Kapederasyon, a national organization of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender (LGBT) people, decried the delaying tactics of the conservative/religious bloc during the committee hearing on the consolidated House version of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB).
The reaction came after the Committee hearing that tackled the substitute bill, which is a consolidated version of the ADBs filed in Congress – House Bills 110, 342, 1230, 1842, 2571, and 2572. The bill aims to recognize sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as a fundamental right of every person, and prohibits all forms of discrimination and violence towards LGBT people.
“Parang sirang plaka na ang mga religious at conservative blocks (The religious and the conservative blocks are like a broken record). We have debunked their outdated and archaic logic over and over. We challenge them and Pres. Noynoy Aquino to talk to us, kaming mga boss niya na bakla at tomboy, and listen to our side with an open mind,” said Corky Marañan, spokesperson of Kapederasyon.
“Kapederasyon” is a colloquial word referring to a person who is either gay or lesbian, and who, according to Marañan, belong to the marginalized sectors of Philippine society.
Marañan added that as long as there is no anti-discrimination law to safeguard their rights, LGBT people remain prone to experiencing discrimination in schools, offices, and homes, while some experience hate crimes, such as verbal threats and physical abuse.
Kapederasyon cited incidents of parents who physically assault their children, ages eight to 15, for being gay or lesbian; and the undocumented cases of assault, torture, and murder of LGBT people in the provinces.
“It has been 15 years since the first filing of the ADB. Ilang taon pa ba ang hihintayin ng mga LGBT? Ilang LGBT pa ang kailangang mabugbog, mamatay, ma-rape, at ma-deny ng trabaho para makita nila that discrimination exists (How many more years do LGBT people have to wait? How many LGBT people have to be beaten, killed, raped, or denied work before the discrimination against them is acknowledged)?” Marañan stressed.
While the organization remains hopeful with the recent developments in the committee hearings of the ADB, Kapederasyon fears that the bill will once again fail to be passed into a law with just one year before the 2016 elections.
“Instead of wasting people’s time and money in staging elaborate political circuses to cover their looting of public funds and demolish their political rivals, politicians should focus on bills that directly help uplift the lives of the hardworking LGBT taxpayers,” Marañan added.
Kapederasyon vows to intensify their campaigns for the immediate passage of the ADB by launching barangay-based information forums on the issue.