|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
|Jennifer Josef, ILGA-ASIA|
On April 21, 2012 Filipino lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), will join the Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March[i] to call for EQUAL RIGHTS and DEMAND RESPECT FOR OUR HUMAN RIGHTS!
LADLAD LGBT party-list together with Amnesty International Philippines-LGBT Group (AIPh-LGBT), Lesbian Activism Project (LeAP!), Inc., Filipino Freethinkers (FF), Philippine LGBT Hate Crimes Watch, Queer Pagan Network (QPN), The TLF Share Collective, Rainbow Rights (R-Rights), Project, Inc., Metropolitan Community Church (MCC-QC) and the UP Alyansa with the support from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Likhaan Center for Women’s Health and Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) and other advocacy groups and allies from the women’s and human rights’ community.
In the Philippines, simultaneous Civil Rights Marches will be held in Isabela, Bacolod, Cebu and Quezon City, Manila. In Manila, the event will be in Quezon Memorial Circle from 9:00am to 12:00 noon where everyone will march around the memorial circle and gather at the Peace Bell inside the park for a short program and a Budol Solidarity meal.
“The event is celebration and a re-affirmation; we celebrate the gains achieved by LGBT groups in the Philippines in pushing forward LGBT rights in mainstream society and to re-affirm our commitment to continue the fight for equal rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)” said Raymond Alikpala, LADLAD partylist nominee.
“ The Philippines LGBT Civil Rights March is our call to the Philippines government reminding them of their obligation to address the grave human rights violations against LGBT Filipinos; that victims of these violations must be given justice and that perpetrators must be arrested and punished” said Marlon Lacsamana, coordinator of the Philippines LGBT Hate Crime Watch.
It is hoped that the April 21 Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March will impress upon our legislators the urgent need to pass the anti-discrimination law to include the protection of LGBT rights. In particular:
Immediate passage of the Reproductive Health bill – House Bill 4244 and Senate bill 2865 that respect the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people regardless of SOGI;
Safeguard the retention of SOGI provisions of Senate Bill 2814. The bill, “the Anti-Ethnic, Racial or Religious Discrimination and Profiling Act,” which aims to penalize all forms of discrimination, has passed third reading in the Senate and is close to being finalized in Congress. The LGBT community is gravely concerned that anti-LGBT forces led by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will succeed in removing the SOGI provisions of SB 2814.
Demand the inclusion of SOGI in the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, which is being finalized and will be presented in the ASEAN Plus Summit in November 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
This will be helped greatly by a large show of numbers of the LGBT community and its supporters this coming Saturday.
“We cannot deny how strong the statement made is when people from various backgrounds come together in solidarity for the political and civil rights of the Filipino LGBT community. On April 21, when other parts of the world are coming together for that exact same purpose, I hope more people would see the power and depth behind the cause we are fighting for.” Said Ira Briones, Lesbian Activism Project, Inc. (LeAP, Inc.) Coordinator
[i] The Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March is part of the international movement called “Let’s Reach 1 Million People Campaign… It’s a start!” for equal rights for LGBT people, to build upon the growing momentum around the world in support of equal civil rights for all LGBT. Initiated by American author and advocate Joseph C. Knudson a few months ago, this grassroots movement will unite various LGBT activists, organizations, and all other allies on April 21, 2012 in a historic event that will project to the worldwide community the LGBT demand for FULL CIVIL RIGHTS NOW.
To read the statement of the of the Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March – Manila, click here.