Casiño renews call to outlaw homophobia, presses passage of human rights bill

May. 15, 2012

Press Release
14 May 2012

Casiño renews call to outlaw homophobia, presses passage of human rights bill

The House of Representatives today burst out in the rainbow colors of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBT) activism as leftist lawmaker Teddy Casiño welcomed to Congress human rights activists for the eighth annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (Idaho).

Posing before media cameras were same-sex couples in tuxedos and wedding gowns while re-enacting a mock wedding ceremony, symbolizing the rising demand among Filipino gays and lesbians for legal recognition of their partnerships similar to 10 countries in the world where gays can marry.  They also waived a portion of the country’s longest gay rainbow flag at the gate, doing the same colorful display of growing political power as in 70 other countries where Idaho is being observed.

LGBT activists led by the Ladlad, Gabriela and Metropolitan Community Church are pushing a bill filed last year by Casiño, House Bill 4635, declaring every 17th of May as the “National Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia” or Nadaho.  The bill shall encourage government and private institutions to develop simple observances promoting the defense of LGBT rights patterned after the example of the European Union that officially recognize Idaho in their individual countries.

Casiño said Congress should now pass the Antidiscrimination Bill that he filed as House Bill 1483 because of an urgent recommendation by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay in a video statement released for IDAHO this week.  In the two-minute video Pillay said that the human cost of homophobia which results in millions of LGBTs getting arrested, attacked, tortured and killed, just for being in a loving relationship must be remedied by repealing discriminatory laws and ban discriminatory practices.

“I support Pillay’s call to punish violence and hatred, not love, so let us wield the power of Congress to protect our LGBT families with the laws of love,” Casiño said.

Casiño in his privilege speech called on President Aquino to take heed of the civil society shadow reports filed by activist groups Rainbow Rights Project and ProGay Philippines before the Universal Periodic Review committee of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

The separate reports highlighted the long list of human rights violations suffered by LGBTs in the Philippines such as transgendered women in Cebu getting shot with airgun bullets by drive-by goons and abused by doctors; lesbians being exploited with long working hours and reduced pay; and gay men being arrested by the police en masse during raids on gay saunas.

Casiño said that the Philippine government needs to take seriously the recommendations offered by shadow reports including the formal training of police and local government of sensitivity training.

“The government must take a proactive struggle against homophobia and transphobia by including LGBTs not only in legislation but actual everyday government planning and project implementation.  This is the first step but not the only step if the Philippines wants to achieve zero level homophobia and transphobia according to global standards,” Casiño added.

Idaho was first observed in 2005, and the date was chosen to observe the 1990 declaration by the World Health Organization removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders.  It is now celebrated in more than 70 countries.

Goya Candelario 09995331065, Ceejay Agbayani 09152904310

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