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Palace deletion of pro-gay RH provision jolts LGBT

in PHILIPPINES, 10/08/2012

LESBIAN, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBT) activists are shocked over the proposed amendment by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) that would drop the policy statement in the Reproductive Health bill that would provide some protection for LGBTs against discrimination.

The Progressive Organization of Gays of the Philippines (ProGay) said that a copy of the draft House Bill 4244 which combined different congressional bills and with annotations made by the LEDAC showed how the Office of the President singled out their rights from among other sectors.

From Sec. 2, which outline the Declaration of Policy, the provision reads: “The State recognizes and guarantees the exercise of the universal basic human right to reproductive health by all persons, particularly of parents, couples and women, consistent with their religious convictions, cultural beliefs and the demands of responsible parenthood. To this end, there shall be no discrimination against any person on grounds of sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, political affiliation and ethnicity.”

In the electronic copy available on the House of Representatives website http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/basic_15/HB04244.pdf, the term sexual orientation is intact but the LEDAC copy bracketed the words and footnoted it with “President B. Aquino’s proposed amendment.”

“We have suffered so much already after this president kept ignoring our pleas to fasttrack the Antidiscrimation Bill, and now we know why. This administration is dedicated in blocking all efforts to legislate LGBT human rights!” declared Clyde Pumihic, Progay Metro Baguio secretary.

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