The Coalition on Democracy and SOGIE Rights
The 7th Statement on the Current Political Situation in Thailand;
SOGIE Rights under Democratic and International Human Rights Principles
Current human rights situation in the country is in a worrisome state due to continued violations of rights at various levels which present the tendency to escalate in the near future. Sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE) movement should be able to grow in a democratic environment in relation to other rights, specifically political rights, rights to fair trial, community rights and rights to resource management to name a few.
In recent months we have witnessed relentless arrests and detentions which go against the fair trial principle and the oppression of the freedom of expression, which is one of the fundamental human liberties, by State authorities. It is of a much concern that SOGIE rights advocates must consider this phenomenon and reflect on their actions and perspectives in relation to their advocacy and work. This must also point to a strategic direction in the adherence and incorporation of human rights principles which are pillars for democracy.
The Coalition for Democracy and SOGIE Rights, Academics, and Civilians as follow thus present the following standpoints on the SOGIE rights movement:
(1) We strongly disagree with a SOGIE rights movement that disregards democratic processes which ensure human liberties and dignity, and disregards repercussions towards other facets of human liberties and dignity. We hereby expressstate our deep concerns towards the SOGIE rights movement in alliance with a governance void of democratic principles and legitimacy as they are not of the people and by the people.
(2) We have no faith in SOGIE movement that disregards just and due processes. The case of certain advocates supporting the unrightful drafting process of the Constitution of Thailand B.E. 2550 (2010) has proven that legal achievement under unrightful governance regime cannot bring sustainable social change. The Constitution, along with its Spirit of the Constitution which prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity and sexual diversity, was easily nullified after the recent coup d’état in May 2014. The same short-lived fate is deemed to happen with the language “gender” in the current Constitution Draft by the Constitution Drafting Committee that formed themselves after the Coup. We also question the justification of the self-elected bodies involved in the legislative process. Acceptance of repetitive, frivolous and unrightful legal advancement reflects the failure of SOGIE movement in upholding human dignity, rights and freedom at large.
(3) We affirm the believe that a social movement for the obtainment of SOGIE rights, a part of our civil liberties and rights, will not be truly successful and sustainable through a path in which inclusiveness, meaningful participation, democracy and respect for freedom and human dignity and human rights are absent. We insist on a struggle for human rights not solely for the obtainment of SOGIE rights but for all facets of human rights.
(4) A SOGIE movement must uphold human rights principles and view them as the foundation of interdependent issues in social justice. We understand that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders* and intersexs (LGBTI)’s demands for justice and acknowledgement of their problems in shared issues are often neglected by democratic movements in Thailand. However, gender equality and SOGIE rights protection cannot happen out of violation of the rights of other groups and the prime principle of democracy, the political rights and the citizens rights.
(5) Society deprived of freedom of expression cannot promote a true understanding about SOGIE as it disallows inquiring mind and rejects any forms of dissents and differences. It is only discordant for LGBTIs to demand for acceptance of differences, while at the same time, denying the opportunities for all different groups of people to equally assert their rights and freedom of expression and opinions.
We highly recommend that all parties involved in the SOGIE movement in Thailand urgently reflect on their principles and strategies. SOGIE movement must promote democratic principles and awareness of human rights’ indivisibility, affecting the rights, freedom and dignity of all human in Thai society.
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