LGBT group elated over UN resolution

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News -

MANILA - Bahaghari, a national progressive and anti-imperialist organization of LGBT Filipinos, welcomes the recently-passed UN Human Rights Council Resolution instituting an independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The expert will serve as an international watchdog tasked with identifying the root causes of violence and discrimination against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people and coordinating with governments in providing protection from violence and discrimination.

For the United Nations Human Rights Council, as an institution with the mandate to work on the protection and promotion of human rights all over the world, the recognition that LGBT people need to be protected from violence and discrimination is a step towards the right direction.

Unfortunately, although not surprisingly, the Philippine government— still under the Aquino administration— chose to remain complicit in the violence and discrimination against LGBT Filipinos to the end when it voted “abstain.” It chose to remain silent despite the fact that many LGBT Filipinos continue to face discrimination in employment, education and social services, and are subject to an intensifying violence perpetrated by the police, families, communities and other members of the society.

Bahaghari thus challenges the newly-installed Duterte presidency to do better than its predecessor and fulfill its promise of bringing about change in the lives of the Filipino people, including the LGBT people, by enacting domestic measures that will protect them.

Bahaghari also cautions the UNHRC against letting this special procedure become a tool for pink-washing to justify imperialist states’ intervention in the political-economic affairs of other nations. "We strongly emphasize the universality, inseparability and indivisibility of the rights of LGBT people—that our civil and political rights cannot be extricated from our economic, social and cultural rights. Our rights are not distinct from our rights as sovereign people," it said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.

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