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Join the 2006 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March November 28, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, campaigns, LGBT News.
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The Task Force Pride, the official organizing network of the annual Manila Pride March, is inviting everyone to join the 2006 LGBT Pride March, which will take place in Manila City on December 9, 2006. (more…)

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House human rights chair: Anti-Discrimination Bill to invite wrath of God November 22, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, campaigns, Discrimination, gay discrimination, gay rights, in the news, lagablab alert!.
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A battle to pass a human rights measure penalizing discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders is raging in the House of Representatives, where the incumbent Chairperson of the Committee on Human Rights, Rep. Bienvenido Abante (6th Distict, Manila City), is ironically blocking the bill’s passage. In a controversial speech delivered last Monday, Rep. Abante, who is also a Baptist pastor, charged that the enactment of the bill would invite the wrath of God and would mean “death to the most cherished Filipino values of Godliness and moral rectitude.” (more…)

Deny Aruba’s motion to dismiss, court appealed November 15, 2006

Posted by lagablab in campaigns, Discrimination, gay rights, lagablab alert!.
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alert.jpgInday Garutay’s lawyer and AKBAYAN counsel Atty. Jae dela Cruz asked the Pasig City Regional Trial Court to deny Ban Goza’s motion to dismiss because it is “bereft of merit.” (more…)

Aruba urges court to dismiss case against discriminatory dress code November 3, 2006

Posted by lagablab in campaigns, gay discrimination, lagablab alert!, LGBT News.
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Ban Goza Inc., owner of the Aruba Bar and Restaurant, has asked the Pasig Regional Trial Court to dismiss the civil case filed by Christopher Borja (aka Inday Garutay). Ban Goza Inc. cites two grounds why the case should be dismissed: that the Court has no jurisdiction over the persons of the defendants and that the complaint does not state a cause of action.

The first ground is based on technicalities. According to Ban Goza, the Court failed to acquire jurisdiction over the corporation and its individual owners because the summons were not properly served. It alleges that the “summons was not served upon defendant Ban Goza Corporation as mandated by the rules” and that “neither were summonses served upon the individual defendants in accordance with the mandate of the rules.” The summons were signed by Lendley Batilaon, “a mere management trainee who is obviously not a person in charge at Aruba Bar and Restaurant.”

The second carries the bulk of Ban Goza’s arguments. It states the complaint is wanting because it does not prove that the defendant (Aruba Bar and Restaurant) really violated the primary right of the plaintiff (Inday Garutay). Below are the main arguments:

  • Aruba has the right to impose a dress code since “there’s no law, rule or a generally accepted principle of international law which prohibits or outlaws the implementation of a dress code.” (emphasis theirs);
  • Nothing also exempts homosexuals “from the application of a validly and legally imposed dress code, such that a violation of such exemption would amount to legal discrimination. The true essence of democracy requires that such a dress code be applied to all persons,” regardless of race, status, sex, or sexual preference;
  • There was a “fair warning” posted at the entrance of Aruba that the management has the right to bar the entry of clients who are inappropriately dressed and that Inday Garutay was asked to leave the premises in a “nice way”;
  • Everyone, regardless of race, status, sex or sexual preference, are indiscriminately welcome to enter the establishment. It must be noted, however, that like any private establishment, Aruba has the right to impose a dress code, which is necessary to avoid the happening of an event where a male customer dresses as a female and enters the female comfort room, to the detriment of female patrons who may be offended or made uncomfortable.

In its motion, Aruba also presented a rather curious discussion on same-sex marriage:

It must be noted that even under the Family Code of the Philippines, Articles 2 and 5 thereof allow a marriage only between a male and a female. As a matter of fact, Articles 45(3) and 55(6) of the same law even provide that lesbianism and homosexuality are grounds for annulment and legal separation, respectively. Notwithstanding this apparent discrimination under the law, this has never been regarded in reality and in law as such. The deeper and more profound reason prohibiting same-sex marriages is based on the impossibility of reproduction rather than on invidious discrimination on account of sex or sexual preference.

Download the whole motion here.

Amnesty International launches campaign for the Anti-Discrimination Bill September 27, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, campaigns, LGBT International Solidarity.
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Amnesty International today released an action campaign in support of the passage of the Anti-Discrimination Bill in Congress. In a letter from its head office in London, Amnesty International encourages its members to write letters to the leadership of Congress and push for the enactment of HB634 and SBN1738.

In lobbying for the bills, AI wishes to highlight the following points:

  • The proposed anti-discrimination legislation is an important measure to address and prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the Philippines in line with international human rights standards;
  • By extending legal protections against abuse and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the bills advance the promise of universality of human rights;
  • The bills do not grant “new rights” or “special rights” but further clarify the protections provided for under the Philippine Constitution as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Philippines has also ratified several international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, further clarifying the Government’s obligations to prohibit and prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Support AI’s letter-writing campaign for the Anti-Discrimination Bill. Download details on the campaign here.