CHR joins the Pride March 2024 celebration and urges for the passage of SOGIESC and Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination bills in Congress

CHR joins the Pride March 2024 celebration and urges for the passage of SOGIESC and Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination bills in Congress

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is one with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) community in celebrating this year’s Pride Month. Consistent with our mantra, “CHR ng Lahat: Naglilingkod maging sino ka man,” we highlight the critical role of the government in upholding equality in a society free from discrimination.

As part of this year’s Pride festivities, the Commission took part in the Quezon City local government’s #LoveLaban2Everyone: Pride PH Festival on 22 June 2024. Through the Center for Gender Equality and Women’s Human Rights (CGEWHR), we reaffirmed our call for the equal rights and dignity of all during the event.

The Commission featured a line-up of games and prizes at the CHR Booth. These were meant to underscore the importance of human rights in a fun and engaging way that many can relate to and appreciate. Chants of courage and calls to stand up for everyone’s rights resonated through the streets, amplifying our advocacy for freedom, equality, inclusivity, and justice.

As the country’s Gender and Development Ombud, we emphasize that Pride, beyond being a celebration of identity and diversity, is a protest to assert the rights of the LGBTQI+ community. It is, likewise, an urgent call for the passage of policies that empower and protect them. Let us remind ourselves of the struggles that the community faces to this date in all aspects of living, to which they had long been subjected to violence, discrimination, and even deprivation of access to public services such as education, healthcare, family rights, and basic security.

The inherent dignity of every Filipino is never determined by their gender identity or expression. Thus, it should not be the basis for deciding whether a citizen is entitled to certain rights. In this light, we urge for the passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Equality Bill and the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill to affirm the State’s obligation in upholding equality and ensuring that the LGBTQI+ community is protected under the law. We look forward to the day when these bills are prioritized by the members of Congress, with a perspective on protecting the equal dignity and rights of all citizens. Let us keep in mind that these legislations do not intend to grant greater preference to the LGBTQI+ community. Instead, these seek to address the vulnerabilities they have long been subjected to and create a safe space for them.

The CHR reiterates its readiness to always listen to the issues and concerns facing the members of the LGBTQI+ community. We encourage open dialogue and collaboration to assist the Commission in developing recommendations for state policies and laws that will provide the community with safe spaces – free from stigma, discrimination, and hate. Let us work together toward embedding intersectionality and inclusivity at the core of Philippine development where not a single Filipino across all demographics is truly left behind.

Now more than ever, we raise our colorful flags with PRIDE!

Atin ang bahaghari, atin ang malayang lipunan!###