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The fight of making UPLB an LGBT-friendly community is no less than the same fight we are all fighting for

all Filipinos, the fight for human rights. As we wait upon the upcoming Pride March in UPLB, one of the most anticipated observance and mobilization of gender advocates in Southern Luzon, we, the University Student Council, resound our unwavering call for a university, and a nation as a whole, that is critically aware and respects the orientation of our fellows in the LGBT community. Yet our national struggle to infuse equality across genders has always been tainted by downright ventures of some. On an extreme note, there have been 164 cases of murdered LGBTs in the Philippines from 1996 to 2012 (Rappler, 2013). Moreover, initiatives of some progressive legislators in passing relevant laws have always been barred by irrational interventions and cultural dogmas by some institutions. Anti-Discrimination Bills in Congress and Senate have been both long-delayed despite the overwhelming manifestations of various legislators fighting for the passage of the said bills. But what has further divided our stance for gender awareness and equality are the incidents in our own backyard, UPLB. There have been reports that some of our fellow Iskolars have been barred for graduation due to their gender orientation. It goes with saying that some of them may have also experienced both vulgar and murmured discrimination throughout their college phase. Yet callous propaganda and inhumane schemes will never slay the fact that exercise of human rights should not discriminate any gender or sexual orientation. We call on to all Iskolar ng Bayan, Para sa Bayan, to relive our mandate as true Pag-asa ng Bayan, to study relevant social issues and explore all possible avenues to raise our involvement for gender awareness. This then should be our fundamental key to recalibrate social attitudes towards the LGBT as we influence the rest of the community. We must realize that those who are in the LGBT Community are no less than our fellow Filipinos, naturally born of basic and inalienable human rights. Finally, as the First Session of the 16th Philippine Congress comes forth, we call on to our progressive legislators for the immediate passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill of 2011. Through the passage of this law, we shall ensure security mechanisms and equal opportunities for all. To finally advance the countrys political context, we should pass laws that will truly advance the rights and welfare of all stakeholders, or none at all. It is high time that all institutions concerned realize that it is through only a just and fair society that we will truly achieve social equality and genuine societal change. Say No to Gender Discrimination, Say No to Human Rights Violation, Stop the Hate, Pass the Anti-Discrimination Bill! JOIN THE PRIDE MARCH ON JULY 17, BREAK FREE AND FIGHT FOR EQUALITY!