It is only November and yet the 'three kings of lies' from the COMELEC (read as Commissioners Nicodemo Ferrer, Lucenito Tagle and Elias Yusoph) are saying that LADLAD is "immoral" and "a threat to the future of Filipino youths" (with quoted Bible (Romans 1:26) and Koran (Surah 29) verses); thus, they should not be accredited as a political party.
The quoted religious verses in their decision to bar LADLAD from party list system has provided an excuse to deprive LGBT people of their rights. Their interpretation only reinforce the already existing homophobic beliefs that LGBT people are 'sinful' and 'sick'. These same homophobic beliefs continue to deny us access to our most basic needs such as health services, employment, access to education, housing, among others. Thus, the negative impact of that COMELEC decision will surely touch every aspect of our lives. Those homophobic beliefs wrongly backed in religious verses and penned down by the 'three kings of lies' only expose the true reasons why up to now LADLAD is being denied of the right to political representation.
Those 'three kings of lies' surely had done a grave injustice to the LGBT peoples and communities. They are using their authority to bar a marginalize group from participating in a democratic space. Where is now the government commitment to "equality for all" and respect for all people "regardless of sex" as stated in Art 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"Everyone is entitled to all the rights set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as...sex"?
How come those 'three kings of lies' used religious texts to cover up for their hatred of the LGBTs? The truth is they are hiding behind their cloak of authority and religious verses to spread homophobia which had long been damaging to society and to the LGBT communities. The "three kings of lies" should have optedto interpret the holy teachings to promote the idea of non-discrimination. But what they penned down was their macho and homophobic interpretation and they chose to discriminate LGBT people. Hence, they are guilty of committing grave injustice towards LGBT people.
They used the quoted verses in the Bible and Koran to justify injustice to LGBT. LGBTs are also humans and humans were created by the same God. Furthermore, those verses quoted by the 'three kings of lies' contradict our own belief that all are equal in the eyes of God. And how come they overlook a bible verse from the same Old Testament which pertains to the equality of all sexes, such as Galatians 3:28 that: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Moreover, though we understand that at this crucial time, when 2010 elections is just around the corner, some politicians maybe reluctant to step in the issue. Some people, including some religious groups and even some LGBTs maybe reluctant to challenge religion because it is a powerful area to challenge.
But the UP Diliman Gender Office (UPDGO) is committed to challenging injustice in whatever form we see it. We are a unit responsible for ensuring gender equality among genders and promotion of human rights. If we believe that "women's rights are human rights"; it goes the same with LGBT rights.
The UP DGO found it unacceptable to discriminate LADLAD or not to accredit it as a party list just because of quoted Bible and Koran verses which were quoted out of context. In this regard, we are also calling on all progressive religious groups to challenge and and possibly change the harmful effects of those homophobic beliefs quoted in religious verses. Progressive religious groups must also challenge the 'three kings of lies' wrong use of the sacred texts. We hope that they will also be there to intervene and promote the idea that "everybody is equal in the eyes of God" and "all human beings are equal in dignity and rights."
Somehow, those same homophobic beliefs may proved to be self-defeating to any nation that discriminate 10% of its population. LGBT people are productive members of society. We are workers, farmers, teachers, guidance counselors, writers, activists, athletes, among others. Indeed, we are shapers of the future of this nation. A country which denies 10% of its population will not also grow to its fullest potentials. The least of our hope is for the government to respect our rights...