Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Filipino Teen Drenched with Boiling Water–By His Own Father

Edmund Padilla in pain from scalding water attack by his own father--just because he was gay (video capture).

The Philippines – A 19-year-old gay youth from the Northern Philippines who came out to his family was attacked by his own father with a pot full of boiling water–because his father didn’t like the news.  Edmund Padilla suffered severe burns and blisters over much of his body as a consequence of the scalding water assault, according to Queerty, which broke the story in the United States. The Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch (PLHCW) reports that Padilla’s father, Erano, has been taken into custody as the investigation proceeds.

Erano Padilla, the assailant, was allegedly drunk when he threw the boiling water on his son.  The elder Padilla told authorities that he was enraged by the news that Edmund was gay.  Huffington Post reports that Edmund was the third child in the family who has self-identified as gay. The case is complicated by the age of the victim, and the absence of anti-gay hate crimes protections for Filipinos.  Since Edmund is over 18, national and United Nations child protection statutes may not apply to him.  The horrifying, homophobic attack has stirred the nation to come to a better understanding of its LGBTQ citizens, especially its youth.

Queerty published the statement of PLHCW spokesperson, Reighben Labilles:

“We plead to the government to initiate proactive programs that provides parents and LGBT children the opportunities to promote freedom of expression of sexuality and gender… We are born this way and you cannot punish us to change our sexuality. We fear that so many violent acts perpetrated by parents and legal guardians against their LGBT children go unreported. It is so urgent for Congress to find ways to protect sons and daughters of whatever age from family-based violence.”

There is no word as yet on the whereabouts of Edmund’s two gay siblings.  The PLHCW has embedded a video of the story on its blogsite, without English subtitles, which may be accessed here.  Be warned! The video of Edmund in agony is graphic and disturbing.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, gay teens, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, LGBTQ, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Phillipines, Queerty.com, Social Justice Advocacy, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

UN Defends Gay Rights; Calls for the End of Homophobic Violence

(Photo courtesy of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights)

Geneva, Switzerland – A hard-hitting, historic report calling on the nations of the world to defend the rights of gay people has been issued by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the United Nations in Geneva.  For the first time, the world body has detailed the the murder, bias-motivated violence, torture, police detention, discrimination in jobs, health care and education that LGBT people face on a daily basis because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  The report, which may be accessed here, was released on December 15 in response to the high number of reports of anti-gay human rights abuses flowing into the international body, according to the UN News Service.

In part, the report states, “The criminalization of private consensual homosexual acts violates an individual’s rights to privacy and to non-discrimination and constitutes a breach of international human rights law.”  Decrying violence against LGBT persons, the High Commissioner concludes that “Homophobic and transphobic violence has been recorded in all regions . . . Violence against LGBT persons tends to be especially vicious compared to other bias-motivated crimes.”  Data show that homophobic hate crimes often include “a high degree of cruelty and brutality.”

The hate crimes statistics in the report are horrific.  Lifting up the transgender and gender variant population, the High Commissioner reports, “The Trans Murder Monitoring project, which collects reports of murders of transgender persons in all regions, lists 680 murders in 50 countries during the period from 2008 to 2011.”  That said, the effort to collect data on murder and other acts of physical violence against LGBT people is complicated by the practice of nations around the world, either neglecting to collect these statistics, or outright refusing to allow their collection.

While over thirty nations have decriminalized homosexuality in the last two decades, 76 countries still make consensual acts between same-sex persons illegal, and at least five, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen, make homosexual conduct punishable by death.

The High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, calls upon the nations of the world to “Repeal laws used to criminalize individuals on grounds of homosexuality for engaging in consensual same-sex sexual conduct, and harmonize the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual conduct; ensure that other criminal laws are not used to harass or detain people based on their sexuality or gender identity and expression, and abolish the death penalty for offences involving consensual sexual relations.”

Further, High Commissioner Pillay “calls on countries to ensure that no one fleeing persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is returned to a territory where their life or freedom is at threat, and that asylum laws recognize that sexual orientation or gender identity is a valid basis for claiming persecution,” according to the UN News Service.  Ms. Pillay also recently held press conferences appealing to member nations to abolish homophobic bullying leading to the suicide of young LGBT people.

The report intensifies the call to member nations, issued last year by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, to “reject discrimination in general, and in particular discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

December 18, 2011 Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Bisexual persons, Bullying in schools, gay bashing, gay men, Gender Variant Youth, GLBTQ, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Lesbian women, LGBT teen suicide prevention, LGBTQ, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on UN Defends Gay Rights; Calls for the End of Homophobic Violence

Hillary Clinton to the World: “Gay Rights are Human Rights”

Graphic from beingliberal.org on Facebook

Geneva, Switzerland – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared to the leaders of the world that LGBT rights must be a priority for the world community.  As reported by the BBC, Secretary Clinton said in a speech to international diplomats at the Palais des Nations on International Human Rights Day, “Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality.” In a powerful declaration of the full humanity of LGBT people, she refused to excuse discrimination against gay people because of religious beliefs or social mores: “Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority,” Clinton said to the U.N. audience, “being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” Clinton reflects the policy power of the United States government, making it clear that, despite difficulties with allies who discriminate willfully against LGBT people, the Obama Administration will combat discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people using foreign aid and diplomacy to promote change.

On violence against queer people around the world, Secretary Clinton acknowledged that there was still much to be done at home in the United States, where LGBT people were unindicted felons in 14 states as late as 2003 (when the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling struck down sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas), and many face attacks and all manner of bullying even today.  Still, Clinton argued, “It is violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look or behave. It is a violation of human rights when governments declare it illegal to be gay, or allow those who harm gay people to go unpunished. It is a violation of human rights when lesbian or transgendered women are subjected to so-called corrective rape, or forcibly subjected to hormone treatments, or when people are murdered after public calls for violence toward gays, or when they are forced to flee their nations and seek asylum in other lands to save their lives.”  The effect of these words on the continuing physical violence against LGBT people in the U.S. and throughout the world remains to be seen, but the results could be inestimable, according to Unfinished Lives Project Director, Dr. Stephen Sprinkle. “Today, Secretary Clinton served notice on all who perpetrate violence to terrorize LGBTQ people anywhere in the world that harm against this marginalized population will not be tolerated by civilized people. Cloaking anti-LGBT bigotry in religious or moral special rights is coming to a close,” Sprinkle, an ordained gay Baptist minister, said. “We are reaching the tipping point in the culture wars in this country, and the scales are falling in favor of security and justice for members of the gender variant and sexual minority. United States foreign and domestic policy has entered into a new era of advocacy for LGBTQ people on a par with racial/ethnic minority people, religious minorities, and women.”

Known for her advocacy for women and children, this speech indicates that the rights of LGBT people, always part of Mrs. Clinton’s public agenda, now has moved to a front-and-center priority for the most prominent woman in American politics. The speech was sweeping in scope, announcing that, in words redolent of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, gay rights are “inalienable.”

‎In the moving conclusion to her remarks, Secretary Clinton spoke directly to all gay people who find themselves persecuted and in fear of harm (and, by indirection, to their persecutors, as well): “And finally, to LGBT men and women worldwide, let me say this: Wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support or feel isolated and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America and you have millions of friends among the American people.” 

The full text of Secretary Clinton’s speech may be found on the State Department website by clicking here.  A link to the full text of the speech, and video of Secretary Clinton delivering it, may be accessed on Huffington Post here.

December 7, 2011 Posted by | Bisexual persons, Bullying in schools, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Hillary Clinton, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Politics, President Barack Obama, religious intolerance, Sexual assault, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, U.S. State Department, U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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