Gays, lesbians to hold ‘Pride March’ in Manila
By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 19:04:00 12/04/2009
Filed Under: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Eleksyon 2010, Inquirer Politics
MANILA, Philippines—Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community are set to hold a colorful parade Saturday to promote equal rights for all genders in the Philippines.
The march is also meant to protest the Commission on Election’s decision rejecting the party-list bid of gay and lesbian group “Ang Ladlad”.
This year’s theme, “We Dare. We Care,” signifies the LGBT community’s proactive stance in addressing the human rights issues confronting the sector, according to Great Ancheta, head coordinator of Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines 2009.
“We shall no longer be complacent. We dare to remind the Philippine government and the rest of society that we have an obligation under international human rights law to promote and protect the rights and well-being of all people, including LGBT Filipinos, who are being threatened by the looming economic crisis, natural disasters, armed conflict, religious intolerance and lack of political will of some government officials,” Ancheta said.
The group will hold the parade in Manila’s Malate district and assembly begins 3 p.m. at Remedios Circle. The program will start with a grand parade, which will be followed by pageants and partying, the group said.
The TFP said the march was set in time for international observance of the Human Rights week.
“The LGBT community will march to show their indignation and concern over the lack of human rights protections for LGBT Filipinos as shown in the recent decision of the Comelec not to accredit Ang Ladlad, a party-list group for LGBT Filipinos, the non-passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill and the increasing incidence of violence and discrimination committed against them in large-scale because of their sexual orientation and gender identity,” Ancheta said.
The “Pride March” was the Filipino’s expression of solidarity with other members of the LGBT communities in Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and other parts of the world to “fight discrimination, homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia at the national and international levels,” said Naomi Fontanos also of TFP.
The march has gained support from various human rights groups.
Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree, the Thai representative to the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights, said in her solidarity message, “the rights of everyone [have] to be guaranteed and the space has to be equally created without which the building of ASEAN Community could not be fully realized.”
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines also endorsed the 2009 Manila Pride March.
CHR Chair Leila De Lima in her message of solidarity said, “We laud TFP Philippines for organizing this annual Pride March, and we recognize the courage of those who choose to participate in it. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines stands ready to offer whatever support it can, not only in relation to this event, but also in order to generally advance respect for, and the protection of, the human rights of the LGBT community.”
The 2009 Manila Pride March is organized by Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines, a network of LGBT and LGBT-supportive groups and individuals who seek to promote positive visibility for the LGBT community.