Friday, June 24, 2011

Ang Ladlad: Hate crimes against the LGBT community in the Philippines rises

Do you know that at least 209 gays and lesbians have been killed over the past five years due to their sexuality? And according to a study conducted by Ang Ladlad, there are thousands more unreported because victims are afraid. 

Hate crimes against members of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals Community in the Philippines, should be stopped once and for all, says Ladlad Political adviser Boy Abunda.

" Hate crimes against gays and lesbians should not be tolerated. It should be stopped. And one of the most effective ways of countering such hateful crimes is for people's minds to be changed." says Abunda in a press conference held last Wednesday at the Astoria.

I was one of a few journalists invited by Ang Ladlad, the other one, Inquirer columnist Rina David. I've been supporting Ang Ladlad eversince.

Go, fight for the LGBT rights!
Fact is, the very first people who encouraged the formation of what we call "pink collectives" happens to include me. I am straight. Yet, I share their struggle, simply because I am a human rights advocate.

Hate crimes are usually unreported in such a chaotic country such as the Philippines. For one, gays are discriminated here. When they are beaten to a pulp, those beatings constitute slight physical injuries, but never attributable to gender.

Women and children are being taken cared of by cops. When somebody beats them or kills them, they are charged based on the Revised Penal Code and the special law. Meaning, their crimes are given special focus.

Here, there's no gay or lesbian crime desk. A law is needed to be able to establish one. 

There are so many violations of gays and lesbian rights in the Philippines and they go unnoticed. No one ever did a serious study on hate crimes in the Philippines. What Ang Ladlad did was monumental in the sense that it was the very first study on hate crimes.

Yet, the study have gaps because PNP records show no distinction between genders. The PNP only recognizes two genders. 

If Ladlad wins, surely, the rights of this disfranchised group will be recognized. It is time for us to do just that.