Baguio gays want ordinance against discrimination passedPhilippine Daily Inquirer
BAGUIO CITY—The city’s gay community staged the 6th Baguio Pride Parade on Sunday, but this year’s monthlong celebration was subdued when compared to last year’s activity that was highlighted by a union of eight gay couples that offended Church leaders.
Supported by students in the city, the parade was led by a giant silk rainbow flag carried by marchers down Session Road.
Cyrene Reyes, one of Baguio Pride’s organizers, said the community wanted to focus their latest campaign on a proposed antidiscrimination ordinance for the city.
Religious groups last year mounted their own street marches and sent out a complaint to the city council about what they described as same-sex weddings that took place under the local government’s watch.
The churches objected to reports about the ceremonial union conducted by the Metropolitan Community Church of Metro Baguio, mistaking the ceremony for same-sex wedding.
The controversy sparked debates about gay discrimination and same-sex weddings that lasted months after the staging of the Baguio Pride Parade last year, Reyes said.
“But soon, we received apologies from some councilors and a promise to sponsor an ordinance penalizing discrimination against LGBTs (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders),” she said.
The Baguio Pride Network first staged the event in 2006, coinciding with public concern over increasing extrajudicial killings, said Carol Galvez, spokesperson of the Baguio Pride Network and Cordillera coordinator of the party-list group Bayan Muna.
In a statement, Galvez said the Lesbians for National Democracy and ProGay Philippines, in May, sent to the United Nations Human Rights Council a four-page report about rights cases plaguing Filipino LGBTs to coincide with the Universal Periodic Review of the human rights standards of UN member-states like the Philippines.
“However, the state delegation led by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ignored their concerns, including a last-minute plea from the representative from Argentina for the Philippines to pass the antidiscrimination bill filed in Congress by Bayan Muna Representative [Teodoro]
Casiño,” she said. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon