Protesters assembled in front of the nearby Manila Cathedral (see above pic). After the mass-up, the contingent made its way in front of the COMELEC a few yards away.
I co-hosted the short program of the rally which saw different representatives give messages in support of and solidarity with Ang Ladlad (see above).
After the rally, we took pictures.
We also had a Kodak moment with Danton Remoto (in the middle in black), Chair of Ang Ladlad (see pic above).
Of course the day would not have been complete without a picture of just the girls (above).
It was quite a successful protest action. I was there not only to protest the unconstitutional and persecutive decision of the COMELEC but because I care about my future and that of my children. This oppressive decision, at a micro level may be used later to bar TLBG people from joining politics and at a macro level to police and punish people's behavior. I will not stand for it. COMELEC needs to take back what it said and apologize to the whole nation for this travesty. If not, the protest actions will just continue and I hope in the future will become more and more massive. Hope to see you in the next one!
I am reposting below STRAP's statement on the whole COMELEC brouhaha.
BIGOTRY IS THE THREAT TO THE WELL-BEING OF HUMANITY
The Official Statement of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) on Comelec’s non-accreditation of Ang Ladlad LGBT Party List
“The greatness of every mighty organization
embodying an idea in this world
lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance
with which, fanatically convinced of its own right,
it intolerantly imposes its will against all others."
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 1 Chapter 12
The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP) stands with courage and in solidarity with all those organizations and individuals who have been disheartened, disappointed, and dismayed by the unfavorable decision Ang Ladlad received from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
STRAP is among those who say: Yes! It’s a violation of the separation of Church and State; Yes! It breaches the ‘no religion test’ clause of our Constitution; Yes! It lays the case for our legal persecution; Yes! It’s a retrogressive way of thinking; Yes! It’s a violation of human rights. But above all this, STRAP says Yes! The bigotry of Comelec is a threat to the well-being of every human being.
In its 8-page decision, Comelec argued that should they allow Ang Ladlad to participate in the elections, “[the] youth would be exposed to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of [Christianity and Islam]”, implying that such exposure would cause the moral and spiritual degradation of the youth. "[They] are not condemning the LGBT," Comelec said, they just “cannot compromise the well-being of the greater number of our people, especially the youth.“ Protecting the well-being of everyone is a good intention. However, as history has shown us, the road to hell can be paved with bigotry masked as good intentions.
How many wars have been waged, people burned at stake, genocide committed, and bodies turned into bombs just to create an environment that blindly conforms to the teachings of a particular religion? How many such atrocities have happened just because of the refusal to acknowledge the humanity of those people who are simply different?
If we’re going to be honest in answering these questions, we’ll find out that our natural diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression is not the threat to the well-being of humanity. The threat is bigotry.
So we further ask, Who is the real threat to the youth? An organization that seeks to promote respect for and deeper understanding of human diversity? Or those who wear bigotry as a badge of honor?