Thursday, 17 November 2011

In the Philippines, gay people shot in drive-by

Map of Metro Cebu within the Philippines.Image via Wikipedia
By Paul Canning

Philippine women's empowerment organisation Kaisa Ka (Unity of Women for Freedom) reports that gay men in Cebu City (the Philippines second city) have been attacked by pellet guns by men in moving vehicles.

The exact number of victims is unknown and none of the perpetrators have been found.

In August the Philippine Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Hate Watch project reported that hate crimes, including murder, of LGBT people are rising.

In Baguio, north of Manila, the Catholic Church has been accused of stirring up harassment of local LGBT after reports that gay people had 'married'.

Kaisa Ka say that, according to LGBT activists in Cebu City, unreported attacks have been numerous and ongoing. They say that the men were attacked "simply for displaying a light femininity".

Following the attacks, Professor Danton Remoto, founder and chairperson emeritus of the Ladlad party-list, visited Cebu to condemn the hate crimes.

Talk show host Boy Abunda, senior party adviser of Ladlad, said there’s still “a long way to go” in the fight for LBGT rights.
“We personally came to Cebu to ask our Cebuano brothers to put an end to this kind of hate crime. Please stop hurting people,” Abunda said.
The party adviser also asked the police to consider attacks with pellet guns as a crime equal to attacks inflicted with deadly weapons.

Philippine LGBT groups have submitted a scathing report to the UN Human Rights Council of different abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the country since 2007.

The Aquino government faces the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the Council in May 2012.

The report singles out the persistent failure of an Anti-Discrimination Bill in Congress and the Philippines lack of support for the resolution against anti-LGBT violence in the United Nations General Assembly last year.

The report also cites the lack of any right for transgender people to have their identities respected in birth and travel documents.

Reighben Labilles of the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch highlighted the long string of murders and violence committed against LGBT Filipinos and the lack of comprehensive action of the Philippine National Police to solve these crimes.

Germaine Trittle Leonin, founding president of R-Rights, said the LGBT civil society report also aired the gross lack of health care services to the sector. The report lamented the tragedy that intersexed Filipino infants face later in life when their true sexuality comes in conflict with the sex that midwives and doctors assign to them. Also included in the shopping list of medical horrors is the infamous video scandal inflicted by a government hospital in Cebu on a gay patient.

The ProGay zeroed in on the discrimination suffered by LGBT students in schools and lesbian workers in farms and factories.
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