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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…)

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Rep. Abante did it again! November 17, 2006

Posted by lagablab in Anti-Discrimination Bill, Discrimination, gay discrimination, gay rights, gay rights Philippines, in the news, lagablab alert!, LGBT News.
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In the House of Representatives, Rep. Bienvenido Abante (6th District, Manila City), the Chairperson of the Committee on Civil, Political and Human Rights, blocked anew the passage of HB 634, or the Anti-Discrimination Bill, following the sponsorship speech made by AKBAYAN Rep. Etta Rosales. (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.