Adel Tamano for gays? | 03/01/2010 1:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - In an effort to get the support of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBT) in the May polls, Atty. Adel Tamano of the Nacionalista Party (NP) promised that if elected, he will be party-list group Ang Ladlad's "voice in the Senate."

During Ang Ladlad's national convention over the weekend, Tamano claimed that it takes someone who has experienced discrimination such as himself (who is a Muslim) to be able to represent marginalized sectors like LGBTs in the Philippines.

"Being a Muslim, I too, am a part of a minority group that is stereotyped and discriminated against like LGBTs in the Philippines. I know what you're going through and I know how frustrating it is not to be heard," said Tamano, who is president of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and the legal counsel of popular cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo.

"It takes someone who has experienced discrimination to be able to represent marginalized sectors like LGBTs. I could be your voice in the Senate," he added.

For its part, Ang Ladlad "warmly welcomed Tamano's offer," according to a statement released by the senatorial bet's office on Monday.

Aside from Tamano, Joey de Venecia III of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino party was present at Ang Ladlad's national convention. De Venecia also promised to work with Ang Ladlad, citing his father's (a former House speaker who bears the same name) efforts against discrimination.

"I consider this as my political 'coming out' so that I may henceforth openly and publicly partner with Ang Ladlad as it struggles to give the LGBT community its political voice. Ituring ninyo na po akong kasama ninyo (count me as one of you)," he said.

The Supreme Court has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to include Ang Ladlad in the ballot, pending a review of its accreditation. The party-list group filed a petition before the High Court after being disqualified last year by the second division of the poll body.

The Comelec has earlier claimed that Ang Ladlad advocates "sexual immorality" and "immoral doctrines," and would pose risks for the Filipino youth. With a report from the Philippine Star
as of 03/02/2010 1:24 AM

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