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Philippine Congress should discipline boxer-legislator Manny Pacquiao

Below is the statement of TLF Share, a Philippine-based NGO working on the sexual health and human rights of gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and other men who have sex with men, on Rep. Manny Pacquiao's reported statement calling for the killing of gay men. \n

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

16th May 2012 14:52

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia

Philippine Congress should discipline Rep. Pacquiao

Rep. Manny Paquiao should be disciplined by the House of Representatives for inciting violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders.

In an interview with The Conservative Examiner, the boxer-congressman reportedly quoted a biblical passage that calls for the killing of any man who engages in sexual intercourse with another man (Leviticus 20:13) in response to US President Obama?s endorsement of same-sex marriage.

This statement was ironically made as the world prepares to celebrate the annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on May 17, 2012. We are deeply dismayed and offended by this act of hatred. It goes against the culture of inclusivity and diversity that we as a people have carefully nurtured, so that even though as nation we disagree on controversial issues like homosexuality, we draw the line on causing violence and injury against others. Manny Pacquiao is an idol for many Filipinos, and his careless remarks could instigate attacks against LGBT Filipinos, many of whom already face abuse, discrimination, and other human rights violations.

His remarks also tarnish the reputation of Congress, an institution founded on the principles of representation and accountability. His unparliamentary conduct violates the ethical rules of Congress, and his bigotry should have no space in our democracy.

We respect an individual?s right to express his or her religious beliefs, but public officials and national icons must always be conscious that inspiring hatred has consequences: it leads to abuse and violence; to parents hurting their own children because of their sexuality; to LGBT children being bullied in schools, compelling them to think that suicide is their only option; to a gay man losing his job because he is different; to a lesbian being subjected to rape presumably to correct her wrong sexuality.

Statements like Manny Pacquiao?s are the foundation of violence and abuse against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.

We call on the leadership of Congress to act on Rep. Pacquiao?s unparliamentary conduct. Pacquiao the boxer has been a source of pride among Filipinos, but Pacquiao the bigot must be reminded that one?s religious belief is not an excuse to cause harm against others or a basis to violate the rights and dignity of other individuals.