By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer

A party-list group, which promises to add color to the usually staid congressional proceedings, is going “yellow” in its choice for president and vice president in the May elections.

With expected gay flair, this was how Danton Remoto, chair of Ang Ladlad, described Aquino: “Walang bahid, walang mantsa. Hindi mo na kailangang magkuskos at magkula pa. (He’s without stain. No need to scrub or bleach.)

n Gays’ home

The group said that, if elected, it would propose laws that would criminalize discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs).

Ang Ladlad also vowed to provide livelihood programs and establish a home for elderly and abandoned members of the LGBT
community. The home would be called “Golden Gays,” an apparent takeoff from the government-run Golden Acres.

“We will see all the colors of the rainbow in Congress,” said Naomi Fontanos, one of the group’s nominees. The others are Bernz Benedito, Germaine Leonin, Cris Lopera and Dexter Macaldo.

Ang Ladlad would add a “happy and gay” flavor to the party-list system, Fontanos said.

And even if mocked and bullied by other, more seasoned lawmakers, “like beauty queens we will come poised and diplomatic,” she added.

‘Outing’ not its business

“Our platform is based on dignity for all. We have concrete programs unlike other fake party-list groups which ... have yet to produce platforms and programs. We have a track record since 2003,” the group said in a statement in Filipino.

Fontanos said Ang Ladlad was “not in the business of outing people. If LGBTs refuse to come out of the closet, then that’s fine as long as they do some good for the communities they are in.”

On April 8, barely a month before the elections, the Supreme Court upheld with finality the accreditation of Ang Ladlad in the party-list race.

The group claims to have 16,000 members, but Remoto said it was banking on the estimated 5 million LGBT voters.

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