LGBT rights in the Philippines
|LGBT rights in the Philippines|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal, though "grave scandal" law may apply|
|Military service||Gays and lesbians allowed to serve since 2009|
|Discrimination protections||No, but under consideration|
LGBT citizens may face different social attitudes and legal challenges than heterosexual citizens with more traditional gender roles. Tolerance for LGBT people has increased over the years due to greater education about sexual orientation and gender identity issues and the growing visibility and political activism of the LGBT community. Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized and the LGBT community is not protected by any civil rights laws.
Criminal laws against homosexuality
Noncommercial, homosexual relations between consenting adults in private are not a crime, although sexual conduct or affection that occurs in public may be subject to the "grave scandal" prohibition in Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code. The universal age of consent is set at 12, but contact with minors (under 18) is an offense if the minor consents to the act for money, gain, or any other remuneration or as the result of an influence of any adult person.
LGBT Rights & Religion
Prevailing social attitudes about sexual orientation and gender identity issues are heavily influenced by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which has been active in opposing LGBT rights. Beyond the Catholic Church, most other citizens affiliate with a Christian or Islamic sect that generally looks upon homosexuality and cross-dressing as signs of decadence and immorality.
Bangon Pilipinas senatorial candidate Eddie Villanueva, a religious leader who founded the Jesus is Lord Church, said he is against same-sex marriage because, "Sabi ng Good Book, huwag gayahin 'yung nangyari sa Sodom and Gomorrah dahil darating ang paggunaw sa isang bansa 'pag 'yun ay ginawa, (The good book says, don't do what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah because judgement will befall the country if it should be done.) " Villanueva said in an interview.
LGBT Rights & Media
The LGBT community in the Philippines has steadily been gaining greater visibility in the news and information media. LGBT people working in fashion and arts are often given some measure of tolerance, especially if they are successful. 
The explosion of online social media, has led to many different expressed viewpoints on the subject of LGBT rights, from citizens and even celebrities. Miriam Quiambao, Floyd Mayweather & most recently the article of Christine Bersola-Babao entitled "Being Gay."
Sexual orientation or religion does not exempt citizens from DOG, although some reports do suggest that people who are openly gay in this high school curriculum are harassed. On 3 March 2009, the Philippines announced that it was lifting its ban on allowing openly gay and bisexual men and women from enlisting and serving in the Philippine Armed Services.
"Sectors" recognised in the national electoral law include categories such as elderly, peasants, labour, youth etc. Under the Philippine constitution some 20% of seats in the House of Representatives are reserved. In 1995 and 1997, unsuccessful efforts were made to reform the law so as to include LGBT people. A proponent of this reform was Senate President Pro Tempore Blas Ople who said (in 1997), "In view of the obvious dislike of the ... administration for gay people, it is obvious that the president will not lift a finger to help them gain a sectoral seat."
Political party opinions
Philippine political parties are typically very cautious about supporting gay rights, as most fall along the social conservative political spectrum.
The Akbayan Citizens' Action Party was the first Philippine political party to integrate LGBT rights into its party platform in the 1990s, although they are a minor political party. A major political opponent of LGBT rights legislation has been Congressman Bienvenido Abante (6th district, Manila) of the ruling conservative Lakas-CMD party. Rodolfo Biazon and his son Ruffy Biazon along with Miriam Santiago are the most vocal opponents of same sex marriage in the Philippines. They have filed bills in the Senate and Congress in 2006 that would ban recognition of such marriage, even if those marriages were performed in other countries. As of 2009 the bills are stalled.
The administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was recently called "not just gender insensitive, but gender-dead" by Akbayan Party representative Risa Hontiveros. Rep. Hontiveros also said that the absence of any policy protecting the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender betrays the government’s homophobia. “This homophobic government treats LGBTs as second-class citizens,” she said.
Philippines did not sign the United Nations declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity, which condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Ang Ladlad LGBT political party
The Ang Ladlad is a new progressive political party, with a primary agenda of combating discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
On 11 November 2009, the Philippine Commission on Elections(COMELEC) denied the Filipino LGBT political party Ang Ladlad's petition to be allowed to run in the May 2010 elections, on the grounds of "immorality". In the 2007 elections, Ang Ladlad was previously disqualified for failing to prove they had nationwide membership.
Marriage and family
In 1998, Senators Marcelo B. Fernan and Miriam Defensor Santiago submitted a series of four bills that barred recognition of marriage involving transgender individuals, contracted in the Philippines or abroad, and bar recognition of marriages or domestic partnership between two people of the same biological sex contracted in countries that legally recognize such relationships.
Since 2006, three anti-same sex marriage bills have been introduced and are pending before the Senate and Congress. In early 2011, Rep. Rene Relampagos of Bohol filed a bill to amend Article 26 of the Philippine Family Code, to prohibit "forbidden marriages." Specifically, this seeks to bar the Philippine state from recognizing same-sex marriages contracted overseas. The bill is in committee.
In LGBT community did not begin to organize on behalf of its human rights until the 1990s. Poverty and the political situation in the Philippines, especially the dictatorship, may have made it difficult for the LGBT community to organize. One of the first openly gay people of significance was the filmmaker Lino Brocka.
The first gay lesbian bisexual and transgender pride parade in Asia and also the Philippines was led by ProGay Philippines on 26 June 1994 at the Quezon Memorial Circle. It was organized just a few years after students organized the UP Babaylan group. The pride event was attended by hundreds, and the march coincided with march against the government's VAT or the value added tax.
Since the 1990s LGBT people have become more organized and visible, both politically and socially. There are large annual LGBT pride festivals, and several LGBT organizations which focus on the concerns of University students, women and transgender people. There is a vibrant gay scene in the Philippines with several bars, clubs and saunas in Manila as well as various gay rights organizations.
Today, the main gay rights organizations in the UP Babaylan UP Babaylan founded in 1992. It remains the oldest and largest LGBT student organization in the Philippines, Progay-Philippines, founded in 1993, which led the first Gay March in Asia in 1994, LAGABLAB, the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network established in 1999, and STRAP (Society of Transsexual WOMEN of the Philippines), a Manila-based support group for women of transsexual experience and transgenders established in 2002.
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- Tokyo Lesbian Gay Parade, TLGP in 1994.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to LGBT in the Philippines.|
- University of the Philippines Babaylan
- LGBT Rights in the Philippines up to 1998
- Philippines Gay and Lesbian Resources
- Promoting Human Rights and Sexual and Gender Diversity and Equality in the Philippines
- Philippines LGBT Interest Group
- ProGay Philippines
- Outrage Magazine - a publication for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally (GLBTQIA) communities in the Philippines; readily available online as a webzine.
- Weeqender LGBTQ Travel and Lifestyle Magazine - The Philippines' first LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) Travel & Lifestyle Magazine, updated monthly.
- Myfemme Magazine - a monthly magazine for women, femmes, butches, F2F, bi-femme & bi-curious
- [Invoice Magazine] - a business and lifestyle magazine for gays and lesbians
- Philippines Pride Images of Philippines gay pride taken at Manila's 2009 pride march
- Progress Philippines - a biologists view of gay rights in the Philippines, with causes of homosexuality and same-sex marriage rights discussed.