LGBT acceptance in Philippines is increasing, but hate crimes and discrimination are still serious problems

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A study funded by the UN Development Programme found that while LGBT acceptance is increasing in the Philippines, hate crimes remain a serious threat and discrimination is still a considerable problem.

The study, which was also funded by the US Agency for International Development, noted that “cultural and social attitudes towards LGBT people are complex, with signs of acceptance, particularly among the young,” according to the Inquirer.net.

Homosexual sex is legal, but same-sex relationships are not recognized and gay couples are not permitted to adopt children. Additionally, transgender people are not allowed to change their gender or their names on their legal identification.

In the first half of 2011 alone, twenty-eight LGBT people were killed in hate crimes. At a press conference, the author of the study, Michael Tan, reported that out of seven hundred poll respondents, one out of ten reported having been a victim of abuse or violence—often from their own parents.

He also said that LGBT workers are commonly passed over for promotion at work, and are often assigned the least desirable shifts because “they don’t have families.”

Although attempts to pass a federal law banning discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation have been effectively put on hold due to the Catholic Church strongly opposing such measures, several of the country’s large cities have passed their own legislation.

The UNDP reported that it also has similar surveys in the works in China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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