For most people, hate crime and homophobia are things that we only hear about in the news. We never take it seriously because we never actually see anyone get hurt – at least not the people that we know. So we listen to the preacher on a Sunday service proclaim that being gay is a sin and we shrug off comments by influential people like Manny Pacquiao as harmless ramblings of someone who isn’t very smart. But guess what? These statements are NOT harmless. Aside from the emotional trauma for a child dealing with his homosexuality, who is maybe reeling from the hateful things he reads online about his gender, these are the very ideas that could spawn into the heinous acts that end up as a short blip in the daily news.
In a TV interview, Pacquiao said, ““It’s common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”
Comparing gay people to animals is textbook discrimination and this shouldn’t be something that he can get out of by quoting the bible. Given Pacquiao’s massive influence to the masses and criminals even, as it was reported that criminality rate goes down on all of his televised fights, such statement can lead to people getting hurt or even killed. What if it was your kid who is showing signs of being effeminate at a young age? Would you risk some uneducated thug beating him up because his idol said that his life is basically worth less than a straight person’s life?
Take a good look at the hate crimes listed below. Someone may end up on that list just because an influential person thoughtlessly incited discrimination and hate towards gay people. There’s a saying that everyone is entitled to an opinion. I think the line is drawn where hate is promoted by that opinion.
In Nueva Viscaya, a kid was doused by boiling water by his father who could not accept that he is gay.
In Tondo, Manila, an 18-yr old was beaten to death for defending a gay co-passenger bullied by three men in a public transport. The same men, beat and shot him to death in front of a hospital in misdirected anger. The boy was proclaimed dead a few minutes later.
In 1998, a salon owner from Muntinlupa suffered multiple stab wounds from a 19 year old suspect in an apparent hate crime. (Story)
In 2011, three unidentified gay men were found dead in Pangasinan. The bodies showed signs of being tortured via strangulation before they were shot and stabbed to death. (Story)
These and a hundred other hate crimes are still seeking justice in the Philippines – a country where the influential Catholic Church has the gall to ask for the removal of gay rights in the provisions of the country’s Anti-Discrimination laws.
See: CBCP wants anti-discrimination bill cleansed of provisions on gay rightsCBCP on anti-discrimination bill: Gender is ‘God’s gift’ CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong said in a 2011 interview that LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender) should not be considered the same as the elderly, the handicapped, and the poor. “These people are disadvantaged not by their own choice. But the third sex, they choose this. How can you give protection to a choice like that?” Imbong said.