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Ladlad Partylist bats CBCP’s ignorance

By LADLAD Partylist
December 10, 2011

PASIG CITY  –  The only political organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Filipinos, Ladlad Partylist batted the ignorance of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on the issue concerning the anti-discrimination bill or the Senate Bill 2814, otherwise known as Anti-Ethnic, Racial or Religious Discrimination and Profiling Act of 2011. The bill will be discussed soon by a bicameral conference committee tasked to harmonize the Senate bill with similar bills passed by the House of Representatives.

In a weekly forum Thursday, CBCP was repugnant saying that the enactment of the bill into law would open the door for the legalization of same sex marriages.

Ladlad was flabbergasted on where their paranoia is coming from as nothing in the bill refers to same-sex marriage, it merely asks for equal opportunities and protection before the law like in schools, workplace and establishment regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

On the other hand, the chairperson of Ladlad, Ms. Bemz Benedito was flooded with text messages and calls from their agitated members upon hearing a statement from CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong saying that the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender) should not be considered the same as the elderly, the handicapped, and the poor. Imbong further said, “These people are disadvantaged not by their own choice. But the third sex, they choose this. How can you give protection to a choice like that?”

“Atty. Jo Imbong’s thesis or proposition was lamentable, defective and thoughtless because there are LGBT Filipinos who are elderly, handicapped and poor. Their experiences of discrimination become layered and unbearable,” Benedito said. “The deed that the CBCP is showing now against Filipino LGBTs is morally wrong because God as we all know doesn’t welcome prejudice and does love unfavorably,” she added.

The LGBT group is asking the Catholic priests to come out of their extravagant churches to see the reality – that some LGBTs are not hired to work, some are being harassed and violated and some 144 killed because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. “It is not something that we chose to be,” Benedito stressed.

Ladlad recalled few months ago when CBCP said, LGBTs are children of God too provided they do not engage in homosexual acts. Now we challenge the CBCP to practice what they preach and act to what is right for everybody without conditions.

Ladlad further said, we need to advance as a democratic country and with an egalitarian congress, the needs of all marginalized sectors in society must be responded by adequate laws. Ladlad was deeply saddened that the CBCP continues to propagate fear, hate, prejudice and intolerance to the LGBT sector.

“Where is the compassion in the hearts of the CBCP and human understanding in all this? Benedito asked.  “I am confident that our lawmakers will not be misled or affected by bigotry,” Benedito added.

Ladlad, who has more than 50,000 members nationwide and will run as partylist in 2013 elections reminded the CBCP that Philippines is a secular state and there is a separation between the church and the state, thus CBCP has no business meddling with the legislative process.