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Disenfranchising homosexuals

Disenfranchising homosexuals
Editorial
Ang Pahayagang Malaya
November 16, 2009

‘Homosexuality is now a contagious moral and spiritual disease from which our youth need to be quarantined?’

The Commission on Elections decision last Friday denying accreditation to the Ang Ladlad is the very proof that gays and lesbians are so marginalized they need to be represented in Congress.

They are discriminated against on the basis of their sexual preferences. They are powerless against the dominant culture that classifies them as aberrations of nature. They are victims of beliefs that treat them as moral misfits.

The Neanderthals in the Comelec, in effect, disenfranchised a class of citizens on the basis of a set of prejudices.

The grounds cited by the Comelec second division are laughable.

"Should this Commission grant the petition, we will be exposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to our faith," it said.

It then gratuitously added that homosexuality is against Christianity and Islam.

Are Christianity and Islam now state religions that citizens who do not subscribe to their tenets should be stripped of their right to be voted into office? There is no religious test for running for office. This follows from the doctrine of separation of state and church. Let’s not confuse a sin with a crime. Gays and lesbians certainly have not committed any crime that would disqualify them from forming a political organization by preferring their own sex.

"As an agency of the government, ours too is the State’s duty… under the Constitution to protect our youth from moral and spiritual degradation," the Comelec said.

Accrediting a party, which is fighting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, leaves our youth open to moral and spiritual degradation? What drivel is this? Homosexuality is now a contagious moral and spiritual disease from which our youth need to be quarantined?

Homosexuality, if we understand the Catholic doctrine correctly, is not a sin although acts are. These old farts at the Comelec are trying to be more popish than the Pope.

Modern democracies are founded on the principles of tolerance. One does not impose one’s religious beliefs on others. In times past and in different climes, homosexuals were treated as heretics and were burned at the stake. But also in times past and on these very islands, some "babaylans," the priests of our pre-Spanish religions, came from the ranks of homosexuals. Who is to say which is right or wrong between the two practices? And how do we solve such differences? Through the Crusades of medieval times and the religious wars that blighted Europe during monarchic times?

If we can tolerate fornicators (to crib from former senator Rene Saguisag) in Congress, there is no reason why we cannot accept gays and lesbians.

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