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QC wants list of LGBTs in local gov’t

/ 05:47 AM September 09, 2017

An LGBT parade on UP Diliman campus—Inquirer file photo

Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has asked for a list of local government employees who identify themselves as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, in line with a plan to form an association that would cater to their rights and needs.

In an Aug. 22 memorandum, Bautista set a Sept. 15 deadline for all heads of offices, departments and units under the city government to submit a list of LGBT employees. The order also applies to contractuals and workers covered by job orders.

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“The purpose of the said list is for the registration, profiling and inclusion for the Quezon City Transgender Employees and Gay Association,” Bautista said.

The memo cited the QC Gender-Fair Ordinance, which calls on the city government to “actively work for the elimination of all forms of discrimination.”

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Ares Gutierrez, city information officer, said that even though the city already had a Pride Council and a Gender and Development (GAD) Council, Bautista wanted to “strengthen the structure” since the city was declared part of the Safe Cities program of the United Nations.

The UN program seeks to help local governments in crafting measures addressing sexual harassment in public spaces.

“We want to have a baseline data on the LGBT community in QC to enable the city government to come up with appropriate plans, programs and policies,” Gutierrez told the Inquirer. “Right now, we do not have any available data.”

Gender being a “sensitive issue,” the initiative would not force employees who had not yet come out as an LGBT member to be part of the list, he said.

The information would be kept confidential and would be handled by the GAD Council, he added.

LGBT employees would be asked to fill out a form that asks for their biological sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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“The data we want to gather are very basic. They have different concerns, so we want to know how many they are in the city government so we can plan programs for them accordingly,” Gutierrez said.

Anastacio Marasigan Jr., executive director of TLF Share which promotes HIV prevention, hailed the initiative, but said it must be done with “utmost sensitivity and due respect to an individual’s sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.”

“The QC government must ensure that this listing and profiling will not be used for something else,” he said. “Respect for privacy and sensitivity must be [their] guide.”

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TAGS: Herbert Bautista, LGBT, Metro, news, Quezon City
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