As citizen and Senator of the Republic, I question the recent rejection of Ang Ladlad Party to be a duly registered sectoral party by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) because of allegations of ‘immorality.’ The Comelec invoked passages from the Holy Bible and the sacred Qu’ran to justify their decision on Ang Ladlad’s petition for party registration.

The Republic of the Philippines is a secular state, and as such, we must ensure the clear separation of church and state in our civil and political affairs, as enshrined in the Philippine Constitution, Article II, Section 6. Invoking justifications from sacred texts should not stand in the way of our secular and liberal democratic principles and the rights for political representation of all well-meaning Filipino citizens.

Every Filipino, regardless of sexual orientation, can exercise the fundamental right to be represented in the country’s political affairs, including the right to run for public office as political parties and individuals, and to present their platform to the Filipino electorate. There should be no room for discrimination and bigotry against any group representing gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation from within the ranks of our government.

We are now at a historic time when nation after nation has begun to decisively dismantle the barriers of the past – such as those that denied groups and individuals from being rightfully considered as equals. Many of these barriers were premised on differences based on gender, race and sexual orientation. While more and more countries have been embracing deserving homosexuals as state leaders (e.g., Iceland), as ministers (e.g., France), and as regular members of their armed forces (e.g., USA), by its recent decision, our COMELEC is dangerously institutionalizing social exclusion and intolerance, and degrading a party like Ang Ladlad as political pariah.

A fair and honest election, fundamentally presupposes that every legal individual and party group aspiring for public office should be treated with respect, without bias, and with equality, irrespective of their religion, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation.


Quentin X said...

There is surprisingly no comment from the whole community for an issue so pertinent. Come on, boys and girls, get fired up!

Onotheo said...

Yes, I'm wondering a bit myself. Personally, I didn't even think before that such a politician in high position in Philippines has that kind of open mind. Go Loren!

Olaff Stanislav said...

I agree with Loren's statement on the disqualification of Ang Ladlad. Im a father of 2 toddlers. Though it is my duty to give them the nurturing care for their healthy growth and development, whatever sexual classification they will prefer when they grow up, i will equally be happy since it is every person's fundamental rights to find his own path. Civilized world is adhering to that principles. I loath at the Comelec's decision. They are dragging us back to dark ages with that epic oxymoron discrimination.

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