Our Mission. Our Vision

OUR MISSION is to protect and promote human rights and access to justice of LGBTs. To raise awareness and sensitize Philippine society about LGBT issues and concerns. To address health issues and concerns of LGBTs. To initiate economic and social support projects for LGBTs, especially those marginalized. OUR SOCIETAL VISION is a society free from gender and sexuality-based oppression, prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping. OUR ORGANIZATIONAL VISION, Ladlad Partylist is an inclusive, sustainable, and responsive national LGBT organization that endeavors to consolidate, empower, strengthen and represent the LGBT community.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

LADLAD VOWS TO FIGHT JAILs DISCRIMINATORY POLICY

HUNDREDS of people flock to visit penal facilities under the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) every day. All visitors must undergo body searches as a requirement for entry into the premises. BJMP’s current security practice limits the conduct of body searches on female visitors to female guards, and male visitors to male guards. An official said that this aims to protect the visitors from sexual abuse.

But Ladlad partylist, the political group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos, was alarmed by the memorandum of the BJMP that bars guards who are perceived to be homosexual from performing body searches on visitors of the same sex.

“This is pure and simple discrimination,” stressed Ms. Bemz Benedito, Chairperson of Ladlad. “In the first place, what is the basis for saying that one is gay or lesbian? Is it because one is effeminate or he or she simply acts and talks in a distinct manner?” Benedito asked.

When asked how they can tell if the guard is a gay, lesbian or not, BJMP answered that they use body language as basis for determining one’s sexual orientation. If a male guard is effeminate, he is automatically assumed to be gay. Such is also the assumption in cases where the guard appears to be “nervous” while conducting body searches.

“They are only assuming that someone is gay or lesbian based on stereotypical mannerisms. This is against our human rights,” said Benedito. Ladlad further said that the memorandum, by restricting the officers from performing their professional duties solely on account of their perceived sexual orientation is clearly discriminatory. She adds that the memorandum is offensive because it promotes the stereotype of lesbians and gays as sexually malicious.

“The policy of the BJMP is completely offensive, unfair, biased and discriminatory towards LGBT Filipinos,” Benedito said.

Ladlad is calling the attention of its officials to review their policies. Just because one is a homosexual, can they already automatically assume that there is sexual malice?” Benedito said. “LGBTs are not sexual predators,” she added.

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