dial 02-revilla July 28, 2006Posted by lagablab in campaigns, lagablab alert!.
We need your help. On August 2, 2006, LAGABLAB members will visit the Philippine Senate to lobby for a hearing on the Anti-Discrimination Bill (Senate Bill No. 1738) this August. On the same day, we will also meet with the Office of Sen. Bong Revilla, principal author of SBN 1738.
The Anti-Discrimination Bill is a proposed legislation to penalize various forms of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. (Click here to download an FAQ on the bill).
We urge you to write to the Office of Sen. Bong Revilla to pressure him to arrange for a Committee Hearing on the bill this August. A sample letter follows the contact details of Sen. Revilla below:
Office of Sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla, Jr.
5th flr., Rm. 526 GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Tel. No: +632-5526776; fax: +632-5526698
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Send a copy of your email to email@example.com)
SAMPLE LETTER TO SEN. REVILLA
HON. RAMON BONG REVILLA
Dear Sen. Revilla,
Discrimination is still the most debilitating issue for Filipino lesbians and gays. Despite prevailing notions that homosexuals are accepted in the Philippines, stigma and homophobia impede the exercise of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. Gay men and lesbians are only as good as their stereotypes – as beauticians, ticket collectors, or entertainers. In the eyes of the general public, lesbians and gays are essentially immoral, but can be accepted as long as they remain inside the confines of these stereotypes.
Discrimination has many forms. Flawed perceptions on homosexuality limit opportunities that should otherwise be available to all, such as education and decent jobs. Access to healthcare is also affected by erroneous beliefs that automatically link homosexuality to HIV/AIDS.
Religious intolerance, in itself a difficulty among religious Filipino LGBTs, has misguided parents into employing corporeal punishment in the belief that homosexuality is a sin, and should not be tolerated.
In our laws, the anti-vagrancy provision of the Revised Penal Code is used by law enforcers to harass homosexuals and to extort money. The anti-kidnapping law is used by the police and ‘concerned’ parents to break apart lesbian relationships on the assumption that the partnership is founded on coercion and abuse.
The first step to end all forms of abuses and discrimination against Filipino LGBTs is the enactment of a new law that criminalizes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The equal protection clause of the 1987 Constitution needs to be affirmed by such legislation — not only to stop discriminatory practices and policies, but to challenge deeply embedded social norms and attitudes that directly or indirectly contribute to equal rights violations of Filipino lesbians and gays.
This law would gives flesh to the commitment made by the Philippines to eliminate all forms of discrimination when it signed into various international agreements on human rights, such as (1) the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, (2) the International Convention on Civil, Political, and Human Rights, and (3) the International Convention on Economic and Social Rights, among others.
As a concerned citizen, I commend your support for the struggle for equal human rights through the filing of SB 1738, or the Anti-Gender Discrimination Bill. A similar bill by AKBAYAN Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales is now pending in the House of Representatives. It received the support of different civil society groups, governmental institutions, and religious organizations, such as the Amnesty International, UP College of Law Human Rights Institute, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Iglesia ni Kristo, UCCP/NCCP, the Philippine National Police and the Civil Service Commission. With your support, I hope that the Anti-Discrimination Bill will be passed by Congress this term.
I hope that your good office will work with urgency and closely with the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development so that a public hearing on the bill could be held immediately. Again, thank you for your efforts to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation–and concern ultimately for the human rights of all persons in the Philippines.