Lawmakers come on board on LGBT hate crimes

Published: November 2, 2014

Original Article:

Following a series of consultations with sectoral organizations and stakeholders, the Makabayan solons filed House Resolution No. 1625 for Congress to perform its “constitutional obligation to work towards the achievement of genuine equality and ultimate protection of fundamental rights of all persons against hate-motivated crimes.”

Meanwhile, “Akbayan is seriously studying the possibility of filing an anti-hate measure that will increase the protection of members of the LGBT community who remain vulnerable to various forms of violence and crimes due to their sexual preference. We have tinkered with this before and Jennifer’s killing has created a new urgency,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez added that their bill under consultation aims to achieve three reforms in strengthening protection of the LGBT community.

Firstly, the bill is being studied in relation to the constitutional freedoms in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, including freedom of expression. This is to ensure that it will not muzzle nor penalize the people’s freedom of expression but violent crimes which target, among others, people because of their SOGIE.

Secondly, “we are studying further revisions to the Revised Penal Code which will either (a) include as an aggravating circumstance to crimes against persons or property the circumstance of committing such crimes because of a bias against one’s SOGIE or (b) qualify a crime against person or property to a different crime of higher penalty whenever the perpetrator committed the crime because of a bias against one’s SOGIE (for example, instead of homicide the crime will be murder), with a presumption that whenever the victim is an LGBTI person then the crime is already qualified.”

Lastly, “we are also studying the manner by which ‘hate crimes’ may be proven, given the existing definitions of crimes.”

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