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Covid-19 Pandemic Should Not Be Used to Silence Dissent

On June 26, police in Manila arrested at least 20 people at an LGBT Pride event protesting an anti-terrorism bill that threatens rule of law in the Philippines. The police did not explain why they were arresting the protesters, only telling them…
Police arrest protesters during a Pride march in Manila, Philippines, June 26, 2020.
News

LGBT People Ordered to Dance and Kiss on Video

The spread of COVID-19 has given Philippines law enforcement broad discretion to enforce public health measures. When discrimination is added to the mix, that unfettered power can be particularly demeaning and dehumanizing for…
Screenshots of videos showing humiliation of LGBT people amid coronavirus curfew in Pandacaqui, Pampanga province, Philippines, April 5, 2020.
News

Lawmakers Should Recognize Equal Marriage Rights for LGBT Couples

The Philippine Supreme Court heard a long-awaited argument on Tuesday that could open the door to same-sex marriage in the overwhelmingly Catholic country. The case, which was filed by a gay lawyer named Jesus Falcis in 2015…
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News

Ordinance Should Prod Passage of National Anti-Discrimination Legislation

The Philippine city of Mandaluyong has approved an ordinance to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination, the latest in a slew of local laws passed across the country. …
Supporters wave rainbow flags while marching during a LGBT Pride parade in metro Manila, Philippines June 25, 2016.
News

Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
News

Transgender Woman Helps People ‘Searching for Answers’

I was in Colombia last week to speak at an event about my work for Human Rights Watch with a focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying. I was to be interviewed by Brigitte Baptiste, who I had never met. When I took my seat in front of hundreds of…
Brigitte Baptiste (L) and Human Rights Watch LGBT Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich, Colombia, February 2017.
News

Bill Aims to Address Systemic Discrimination

The long-delayed move to extend legal protection to Philippines’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community got a boost this week.  On Monday, Geraldine Roman, who in May 2016 became the first transgender person ever elected to…
Supporters hold placards while marching under a rainbow flag during a LGBT Pride parade in metro Manila, Philippines June 25, 2016.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.