Youth group joins gay pride march in Baguio City

MEMBERS of a youth group today reiterated calls to end hate and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos as they joined the annual Pride March in Baguio City.

“Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) in the country continue to face violence and discrimination because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. As a consequence of prevailing misconceptions about the LGBT sector, coupled with the absence of government measures to combat homophobia (fear of homosexuals) and transphobia (fear of transgenders), LGBTs are confronted with prejudicial practices and policies in schools, workplaces, commercial establishments, the civil service and security services and thus, are faced with difficulty in the exercise and enjoyment of their basic and fundamental rights and freedoms”, said Mr. Vencer Crisostomo, spokesperson of Kabataan Party-list.

The youth group received reports that in some academic institutions, students who are LGBT, or are perceived to be LGBT, or who associate with LGBT people, have been and are subjected to pervasive discrimination, including harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence, consequently depriving them of equal educational opportunties.

Humilitation by classmates, teachers and other school personnel; the prohibition and even expulsion of LGBTs who cross dress; the conduct of arbitrary examinations intended to measure the “masculinity” of applicants for the school with the intention of weeding out gay students and with those failing the said examinations will face unjust probation, are some of the several discriminatory practices inside schools that the group have recorded.

“It is high time for the government and for the Congress to look into the  issues confronting the LGBT sector. Concretely, Congress should enact measures that provide a legal definition of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and what constitutes discrimination against LGBTs,” said the youth leader.

Kabataan Party-list filed in Congress a dual measure in the form of House Resolution no. 1333 which seeks to investigate various forms of discrimination experienced by LGBTs in educational institutions and House Bill no. 5512 which seeks to integrate in the curriculum of all education institutions and levels age-appropriate lessons on education on sexual orientation and gender identity and gender rights, equality and welfare.

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