FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2016
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairperson, GABRIELA USA, email@example.com
Filipino Women To Manny Pacquiao: Knockout Homophobia!
Last week, Filipino world champion professional boxer and member of the Philippine House of Representatives, Manny Pacquiao called people in gay relationships “worse than animals”. His comments outraged the LGBTQ community and their allies globally, and although he made a public apology, Pacquiao made it clear that he would not back down from his stance against homosexuality, referencing Bible verses to support his views.
“Pacquiao’s statements are disgraceful coming from a politician. This type of religious conservatism has no place in a government that claims the separation of church and state. It is the duty of our government representatives to fight for the lives of all the citizens they represent, which include LGBTQ and gender non-conforming (GNC) people.” says Irma Bajar, Vice Chair of International Relations and a queer-identified member of GABRIELA USA. “Transgender people such as Jennifer Laude suffer from unspeakable violent acts and human rights abuses, we must rally in support of the LGBTQGNC community”
Manny Pacquiao has been campaigning for a Philippine Senate seat in elections scheduled for May of this year. “Comments like Pacquiao’s legitimizes hate crimes, discrimination, and harassment against the LGBTQGNC community. This form of violence unacceptable, and Pacquiao should educate himself if he wants to become a senator that represents all Filipinos,” continues Bajar. Since the release of Pacquiao’s homophobic comments, we have already witnessed the inevitable backlash from all over the world.
In the last year, the United States has witnessed murders of trans people on the rise and LGBTQ youth suicides caused by bullying and harassment. It is vital to provide ongoing education for children, teens, adults, community workers, church people and the government to deconstruct homophobia and transphobia.
GABRIELA USA will continue to educate, organize, and mobilize our community to fight for the rights and liberation of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and Gender Non Conforming community.