MANILA, Philippines – Gay rights activists decried what they described as “homophobic cyberattacks” in the defaced Wikipedia page of impeached Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
The Wikipedia entry for Corona was defaced in the past few days, in which the profile of the chief magistrate was maliciously edited. It branded Corona as “Thief Justice” and portrayed him as having gay sex with Court Administrator Midas Marquez, noted the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay).
“We totally deplore this heinous way of using gay slurs for launching political attacks between the opposing sides in the impeachment trial,” declared Goya Candelario, spokesperson of ProGay, in a statement.
Based on the page’s editing history, the first edit was done at around 11:40 am GMT (7:40 pm Philippine time) on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, from the IP address 220.127.116.11, who added the line “The Filipino people is hoping for his impeachment at the senate impeachment trial” to his main profile.
Later, the person using the same IP address, at 11:51 am GMT (7:51 pm Philippine time), changed the Chief Justice title to “Thief Justice,” and added another line maligning the chief magistrate to the profile.
It was finally edited to remove the vandalism at 3:53 pm GMT (11:53 pm Philippine time), by a user using the IP address 18.104.22.168, a user in Quezon City.
A real problem
Candelario said that the defacement “proves that homophobia and discrimination are real social problems of Philippine society that make life for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) very dangerous.”
A day before the page was defaced, a heterosexual male youth was stabbed and mauled to death by an armed gang of hoodlums after the youth defended two gay passengers in a minibus from the gang’s taunts, according to Candelario.
“We mourn the death of Fernando Mendoza who died defending gay rights and because of unchecked homophobia that is being stoked by religious zealots and machismo. All levels of our society should really address and correct homophobia, because both ordinary men who are not gay like Mendoza and powerful government officials such as Corona and Marquez are not safe from these stupid hate crimes,” Candelario said.
ProGay called on Congress to immediately pass the Antidiscrimination Bill, which protects sexual orientation and gender identity. – Rappler.com