UN study finds gays increasingly accepted in Philippines, but hate crimes remain a threat

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A study backed by the UN has found that while LGBT people have become more accepted in the Philippines, discrimination still persists.

The UN Development Programme-funded study noted that young people were the most accepting of LGBT people.

“Cultural and social attitudes towards LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people are complex, with signs of acceptance, particularly among the young,” the study said.

Efforts towards a federal law banning discrimination against LGBT people have been halted, meeting strong opposition from the Catholic church, however several large cities have passed their own laws.

Hate crimes, the study found, remained a threat, with 28 LGBT people killed in the first half of 2011.

The study’s author Michael Tan, told a press conference that the study of 700 respondents found that 1 in 10 had been a victim of violence or abuse, usually at the hands of their parents.

According to Tan, LGBT people, “since they don’t have families to feed”, are routinely assigned night shifts, and are passed over for promotions.

The UNDP has said it is also working on similar surveys in China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Same-sex sexual activity is not a crime in the country, however same-sex marriage is not recognised, and gay couples are unable to adopt. Transgender people are unable to legally change their gender or first name.