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Join the 2006 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March November 28, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, campaigns, LGBT News.

The Task Force Pride, the official organizing network of the annual Manila Pride March, is inviting everyone to join the 2006 LGBT Pride March, which will take place in Manila City on December 9, 2006. (more…)

House human rights chair: Anti-Discrimination Bill to invite wrath of God November 22, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, campaigns, Discrimination, gay discrimination, gay rights, in the news, lagablab alert!.

A battle to pass a human rights measure penalizing discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders is raging in the House of Representatives, where the incumbent Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights, Rep. Bienvenido Abante (6th Distict, Manila City), is ironically blocking the bill’s passage. In a controversial speech delivered last Monday, Rep. Abante, who is also a Baptist pastor, charged that the enactment of the bill would invite the wrath of God and would mean “death to the most cherished Filipino values of Godliness and moral rectitude.” (more…)

Rep. Abante did it again! November 17, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, Discrimination, gay discrimination, gay rights, gay rights Philippines, in the news, lagablab alert!, LGBT News.

In the House of Representatives, Rep. Bienvenido Abante (6th District, Manila City), the Chairperson of the Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights, blocked anew the passage of HB 634, or the Anti-Discrimination Bill, following the sponsorship speech made by AKBAYAN Rep. Etta Rosales. (more…)

House Committee on Human Rights Chairperson calls homosexuality “morally reprehensible” October 21, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, Discrimination, gay rights.
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Last Friday, October 13, 2006, Rep. Bienvenido Abante, congressman of the 6th District of Manila and Chairperson of the Committee on Civil, Political, and Human Rights blocked the House of Representatives from tackling the Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB 634) for Second Reading. The Second Reading approval is considered to be one of the most important phases in the legislative mill. (Read here for more info on how laws are made in the Philippines).

A Baptist pastor prior to his election, Rep. Abante is a fire-and-brimstone conservative notoriously known for spearheading the campaign to ban the Da Vinci Code movie in Manila City. He also led the mass burning of copies of the Dan Brown novel. During last Friday’s session, he reportedly declared that the bill, which penalizes a broad range of human rights violations against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders, promotes a sexuality that he considers “morally reprehensible.” Previously, in a TV show on ABS-CBN News Channel, he erroneously announced that the bill would result in the legalization of same-sex unions. In the same interview, he equated homosexuality with pedophilia, saying that protecting lesbians and gays from discrimination is like extending support for pedophiles.

Despite the support from the House Committee on Rules for the bill, Rep. Abante reportedly threatened to filibuster (a dilatory tactic to delay a legislative process) to obstruct its approval. The House Committee on Rules Chairperson, Rep. Nograles, had a prior agreement with AKBAYAN Representatives Mayong Aguja, Risa Hontiveros, and Etta Rosales, the main authors of the Anti-Discrimination Bill, to pass the bill before Congress went into a short recess beginning October 13, 2006.

Since the House of Representatives was in a middle of a marathon session to approve the 2007 budget, Abante’s filibustering would cause an unnecessary delay. Rep. Abante was reportedly jeered by colleagues who were equally surprised by his refusal to support a human rights bill. He even sat near the Majority Floor leader to make sure that he would be recognized to interpellate once the bill is read.

Ironically, it was the House Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights that first approved the Anti-Discrimination Bill when it was chaired by AKBAYAN Rep. Loretta Ann Rosales. Rosales was later removed from the position when she supported the impeachment complaint against President GMA.

Despite Rep. Abante’s opposition, Rep. Nograles and Majority Floor Leader Del de Guzman assured the authors of the bill that it would be tackled for approval when session resumes on November 6, 2006.

Please send protest letters to Rep. Abante and demand from him equal recognition of the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. Express your condemnation of his discriminatory actions and of his failure, as the Chairperson of the House Committee on Human Rights and as an elected public official, to respect and recognize the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Philippine Constitution. Here’s his address:

Office of Rep. Bienvenido Abante, Jr.
Rm. 407, South-wing,
House of Representatives,
Batasan Hills, Quezon City
Phone: 931-5001 local 7248 or 9315691 (telefax)
Email: abante_maynila@yahoo.com

Also, send letters of complaint to House Speaker Jose de Venecia for Rep. Abante’s failure to fulfill his mandate as the Human Rights Chairperson. Tell Speaker de Venecia that as the Chairperson of the House Committee on Human Rights, Rep. Abante is committing a violation of human rights by excluding lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. Below is Speaker de Venecia’s address:

Office of House Speaker Jose de Venecia
Rm. MB-2, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Phone: 931-5001 local 7446, 9315071 to 9315073
Email: devenecia@pldtdsl.net

Amnesty International launches campaign for the Anti-Discrimination Bill September 27, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, campaigns, LGBT International Solidarity.
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Amnesty International today released an action campaign in support of the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill in Congress. In a letter from its head office in London, Amnesty International encourages its members to write letters to the leadership of Congress and push for the enactment of HB634 and SBN1738.

In lobbying for the bills, AI wishes to highlight the following points:

  • The proposed anti-discrimination legislation is an important measure to address and prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the Philippines in line with international human rights standards;
  • By extending legal protections against abuse and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the bills advance the promise of universality of human rights;
  • The bills do not grant “new rights” or “special rights” but further clarify the protections provided for under the Philippine Constitution as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Philippines has also ratified several international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, further clarifying the Government’s obligations to prohibit and prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Support AI’s letter-writing campaign for the Anti-Discrimination Bill. Download details on the campaign here.