Suspension of Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘ADB

Rep. Miro Quimbo: ADB is very innocuous

leave a comment »

Outrage Magazine | 14 June 2017

***

The campaign for the passage of the anti-discrimination bill (ADB), regardless of version, has been one of the battlecries of the LGBT community in the Philippines for over 17 years now. And getting people on board – especially politicians – continues to be a challenge.

The sad truth is not all lawmakers support ADB, said Marikina 2nd District Representative Romero “Miro” Quimbo, one of the authors of the latest version of the ADB, “because of [their] ardent refusal to recognize the new normal,” Quimbo said in an exclusive Outrage Magazine interview.

But waxing positive, Quimbo said that “it’s just a matter of time for people to really wake up. This is a free world that recognizes the weaknesses and strengths of each person; we need to contribute to those who can contribute to the society. And the quicker we (are) able to get over our biases, (the quicker) it’s going to be for the betterment of our country.”

Quimbo stressed: “I think it’s time for them to wake-up. No individual or sexual orientation has the monopoly of the truth.”

RECOGNIZING THE NEED

Quimbo believes in the importance of having an anti-discrimination law for LGBT Filipinos.

“First, it’s to prevent any form of discrimination, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or even religion. There are certain things that we managed to already set aside, in terms of hiring, in terms of promotion… It’s now time to recognize and penalize a particular behavior. People say it’s not a lot, but I think it’s a major first step for us to do,” he said.

As it was prior to his administration, during former President Benigno Aquino III’s term, several bills linked to LGBT discrimination were filed, but none of them prospered. After the change in administration, LGBT-related bills surfaced once again. But this time, they are – finally – already gaining traction.

“I’m almost certain that it will pass in the Lower House,” Quimbo said, adding that “I can’t really speak for the Senate.”

For Quimbo, “it’s very innocuous. Innocuous in a sense that it’s not very politically laden. I don’t see the major religious lobby groups opposing it because it does not really talk about same-sex marriage or thereabouts, which is more contentious. So I anticipate – and I’m quite hopeful – that it will become a law.”

ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Many lawmakers continue to dance around the concept of marriage equality, but Quimbo is open about his support at least for civil unions.

“I have always said that I think at the right time, a law will eventually be passed recognizing civil unions of individuals regardless of race, regardless of sexual orientation,” he said.

To date, the only country in Asia that legalized same-sex marriage is Taiwan.

“People should not complicate the matter. Homosexuality is no longer looked at as a psychological aberration, but a normal behavior. So therefore, they are entitled to the rights given to normal individuals; and marriage, common ownership, as well as protection of that union is part and parcel of it. They have the same rights that other people have. I think it’s as basic as that,” Quimbo said.

THE FATHER, THE ALLY

Quimbo is a father to three boys.

During the Outrage Magazine interview, he recalled what he told them about being who or what they want to be. “The other week, I talked to my three boys and I told them that, at the end of the day, you guys need to decide what you need to do when you turn 18. You can choose your religion, you can choose your political affiliation, you can choose your sexual orientation. But it’s better that you do it at a mature age, because it’s not influenced; meaning it’s a very conscious decision.”

Quimbo sees himself an LGBT ally who continues to remind LGBT people to “keep pushing. It will not be where it is if people were just sitting on their asses, literally. Meaning, people have to accept the fact that it’s a challenge, and people have to embrace the challenge and keep pushing the envelope, so people can get more educated,” Qumbo said. “And be examples. I think that’s very critical so more people can really be convinced.”

.

(Established in April 2007, Outrage Magazine remains the only publication exclusive for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and allied community in the Philippines.)

***

Sen. Sonny Angara expresses hope it’ll be a ‘great Pride month’ for LGBT Filipinos

leave a comment »

Outrage Magazine | 9 June 2017

***

Sen. Sonny Angara – in a short clip dedicated to the LGBT community in the Philippines – extended his felicitations for the Pride month, just as he expressed hope it’ll be a ‘great Pride month’ for LGBT Filipinos.

Angara is – by and large – known as an LGBT ally, sponsoring one of the earlier versions of the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), Senate Bill 948 (or the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act).

SB 948 – which eyed to prohibit discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, SOGI, HIV status, relationship status, disability, language, physical features, health status and medical history – failed to pass. Under the proposed measure, acts of discrimination include promoting and encouraging stigma, inciting hatred or violence, inflicting harm on health and well-being, and engaging in profiling. Also to be penalized are denial of political, civil and cultural rights; right to education, work, organize, expression; and denial of access to goods and services. Had it become law, offenders may be penalized with not less than a year but not more than six years imprisonment or a fine of not more than P500,000, or both.

In 2016, while guesting on a noontime show in TV giant ABS-CBN, Angara promoted SB 948, which was then pending in the Senate. He was quoted as saying that “any form of discrimination threatens order and stability in our country. It is imperative that discrimination — or any act that establishes, promotes and perpetuates standing inequalities and disregards the right to equality of treatment — be reduced.”

Angara, who has yet to verbalize his position on marriage equality, nonetheless stated that “I believe… LGBT unions should have equal rights under the law, including rights to inherit and other property rights.

.

(Established in April 2007, Outrage Magazine remains the only publication exclusive for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and allied community in the Philippines.)

***

Act, speak up – Geena Rocero

leave a comment »

Outrage Magazine | 24 September 2014

***

Geena

Everyone should stand in their truths.

That, in not so many words, is the lesson that US-based transgender model and LGBTQ rights advocate Geena Rocero wants LGBTQ Filipinos to learn, as she made the rounds during her recent trip to the Philippines.

Rocero“As an individual, being visible… being vocal is a big step. Knowing about your rights is a huge step. You need to know when and how to speak up when your rights are being violated. And speak up when you see there are violations,” Geena said toOutrage Magazine.

TURNING POINT

Geena didn’t always have it easy.  When she was still living in a humble alley in Guadalupe, she also had dreadful experiences.

“I remember walking from home to school, school to home. (There were) moments when I would be scared because, somehow, the tricycle drivers – maybe they just feel like they’re mobilized – would feel entitled to scream at me, saying: ‘BAKLA(FAGGOT)!’,” she recalled.  This is traumatic to “anybody who had experienced that.  It creates something in you, that internalized fear. (It was) a very degrading word, (especially with) the way it was said. That’s a moment that I would always remember; a pain that I will never forget. Because it was a reminder of how much I’ve gone through.”

Though Geena moved to the US, the bad experiences persisted.  Such as that time she had a very disturbing experience in Japan.

“I remember a moment in 2005, when I was traveling from New York to Tokyo.  My California driver’s license had a female name and gender marker, but my Philippine passport had a male name and gender marker. I was at the airport, and the next thing I know, two immigration officers took me and said: ‘We are going to take you to the holding office’,” Geena recounted. “I got to that place where one girl was screaming at one of the officers, saying: ‘There’s this one guy who you know who definitely did something wrong!’, and I was with them just because my documents didn’t match. Just because I’m existing as I am. The experience was very embarrassing. I was asked about the most personal questions. It was a very embarrassing moment, but it also raised my consciousness (and made me ask) on why is it like that.”

Geena eventually came out via the now much-hyped TED Talks episode.

 

Geena also eventually founded Gender Proud, “an advocacy and awareness organization that brings attention to the need for all transgender individuals to self-identify with the fewest possible barriers.”

CRUSADE FOR EQUALITY

Geena shared with Outrage Magazine her sentiments on the lack of efforts from the government to protect and help improve the lives of members of the LGBTQ community.

GR

Because of the lack of a national mandate to ensure that the human rights of LGBTQ Filipinos are protected, “what’s interesting… what’s happening in (localities) is important. What activist groups have been doing underground (is) try to pass anti-discrimination ordinances in different local government units. It’s important to keep that momentum going because that’s what’s going to protect LGBTQ people. (So we move) city by city, barangay by barangay.  Because if the protection is not going to happen in the national (level, then local) communities should make their own steps,” she said.

Geena, nonetheless, conveyed her position on the importance of passing the Anti-discrimination Bill.

“Our campaign for the passage of the Anti-discrimination Bill (is) considered as a controversial issue in the Philippines given that this is a very conservative and highly religious country. So we need to really effectively communicate what we’re advocating for. That this is not just for the LGBTQ community, but also for all members of the Philippine (society),” she said.

Geena already met with Sen. Bam Aquino, with the Association of Transgender People in the Philippines in tow, to discuss the progress of the long overdue Anti-discrimination Bill that Aquino sponsored.  They were supposedly assured by Aquino that he will look into the possibility of asking for the creation of a “sub-committee”, which he will head, to initiate a public consultation on the issue.

“Gender Proud’s work in the Philippines is in a different context.  The Anti-discrimination Bill is the first step.  And me, someone from the Philippines, I know what the culture is, I would lend my voice, my resources, and in any way I can to contribute in moving the conversation forward,” Geena said.

PASSING IT ON

For many, the passage of the Anti-discrimination Bill would probably be one of the best solutions for the different recurring problems that members of the LGBT community continue to face every day. But for Geena, the first step to change what’s been happening in the community will “begin from each one of us”.

 

“Sometimes, it’s hard to think that there’s still hope – like when you report a violence that you saw. But you need to remember that those little efforts count. And as a community, we are all tied-in together. We just need to really understand each other. Awareness is the most important thing,” Geena ended.

.

.

(Outrage Magazine remains the only publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the Philippines.)

***

%d bloggers like this: