Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Courage's Counter Proposal to HB 956

In our previous post, we explained in great detail our position on the Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB 956). This time we have come up with a counter proposal that will more effectively answer the issue of discrimination of homosexual persons, without the dangers and ambiguity of the current bills. You can download a copy of this counter proposal here.

ON HOUSE BILL 956, SENATE BILL 11 and other similar bills
“An Act Prohibiting Discrimination
On the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
And Providing Penalties Therefore”

1. The Anti-Discrimination bills (HB956, SB11 and similar bills) is not the answer to discrimination.

As we have outlined in our position paper, there are several reasons why HB956, SB11 and similar such bills do not answer the problem of discrimination. Such reasons are the following (details of which are found in the position paper)

a. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Classification is Unreasonable and Against the “Equal Protection” clause
Classification of individuals according to law must have a clear and distinct difference between categories. It must go beyond a superficial difference to a substantial distinction. The terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” does not pass this criterion. Moreover, a law that is passed for persons using these classifications unjustly favors a group of individuals over the rest of similar nature, and therefore violates the constitutional guaranty of equal protection.

b. The Danger of “Discrimination”
As this bill defines “discrimination” as actual or perceived draws it into a relativistic point – depending upon the perception of an individual that cries for discrimination. Among many other “dangers” that this definition and its accompanying provisions bring, there can be four (4) major points:
- Scheming individuals, whether or not they are homosexuals, may manipulate the law and use “discrimination” to extort from persons and/or institutions that are not protected by this bill
- By mere suspicion and without any substantial evidence, any homosexual person may use “discrimination” against anyone whom he or she pleases
- The definition of sexual orientation and gender identity in this bill includes inclinations and behavior, to which the bill does not account for the legitimacy of the behavior done – such as public scandals & sexual activities
- Discrimination under other analogous circumstances may pave the way for other groups, such as pedophiles, sadomasochists, and exhibitionists, to justify their actions and behavior as being part of their sexuality.

c. Superceding Other Criminal Laws
The repealing clause of the bill will consider useless and numb all other criminal laws that are “inconsistent” to the agenda of the bill – that is protection of persons with a different sexual orientation. It will warranty any kind of behavior of homosexual persons – whether or not it is legal or moral in nature, or whether or not it undermines the rights of another human person.

d. Redundant of Existing Laws recognized in the Philippines
There are sufficient laws recognized in the Philippines that can be invoked for the protection of the rights of anyone – including homosexual persons. The common problem of these laws being practiced and conferred upon persons in the current situation of Philippine society is NOT a matter of the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, but a matter of the person’s popularity, riches and/or power.

e. Causes versus Effects with Discriminatory Practices
Hon. Loreta Ann Rosales, in her introductory cover of HB 634, mentions that discrimination is caused primarily by “misconceptions and ignorance”. With this being said, is it justifiable to confer punishment to anyone who does not fully understand, much less define, sexual orientation and gender identity? Is it right to impose penalty on someone who is brought up by a society that misunderstands, makes fun of, and scoffs at homosexual persons? It is like training a dog to bite a person in red pants, and kills the dog when it does bite a person in red pants. It is best to properly educate the general public first, let this new learned concept be practiced, before imposing a law.

2. Learning about Homosexuality.

We must ask ourselves – where does the Filipino public get their idea/s about homosexuality? There is a wide genre of information available about homosexuality, but let us examine those sources that are immediately available and are popularly presented in Philippine society:

a. Immediate environment – in the home, in the neighborhood, in school or in the office, are there self-confessed homosexual persons? How do they conduct themselves? What is their lifestyle? How are they perceived by family, friends and immediate environment? Are there issues of gossiping, extortions, falsehood or immoral acts such as public sexual acts attached to the homosexual person? Or is the news about being a good provider and defender of the family, or being a creative and responsible student or worker?

b. Direct experience with a homosexual – how does one describe his or her experience being with a homosexual person? What are the products of these experiences? Are they fond of homosexual persons, just because they are funny but because they are worth of friendship? Or are they despising of them because of experiences of sexual advances or betrayal of friendship?

c. Mass Communications – though it may be indirect information, one cannot deny the effects that media imposes upon its subscribers; particularly gay literature that presents an agenda to its recipients

- Books such as Skin, Voices, Faces (1991) by Danton Remoto, Closet Quivers (1992) by Neil Garcia, Cubao 1980 at iba pang Katha (1992) by Tony Perez, A Different Love: Being Gay in the Philippines (1993) by Margarity Go-Singco, Ang Lunes na Mahirap Bunuin (1993) by Nicolas B. Pichay, Ladlad: An Anthology of Philippine Gay Writing (1994) edited by Remoto and Garcia, Ladlad 2 (1995) edited by Remoto and Garcia, Woman to Woman: A Collection of Lesbian Reflections (1995) edited by Aida F. Santos and Ginay Villar, Seduction and Solitude (1995) by Remoto; mostly published by Anvil Publishers.

- Magazines such as Icon, L, Valentino and Generation Pink

- Television shows such as GMA-7’s OUT and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

- Movies such as (international) Philadelphia, Broke Back Mountain and (local) Pusong Mamon, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Markova and movies with sex themes such as Macho Dancers, Twilight Dancers, Sibak, Bathhouse, Duda, Bilog, Masahista, Ang Lalaki sa Parola, Day Break, Lihim ni Antonio

- Stage Plays such as ZsaZsa Zaturnah and M Butterfly

- Gay Icons such as Boy Abunda, John Lapus, IC Mendoza, Ricky Reyes, and Inday Garutay

Collectively, what do these sources tell us about homosexuality? Let us examine only those points that aim to provide a foundation for the gay agenda (see attached speech of Michael Swift, 1987).

• Homosexuality is a gift of nature
Gays are born, not made. It is a gift that must be celebrated and flaunted for everyone to see.

• Homosexual behavior cannot be controlled
Dressing up and having mannerisms of the opposite sex, desiring and engaging in sexual activities with persons of the same-sex, and other similar behaviors are innate with the homosexual person; if you are homosexual, then you behave as such.

• Homosexuals are preoccupied seeking sexual relationships with the same-sex
Gay literature and websites would most often feature items which are sexual by nature – nude pictures, erotic stories, sex toys, cruising places, bars and meeting up places etc.

• The Church is homophobic and propagate a culture of hate against homosexual persons
Conservative (anti-liberal) movements such as the Church condemn homosexual persons as sinners and sick people, and thus contribute to hate crimes and acts of discrimination against gays.

• Homosexuals who are accepted for what they are AND for what they do live happy lives
If only people will accept homosexuals for who they are (including what they do like same-sex sexual activities and same-sex partnerships/marriages), they will be happy.

• Once a homosexual, always a homosexual
This is a finality statement – that no matter what a homosexual do (having heterosexual marriage, being in therapy etc.), he or she will always remain a homosexual.

3. These ideas about homosexuality contribute to “misconceptions and ignorance” that leads to discrimination.

Let us ask another question: are these ideas presenting the whole picture about homosexuality? Or are they contributing to the misconceptions and ignorance about homosexuality?

For a typical Filipino, if asked to describe a “bakla”, terms that will probably be enlisted are: “mukhang babae”, “malandi”, “maharot”, “kikay”, “nakikipag-sex sa kapwa lalaki”, “parlorista”, “chismosa”, “madaldal”, “maingay” – and if asked to describe a “tomboy”, terms that will probably come out are: “mukhang lalaki”, “brusko”, “matapang”, “security guard”, “bouncer”, “possessive”, “nakikipag-sex sa kapwa babae”…

One may say these are all stereotypical descriptions of homosexuals – but where do they get these descriptions? Where do homosexuals get information on the character and behavior of homosexuals? We have answered this already. Yet, despite of all the gay literature available, these notions about homosexuals still abound, and homosexuals still behave the same. And these ideas directly or indirectly contribute to discrimination of homosexuals.

For the homosexual: knowing that he or she is born gay, is pre-occupied with sex, his/her behavior cannot be controlled, and that he or she will forever be gay – this person will engage himself or herself into a lifestyle that seeks to integrate behaviors into the person, such that he or she will not be able to see himself or herself apart from the dressing up or the mannerisms or the sexual activities or the same-sex partnerships that he or she has.

For the person who is not homosexual: knowing that homosexuals are born, are pre-occupied with sex, with behaviors that cannot be controlled, and that they will never change – this person will relate with a homosexual as if the behavior is integrated with the person, and so if news reach him through media or through experiences of other persons (sometimes even his/her personal experience) that a homosexual behaved badly (e.g. involved in a financial scam or caught in sexual activities in public or harassing young men into having sex with him for a price or for fame), he or she will label this behavior upon all homosexuals, and thus develop a discriminating mindset against homosexuals.

The cases of discrimination or “hate crimes” against homosexuals are a by-product of the behaviors that homosexuals exhibit in either public or private affairs. People who have bad experiences with homosexual persons (e.g. molested or scammed or abused) tend to relate with hatred towards any homosexual. But people who have had good experiences with homosexual persons tend to relate with love towards any homosexual.

Yet, gay activists have always accused the Church of propagating a culture of hate. However, difficult as it may seem, the Church has always distinguished the person from the behavior – and continued to protect the dignity of the human person, whether homosexual or heterosexual, while disapproving of the behavior of sexual activity outside marriage, whether homosexual or heterosexual.

4. Better understanding of homosexuality leads to a better treatment of homosexual persons.

In spite the proliferation of gay literature, gay films, gay lingo and ultimately the gay culture in Philippine society, homosexuals still cry out as being victims of discrimination. Why is this so?

Gay culture only presents WHAT homosexuals DO, and play down, if not totally avoid, the discussions on WHY.

It is one thing to present what gay people do, yet if we want people to understand homosexuality, we must go beyond definitions and behaviors and start answering the question: why does a person become gay?

To dismiss this question and state that society must just accept homosexuals for who they are AND what they do undermines the intelligence of the Filipino people – unless it is really part of the gay agenda to dismiss discussions on the origins of homosexuality.

If people will understand why a person becomes a homosexual, and what factors contribute to homosexuality; as well as the painful road that a homosexual undergoes in his or her growing up years, there will be no room for discrimination, only much room for love and affirmation.

Our group can testify as to how our family and friends have better understood and loved us knowing this.

5. Education is the answer to Discrimination!

There are hard facts that must be given to the Filipino public, and this is to be given through continuous education. We hope that our legislative bodies, instead of approving bills that are deceptive and are ultimately cloaked with the gay agenda, will develop and approve measures that will re-educate our people on the truths about homosexuality. Some of these truths are as follows:

a. A homosexual is a person with same-sex attractions.
There are homosexuals in all walks of life – whether or not they fit into the stereotypes presented in society. They may be fashion designers or showbiz personalities or corporate managers or teachers or persons in high authority – the common characteristic is that they are sexually attracted to persons of the same-sex.

b. There is a difference between homosexual attraction and homosexual behavior.
Being attracted to persons of the same-sex is something that one doesn’t have control – initially. But how do we respond to such attractions, and how do we conduct ourselves as a result of these attractions – our behavior, this is where we have control.

c. Homosexuality is not all of genetics but more of environment.
Gay research has for years been searching for a gay gene but has found no concrete, repeatable and reliable study to prove one. Though it may be uncertain that genetics may play a part in the development of homosexuality in a person, many studies (see those published in www.narth.com) suggest that it is more of environmental factors (family, peers, school, religion, media, society etc.) that determines the homosexual inclination of an individual.

d. Homosexuals have choices.
Since behavior is a matter of choice, the homosexual can choose whether to dress and act like the same-sex or the opposite sex, whether to flaunt their homosexuality or to hide it “in the closet” or to deny it, whether to engage in same-sex activities or not, whether to look for a partner or not and similar such other choices

e. Change is difficult but possible for the homosexual.
Since the homosexual has choices, then ultimately he or she has a choice whether or not to continue living in the homosexual lifestyle, or to break free from this lifestyle and live a chaste life, and furthermore to rediscover his manhood or her womanhood and be happily heterosexually married and bring up a family. Countless individuals can testify to the hope of change, and as such ministries have been developed and continue to reach our to persons with same-sex attractions who are now open to change (see www.peoplecanchange.com, www.gaytostraight.org, www.pureintimacy.org and Door of Hope ministry of www.settingcaptivesfree.com)

f. There are groups available to help homosexuals who decide to change.
Individuals who were formerly gay are less known today – but they exist. Yet we could name some famous names such as Ansel Beluso (who was a screaming gay personality in the 1980’s, and who is now a loving husband and a father to three kids) and Vins Santiago (who is a transsexual under the classic statement “woman trapped in a man’s body”, and who is now a man dressing and acting like a man).

These individuals have decided to proclaim the message of hope that homosexuals can change, and have formed groups that help other men and women find their own unique roads to change. Such groups are:
- Bagong Pag-asa under the leadership of John Zulueta (www.bagongpagasa.org )
- Called to be Free Ministries under the leadership of Vins Santiago (www.called2bfree.com )
- Gentlemen of the Lord (Couples for Christ) under the leadership of Ansel Beluso and Myke Perfecto
- Courage under the leadership of Rollie delos Reyes II (www.couragerc.net )
- Ichthus Community under the leadership of Joe Garcia
- Aftercall Community under the leadership of Jelo de Guzman (www.aftercall.ning.com)

g. God, through the Church, loves the homosexual person.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that homosexuals “…must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” If only every Catholic knows this teaching of the Church, as well as its other teachings on homosexuality such as Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI) Letter to the Bishops On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986), we would understand how much the Church cares for its flock – even the homosexual person.

Through these hard truths we may educate our people on homosexuality, and thus end the discrimination that emanates from the incomplete and sometimes twisted ideas presented by the gay agenda to our society.

By Michael Swift,
"Gay Revolutionary." Reprinted from The Congressional Record. First printed in Gay Community News, February 15-21 1987

"We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

Women, you cry for freedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make you unhappy. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculine physique, shall take your men from you then. We will amuse them; we will instruct them; we will embrace them when they weep. Women, you say you wish to live with each other instead of with men. Then go and be with each other. We shall give your men pleasures they have never known because we are foremost men too, and only one man knows how to truly please another man; only one man can understand the depth and feeling, the mind and body of another man.

All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men. All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.

If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.

We shall write poems of the love between men; we shall stage plays in which man openly caresses man; we shall make films about the love between heroic men which will replace the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, heterosexual infatuations presently dominating your cinema screens. We shall sculpt statues of beautiful young men, of bold athletes which will be placed in your parks, your squares, your plazas. The museums of the world will be filled only with paintings of graceful, naked lads.
Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable and de rigueur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles. We will eliminate heterosexual liaisons through usage of the devices of wit and ridicule, devices which we are skilled in employing.

We will unmask the powerful homosexuals who masquerade as heterosexuals. You will be shocked and frightened when you find that your presidents and their sons, your industrialists, your senators, your mayors, your generals, your athletes, your film stars, your television personalities, your civic leaders, your priests are not the safe, familiar, bourgeois, heterosexual figures you assumed them to be. We are everywhere; we have infiltrated your ranks. Be careful when you speak of homosexuals because we are always among you; we may be sitting across the desk from you; we may be sleeping in the same bed with you.

There will be no compromises. We are not middle-class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are the natural aristocrats of the human race, and steely-minded aristocrats never settle for less. Those who oppose us will be exiled. We shall raise vast private armies, as Mishima did, to defeat you. We shall conquer the world because warriors inspired by and banded together by homosexual love and honor are invincible as were the ancient Greek soldiers.

The family unit-spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence--will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants.

All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men. We adhere to a cult of beauty, moral and esthetic. All that is ugly and vulgar and banal will be annihilated. Since we are alienated from middle-class heterosexual conventions, we are free to live our lives according to the dictates of the pure imagination. For us too much is not enough.

The exquisite society to emerge will be governed by an elite comprised of gay poets. One of the major requirements for a position of power in the new society of homoeroticism will be indulgence in the Greek passion. Any man contaminated with heterosexual lust will be automatically barred from a position of influence. All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice and will become invisible men.

We shall rewrite history, history filled and debased with your heterosexual lies and distortions. We shall portray the homosexuality of the great leaders and thinkers who have shaped the world. We will demonstrate that homosexuality and intelligence and imagination are inextricably linked, and that homosexuality is a requirement for true nobility, true beauty in a man.

We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages. We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution.
Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks."

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