LGBT rights

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Supports Same-Sex Marriage

The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has voiced his support for same-sex marriage for the people of the Philippines. Duterte shared his words during a gathering of LGBT people in Davao City as he announced the plan to create an LGBT commission. Duterte urged the LGBT citizens of the Philippines to nominate their "brightest" and most "honest" citizens for the commission or for those individuals to come forward to join him.

During the speaking engagement, Duterte changed his tune on the topic of same-sex marriage, a topic that he has strictly and publicly opposed in the past.

According to ABC Online, some of his comments for same-sex marriage include:

I said I am for [same-]sex marriage if that is the trend of the modern times.

If that will add to your happiness, I am for it.

Why impose a morality that is no longer working and almost passed.

So I am with you.

Duterte is known for his discriminatory comments and just this year he made a embarrassing statements about prisoners who he felt were "beyond reform" because their time in prison had resulted in them turning gay.

Last year, he insulted an openly gay U.S. ambassador:

Related Post: Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Insults Openly Gay US Ambassador

He also claims to work toward legislation for same-sex marriage in the Philippines, one of the most accepting LGBT Asian countries that has seen such little legal progress or inclusivity.

Has Duterte honestly changed the way he feels about the LGBT community or this his way of trying to push a different agenda or to build his cabinet? In any case, it looks like this is a step in the right direction for our LGBT pinoy brothers and sisters.

Los Angeles LGBT Center Issues Statement On President's Anti-Muslim Tweets

LOS ANGELES - In response to President Trump's tweeted endorsement of the far-right, anti-Muslim group Britain First, the Los Angeles LGBT Center issued the following statement:

"The Los Angeles LGBT Center joins with the international human rights community to condemn President Trump’s endorsement this morning of far-right propaganda against Muslims.

"Tweeting videos spread by British extremists that further demonize Muslims opens the door for Trump’s supporters to target Muslims for acts of hatred and violence. This action is indefensible on many counts, but, put most simply, it is dangerous and obscene.

"The obsessive targeting of vulnerable populations by the president and his Administration has very real and violent consequences. Right now, one in five people who commit hate crimes in the United States reference President Trump by name.

"We must all stand against these vile acts of hatred directed against LGBT people, immigrants, people of color, women, Muslims, Jews, and many other vulnerable communities, and stand against the constant tide of normalization and encouragement that the president’s behavior grants to those who commit them.

"This is the time for all people of good conscience to say, ‘Enough!’"


More LGBT People Have Been Killed This Year Than All of 2016 Combined

With the past year having a huge uptick in political discourse and violence in our society, it also reflects how rough it has been for the LGBT community in the continual fight for our rights.  In a very sad report done by Buzzfeed News,  more LGBT people have been murdered since the beginning of 2017 than in all of 2016 combined, (this does not include the 49 victims of the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando). 

The numbers translate to roughly one hate-violence-related death every 13 days in 2016. So far in 2017, the pace of those deaths is at about one every six days.

Within this statistics, 15 were transgendered women of color and at least 12 were cisgendered gay men.  Apparently there is no clear reason for the increase, but based on what has happened over the past year and now with certain emboldened people thinking they can get away with this disgusting behavior, it doesn't surprise me whatsoever that there has already been this much of an increase and there is still roughly 5 months to go in the 2017 calendar year.

"I think whether it’s an increase in reporting, an increase in violence, or some combination thereof, it should be a wake-up call for us across our communities that hate violence is not going away, it’s certainly not decreasing, and it’s symptomatic of larger and deeper problems in our society that we still haven’t addressed," Beverly Tillery, executive director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, told BuzzFeed News. Her group coordinates with the NCAVP and is the lead agency that puts together the violence report.

Now, more than ever, we need to stick together as a community and consistently watch out for each other.  In particular, the trans community needs our help more than ever as they have gotten the unfortunate brunt of a lot of things lately, from bathroom usage to now them being banned from the military.  They and we don't deserve what has been happening, and my hope is that the numbers of deaths within the LGBT community can minimize in a short period of time to an eventual zero.  



What are the 25 Best and Worst Companies for LGBTQ Rights in America?

Workplace rights for the LGBTQ community have grown exponentially over the past 25 years, with a good majority of companies having some sort of protection for us as time has gone by.  Still, there are ones that are on Gay Workplace Santa's good list, and ones that definitely need improvement.  OpenInvest, which is the world's first automated socially responsible investing tool that builds your investment portfolio based on the causes you care most about, just comprised a list of the top 25 best and worst places for LGBTQ rights and some are shocking indeed.

OpenInvest just developed the first ever LGBTQ In the Workplace Investing Screen, which draws on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index that went out back in 2016.  According to OpenInvest, According to them, the goal is to help protect individuals from bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, and harassment on the basis of their sexual orientation or identity.

That's a pretty nifty way to go above and beyond for our community to ensure our protection and that we are choosing the right companies to work for. So what are the best and worst companies to work for?

On the best side, we have companies ranging from Estee Lauder to Boeing to Mastercard and Monsanto, just to name a few.  On the bad side, it includes ones that are bizarre to me like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Foot Locker.  Hmm.... looks like I may need to take my burrito/soda/sneaker business elsewhere.

You can see the full list here


Obama In Favor of Amending Civil Rights Act

As reported by The Washington Post, The White House endorsed legislation Tuesday that would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration had been reviewing the bill “for several weeks.”

“Upon that review it is now clear that the administration strongly supports the Equality Act,” he said. 

“That bill is historic legislation that would advance the cause of equality for millions of Americans.

“We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the legislative process             produces a result that balances both the bedrock principles of civil rights . . . with the religious liberty that we hold dear in this country,” Earnest added.

Following Earnest’s announcement, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin issued the following statement:

“The White House sent a strong message that it’s time to put the politics of discrimination behind us once and for all.”

“The unfortunate reality is that, while LGBT Americans can legally get married, millions remain at risk of being fired or denied services for who they are or who they love because the majority of states still lack explicit, comprehensive non-discrimination protections,” Griffin added.


H/T: The Washington Post