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Our deepest gratitude January 4, 2007

Posted by lagablab in general.

2006, for many of us, was a year of daunting challenges. The political situation was grim, civil liberties were being curtailed, and our political institutions faced a crisis of credibility and legitimacy. Economically, whatever growth that was happening did not produce enough jobs. That many of our members started working in call centers, which are notorious for their graveyard shifts, made even the possibility of organizing meetings and activities harder. For us in LAGABLAB, the whole scenario made our work more difficult: in a situation where democracy is threatened, pushing for a human rights agenda, especially LGBT rights, is all the more difficult.

Yet 2006 was also a year of small victories. We were able to pressure the Senate to hold a committee hearing on the anti-discrimination bills pending before the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, a first in Philippine LGBT history. The community also stood up against a restaurant that wanted to stifle our diversity and our rights. Last month, despite logistical difficulties, the Filipino LGBT successfully celebrated the 2006 Pride March in Manila City, which happens to be the ‘turf’ of a homophobic congressman who kept on blocking the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill in the House of Representatives.

Indeed, despite the challenges, the LGBT community and its allies have proven anew that solidarity and imagination can triumph over hatred and stigma. For those who helped achieve these gains, LAGABLAB is truly and deeply grateful. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat!