1. n. blaze; (blāz) n. 1. A burst of flame; fire 2. A very bright light 3. A spectacular outburst or display.
2. n. Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network-Philippines; a broad, non-profit, non-partisan network of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) organizations and individuals working towards achieving a society free from all forms of discrimination, particularly those based on gender and sexual orientation.
A society free from all forms of discrimination particularly those based on gender and sexual orientation
The Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (or LAGABLAB-Pilipinas) was formally launched in 1999, but efforts to create a network of different lesbian and gay groups and individuals started much earlier. The first attempt was in 1995, after a congressman filed a bill recognizing the lesbian and gay community as a sector. The bill was quashed, but it provided an opportunity to lesbian and gay organizations to discuss the possibility of creating a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network that would lobby and push for lesbian and gay rights in the country. In 1998, after a political party running for the party-list elections consulted the LGBT community for its sectoral agenda, the idea gave birth to LAGABLAB.
|LAGABLAB marching with pride. Behind the contingent is Asia-Pacific Rainbow’s Dede Otomo (Gaya Nusantara-Indonesia) and Vince Crisostomo|
The main purpose of LAGABLAB is to advance and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Filipino LGBTs, especially in the areas of policy and legislation. It does legislative advocacy to push for laws that will promote LGBT rights and welfare. It organizes campaigns to influence public discourse on sexuality and raise awareness on the situation of lesbians and gays. It does research and documentation, too, to gather cases of abuses and human rights violations committed against Filipino LGBTs. It is also starting to lobby for local ordinances against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
It’s main project now is the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill, a proposed legislation that criminalizes a wide range of policies and practices that discriminate against Filipino LGBTs. The bill was already approved by the House of Representatives during the 12th Congress but due to time constraints it was not enacted into law. At present, it is pending for approval in the Lower House, while the Senate Committee on Labor still has to act on several versions of the bill in the Senate.
LAGABLAB is composed of several LGBT organizations (The Library Foundation (TLF Share), Indigo Philippines, Lesbian Advocates of the Philippines, Metropolitan Community Church-Manila, Order of St. Aelred, UP Babaylan and Womyn Supporting Womyn Center) and individuals.
LAGABLAB works closely with several international organizations. It launched the Stop Discrimination Now! campaign with Amnesty International Pilipinas and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. It also links up with other LGBT groups in the region through the Asia-Pacific Rainbow (APR).