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Representatives of the Church warn that recognizing LGBT rights will open the door to same-sex marriage, and oppose legislation that might promote divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control, and homosexual marriage, which they group under the acronym “DEATH.” In a country that is more than 80 percent Catholic, opposition from the Church influences how LGBT issues are addressed in families and schools, with many parents and teachers telling students that being LGBT is immoral or wrong.
One way that schools can address bullying and discrimination and ameliorate their effects is by providing educational resources to students, teachers, and staff to familiarize them with LGBT people and issues.
Unfortunately, positive information and resources regarding sexual orientation and gender identity are exceedingly rare in secondary schools in the Philippines.
These abuses can cause deep and lasting harm and curtail students’ right to education, protected under Philippine and international law.
The following year, Congress passed the Anti-Bullying Law of 2013, with implementing rules and regulations that enumerate sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited grounds for bullying and harassment.
The adoption of these policies sends a strong signal that bullying and discrimination are unacceptable and should not be tolerated in educational institutions.
Human Rights Watch conducted the research for this report between September 2016 and February 2017 in 10 cities on the major islands of Luzon and the Visayas in the Philippines.
To identify interviewees, we conducted outreach through LGBT student groups, particularly at the university level.
Human Rights Watch interviewed members of those groups as well as students who were known to those groups, whether or not they had experienced discrimination in school.