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Criminalization of the Queer

By Andre Joshua T. Aniñon

The government exists for the people. Legislations protect us; due process paves a road for proper justice. As long as you are human, as long as you are not illegal in your activities, you can be yourself and not even armies of police can touch you. There are, however, rules to being human: you cannot love someone of the same sex. You cannot express your romantic interest in them. You cannot kiss each other or hold hands publicly, even privately. You cannot run astray from the conventions of your sex. You cannot question your identity. If you do, you are detrimental to the State. Be yourself, and they’ll have you in court before you can give your partner one last embrace.

A year has passed since the United States has legalized same-sex marriage—a diamond in the pearls of success the LGBTQ community has collected—but the rainbow flag still remains furled and folded in some states and countries.

A number of governments have drafted—and some, passed—laws to wash off the spectrum of gender identity with black and white discriminations. According to an article by The Huffington Post last June, there are more than 100 anti-LGBTQ laws pending across 22 states: a law in Mississippi allowing anybody to deny services to same-sex couples because of religious objections, a bill in Tennessee prohibiting mental health practitioners from treating LGBTQ patients, and to top it all off, a law in North Carolina banning cities to pass anti-LGBT ordinances.

In some countries, the rainbow flag isn’t merely kept in the closet to gather dust—it is torn and burned to ashes. According to a study by Aengus Carroll and Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, there are five UN states in the world where the death penalty awaits individuals engaged in same-sex intimacy, namely, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen. In the case that Death says it is not yet time, the punishments still remain brutal— flogging, whipping, and imprisonment.A number of governments have drafted—and some, passed—laws to wash off the spectrum of gender identity with black and white discriminations. According to an article by The Huffington Post last June, there are more than 100 anti-LGBTQ laws pending across 22 states:  a law in Mississippi allowing anybody to deny services to same-sex couples because of religious objections, a bill in Tennessee prohibiting mental health practitioners from treating LGBTQ patients, and to top it all off, a law in North Carolina banning cities to pass anti-LGBT ordinances.A year has passed since the United States has legalized same-sex marriage—a diamond in the pearls of success the LGBTQ community has collected—but the rainbow flag still remains furled and folded in some states and countries.

The LGBTQ community has passed through several milestones, but they still have mountains to conquer—the biggest among them, respect. One does not need to graduate from political science or law to draft a discriminatory bill. Beyond documents and desks, lawmakers are people much like everyone else. You don’t need a degree to discriminate, just as much as you don’t need one to welcome the LGBTQ community with open arms; all you need is either questionable or honorable respect. And if you contribute to the flame, if you discriminate or tolerate discrimination, then you have signed as a co-author to an anti-LGBTQ ordinance.~

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