Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Is Madness!

.:Madness? This. Is. Government!:.

“In what way are they being marginalized? In what way are they being discriminated against?”

This bone-headed question was posited by one Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, in trying to justify why they rejected the bid of Ang Ladlad to be duly recognized as a party-list contender in the 2010 elections.

Now, normally, I’d point you to my POC article on this, but two things require me to write beyond that: first, I don’t want to be in character as I write this one; second, the article isn’t published as of the moment.

What really annoys the Hades out of me is that Comelec has been trying to say there were no religious undertones for rejecting Ang Ladlad’s bid, and yet they blatantly cited biblical and Quranic passages to support their argument. You cannot cite that as a source for your argumentation then claim they are mutually exclusive from the merits of your argument. They are not.

Furthermore, without religion, what society would have a problem with homosexuality, pray tell? Historically, an atheistic society has been tolerant of homosexuality because they understand that there is absolutely nothing abnormal with it, considering how it happens fairly regularly in the animal kingdom, for starters. As such, you cannot cite a “moral impetus” bereft of “religious undertones” if said moral wrangling involves intolerance of homosexuality.

You know why I feel strongly about this? My M.A. thesis has been about secular ethics, and clearly, in a secular setting, there is no room for homophobia. Nowhere in a secularly ethical society could you possibly come up with an excuse to reject homosexuals and deem them as unethical or immoral. In two years of research, I see that the source for this intolerance has stemmed exclusively from religion. Being homosexual, in an ideal world, should be every bit as valid as being heterosexual, and just because people act out being gay does not mean that the youth would magically “go gay” because of influence. Sexuality, as we have seen being more and more scientifically proven, is not a choice.

That he even needs to ask how gay people are discriminated against nearly made me scream in utter frustration. You mean all the stereotyping, all the insults, heck, even the basic slur, “that’s so gay” isn’t a sign of discrimination? When someone says the reason he went to jail is because he’s “black”, people throw a fit over the apparent racism. Yet when we call Cotto “a flaming faggot” because he decided to run around the last couple of rounds during his fight with Pacquiao, we don’t think anything of it? Oh, please. The double standard. It slays me.

We’re not even going into how teachers who turn out gay in Catholic schools often find themselves pressured to resign, or how often gay people are beat up because they supposedly “came onto” some guy or some other. The “gay hysteria” defense may not have precedent in the Philippine courts, but you know one of these days, it will be.

Dear Comelec, we don’t pay our taxes to have you determine for us what is moral and immoral, then impose religion to justify your decision. What about other religions? If we suddenly became sensitive to every single religion out there, you think we’d ever allow a single party-list applicant the time of day? Of course not!

- Mamamayang Ayaw sa Droga will meet opposition from Rastafarians
- The Sabungero group will be opposed by Vegan Buddhists
- The National Democratic Front will be stared down by Rizalistas
- Scientologists will go after any psychology/psychiatry group
- Satanism is a religion too. How about that?

Ang Ladlad needs this representation. If you don’t understand how the gay community is being marginalized, then I strongly suggest you open your eyes and look around. The mere fact we still have applicants include their pictures in their resume should already tip you off, dear Comelec. If you saw someone who looked incredibly gay in their picture, would you want to hire them, even if their achievements and qualifications far exceed the position they are applying for?

You can joke all you want that there are many gays in congress, so they’re overrepresented. Too bad they represent their congressional districts, not the gay sector. There are also plenty of women in congress, as Laya was quick to point out. Does that mean we abolish Gabriela now?

That’s discrimination. It happens, and there’s no frigging way you can deny it. Just because there are a lot of gay people does not mean they are not marginalized. I mean, how many Filipinos were there in the Philippines compared to Spaniards during their occupation? Yet despite the numbers, would you say the Filipino people “overrepresented”? Use your brains for a minute, seriously!

This decision was irresponsible, insensitive, and bereft of reason. You try to use weasel words to make us believe that your call was truly a prudent and praiseworthy one, yet your argument breaks down the minute you find yourself incapable of using anything outside of religion to ground your logic. Here’s a hint: if you can give anything written by Heidegger or Focault (two thinkers who can’t be accused of religious thought) that unequivocally condemns homosexuality, then I’d gladly reconsider my opinion of you.

As it stands, my opinion is that you’re bigoted, unenlightened jackasses, and the God you worship would be frowning upon you because you practice about the same level of love and acceptance as the Pharisees in the New Testament did. Shame on you, Comelec. Shame on you.

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