Gays, lesbians press for passage of anti-discrimination law
By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) Updated May 17, 2011
MANILA, Philippines – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists trooped to the House of Representatives on the eve of a global gay rights anniversary to seek the passage of a long-delayed measure protecting human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Members of the Progressive Organization of Gays (ProGay-Philippines) held a brief picket at the gates of the Batasang Pambansa in colorful rainbow costumes as part of the worldwide observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) today.
“We call on the House of Representatives to start holding hearings on the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2010 because it will help end homophobia and unequal application of human rights for LGBTs,” ProGay spokesperson Goya Candelario said.
House Bill 1483, titled An Act Defining Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefore, was filed in August by Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño and is now pending with the House committee on justice. The bill aims to press the observance of the same rights as those of heterosexual persons that are denied – either by current laws or practices – basic civil, political, social and economic rights to LGBTs.
Transgender Rica Paras, a veteran of Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Double Up, also called for the passage of HB 1483 to help equalize through policy the recognition and application of human rights to LGBTs as a bold step towards stopping discrimination in the Philippines.
The gay rights activists are also supporting another bill filed by Casiño declaring every 17th of May as National Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (NADAHO).
The bill encourages government and private institutions to develop simple observances promoting the defense of LGBT rights patterned after the example of the European Union and nine other countries such as Brazil that officially recognize IDAHO on the local level.