Ordinance penalizing discrimination against LGBT, PWDs passed-A A +A
Thursday, October 18, 2012
NEARLY a year after it was filed as a proposal, the City Council passed an ordinance that penalizes those who show any form of disc
rimination against persons with disability, different sexual preferences, ethnicity and religion.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community welcomed the passage of the ordinance.
Bee Urgello said he is optimistic that members of the LGBT community will no longer suffer from the stigma of being different because of the ordinance.
“We waited so long for this,” he said.
The Cebu Rainbow Coalition, the umbrella organization of all LGBT groups, participated in drafting the ordinance, which was filed by City Councilors Alvin Dizon, Margarita Osmeña, Nida Cabrera, Lea Japson, John Philip Po II, and Augustus Pe Jr.
Dizon said Cebu City is the first local government unit in the country to enact an anti-discrimination policy.
Mikay Dumabok, coordinator of the Akbayan LGBT Cebu, said the ordinance will protect the LGBT community from bullying and discrimination.
He said victims of discrimination will get justice. These survivors include Jan-jan whose 2008 ordeal while undergoing surgery to remove a canister in his rectum became public when medical practitioners involved uploaded a video of the procedure on the Internet.
“The passage of the ordinance is a big step to end discrimination against the LGBT community,” said Dumabok.
The ordinance prohibits excluding, refusing or dismissing any person from public programs and services and educational institutions on the basis of disability, age, health status, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity and religion.
It also prohibits discriminating against any organization or group. It also makes it unlawful to deny medical and other health services, transportation and other facilities based on those biases.
First-time offenders will be fined P1,000 or imprisoned for one day to 30 days. Second-time offenders will face a fine of P3,000 or suffer imprisonment of one day to 30 days or both at the discretion of the court.
For successive offenses, violators will be fined P5,000 or imprisoned for one day to 30 days or face both at the discretion of the court.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 18, 2012.