Editorial

Promoting tolerance and respect

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The passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance in Cebu City is worth observing if only to acknowledge the climate of political correctness around the world.

Some United Nations (UN) representatives reportedly attended the Cebu City Council session that passed the special ordinance.

Among its other provisions, the ordinance would prohibit persons or companies from not employing people based on their beliefs, religion or sexual orientation. Sexual orientation as a criteria is is one of the most critical owing to the increasingly vocal sector of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT).

A high profile proponent, TV host and talent manager Boy Abunda, made the rounds of the LGBT community in Cebu to lend his fame and support in raising awareness of and public support for the ordinance.

Now that the ordinance is passed, implementing rules will have to be worked out to clarify how they directly impact on employers, schools and other situations.

Will the Cebu Provincial Board follow suit?

Most likely there won’t be an immediate sea change in attitude towards the LGBT community or to a lesser extent those espousing beliefs and religion not related to the dominant Catholic religion in Cebu.

It would take a test case for the public to see how the Cebu city government or specifically the courts handle implementation of the ordinance.

The ordinance is not just about political correctness.

It’s about being sensitive to a person’s dignity as a human being.

Political correctness in its simplest definition is any use of words or actions that seek to acknowledge and respect a person or a group’s differences and individual/collective identity regardless of his or her occupation, race, religious and cultural beliefs, age and sexual orientation.

That’s why terms like “manpower” are replaced with “labor force”, and racist terms are considered taboo.

With the ordinance in place, an employer may be prosecuted for calling someone names that cast doubts on his or her sexual orientation.

The LGBT community has taken it a step further in First World countries as shown by the loss of an American beauty contestant in an international pageant after she said that God intended marriage to be held between man and woman only.

The passage of the anti-discrimination ordinance in Cebu City carries with it the burden of educating the public on its provisions so as to achieve its aim of promoting not only tolerance but respect for individuals.

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