LAGABLAB ALERT: Gay impersonator discriminated in an Ortigas restaurant July 8, 2006Posted by lagablab in lagablab alert!.
Ms. Inday Garutay, a gay impersonator in two popular comedy bars in Metro Manila and a TV talent, was told to leave a restaurant because of the establishment’s dress code. LAGABLAB wishes to call the attention of the public and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community against discriminatory practices committed by bars, restaurants and similar establishments against cross-dressing gay men and transsexuals.
LAGABLAB strongly urges the public and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to protest this case of discrimination and homophobia. Please boycott bars, restaurants, clubs, and other establishments that have similar anti-LGBT practices and policies.
According to Inday Garutay (real name: Christopher Garcia Borja), she was in Aruba restaurant in Metrowalk Commercial Center, Pasig City, last Tuesday, July 4, 2006, at around 6.30 PM, with her boyfriend. She was to meet her Manager and another friend before her show in Zirkoh.
She was already inside the establishment when the incident took place. After coming back from the ladies toilet, she was reportedly told by the manager of the restaurant that she has to leave because of the establishment’s dress code. The supervisor for Aruba Metrowalk, Ms. Tin-Tin Aguilar, allegedly said that the dress code bars cross-dressing clients from entering the establishment. Despite being told that Inday was in fact already inside the establishment and that the dress code is discriminatory, Ms. Aguilar reportedly insisted that Inday should leave. Since it was futile to reason out to Ms. Aguilar that the policy is objectionable and biased, Inday decided to leave the establishment.
It has been verified by LAGABLAB from Ms. Tin-Tin Aguilar herself that Aruba Restaurant, despite being a non-membership restaurant/club, has a long-standing dress code that prohibits the entry of cross-dressing gay men and transsexuals. LAGABLAB believes that such a dress code is blatantly discriminatory and violates basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. It also does not conform to the human relations articles of the Civil Code. Accordingly, the dress code as implemented violates international human rights standards, such as the right to freedom from discrimination and right to freedom of expression, as stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
LAGABLAB recommends the following actions:
- Boycott Aruba restaurant and other establishments with similar policies. Inform Aruba of your decision to boycott the establishment and send protest letters to the management of Aruba to demand that they publicly apologize to Ms. Inday Garutay and the LGBT community and that their dress code be lifted. Address your letters to Mr. Jasper Chua, General Manager of Aruba restaurant (telefax: 6364702 or email email@example.com) A sample letter to the management of Aruba follows.
- Urge Congress to approve the Anti-Discrimination Bill to criminalize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill’s enactment would help eliminate incidents like the one encountered by Ms. Inday Garutay. Write to Sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla, Jr. to push for a committee hearing on SBN 1738 (Click here to download a sample letter to Sen. Revilla). Write to the House Committee on Rules Chair Prospero Nograles to support the immediate approval of the Anti-Discrimination Bill in the House of Representatives (click here for a sample letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives). If you wish to know more about the Anti-Discrimination Bill, how important it is to the lesbian and gay community, and what you can do to support the campaign, please visit this page.
For inquiries, please contact Jonas Bagas, Secretary General of LAGABLAB (+63920-9059727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dax de Castro, Campaigns Coordinator, LAGABLAB (email email@example.com)
Thank you very much for your support.
SAMPLE LETTER TO ARUBA RESTAURANT
MR. JASPER CHUA
It has come to our attention that your restaurant enforces a dress code that bars cross-dressing or transsexual gay clients. One such client who was barred from your establishment is Ms. Inday Garutay.
I am writing to express my protest over the incident and the existence of such a blatantly discriminatory policy. Such a dress code violates the right to freedom from discrimination and right to freedom of expression of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. These basic human rights are enshrined in our constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
I also wish to inform you that I have decided to boycott your restaurant as long as that policy exists and as long as no public apology is offered to the gay and lesbian community. I will encourage my friends and my family to do the same.