PRIDE

1969 – members of the New York Police Force raided an LGBT bar and harassed its customers, so a small group of homosexuals decided to fight back in June 28, 1969 and created the Stonewall Riot that paved the way to the first ever PRIDE march. 2011 – After the recent success of the PRIDE march sponsored by the Baguio PRIDE network, PROGAY ST and UPLB Babaylan (a member organization of PROGAY Southern Tagalog Regional Network) will hold the 1st Southern Tagalog University PRIDE March, with the theme “FEARLESS, SHAMELESS EQUALITY.” It will be held on the date of the 3rd anniversary of UPLB Babaylan – July 6, 2011 at UPLB Lower Campus Grounds. It is an answer to the need to trump up our united action to forward the recognition of LGBT rights as human rights.

LGBT Situation
Several decades after the Stonewall Riot, violence and discrimination against LGBT remains. In the Philippines, there are 160 documented LGBT killings by LGBT Crime Watch and much remains undocumented. Laws and statute continue to be implemented, which are unjustly biased against LGBT. Dress codes in public and private institutions like schools and public offices prohibit the free expression of gender identity; cases of unjust dismissal and arbitrary promotion requirements in companies; violence towards members of LGBT is prevalent and is often tolerated by the community; LGBT children and youth continuously live in an atmosphere of hate and discrimination. Hence, the need for increased united action, not only from the LGBT community, but from all sectors who wish for a democratic society, one in which equality and freedom prevail.

LGBT Rights as Human Rights
June 17, 2011 – The UN Human Rights Council made a historic decision by passing the first resolution that focuses on human rights violations based on SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity). The said resolution requests for the study and discussion on violence and discrimination based on SOGI. It was sponsored by 40 countries, most of which are predominantly Catholic. It is a dangerous precedent, however, for the Philippine government – currently under Pres. Noynoy Aquino – not to co-sponsor or even express support for such an historic resolution. The RP government should uphold human rights for all. Even the Holy See, in a statement last December 2008, declared its opposition to violence and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. The Philippine government failed to stand up for the rights of LGBT.

UPLB BABAYLAN | uplbababaylan@gmail.com

0917-7262-553

LGBT Bills and Resolutions
Hence, the LGBT community pin their hope to LGBT bills and resolutions currently passed in Congress. BayanMuna Representative Teddy Casiño passed HB 1483, the Anti-Discrimination Bill to stop unjust discrimination and violence on the basis of SOGI. He also authored HB 4635, calling for a declaration to have a NADAHO or National Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Meanwhile, Rep. Raymond Palatino of Kabataan Partylist sponsored HR 1333, calling for the study and investigation of violence and unjust discrimination against LGBT in campuses. Bills and resolutions like these, if passed, are significant steps in the advancement of the human rights situation in the country.

Equality and Unity
The LGBT community does not claim for special rights. We only demand the equal enjoyment of human rights. Along with the call for equal enjoyment of human rights by the LGBT community, we also demand for such other concerns like: Free and democratic access to education for straight and LGBT students. In UP, for example, the government needs to allocate only Php390 million more fund to make UP education free for all iskolar ng bayan! But the fact is, students need to pay for Php1,000/ unit. Hence, the high no-show rate among UPCAT passers especially the LGBT youth whose education in not prioritized by their families who don’t approve of their sexuality. For, instead of downward trend in tuition and other fees payment – what happens is otherwise. Wage, work, land and services to the workers and farmers sector – the backbone of this country. The oppression in the work force means double burden to the oppressed LGBT workers and toilers. The meager health insurance of a party in a samesex relationship does not extend to his/ her life partner and their children, unlike straight couples. It is sad that instead of enjoying our rights, the Philippine masses only suffer repression and persecution especially those who actively participate in pushing for these rights.

Fearless Call to End Persecution
June 19 – 5 UPLB students – one of which is gay – and 2 workers were detained and wrongfully charged with disturbance of public disorder just for registering their demands to PNoy. In ST, 72 leaders of people’s organizations and alliances are sued for made-up charges. These cases are meant to limit the enjoyment of their rights. This is a part of PNoy’s Oplan Bayanihan, which targets militants who fights in the legal parlance in order to suppress them, along with other critics. The number of political detainees, political killings and HR violations are increasing. We call to end all forms of political persecution.

PRIDE March
We also proclaim the triumphs we have made in the advancement of LGBT and other human rights despite the blatant neglect of the government. The first ever pride march sprouted from persecution and discrimination from society. The PRIDE March now is a celebration of our strength, our unity, our joint struggle, and our anticipated future victories.

UPLB BABAYLAN | uplbababaylan@gmail.com

0917-7262-553

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