Research: One of the Best Way in Countering Homophobic Propaganda
by Joshua Villalobos
In a widely Christian or Catholic country, policies favoring the basic human rights and dignity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender+ (LGBT+) community will need to pass the hole of the needle.
Major academic institutions here in the Philippines are run by either catholic priests or nuns. Of course, these institutions that were founded from religion will impose their religious freedom to cover up homophobic stances. Being a widely catholic country has been used as a reason for the non-passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression Equality Bill or known as the SOGIE Bill.
It is a known fact that this legislation is presented in almost every new congress, however, due to political dynamics and pressure from various religious institutions, the bill failed to become a law for more than 20 years of being debated.
Catholic academic institutions are also equated to being anti-SOGIE Bill.
Because of this, together with my classmates, we tried to challenge this propaganda by doing research on the extent of favorability of Grade 12 students in SOGIE Bill in a catholic institution. Since this research is an academic requirement, this also did not have an easy way from research professors in our school.
One factor that will show the relationship of religion and favorability to the bill was scrapped by the research panel.
The questionnaire we have used contained salient provisions from Committee Report 101 submitted by the Committee on Gender Equality on February 7, 2017 regarding House Bill 4982 that were validated by LGBT advocates, lawyers, and academics.
Respondents were asked if they were favorable to salient provisions by ratings: 4 being Highly Favorable, 3 for Favorable, 2 Slightly Favorable, and 1 if they find the provision Unfavorable.
The test was administered to random students on all strands of the institution.
The results of the inquiry yielded the fact that:
- The Grade 12 students of a Catholic Educational Institution in Bacolod City when grouped according to track, sex, and school of origin, deems the selected provisions of Section 4 Discriminatory Practices of the SOGIE Bill, “Favorable”
On the questionnaires, selected provisions of Section 4 or the Discriminatory Practices were stated. One insight that we can draw from this is that, if we just let people understand and read the provisions themselves, there’s a chance that we can surface the fact they don’t dogmatically adhere to the obsolete ideas of their organization/s.
Through this survey, we were also able to uncover the reality that statistically, the majority of the Grade 12 students in that specific school is favorable for the protection of a person from SOGIE-based discrimination.
Ironically, this research’s abstract is also set to be published in another catholic school’s collection of abstracts.
Simple research like this can reveal real statistics about students’ growing concern on LGBT+ protection. Hopefully, more students and academics will pursue research on topics of LGBT, human rights, policy advocacy, and such.
Capus, Junius Dale