Nov 15, 2009

[Pink News] Ang Ladlad Rejected By The COMELEC...Again

Unless you're a Filipino queer hiding under a rock, you should know by now that the COMELEC has rejected Ang Ladlad's second party list bid for the second time. Back in March 2007, the COMELEC rejected Ang Ladlad's application as a party list on the grounds that it could not prove that its membership was national in scope. Now they've totally changed their tune for the worst.

For those not so familiar with the group, Ang Ladlad is a Filipino political party devoted to fighting for the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) by promoting a thrust for equal human rights for all. They've been active since 2003 and have been trying to get into Congress as a party list group starting with the 2007 elections and were hoping to get in time for the 2010 elections.

However the COMELEC decided to cite passages from both the Catholic Bible and the Muslim in their resolution that ultimately denied Ang Ladlad primarily on grounds of morality. To rub salt in words as a gay community, they added the statement that they were not actually condemning homosexuals, however said that "We cannot compromise the well-being of the greater number of our people, especially the youth..."

Seriously? Morality?

It's ironic that they use this as a basis when we continue to have the legal option for the death penalty, which is essentially killing people. That doesn't sound very aligned with the Catholic faith. Oh, I know that's an extreme example, so what about the fact that we maintain armed forces and policemen can use lethal force when they need to? Isn't lethal force never warranted in Christian teachings? Shouldn't we just turn the other cheek?

We have politicians who have admitted to having affairs, second families and children with their mistresses. Not very moral either, but they continue to remain eligible to run for office.

The headquarters of the Catholic Bishops' Conf...Image via Wikipedia

Morality is subjective when you really get down to it. And to try and cite religious basis for rejecting any political party is wrong and against the supposed provisions in our constitution for keeping Church and State separate. Then again, who are we kidding, right? The Church remains to be the only group with political influence that doesn't actually need to be elected into office. Politicians and presidents alike constantly need to seek the advice of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines in order to get their support on certain decisions and motions. On its own, the CBCP regularly makes statements on political actions whether to express their support or displeasure or even to pass judgment on any politician's rights to hold their positions and offices.

So yeah, we're not exactly good at the whole Church and State provision. But this particular action is just so blatant, so in-your-face that we can't just stand by and ignore what they've done. Ang Ladlad is but a single group trying to figure for gay rights and true equality in the Philippines. We haven't even been able to pass the Anti-Discrimination Bill in Congress, which also gets blocked on the grounds of "morality" or some other poppycock like that.

So yeah, I have to admit I'm feeling pretty bitter about all this.

Damn you COMELEC and Fuck You for good measure. You're not actually following the spirit of the laws that empower you and you're just showing how backwards and medieval you are in terms of your thinking. Now we need to take to the courts and even the streets if need be to continue our fight for our rights to representation and true equality in this country.

I'm sure there are going to be protest actions and forums planned in the days and weeks to come - stay tuned for updates around the web or even on this blog. I guess it's about time that the Geeky Guide better organize its own entries to ensure I devote time every week to discuss LGBT political issues, events and news and the best day for that is Sunday, the so-called Lord's Day. On this day everyone rests and on this day, we should remember that we are all equal in the eyes of whatever deity you choose to acknowledge or support.

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