Masahol pa sa Hayop By Arjay Mercado | February 27, 2016
For the past days, people have been exchanging arguments regarding Manny's statement comparing same-sex couples to animals. Here are my thoughts on the matter:
1. This controversial comment showed that there is still a long way to go when it comes to the call for gender equality. Some people in the country think that LGBTs are accepted nowadays given the presence of personalities like Boy Abunda and Vice Ganda. In this issue, we see that even these personalities aren't given a free pass when it comes to discriminatory remarks. When they raised their points on human rights, their personas as LGBTs were attacked instead of their arguments. When it comes to discrimination, no one is safe and we have to continue fighting for equality.
2. Some people ease their conscience by saying "I'm just against their relationships and acts, but we accept them". This is the most ironic thing I've heard. It's like saying "Hey I love you, but you can't have the same rights that I enjoy". Acceptance should go beyond lip service. It entails the affirmation that these individuals are entiled to their rights as citizens of this country.
3. There's a huge need to educate people regarding the separation of church and state regarding policies that affect everyone. This is a no brainer, but people commenting bible verses to respond to pragmatic arguments show a glaring need for reorientation.
4. It's funny how people defend Manny using the freedom of speech argument. I think it's abundantly clear that as a person running for public office, his words should be held in higher regard compared to that of celebrities or ordinary citizens. I don't mind him having an opinion, but if this opinion can turn into a law that will promote hate in this country, then that's the problem. Freedom to express should end when it spurs marginalization and oppression.
5. The scariest thing is how this debacle will affect the results of his senatorial bid. His run for senator will define where we are in the struggle for gender equality. Personally, it is a dream of mine to get married and start a family in this country. I want to see the day when families aren't defined by heterosexual norms, but by a powerful connection - love. These kinds of hate sentiments incite fear in me that I may not see this dream turn into reality. However, seeing the growing number of support from various groups and individuals, it gives me hope that fighting for this cause is worth it. Yes, we have a long way to go, but we'll get there eventually.
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