Time to resist
The month of June is particularly special for Filipinos, and for the LGBTQIA+ community.
We commemorate our struggles for rights, and freedoms, through Araw ng Kalayaan, and Pride. In 1898, revolutionary men, and women of the Katipunan waved the Philippine flag to claim our freedom, in defiance of Spanish rule. We also remember the call for equality of our comrades in the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Both resistance won for us some freedoms that we enjoy, and freedoms that allow us to dream for greater equality.
However, the freedoms we won are now threatened. The anti terror bill that was shamelessly railroaded by Congress criminalizes our freedom and right to demand for equality. If signed into law, our legitimate protests can be labelled as acts of terror, and, without due process, our organizations can be arbitrarily tagged as terrorists.
This is an assault to our freedom, and to our aspirations. With a climate that punishes dissent, the long road to equality is more arduous.
We call on the Duterte administration to heed the demands of the people, and to veto the proposed law. Defeating terrorism should never be used as an excuse to subdue opposition, and muffle voices of protest.
Ultimately, we call on our LGBTQIA+ comrades to march alongside other sectors to reject the Anti-terror Bill. Once more we are called upon to be vigilant, to defend our freedoms, to fight for our rights, and to continue demanding for equality.
Like in 1898, and in 1969, now is a time to resist.
This Statement supported by the following organizations:
Action for Health Initiatives, Inc. (ACHIEVE Inc.)
CURLS - Cebu United Rainbow LGBT Sector
GAYON (Albay Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender organization)
Good Samaritan MCC Philippines
Independent and Diverse Gay Organization (INDIGO)
TLF Sexuality Health and Rights Educators Collective, Inc. (TLF Share)
Wagayway Batangas Equality Network