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to explore opportunities for outreach and constructive dialogue to enhance understanding and awareness of these issues within a human rights framework;

9. We recognise our broader responsibility to end human rights violations against all those who are marginalised and take this opportunity to renew our commitment to addressing discrimination in all its forms;

10. We call on States to take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, encourage Special Procedures, treaty bodies and other stakeholders to continue to integrate these issues within their relevant mandates, and urge the Council to address these important human rights issues.


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Ladlad Party List Condemns the Roman Catholic Church

Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are not manifestations of mental illness nor criminality. These are basic human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that not even the Roman Catholic Church can deny.
The celebration of same-sex weddings speaks of the love of two persons, and this is not an issue for the Roman Catholic Church to interfere in. It is also not a Roman Catholic Church issue to criticize or question the authority of religious leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church, which do not belong to its denomination.
While Ladlad is nonsectarian, we are calling for respect; respect that Christ advocated and which is the basis of Christianity, respect for different forms of expression and diverse views. Let us not resort to name-calling, when the issue is simple: Do LGBTs in the Philippines have human rights? If the answer is yes, then there should be no attacks on them based on their expressions of love and exercise of freedom of religion, especially since they are not violating any law or impinging on the rights of others.
We condemn in the strongest sense the unfair, discriminatory, arrogant and condescending statements of Bishop Teodoro Bacani and others in the Roman Catholic church. The bishops have propagated once again–hatred, bias, prejudice and fear toward LGBT Filipinos. We urge them to step back, as we draw the line between their hypocrisy and our rights. We also urge the Roman Catholic Church to clear their names from various scandals before training their guns at us.
We only ask for equal rights and nothing more. But we will accept nothing less.
Ladlad LGBT Partylist is seeking a seat in Congress to fight for the human rights of LGBTs, and to end discrimination in Philippine society…
RESPECT LGBT RIGHTS!

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Thursday

Dear P-Noy: Where Is The Political Will To Fight HIV And AIDS?

Thursday
From 8–10 June 2011, the United Nations convened more than forty heads of state and ministers in a High Level Meeting that would plot the next phase of the struggle to eliminate HIV and AIDS. The High Level Meeting marks the 30th year since the discovery of AIDS, and while there is cause for optimism due to a global decline in new infections and HIV-related deaths, the next roadmap cannot be premised on complacency or a backslide in political commitments. Now, more than ever, global leaders should commit more and scale up their actions to eliminate the epidemic and put an end to this protracted and costly fight.
The Philippines has crucial stakes in this international effort. After all, it is one of the only seven countries worldwide that is experiencing an alarming rise in HIV infection. It is likewise heavily reliant on foreign aid in its HIV and AIDS response, thus the outcome of the UN High Level Meeting would have implications on the country’s HIV and AIDS programs and services.
Despite these important considerations, the Philippines scaled down its participation in the High Level Meeting. Where other countries chose to send their heads of state and high ranking ministers who can commit to fight and lobby for a more effective global plan on HIV and AIDS, President Noynoy Aquino and his political alteregos, especially Health Secretary Enrique Ona, decided to skip the High Level Meeting. Also telling was the last minute approval of the inclusion of CSO representation in the national delegation.
This reflects a pattern of indifference and lack of political will on the part of the government on an issue that merits immediate action. The Aquino administration is clearly ignoring the gravity of the situation: the country is sitting on an HIV time bomb, and yet the government refuses to do anything.
The spike in new infections should be enough to wake the government from its complacency: HIV may not have reached the general population yet, but it is moving towards that direction. Based on the targets that were set five years ago, the country has failed to stop HIV infection among Filipino men who have sex with men and transgenders from reaching epidemic level. Data shows that OFWs are no longer the drivers of the epidemic, but HIV infection is still rising among Filipino migrant workers. In the last two years, the Philippines has also seen a marked increase in infections among people who inject drugs. NCR and other urban centers, especially Cebu, Davao, Batangas, and Baguio are likewise breaching past epidemic targets that the country has actually committed to prevent.
The DOH has warned that a 500% increase in HIV infection is likely to happen under the Aquino administration. This alarming increase is the message: inaction is no longer an option.
The steps that the government should take to reverse the trend and prevent the explosion of an HIV epidemic are crystal clear: it must increase support for programmes and services, especially evidence-based preventive interventions such as safer sex education, condom use, and harm reduction; it must ensure sustainable HIV and STI treatment, care and support for Filipinos living with HIV; it must protect and promote the human rights of people living with HIV and of populations and communities that are vulnerable to the virus, especially men who have sex with men, transgenders, people who inject drugs, and sex workers; it must address the climate of stigma that is attached to the HIV epidemic, which has made it more difficult for effective HIV services to reach the affected populations and communities; and, it must scale up its political commitment to stop HIV and AIDS.
We believe that the HIV epidemic in the Philippines can still be halted and reversed. But that cannot happen without the government rallying its political will and its resources behind the fight to eliminate HIV and AIDS.
Signatories:

Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc.
AIDS Society of the Philippines (ASP)
Aklan AIDS Council
Aklan Butterfly Brigade
ALAGAD-Mindanao
Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders & Advocates International Inc. (AYNLA)
Alliance of Young Health Advocates (AYHA)
Catholic Asia Pacific HIV/AIDS Network (CAPCHAN)
Concerned Bisexual Community of the Philippines (CBCP)
Institute for Social Studies & Action Philippines (ISSA)
IWAG-Dabaw
Kabataang Gabay sa Positibong Pamumuhay (KGPP)
Ladlad Partylist
National Federation of Filipino Living with HIV and AIDS (NaFFWA)
Philippine Legislators Committee on Population & Development (PLCPD)
Philippine NGO Support Program, Inc. (PHANSUP)
Pinoy Plus Association (PPA+)
Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI)
Progay Philippines
Queer Pagan Network (QPN)
S.H.I.N.E. SOCCSKSARGEN, Inc.
Student Nurses Alliance of the Philippines (SNA)
The Rainbow Nightingales Project (RNP)
TLF SHARE Collective
Youth AIDS Filipinas Alliance, Inc. (YAFA)
Youth Consortium for the Passage of the RH Bill

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Wednesday

Rev.Ceejay's Official Statement on Same Sex Wedding or Holy Union conducted in Baguio City

Wednesday
29th June 2011

To Fellow Filipinos,

Peace and Goodwill!

As many have seen in the news, our mission Church, Metropolitan Community Church of Metro Bagiuo with the participation of Metropolitan Community Church of Quezon City and Metropolitan Community Church Philippines, Makati, has conducted a mass wedding for same sex couples last 25th of June, 2011.
With the event, there was uproar from the Catholic Church and several Evangelical Churches, as well as from some secular and governmental personalities. We have been called many things and we have been threatened legal actions due to the event. We are saddened that the so called people who are tasked to preach and promote the Gospel of Love are the ones, who right now are sowing seeds of hate and discrimination against people who simply want to have a solemnizing ceremony of their Love for one another.

The Metropolitan Community Churches is a Christian Church that specifically cares and caters to the spirituality of Gays, Lesbians, Transgenders and Bisexuals, with the firm belief that everyone are welcome and loved by God regardless of sexuality and gender identity. We believe that the love of two people for each other, whether homosexual or heterosexual, are legitimate and valid in the eyes of God and should also be valid in the eyes of human society. And this beliefs are back-up by biblical, theological, historical and scholastic research and studies of several Churches and scholars. More so, the choice of who to love and spend one’s life with is a basic human right, regardless of any religious doctrine or social custom.

We Filipinos have always had good relationships with our gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual brothers and sisters especially nowadays. How many of us, our mothers, sisters and even brothers go to the salon to have a hair service from a very talented transgender or gay person? How many of us have co-workers and friends in the call center; some of them are our bosses, holding managerial and executive positions and some are our agents and team mates? How many of us have lesbian sisters and aunties? How many of us have gay and bisexual brothers and uncles? How many of us have sons and daughters who are gays, lesbians and transgender persons who are bread winners, holding good and decent jobs? How m any real life stories of gays and lesbians who have provided for their families with the sweat and blood of hard work; who sent siblings, nephews and nieces to finish school? How many of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends have shared with each of us their pains and joys, struggles and triumphs, heart aches and love lives? Our LGBT brothers and sisters deserve societies respect and acceptance; Respect for their right to solemnize their love and acceptance for who and what they are.

The Metropolitan Community Churches has not violated any law or statute of the Philippines by conducting the religious rite of holy union. We conducted the holy union rite nothing more than just religious ceremony, which is protected by the constitutional right of religious freedom. We as a Church and as individuals never conducted marriage, nor have we ever claimed or promised a marriage to any same sex couples that we have solemnized through our holy union rite. Couples are made fully aware that the rite of holy union/wedding is not legally binding and has no legal or statutory implications and effects; it is merely a religious ritual or ceremony.

The right of religious freedom is a constitutional right whereas any form or religious expression of any Church or individual are permitted as long as it does not violate any other law or statute of the land. The provision on the constitution that states that “marriage shall be between a man and a woman” is not violated by our religious expression, since our ceremony of holy union is not marriage nor has been transact, claimed and promoted as such by the Metropolitan Community Church.  We reiterate again that our Holy Union Rite is merely a religious ceremony that has no legal promise and effect within it, to anyone who partakes of it.

Any attack or legal action against our activity of Holy Union is taken by Metropolitan Community Church as a form of discrimination and religious persecution.

We appeal to the LGBT community to show calm and restraint against these attacks on our ranks. We ask to be more understanding to those who attack us and to show them love where they show us hate. We ask to the entire Filipino people, to respect our lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual brothers and sisters; as well as to accept them for who and what they are, and the love that exist between two people regardless of sexuality and gender identity. And to our detractors, our dear Bishops and Pastors of other Churches, we ask in prayer, that you would reflect on your actions and words against the LGBT community and against this Church of MCC; As Christ has said “Let him who has not sinned, cast the first stone.” And the Lord further said, “Judge not that ye may not be Judge… Condemn not, that ye may not be condemned.” For in the judgment day, we will not be asked of our sexuality or gender identity, rather the Lord of Love will ask, “have you fed me when I was hungry? Have you given me drink when I was thirsty? Have you clothed me when I was naked? Have you visited me when I was imprisoned?” What truly matters is if we have loved as Christ has loved.



Rev. Ceejay Agbayani MDiv.
Administrative Pastor
Metropolitan Community Church of Quezon City


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Monday

Casiño vows to initiate House probe on hate crimes vs. gays

Monday

BAGUIO CITY - Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today announced that he would initiate an investigation on the alarming number of hate crimes against gays in the country. 

The lawmaker made his announcement before delegates of the annual Baguio Pride Parade, which is the highlight of a week of nationwide activities by various lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender goups in the country.Based on the study of Philippine LGBT Crime Watch, an online organization in Facebook, about 97 gays were violently murdered in the Philippines from 1996 to 2011, with a pronounced rise in gay killings between 2009 and the present year.“I am alarmed with the rise in hate crimes against gays. From an average of 10 murders between 1996 and 2008, the killings rose to 12 gays slain in 2009, 26 murdered in 2010, and 27 killed in just the first six months of the current year. 

The killings, the study revealed, involved both male homosexuals and lesbians,” said the progressive solon.The study also indicated that the killings did not target a specific profile of gays. “Everyone seems vulnerable,” Quezon City had the highest incidence of gay killings, with at least four victims listed as employees of broadcast networks. 

These victims were William Castro (DWAN AM radio, March 2005); Eli “Mama Elay” Formaran (entertainment writer, May 2005); Larry Estadarte (Balitang K/ABS-CBN program researcher, August 2005); and Joselito Siervo (executive producer Pinoy Dream Academy, November 2006).About 42 of the 97 reported cases of gays killed happened in the Greater Manila Area, with Quezon City claiming 15 gays slain.Casiño has filed HB 1483 or An Act Defining Discrimination on the Basis Of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefor that seeks to define and penalize, for the first time, what are considered discriminatory acts against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) and HB 4653 that would make May 17 a National Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, or NADAHO, our own localized version of IDAHO these type of heinous crime is escalating.“LGBTs do not want “special” or “additional rights.” 

These bills aim to advance the observance of the same rights as those of heterosexual persons that are denied to them - either by current laws or practices - basic civil, political, social and economic rights. It is also about time that the abuses are corrected through penalties because they destroy self-esteem and value, ruin lives and even cause suicides and isolation. The right to choose whoever we love is basic and universal. Nobody is licensed to inflict pain, trample dignity, or violate the human rights of anyone because he or she is gay. 

Despite our differences, we are all human beings with equal rights,” ended Casiño. 

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Sunday

UN Issues Historic Resolution on Gay Rights Protection

Sunday
GENEVA -- The United Nations endorsed the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people for the first time ever Friday, passing a resolution hailed as historic by the U.S. and other backers and decried by some African and Muslim countries. The declaration was cautiously worded, expressing "grave concern" about abuses because of sexual orientation and commissioning a global report on discrimination against gays.
But activists called it an important shift on an issue that has divided the global body for decades, and they credited the Obama administration's push for gay rights at home and abroad.

"This represents a historic moment to highlight the human rights abuses and violations that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people face around the world based solely on who they are and whom they love," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement.

Following tense negotiations, members of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council narrowly voted in favor of the declaration put forward by South Africa, with 23 votes in favor and 19 against.

Backers included the U.S., the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries. Those against included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. China, Burkina Faso and Zambia abstained, Kyrgyzstan didn't vote and Libya was suspended from the rights body earlier.

The resolution expressed "grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity."

More important, activists said, it also established a formal U.N. process to document human rights abuses against gays, including discriminatory laws and acts of violence. According to Amnesty International, consensual same-sex relations are illegal in 76 countries worldwide, while harassment and discrimination are common in many more.

"Today's resolution breaks the silence that has been maintained for far too long," said John Fisher of the gay rights advocacy group ARC International.

The resolution calls for a panel discussion next spring with "constructive, informed and transparent dialogue on the issue of discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against" gays, lesbians and transgender people.

The prospect of having their laws scrutinized in this way went too far for many of the council's 47-member states.

"We are seriously concerned at the attempt to introduce to the United Nations some notions that have no legal foundation," said Zamir Akram, Pakistan's envoy to the U.N. in Geneva, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Nigeria claimed the proposal went against the wishes of most Africans. A diplomat from the northwest African state of Mauritania called the resolution "an attempt to replace the natural rights of a human being with an unnatural right."

Boris Dittrich of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch said it was important for the U.S. and Western Europe to persuade South Africa to take the lead on the resolution so that other non-Western countries would be less able to claim the West was imposing its values.

At the same time, he noted that the U.N. has no enforcement mechanism to back up the resolution. "It's up to civil society to name and shame those governments that continue abuses," Dittrich said.

The Obama administration has been pushing for gay rights both domestically and internationally.

In March, the U.S. issued a nonbinding declaration in favor of gay rights that gained the support of more than 80 countries at the U.N. In addition, Congress recently repealed the ban on gays openly serving in the military, and the Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the U.S. law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The vote in Geneva came at a momentous time for the gay rights debate in the U.S. Activists across the political spectrum were on edge Friday as New York legislators considered a bill that would make the state the sixth – and by far the biggest – to allow same-sex marriage.

Asked what good the U.N. resolution would do for gays and lesbians in countries that opposed the resolution, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer said it was a signal "that there are many people in the international community who stand with them and who support them, and that change will come."

"It's a historic method of tyranny to make you feel that you are alone," he said. "One of the things that this resolution does for people everywhere, particularly LGBT people everywhere, is remind them that they are not alone."

~ Huffington Post

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HAPPY FATHER'S DAY...


WE WISH ALL FATHERS, DADS, TATAYS, PAPAS 
AND DADAS TODAY.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!


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Monday

LGBTs pin hope on HB1483 (VERAFILES ARTICLE)

Monday
By Patrick King Pascual (VERAFILES.ORG)
HIS name was Carlos Canlas. He was 29 years old and gay.
He was found dead inside a rented room in a resort hotel in General Santos City. He bore multiple stab wounds on his body and face which made him unrecognizable.
It happened early May this year. Carlos checked in at the resort hotel alone. Two men were spotted entering his room after a few hours.
According to the hotel security, several minutes before they found Carlos, 10 boys rushed out of his room. It was also reported that several pieces of jewelry and P40, 000 cash were stolen from him.
After initial investigations, the police dubbed it as plain robbery and homicide.
A blogger from General Santos posted on his site: “My researcher friend went to the police station to interview the local police about the murder of Carlos. They told him the same story they told media, and added: ‘Hindi siguro nagbayad ng maayos dun sa dalawang lalake kaya ninakawan at pinatay. Baka hindi kaagad maproseso ang kaso nito .(He might not have paid enough so he was robbed and killed. His case might not immediately be processed.)’ The police looked away and smirked.”
In 2009, Winton Lou Ynion, a Palanca awardee, was found dead in his condominium with his hands and feet tied. His body and face bore multiple stab wounds.
It happened after Winton took home two guys. Investigators said the case was plain robbery and homicide.
When a group of advocates followed up the status of Winton’s case, the answer they got was: “Sir, may mga kaso na mas priority, kaya yun ang inuuna. Baka tulad din yan ng ibang mga kaso dati, hindi nagbayad sa lalake kaya nangyari sa kanya iyon. Balik nalang kayo. (Sir, there are more priority cases so they are being acted upon first. This might be just like similar cases where the victim did not pay his male visitors. Just come back.”
Both Carlos and Winton were gay.
There are several recorded crimes involving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) that followed the same pattern as that of Carlos and Winton’s. Majority of these are still unresolved.

There is still no law that can assure LGBTs equal treatment in pursuit of justice.
The Anti-Discrimination Act of 2010 (House Bill 1483), filed by Rep. Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna in August last year, remains pending in Congress.
HB 1483 seeks to protect the LGBTs against unlawful discriminatory acts in employment, education, health services, public service (including military service), commercial and medical establishments, including police and military harassment.
What happened to Carlos and Winton was a clear case of discrimination as defined by HB 1483, or the LGBT Rights Bill.
Pending the passage of HB 1483, LGBTs have to deal with discrimination every day without legal protection as seen in the following cases.
Bemz Benedito, chair of Ladlad Partylist, was denied access to the female area of Wensha Spa because she is a transgender. The spa administrator claimed that being a male, Bemz she should stay in the male area. Bemz told them that she considers herself a female and that should be respected. Wensha refused to bend its rules and still enforced the spa’s policy.
Jed Tanjutco is a local airline employee in his mid 30s. While looking for a place to eat during a night out in Malate, Jed and his friends were arrested by policemen who accused them of being male prostitutes cruising for customers. The police asked each of them to pay P1,000 pesos in exchange for their freedom. Jed and his friends had no choice but to give the police P3,000.
A 25-year-old HIV-positive gay was refused in a hospital in Manila. He went there to consult his recurring cough. Hospital personnel told him they do not admit gay HIV-positive patients. He left and went to a different hospital.
Section 4, Article E of the Casino bill makes it punishable to deny access to medical and other health services open to the general public on the basis of such person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
HB1483 ensures equal rights, not special rights, for LGBTs.
While the LGBTs’ situation has improved since the unenlightened days of long ago, it can still be a lot better if HB1483 is passed into law.

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