Thursday, December 8, 2011

Anti-Crime watchdog bats for comprehensive bill vs hate, discrimination

8 December 2011 PRESS STATEMENT
Spokesperson Reigben Labilles 09179714096

Anti-Crime watchdog bats for comprehensive bill vs hate, discrimination

The Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch, an alliance of human rights organizations and individuals monitoring incidents of hate against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines, is supporting certain progressive provisions in the Senate Bill 2814 or the Anti-Ethnic, Racial or Religious Discrimination and Profiling Act of 2011 for its provisions on protecting human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

We welcome the inclusion of the definitions of hate speech and hate crimes (Section 3, Articles 9 and 10) as it would finally make it a penal offense to commit acts and speeches against perceived and real minorities based on SOGI, sex, gender, ethnicity, belief, language or ability. Yet we want to include health status and relationship to the list of protected status in order to protect persons living with stigmatized health conditions such as HIV and persons living together in alternative domestic arrangements or relationships.

The SB 2814, despite its many shortcomings, provides many new legal safeguards against profiling, discriminatory acts, abusive language, and intolerances that have imposed the negative social atmosphere against LGBTs, ethnic and religious minorities, and persons with disabilities. We continue to support House Bill 1483 and we urge the two houses of Congress to consider this bill as a source of progressive provisions.

We want our senators and congressmen who are crafting this bill into law to ensure the highest compliance possible with the international human rights laws, treaties and obligations that lessen and aim to abolish discrimination, hate and intolerance. We urge legislators to use pertinent instruments namely, CEDAW, CERD, CPD and the Yogyakarta Principles in producing a republic act that will help us crime fighters lesses hate crimes and hate speech against marginalized communities.

We appeal to the conservatives and anti-freedom agitators from the religious conservative factions working against the provisions on sexual orientation and gender identity to cease and desist from their injurious and nefarious agenda that would make the law negligent on the obligations of the Philippine State to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons and our families.

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