In time for the celebration of Kalilangan 2014 in General Santos City, youth organizations merged to set in motion the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance (ADO) in the city. “HATE FREE GENSAN” was formed as the legislative arm of an anti-discrimination coalition called “Unity in Diversity”.
Already, HATE FREE GENSAN is calling for the immediate filing and re-filing so as the implementation of an ADO in General Santos City to offer protection to LGBT citizens who face hate crimes.
“As people who value social responsibility, it is not our choice but our duty to help deliver social services to the people in order to answer this societal (limitation),” said Rudiver Ferraren HATE FREE GENSAN head convener and Akbayan youth coordinator.
Beyond pushing for the passage of an ADO, however, HATE FREE GENSAN also has campaigns that will include a series of mural paintings and education awareness drives at selected areas and schools to fully stretch the message to the public. The hope is to encourage creative and artistic potentials of young people in General Santos City – particularly those from the LGBT community – to participate in HATE FREE GENSAN; as well as educate young minds about the danger of cultivating a culture of violence by discrimination. HATE FREE GENSAN believes that putting an end to discrimination will pave the way for the realization of the city’s slogan, “Magandang Gensan”.
“We are brave enough to uphold social justice which protects the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the society. Every delay is an opportunity to those haters to inflict injury to our people. This is the time to pass the ADO. Let us prove to everyone that General Santos City is indeed the ‘Home of Free Generals’. Do not delay the passage of an ADO,” said Cris Lopera, head of the Social Health of Inter-ethnic Network for Empowerment (SHINE) of SOCCKSARGEN, which is helping empower LGBT Filipinos in Mindanao as the only MSM and transgender umbrella organization in the SOCCSKSARGEN region.