June 26, 2011 in national
QUEZON CITY — Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today hailed a strongly worded resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council that called to an end to discrimination and violence against lesbian, bisexual, transexual and transgender (LGBT) persons worldwide.
“We commend the UN for this resolution and hope it adds pressure on the Aquino administration to prioritize the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (House Bill 1483) in Congress,” said Casiño, who authored the bill.
The UN resolution approved on a vote of 23-19 ordered the High Commissioner for Human Rights based in Geneva to collect data on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by December 2011. The Council is also urged to discuss the research findings in an open debate.
Casiño, who is joining this Sunday the Baguio Pride Network in Baguio City to celebrate the LGBT Pride month of June, said the resolution’s timing adds to the jubilation of parades and festivals in major cities that push for equal rights of sexual and gender minorities. Rights activists started in 1994 Asia’s first gay pride march in Quezon City, and after 17 years, pride parades are starting to build in other cities such as Baguio and Davao.
Casiño explained that like his House Bill 1483, the UN resolution never sought to invent new rights but merely reaffirms the enforcement of human rights standards already existing to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders.
“This Human Rights Council resolution also prods the Philippine government to clean up its legal framework and get rid of anti-LGBT legislation such as the Anti-Vagrancy Law,” Casiño added.
Casiño said Bayan Muna intends to help human rights groups submit to the High Commissioner a compendium of human rights violations and list of laws that are actually or potentially violating the rights of LGBTs in the Philippines.
ProGay Philippines, the advocacy group that first launched the LGBT Prides in the country, also expressed disappointment that the Aquino administration again remained silent during the vote. ProGay recalled that Aquino snubbed appeals from human rights activists to vote yes on similar debate on extrajudicial killings of LGBTs in a December meeting of the UN General Assembly. # Bayan Muna Release