Connect with us

NEWSMAKERS

Former CBCP head: Church won’t tell you who to vote for… but vote for anti-LGBTQIA pols anyway

Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, current archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan, urged voters in the May 2019 election to choose politicians who recognize that “ang human sexuality ay banal (human sexuality is sacred).”

Published

on

Photo by Edwin Andrade from Unsplash.com

In an under-the-radar video released on February 10, 2019, Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, current archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan, urged voters in the May 2019 election to choose politicians who recognize that “ang human sexuality ay banal (human sexuality is sacred).”

By this, Villegas meant that “sinumang gumagamit ng human sexuality para sa sariling sarap, sariling ginhawa, sariling kapakanan ay lumalabag sa kalooban ng Diyos (whoever uses human sexuality for personal gratification, personal comfort, personal good/benefit is violating the will of God).”

The video from the former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – titled “Bumoto ng Tama: Gabay sa Pagpili (Vote wisely: Guide to choosing)” – starts with a disclaimer that “kami pong mga obispo ay hindi magsasabi sa inyo kung sino ang iboto subalit kami po ay tutulong sa inyo upang makilala ang kalooban ng Diyos (we – bishops – will not tell you who to vote for, but we will help you discern the will of God).”

This seeming disclaimer may sit well with advocates of the separation of Church and State, as stipulated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which declares that “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable (Article II, Section 6).”

But the same won’t sit well if they see it as just a cover to appear as if the Church is not intervening in the affairs of the State.

In his just-under-20-minute speech, Villegas said that when voting, the criteria should – in the end – still return to the Ten Commandments.

READ:  How Jennifer Laude's murder showcases blatant bigotry in the Philippines

He specifically stressed for people not to vote for those who do not believe in God, or those whose mission is to remove religion on the surface of the planet; and to be cautious when voting for those who have unsavory words of speaking since “ang pagmumura ay labag sa kagandahang asal (speaking with invectives is against good etiquette).”

Villegas also touched on the “tyranny of performance”, or those politicians who always work (“kilos nang kilos, gawa nang gawa”) and “hindi binibigyan ng pagkakataon ang sarili para makapagpahinga (not giving him/herself chance to rest)”; those who belong to political dynasties; those who see criminals as less-than-humans (“na ang tingin sa kriminal ay hayop”); those who steal; those who lie; and those who look down on women.

Villegas similarly stressed the Church’s position against politicians who support divorce, abortion, and those who commit adultery – all these lumped with LGBTQIA issues (e.g. marriage equality/“homosexual union”) – in an elaborate discussion of the sixth commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery).

The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines continues to be only partially supportive of LGBTQIA human rights. Until 2015, it staunchly opposed the passage of an anti-discrimination bill, erroneously insisting it will lead to marriage equality, even if the bill never made mention of the latter. In 2015, CBCP released a statement partially supporting an ADB, even if it stressed its desire to still be allowed to discriminate, particularly in: 1) determining who should be admitted to priestly or religious formation, who should be ordained and received into Holy Order, or who should be professed as members of religious communities and orders; and 2) for Catholic schools to be allowed to discriminate on who they can admit or retain.

READ:  Cyberbullying causes depression, nightmares and anorexia, Kaspersky Lab Research shows

The CBCP also stressed its “love the sinner, hate the sin” position by claiming its “disapproval of homosexual acts (that) remains part of the Church’s moral teaching.”

NEWSMAKERS

‘Promotion of inclusive human rights just as important in the digital age’ – BC

Michael David Tan said that “there is a disconnect between what’s online and what’s happening on the ground. And this stresses one thing: The need to not solely rely on making it big digitally, but also go beyond the so-called ‘keyboard activism’.”

Published

on

“True development in the digital age can only happen if it’s truly inclusive.”

So said Michael David C. Tan, executive director of Bahaghari Center for SOGIE Research, Education and Advocacy, Inc. and concurrent editor in chief of Outrage Magazine, during a conference on human rights and the Internet organized by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA).

“While the United Nations (UN) now considers Internet access as a human right, it doesn’t automatically mean it is already accessible to all,” Tan said. “The goal, therefore, particularly of service providers, is to ensure that access to Internet becomes widespread and even becomes normal. Only then will it be truly become inclusive.”

Themed “Between the Web We Have and the We We Want: Recollection, Renewal, Reboot”, the conference was in line with this year’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Philippine Internet. The conference gathered more than 75 participants from the CHR and civil society organizations representing different sectors and advocacies, media organizations and the academe.

According to Commissioner Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit of CHR, “We are faced with a population that is totally dependent on the internet already. (But) although the Internet has been seen as an effective platform to promote human rights, violations against the rights and freedoms of users have grown exponentially. The Internet as a fast evolving platform demands some regulations to ensure that rights to expression and privacy of individuals are protected.”

Gomez-Dumpit added: “Personally, I believe that we cannot have an untrampled access to all these technologies without any form of regulation… We need to have safeguards in order to address several issues concerning human rights like gender-based violence, child pornography, and proliferation of fake news, among others. Thus, we need to revisit how we better protect our rights online.”

READ:  UP CWS library adds books from Sweden to LGBT collection

The Philippines had 69.6 million internet users in 2017; with the figure expected to grow to 93.7 million by 2023 (Statista).

This is obviously “good and bad,” said Tan.

In the case of the LGBTQIA community for example (and in particular), “we now know of Pride events, even if many of them are really just big commercial, for-profit parties/gatherings. We also know of LGBTQIA couples, such as Ice Seguerra and Liza Dino.”

But Tan said that “there is a catch. For example, we may have heard that Ricky Reyes was sued by a former employee for HIV-related discrimination. But not many know that Renato Nocos, the PLHIV involved, was kicked out of his house, disowned by family members before finding his footing again.” Similarly, “we may know of Jennifer Laude; but not of the other hate crimes committed against LGBTQIA Filipinos. Many of these were gruesome murders.”

Tan said that “there is a disconnect between what’s online and what’s happening on the ground. And this stresses one thing: The need to not solely rely on making it big digitally, but also go beyond the so-called ‘keyboard activism’.”

There is also a need to “go back to basics,” Tan said. In Outrage Magazine’s dealings with members of the GBTQIA community in non-metropolitan areas, for instance, “we’ve been repeatedly told ‘We don’t even have electricity yet, and you expect us to have Internet connection?’”

For Tan, this means that “technology just isn’t available for everyone… yet.”

READ:  Usapang Pick-Up

For Lisa Garcia, FMA executive director: “We (also) need to put human rights at the core of technology. It’s what we call human rights by design. Technology is there to make things better for us. It should not be used to work against us, or to harass us. Human beings designed technology, and as such, it is possible to design the kind of technology that is responsible to our needs. And it is possible for us to shape the kind of Internet that we want.”

Garcia also emphasized that there is a need for “all of us to be involved, so that all our voices can be heard. As more and more Filipinos go online, we have to make people aware that our rights remain the same. The Internet is just a medium, it is just a space. But that is the only thing that has changed, and our rights remain.”

The CHR and FMA event was supported by the Governance in Justice for Human Rights or GOJUST Human Rights Project of the European Union (EU) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation’s (AECID).

In the end, Tan stressed, “always think of inclusivity when looking at the digital world. Otherwise, we end up mimicking online the flaws of everything offline.”

Continue Reading

NEWSMAKERS

Understanding of LGBT realities ‘non-existent’ in most countries – UN expert

More data should be collected to better understand the root causes of violence directed towards LGBT people in the world, says Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on SOGI.

Published

on

Photo by 42 North from Pexels.com

More data ought to be collected to better understand the root causes of violence directed towards LGBT people in the world. This is the call made by Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, ahead of his presentation to the Human Rights Council.

Madrigal-Borloz noted that policymakers are taking decisions in the dark, left only with personal preconceptions and prejudices. Clear information about the realities as lived by most LGBT people are, at best, little understood, “incomplete and fragmented”, he said, adding that “in most countries, it is simply non-existent” and that “maintaining such a level of ignorance without seeking appropriate evidence is tantamount to criminal negligence.”

For Madrigal-Borloz: “States must adequately address this scourge through public policy, access to justice, law reform or administrative actions.”

There are numerous barriers still faced by LGBT people in various parts of the world, created by criminalization, pathologization, demonization and stigmatization.

Data collection efforts are already underway in some parts of the world and have supported assessments of the situation of LGBT persons in various areas of life, including their relative safety, well-being, health, education and employment. But “many other areas still lack data and remain unexplored, for example, the concerns of aging LGBT people and intersections with disability, racism and xenophobia.”

The rapporteur called on States to “design and implement comprehensive data collection procedures to assess the type, prevalence, trends and patters of violence and discrimination against LGBT persons. When doing so, States should always respect the overriding ‘do no harm’ principle and follow a human rights-based approach to prevent the misuse of collected data.”

READ:  The history of treasured traditions: The wedding ring

Continue Reading

NEWSMAKERS

‘Religion never an excuse to hate’ – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray

“Religion is never an excuse to hate, put down or act indifferent to the suffering of others. I believe God is love, and I will treat everyone – no matter who they are, to best of my ability, with love,” said Catriona Gray via Instagram, in a promo of an alcoholic drink.

Published

on

Screencap of Catriona Gray's Instagram account

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray highlighted her support for the LGBTQIA community via a response to those who criticize her for being a Christian who, at the same time, supports the LGBTQIA community.

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByuoMBPAlRk/

On an Instagram account, Gray shared a photo that showed her support for the LGBTQIA community this #Pride2019.

But one of the comments she received questioned her “testimony about your Christianity”, telling her to “please do not compromise.”

Gray replied to the netizen, saying: “My belief as a Christian does not limit me from fighting for the rights of others.” She added that she loves God the way she loves her fellow “fellow brothers and sisters.”

“Religion is never an excuse to hate, put down or act indifferent to the suffering of others. I believe God is love, and I will treat everyone – no matter who they are, to best of my ability, with love,” Gray added.

While the outspokenness is – in itself – commendable, it is worth noting that Gray’s post was also because of her endorsement of @sanmiglightph (San Miguel Light), an alcoholic drink.

San Miguel Light is a product of San Miguel Brewery Inc. (a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation), the Philippines’ largest brewery with a market share of over 95% as of 2008, with earnings reaching P10.042 billion. The company is not known to have efforts to help deal with alcoholism in the country.

Though still not widely discussed particularly in the Philippines, members of the LGBTQIA community are at higher risk for alcoholism (and polysubstance abuse, in general).

READ:  COSE recognizes Fr. Mickley, contributions to LGBT Filipinos cited

Incidentally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “studies have shown that, when compared with the general population, LGBT individuals are more likely to: use alcohol and drugs; have higher rates of substance abuse; not withhold from alcohol and drug use; and continue heavy drinking into later life.” Up to 25% of gay and transgender people abuse alcohol, compared to 5% to 10% of the general population.

The CDC added that “alcohol and illegal drug use… also contribute to a higher chance of getting HIV and other STDs. Persons using drugs or alcohol may also raise their chances of getting HIV or giving it to others by getting involved in more risky sexual practices and behaviors or through sharing needles or other injection equipment.”

Continue Reading

NEWSMAKERS

Pride comeback in Bacolod on June 22

The City of Smiles is slated to host its first Pride parade in four years on June 22 (starting at 3PM), with the event congregating at the Fountain of Justice of the Old City Hall.

Published

on

Photo by tanvimalik from Pixabay.com

Rainbow pride returns to Bacolod City.

The City of Smiles is slated to host its first Pride parade in four years on June 22 (starting at 3PM), with the event congregating at the Fountain of Justice of the Old City Hall.

This is a “momentous comeback for Pride and the LGBTQIA presence not only in Bacolod City, but in the entire province of Negros Occidental,” said Girard Mariano Lopez, a Grade 11 student leader and activist from Bacolod City.

The event is helmed by HAPI, and Linghod and Negrosanon Youth Leaders Institute.

Despite not having a Pride-related event for four years, Bacolod City – surprisingly – has an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO), passed in 2013.Authored by Councilor Em Ang, the ordinance prohibits discrimination of a person because of gender, disability, age, health status, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion, and carries a penalty for those who violate it P5,000.00 and/or imprisonment of not more than one year upon the discretion of the court.

For more information, head to Tribu Duag.

Continue Reading

NEWSMAKERS

Cebu City’s Pride parade slated on June 22

Cebu City is slated to hold its Pride parade this June 22 (starting 3PM) at Fuente Circle.

Published

on

Themed “Pabuhagay”, Cebu City is slated to hold its Pride parade this June 22 (starting 3PM) at Fuente Circle.

The parade, according to Cebu City Anti-discrimination Commission, “commemorates 50 years since the Stonewall Riot in New York in) 1969 – a vital point that marked the dawn of the LGBTQIA’s history of struggles and victories.” However, “the stains of inequality and injustice still linger today” and “as we celebrate Stonewall’s essential role in history, we reflect on its victories and continue to fight our struggles in our own setting – because since and still, Pride is a protest.”

Cebu City already passed the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance in 2012, eventually leading to the formation of the Anti-discrimination Commission in 2017. And while “these have addressed certain demands of (LGBTQIA people)… program implementation specific to the sector remains indefinite.”

For instance, the SOGIE Equality Bill stalled in the Senate; and so this year’s Cebu City parade “calls for the passage of SOGIE Equality Bill in the 18th Congress and in the Cebu City Council.”

“Until every LGBTQIA person from across all sectors of society and among all walks of life gains genuine liberty and equality, the fight remains,” Cebu City Anti-discrimination Commission stated. “The protest continues.”

Head to Cebu City Anti-discrimination Commission for more information.

Continue Reading

NEWSMAKERS

Trans people ‘annihilate the concept of nature’, says Vatican

A Vatican position paper notes that the transgender experience is “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”.

Published

on

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels.com

The Vatican issued a statement rejecting transgender people, saying they “annihilate…the concept of nature”.

The position paper, titled ‘Male And Female He Created Them’ – issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Vatican office responsible for overseeing education – notes that the transgender experience is “nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”.

The document was issued for “all who have a special interest in education, and to those whose work is touched by the question of gender theory.”

Ironically, the Vatican document wants to appear pro-LGBTQIA, stating that a “position held in common is the need to educate children and young people to respect every person in their particularity and difference, so that no one should suffer bullying, violence, insults or unjust discrimination based on their specific characteristics (such as special needs, race, religion, sexual tendencies, etc.).”

But the anti-LGBTQIA stance is apparent.

The document is critical of gender theory, by and large, stating: “ Gender theory (especially in its most radical forms) speaks of a gradual process of denaturalization, that is a move away from nature and towards an absolute option for the decision of the feelings of the human subject. In this understanding of things, the view of both sexuality identity and the family become subject to the same ‘liquidity’ and ‘fluidity’ that characterize other aspects of post-modern culture, often founded on nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants, or momentary desires provoked by emotional impulses and the will of the individual, as opposed to anything based on the truths of existence”.

READ:  Brgy. Tambacan hosts first Pride within Iligan City

The 31-page document – signed by Italians Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Angelo Zani, with Pope Francis not signing – also calls on doctors to “intervene” on intersex patients, even when parents do not agree.

It states: “In cases where a person’s sex is not clearly defined, it is medical professionals who can make a therapeutic intervention. In such situations, parents cannot make an arbitrary choice on the issue, let alone society. Instead, medical science should act with purely therapeutic ends, and intervene in the least invasive fashion, on the basis of objective parameters and with a view to establishing the person’s constitutive identity.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Most Popular