Hiked hate crimes,
anti-gay rhetoric provoke campus Pride parade
LOS BAÑOS, Philippines
– Rising homophobia and violence against members of the lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons across the country
convinced around 500 people that included LGBT students and
heterosexual supporters to gather in the University of the
campus in this city for a Pride parade aiming to raise awareness about
human rights for gay people.
Fearless Equality” the event was organized in this city 50 kilometers
south of Manila by the LGBT group UPLB Babaylan with militant groups
Bayan Muna and Gabriela. A giant rainbow flag carried by exuberant
protesters snaked through the major car lanes around the forested
university which rang with shouts demanding justice for murders and a
stop to rising anti-gay messages from what they called “hate groups”.
The school icon, a nude male figure called Oblation, was festooned
with giant butterfly-shape wings in the colors of the rainbow to
symbolize the flight of gay rights in the campus.
The leftist Bayan
alliance instigated a simultaneous sympathy LGBT pride parade in
“We are overjoyed to
see overwhelming support of even from heterosexuals, despite threats
of bad weather and the short notice we issued,” PROGAY Southern
Tagalog spokesperson Corinna Hope Marañan said.
Rep. Teddy Casiño of
the BAYAN MUNA Party and Hon. Angelica Jones Alarva of the National
Movement of Young Legislators supported the Pride parade. Also present
was the controversial Metropolitan Community Church, the gay religious
group that set the city of
abuzz with a publicized same sex wedding for eight homosexual couples.
“We decided to
organize this Pride march in support of our brothers and sisters in
other parts of the country who are presently being persecuted and even
killed on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity,”
said Jan Erick Abay Alim who serves as the punong babaylan or head
shaman of UPLB Babaylan. Alim was referring to the frenzy of anti-gay
actions initiated by religious groups in
in response to the same-sex union ceremonies.
Alim claims that even
in UP Los Baños, considered as the bastion of democracy in the region,
rights of the LGBT are continuously violated. “Some transgendered
students are prohibited to express their gender identity, on the pain
of not being allowed to graduate,” Alim added.
He also said the
parade is a sounding board to the campus community to report to the
UPLB Babaylan incidents of violence, hate language and discriminatory
acts against LGBTs. The group already submitted to Rep. Raymond
Palatino of KABATAAN Youth Partylist a partial list of violations that
school authorities inflicted on some transgender and lesbian students
in connection with the congressman's measure, House Resolution No.
1333, that called for the investigation of unjust discrimination
against LGBT in schools.
BAYAN MUNA Southern
Tagalog coordinator Adrianne Mark Ng ended the parade with a somber
candle-lighting memorial for 160 LGBTs murdered since 1996.
House Bill 1483 or the
“Anti-Discrimination Bill” is authored by Rep. Teddy Casiño of Bayan
Muna Partylist, a steadfast straight supporter of LGBT rights. He also
authored House Bill 4385 calling for a declaration of a National Day
against Homophobia and Transphobia, which the participating
organizations also support.