December 17, 2008 · Posted in: Human Rights, Image Galleries

Pride March 2008, Manila

(This post was written by Maybelline Torres, Romnick Alejo, and Erica Ann Francisco, senior journalism students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. They are currently taking internship credits with the PCIJ.)

CLAD in dresses inspired by the colors of the rainbow, various groups from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community came together in Malate last December 6 in celebration of this year’s Pride March.

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Themed “Live, Love, and Unite,” the 2008 Manila Pride March was attended by 40 organizations and support groups as they campaigned to end discrimination and pursue the rights of the LGBT sector. Participants came in dressed up as characters from fairytales and in other various colorful costumes.

On its tenth year, Task Force Pride also launched Project Equality, a new network of groups and individuals pushing for LGBT rights, celebrating sexuality and diversity.

Project Equality’s agenda includes the passage of the reproductive health bill, student’s rights and welfare bill, the bill to strengthen the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), amendments to the HIV/AIDS law, repeal of the Anti-Vagrancy Law, and amendments to allow sex change.

“This sends a strong message to the public and the government that stigma and discrimination should be addressed with urgency,” said Project Equality spokesperson Jonas Bagas.

The network is also pushing for benefits for same-sex partners — the granting of next-of-kin status for same-sex couples, in particular.

Yogyakarta principles

Meanwhile, Ang Ladlad party list, the national organization of LGBT Filipinos, also launched the introduction of Yogyakarta principles in the country.

The Yogyakarta principles affirm the idea that all persons are entitled to the full enjoyment of all human rights regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. These principles also affirm binding international legal standards which all States must comply with.

Ang Ladlad chairperson Danton Remoto said: “(The) Yogyakarta principles will protect the LGBT groups against human rights abuse (as) human rights are for everyone.”

Other groups from Asia will also be launching the Yogyakarta principles in their respective countries. Ang Ladlad will be launching an information campaign on the principles among its regional chapters, supporters, the CHR and, the allied women’s and human rights groups to discuss the uses of the principles in their local, municipal, and national advocacy work.

Read the full text of the Yogyakarta Principles.

Counter protest

For the first time in Pride March history, religious groups staged a counter protest during the parade.

The Born Again Christians, one of the organizations, held that there is still hope for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders to change. While it is not against one being gay or lesbian, the group asserted that they critically oppose the actions and beliefs of the said sector.

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“There’s still new life. Live Jesus in your heart,” Pastor Derek Johns said. “There is hope and you need to repent, trust in Jesus because only Jesus can save you from hell.”

It was the first time that religious groups interfered in the Pride March. Despite the unanticipated protest, the show went on.

After the parade and program, a pageant was held, giving awards to the Best Fantasy and Fairytale Costumes, Best Contingent, Best Float, and Most Creative Contingent.

The LGBT march was also held in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration serves as the international standard for the observance of human rights, wherein member states, like the Philippines, are expected to guarantee and promote the rights of its citizens.

Some of the 40 LGBT groups who joined the Pride March are: Ang Ladlad party list, One Bacardi, Gay and Lesbian Activists Network for Gender Equality (GALANG), Home for the Golden Gays, Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines (UUCP), Gayon (Bicol Contingent), the Genesis, Circle of Friends, Santugon, the Metropolitan Community Church, Rainbow Rights Project, Club Government, TAPAT, Women’s Legal Bureau, Lunduyan ng Sining, Rainbow Bloggers Philippines, Team PILIPINAS, UP Film Institute, and UP Babaylan.

1 Response to Pride March 2008, Manila



December 17th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

One of the good things that this country could be proud of is that the “third and, perhaps, the fourth sexes” are not given the legal status like that which is given to their counterparts in the other countries. Although it is true that they also have human rights, it is only because they are also human beings. But they cannot ask for more because morally, human beings are only either male men and female women. There is no such thing as a ‘half-half sex’ in terms of moral standards. A lot of issues are involved in the efforts for recognition of our brothers and sisters who seem to have “unusual sexual orientation”. But they must understand that their condition cannot be solved by legislation or any international agreement that does not acknowledge the objectivity of morality and the supremacy of objective truth over subjective view of life.

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