On May 17, Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch, Ladlad Partylist and other LGBT and allied organizations are celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) with a march to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
With the theme, "Working with the Government to Stop the Hate (Sa Pagtigil ng Karahasan, Kasama ang Pamahalaan)", the event aims to bring into focus the incidents of hate crime against LGBTs in the country.
LGBT people are becoming increasingly vulnerable to crimes because of their sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). To date, 156 LGBTs have been murdered (data since 1996), 16 of those in 2012 alone. “Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are the major motivations for hate crimes against LGBT people. Fear and hatred kills,” says Santy Layno, Trustee of Ladlad Partylist.
“Since there is no mechanism that helps identify hate crime victims, we don’t know how many more have been killed over the years,” says Marlon Lacsamana of the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch. “The government needs to recognize, investigate, document and prosecute hate crimes based on SOGI. For that we need to get the active support of CHR.”
What the group asks of the CHR are the following:
- Acknowledgement that hate crimes against LGBT people, and the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia underpinning them, are serious problems that must be given due attention;
- Facilitation of tripartite discussions with the DILG and the PNP in addressing the growing number of LGBT hate crimes; and,
- Commitment to provide assistance in pushing for the approval of House Resolutions 1432 and 1460.
“Having on board the national human rights institution of the country may not prevent the hate crimes from happening, but it definitely sends the message that the government is doing its part in protecting the rights of all people—in particular, their rights to life and security— regardless of SOGI,” adds Lacsamana.
The marchers will meet at the UP Palma Hall AS Steps at 3:00 pm and march to the CHR Office. At the CHR Office, a cande lighting ceremony will be held to commemorate the victims of LGBT killings, as well as a program where the group will voice out their demands to the CHR.