By BAGUIO PRIDE NETWORK
Rainbow Greetings to all!
Our 1987 Constitution declares that the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect of human rights. It also says that the State has a duty to ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.
We take heart in these statements, we claim them to be true for us because we are human beings who deserve the guarantee of full respect of our human rights. No matter who we choose to love, how we dress, how we choose to express and identify ourselves.
We demand our government to follow through on its duty to ensure our equality before the law because we deserve to Live without having to experience discrimination because of our sexual orientation and gender identity.
We deserve to Live knowing that we are able to exercise and enjoy basic rights and fundamental freedoms in the schools we want to gain entrance into; in the workplaces we want to make a living and advance professionally, including civil and the military service, and have medical services that are appropriate to our needs.
We deserve to Live in a world where our basic civil, political, social, cultural and economic rights are upheld and respected in practice and in policies.
We demand that our government and society makes sure that laws and policies are felt in everyday life, bridging the gap between talk and reality results that are felt in our situations. We do not claim “special rights” or the token seat at the table, we claim what is by birth, ours.
We deserve to freely Love who we want to love without fear of being subjected to violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization and prejudice.
We deserve to be who we want to be, what we want to be, when we want to be, where we want to be, how we want to be and with whom we want to be. We deserve every right given at birth to every other human being in this country, especially the right to Life.
104 is the number. From January 2011 to June 15, 2011, there have been 104 murders all over the Philippines. Our gay brothers brutally murdered by multiple stabbing, our trans sisters raped and murdered, lesbians and bisexuals all have become targets of hate crimes all over the Philippines.
This year alone shows more LGBT killings than there are killings of journalists, which is very disturbing and wrong no matter how you look at it. Most appalling are attitudes that betray deep seated homophobic beliefs from representatives of government agencies and other institutions. This cannot go on.
Something has to be done, we all have to pay attention. We cannot just stand by while all these things are happening. We cannot afford to sit on the fence debating with ourselves whether we want to help or not, The time is now!
The world around us is fast changing whether we like it or not and so should policies, laws and practices. The UN Human Rights Council in its resolution last June 17, 2011 has decided to “establish an open-ended intergovernmental working group to allow transparent discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity and how international human rights law can be applied to ensure zero tolerance on impunity for violence based on discrimination,” showing governments the clear path how these changes can be addressed.
Now is the time to pass the Anti-Discrimination Bill as filed by Representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna Partylist, that defines discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and penalizes discriminatory practices. This is the clearest step that we can take towards fighting for our rights.
Today, Baguio Pride Network marches to support House Bill 1483, the Anti-Discrimination Bill until it is passed and make our collective voices rise against the LGBT killings, because we believe that it is about time that we can freely Live, Love, Be and get justice today. Justice today, equality forever.
We, united with all the other oppressed and exploited sectors of society challenge the government and all its agencies to do their part in fulfilling their responsibilities, in integrity with policy and practice to really serve the people. We challenge institutions, organizations, schools, families and yes we dare churches, we dare people who preach about love and acceptance, we challenge you most especially, to look at the real meaning of what it is to love in every sense of it and stand beside us and be part of this long, difficult but colorful struggle for gender equality.
We take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our families and friends, advocates, partner organizations, all the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex brothers and sisters who in their everyday lives, live the struggle that have led us to this day. We take this moment to remember members of our community who have passed on, let their lives be our reminder that there will be no rest until we see changes in our country and our world and until the laws catch up with our realities and are enforced to address these changing realities.
Until then, we stand together, strong in our numbers, proud of our colors, out in the world, daring to Live, Love, Be until we experience Justice Today, Equality forever! # nordis.net