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News Release
December 2, 2011

As the Philippines is abuzz regarding the suspected secret sexual orientation of certain showbiz and high profile personalities, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño today said the brutal killing of a gay Filipino hairdresser in Seattle, USA was a stark reminder that homophobia and discrimination against gays and lesbians was no laughing matter.

Filipino hairdresser named Danny Vega, was beaten into a coma and robbed last November 15 as he walked home on a south Seattle street. He died last Sunday. Family members believe the 58-year-old Vega was targeted because he was openly gay.

“Bayan Muna condemns this attack and express our condolences to his family. It is really ironic that even though gays are now being accepted more in society there is still so much hate turned towards them,” said Casino, author of the anti-discrimination bill in Congress, House Bill 1483 titled: An Act Defining Discrimination on the Basis Of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefor (http://www.scribd.com/doc/34628487/HB-1483-Anti-Discrimination-Act-of-2010-LGBT-Rights-Bill.)

He is also author of House Resolution 1432 which seeks a congressional inquiry on hate crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs).

Based on news reports and independent complaints collated by the Philippine LGBT Hate Crime Watch, there have been 104 cases of LGBT killings in the Philippines since 1996.

“Does one’s sexual orientation still matter nowadays? As long as you live an upright and productive life, why should anyone begrudge you for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender? They, along with other minority groups, should enjoy the same rights as everyone else,” he added.

Vega was  a well-known member in the Filipino community in Seattle and owner of Danny Vega’s Hair Salon, He died from injuries  sustained after being attacked and robbed by what he told police were three young men. The men only described as African American are still at large. Police have made no arrests.

“In fact, acknowledging the gravity and urgency of the problem, the United Nations Human Rights Council recently approved a resolution calling for an end to discrimination and violence against LGBT persons worldwide, ordering the High Commissioner for Human Rights to collect data on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by December 2011, and for the Council to discuss the research findings in an open debate,” stressed Casiño.#

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