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LGBTs call for rights bill in the Philippines

Activists visit the House of Representatives yesterday, asking congress to protect their rights
Activists at the Philippines' House of Representatives yesterday

Dozens of LGBT rights campaigners in the Philippines visited the House of Representatives yesterday to ask them to pass an anti-discrimination bill.

The activists had been invited by Congressman Teddy Casino who introduced a bill last year that askes the Philippines officially declare 17 May as National Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (NADAHO).

'The government must take a proactive struggle against homophobia and transphobia by including LGBTs, not only in legislation, but actual everyday government planning and project implementation,' said Casino. 'This is the first step, but not the only step, if the Philippines wants to achieve zero level homophobia and transphobia according to global standards.’

A report that rights group ProGay Philippines submitted to the UN Human Rights Council included a long list of human rights violations suffered by LGBT people in the Philippines. These included police raids and arrests on gay saunas and transgender women being abused by doctors.

Following US President Obama’s historic announcement of his support for gay marriage, Filipino lawmakers responded that their pro-dominantly Catholic ‘conservative’ country was ‘not yet ready' for same-sex marriage legislation.

ProGay Philippines said: ‘We are not asking for wedding bells soon, we are merely requesting the government to face up to the reports ProGay gave the United Nations Human Rights Council.’

The UN Human Rights Council will review the report given to them by ProGay Philippines on 28 May. The report includes a complaint that an anti-discrimination bill has been pending in congress for 12 years.

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