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Time to gather for equal rights

To help develop the Anti-Discrimination Bill 2.0 that seeks to penalize various forms of discrimination, including those committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expressions, LGBT Filipinos are enjoined to be at the advocacy forum and community consultation on Wednesday, September 25, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at Recto Room, 2nd Floor, Philippine Senate, GSIS Bldg., Pasay City.

Come one, come all.

In a move eyed to help develop the Anti-discrimination Bill (ADB), TLF Sexuality, Health and Rights Educators Collective Inc. (TLF SHARE) – with the support of the ISEAN Hivos Programme and the Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare (PNGOC), and in cooperation with the Office of Sen. Bam Aquino – has announced that it is organizing an advocacy forum and community consultation.

The activity aims to solicit the inputs of LGBT groups, government offices, and different stakeholders on the latest version of the ADB, a measure that seeks to penalize various forms of discrimination, including those committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expressions (SOGIE).

The bill is a result of a collaborative effort between and among different LGBT groups, and a writeshop that was held last August 3 to finalize the current version of the bill.

Earlier, the passage of the proposed ADB – dubbed Anti-Racial, Ethnic and Anti-Religious Discrimination Act of 2011 – was said to have faced a rough sailing in Congress after some senators thumbed down the inclusion of the LGBTs provisions in the bicameral bill.

“We hope that Anti-Discrimination Bill 2.0 becomes a game-changer in a 14-year effort  to legislate human rights protection for LGBTs. The new version is broader, and it considers the fact that discrimination has many layers – you are discriminated not just because of your sexuality, but also because of your ethnicity, age, gender, et cetera,” said Jonas Bagas, executive director of TLF SHARE.  “We are happy that there is a growing number of champions for the bill in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. Sen. Bam Aquino has indicated his support for equal rights and the need to protect LGBTs from human rights violations. In the House of Representatives, Dinagat Rep. Kaka Bag-ao and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat are authors of measures that protect LGBT rights.”

LGBT Filipinos are, therefore, enjoined to join the advocacy forum and community consultation on Wednesday, September 25, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at Recto Room, 2nd Floor, Philippine Senate, GSIS Bldg., Pasay City.

For those who are commuting, take LRT 1 and get off at Vito Cruz Station. Go to Torre Lorenzo Plaza and take the orange colored jeepneys going to the Philippine Senate and GSIS. It only takes about 20 minutes to go to the Senate from Vito Cruz.

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To confirm or for inquiries, contact (+632) 3583811 and (+632) 9408800, or email tlfmanila@gmail.com.

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