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Gays, lesbians slam Aquino

(Ma. Elena Catajan - Baguio City) - Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) communities in Baguio City slammed President Benigno Aquino III for his "poor leadership." LGBTQ communities in the joint statement said the Aquino administration continued the neoliberal policies of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and past administrations.\n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

26th July 2011 11:25

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

These policies, the group members said, continue to destroy the jobs, livelihoods and financial security of their families and communities. Studies conducted by LGBTQ show the Philippines suffer in multiple ways from these economic mismanagement programs.

"We do not count on any of the promises made by Aquino particular to our sector, yet we still hold this administration accountable to the sins of commission and omission that resulted in the violations of our dignity and human rights," the group said.

"We are already suffering from extreme workplace discrimination based on our sexual orientation and gender identity (Sogi-based discrimination)," the statement read.

Historically, Filipino LGBTQs are rendered undesirable for hiring, pushing the vast majority of LGBTQs into the margins of the service economy.

"Sogi-based discrimination created the LGBTQ underclass of salon workers, sex industry freelancers, security guards, food servers, health care workers, entertainers — virtually all sub contractual, with no legal labor protections, paid below the legal wage ceilings and expose us to all sorts of occupational hazards such as violence, and HIV infections," the group added.

State of the Pinoy LGBTs under Aquino (Sopla), the Lesbians for National Democracy (Lesbond) and Progressive Organization of Gays (ProGay Philippines) listed a litany of woes they attributed to "continued neoliberal policies of Arroyo and past administrations that continue to destroy the jobs, livelihoods and financial security of our families and communities."

Sopla is street slang word that means "to disprove or repudiate."

Lesbond and ProGay blamed the rise of prices, wage cuts and tuition under Aquino for sweeping millions of LGBTQs out of schools and the workplace, and into the streets where the only jobs to be had are freelance sex work, pornography, and other hazardous jobs that expose them to sexual violence and HIV/Aids.