QUEZON CITY, Philippines – December 8, 2018 – GALANG Philippines marched in solidarity with allies, families, fellow rights advocates, and supportive organizations both from the government and civil society sector at the 2018 Quezon City Pride March in Tomas Morato, Quezon City. Over 150 members of GALANG’s partner lesbian, bisexual women, and trans men (LBT) people’s organizations joined the March, waving their own messages of solidarity while walking hand-in-hand with their families and friends.
In resonance with the March’s theme—#ColorsOfTheRainbow—GALANG waved its banner that read “Manindigan Para Sa Karapatan” (Stand Up for Rights) to reiterate people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression’s (SOGIE) right to respect, and to live a life free from discrimination and violence. However, these rights are merely wishes without the presence of a national anti-discrimination law in effect.
It has been 18 years since Akbayan Party-List Representative Etta Rosales filed the Anti-Discrimination Bill (now called the SOGIE Equality Bill). More than a year since the Bill was passed at the House of Representatives with a 198-0 vote, and almost 724 days since the Bill entered the period of interpellations in the Senate, yet no further legislative progress was made due to the staunch opposition that persists. GALANG has been consistently lobbying for the Bill’s passage for a decade, and believes that it’s time to put the delaying tactics to a stop.
Although the Bill is still pending in the Senate, GALANG’s hopes remain high as this year three more cities—Iloilo, Mandaluyong, and Malabon—adopted their own anti-discrimination ordinances that would protect their citizens from SOGIE-based discrimination. The Department of Education worked with civil society organizations to incorporate SOGIE into comprehensive sexuality education in the K-12 curriculum. While gender and development (GAD) council members started hosting seminars where they learn about SOGIE. Schools in Metro Manila continue to incorporate SOGIE sensitivity in their programs, and several business process outsourcing (BPO) companies started working on their Diversity and Inclusion policies to make it more SOGIE-inclusive and -sensitive. These are small wins that greatly mean progress for the LGBT advocacy in the country.
Just like the rainbow with its many colors united into one, the Filipino LGBT advocacy will not push forward without the steadfast support of its allies and friends, and without the dedication of LGBT rights advocates and equality champions. It’s high-time the SOGIE Equality Bill is passed into law!
In solidarity with fellow human rights advocates, GALANG also marched in commemoration of the World AIDS Day, National Lesbian Day, International Human Rights Day, and the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women.
Name: Gyky Tangente
Position: Advocacy Officer
Contact Number: (02) 435-4103
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