29 May 2011

Gays to hold Flores de Mayo to protest hate crimes

Filipino gays will hold their version of the Flores de Mayo, or Santacruzan this Sunday to speak out against "hate crimes" and rights abuses against them.

Members of the ProGay Philippines said they will push for the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2010 or House Bill 1483 during their “FlorEZ de Mayo."
“During this FlorEZ de Mayo, we are pressing the government to act decisively to stop the extrajudicial killings of LGBTs [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] and pass the Anti-Discrimination Act so the country’s queers can enjoy life of equality without fear of violence and death," said Rev. Ceejay Agbayani, head pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church and the event’s main organizer, in an article posted on the Union of Catholic Asian News website.

This year’s event will be held in Pinyahan village in Quezon City, which the group regards as the “most gay-friendly metropolis" in a conservative Catholic nation.

"Many of the parade participants promise to come in provocative evening gowns that blend Filipiniana fashion with political calls for gay rights and reproductive health advocacy," the UCAN report said.

During the parade, the participants will push the passage of the bill filed by militant Rep. Teodoro Casiño.

Casiño's bill aims to ban discriminatory acts against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) in the workplace, schools and government offices.

The UCAN report said human rights groups also expressed concern over the unexplained cruel deaths of transgendered people in the past decade.

Hate Crimes Watch, an alliance of activists monitoring hate-motivated murders of LGBT in the country, said 10 LGBTs died in hate-related crimes from January to May this year, compared to 14 in the entire 2010.

FlorEZ de Mayo is supported yearly by local firms manufacturing condoms, lubricating jelly and birth control pills, products that are gaining attention due to ongoing debates in Congress around the reproductive health bill.

Gay rights activists recently figured in a spat with the mother of boxing champ Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao for criticizing gays about their use of oral contraceptives to enlarge their chests.





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