Posted on 17 August 2013.
Margie, Red, and Pepe are back for episode 11 of the Filipino Freethinkers Podcast. This week, we talk about racism in Filipino culture. Then we take a closer look at the claim that LGBT rights “trample” on the rights of religious people.
You may also download the podcast file here.
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Posted in Audio, audio podcast, Freedom of Expression, Media, Politics, Religion, Society
Posted on 28 December 2012.
The reproductive health (RH) and divorce bills have one thing in common: they both propose to grant certain rights to certain individuals. But their similarity ends there because the rights associated with each bill are very much different in terms of form and what they require of the State.
The rights that an RH law would provide are claim-rights, meaning they correlate to a duty in another person or entity. In this case, not only do the citizens have the right to use contraceptives, the government is actually duty-bound to provide them for free along with other reproductive health care services to those who need them.
Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus
The rights being promoted by the divorce bill introduced by Gabriela partylist representatives Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus, on the other hand, are merely privilege-rights, so there is no correlating duty on the part of the government or anyone else. To have a privilege to do something simply means to have no duty not to do it. With the existing Philippine laws, the offended spouse in a failed marriage still has a duty not to enter into a new marriage contract with another person. The divorce bill aims to remove that duty by providing the option of officially ending an irreparable marriage and thereby grant the privilege to start a new life – with or without a new partner.
Unlike the RH bill, the divorce bill does not seek to appropriate billions in taxpayers’ money for its implementation; the government will not be made to pay for the fees of the divorce lawyers and psychiatrists, or to provide financial assistance to the unemployed spouses and children.
The divorce bill also does not even try to compel churches to recognize divorce and marry divorcees.
The divorce bill is simply about granting freedom to those who need it the most – people whose marriages have caused them untold suffering and who want nothing more than to have another shot at happiness.
We have succeeded in getting the majority of our legislators to vote for the RH bill amid strong religious opposition in using government money to buy contraceptives, which they deem intrinsically evil. While the Catholic bishops are expected to fight more fiercely against divorce after their loss in the RH battle, if the Philippines is truly becoming a more secular state, the divorce bill should even be easier to pass since there is no billion-peso budget involved, and the only objections will be religious in nature and therefore irrelevant to the discussion.
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Image credit: EWTN News
Posted in Religion, Secularism, Society
Posted on 13 June 2011.
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines hosted a dinner forum with LGBT advocacy groups on The Struggle for LGBT Equality in the U.S. on Friday, May 27, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Botero Dali Room, Sulo Riviera Hotel, Quezon City. The speaker for the event was Ms. Christine Sun, former senior counsel, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation.
Some of us from Filipino Freethinkers were there to attend and discuss LGBT rights issues with Babaylan and other LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) advocacy groups.
Mike from the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy introduced our speaker for the evening, Ms. Christine Sun, who was a former senior counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation. Topics of her speech included a brief timeline of LGBT rights in the U.S., its political progress and legal progress, current LGBT issues and ongoing challenges for the LGBT community. Then she answered some questions from the audience. The discussions were lively and passionate, as it included issues such as the suspected rash of hate crimes that are on the rise in Metro Manila.
Afterwards, during dinner, we got to talk more with our speaker and other LGBT advocates about the current issues in the country, and our plans of action. I got to meet a lot of great, passionate people.
One of us from FF got to interview Ms. Sun for a newspaper article.
Here’s wishing all of us good luck in our endeavors.
[Reposted from The Entropy Blog]
Posted in Featured, Pictures, Recap