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LGBT RIGHTS – Philippines

Reason for this post is completely hysterical response to some monkey midget boxer statement and his view on LGBT people. Why giving him so much publicity? Will Nike cancellation of contract with him really hurt this semi-retired boxer? I don’t think so. The monkey has some political ambitions and is the most popular person in the country. That statement might be the opening shot in his political campaign.

The real question is – what is the situation with LGBT rights in Philippines?



As a member of the UN, the Philippines is signatory to various international covenants promoting human rights. These include the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention Against Torture (CAT), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Thus, and as stated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution (Article 2 Section 11, and Article 3 Section 1), the Philippines has committed itself to upholding the dignity, equality and human rights of all persons. However, the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN did not support the June 2011 Joint Statement at the UN Human Rights Council urging States to end violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations based on SOGI; and the Joint Statement and the December 2010 UN General Assembly resolution that included protection for LGBT people from extra-judicial executions and other unlawful killings based on sexual orientation (R-Rights & PLHCW, 2011). This is evidence that LGBT people are not always supported by the State.

LAWS Non-commercial private same-sex activity between consenting adults is not criminalized in the Philippines. The age of consent is set at 18, although contact with minors (those under 18) is considered an offence if the minor consents to the act for money, gain, or any forms of remuneration, or as the result of an influence of any adult person. While same-sex relationships are not recognized, the Supreme Court (SC) has invalidated government regulations that infringed on the sexual relations of consenting adults, stating that these violated the privacy rights and personal dignity of individuals7 (Ocampo, 2011). This means that consenting adults cannot be prevented from engaging in sex in “hotels/motels” regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This Supreme Court decision means that LGBT people have a legitimate claim on their right to privacy. There are a number of laws that mention sexual orientation (i.e. Magna Carta of Women8 , Magna Carta for Public Social Workers9 ) or address same-sex relations (i.e. the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 that covers same-sex relations in defining sexual assault). For example, Article 46 of the Family Code that went into effect in 1987 mentions homosexuality/lesbianism as a ground for annulling marriages, along with alcoholism and drug addiction. Another law that affects the LGBT Filipinos, the Republic Act (RA) 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act) punishes violence in intimate relations including those where both parties are women (R-Rights & PLHCW, 2011). The RA 9262 portrays LGBT people negatively because their sexual orientation and gender identity is associated as “socially bad or psychologically detrimental”, similar to how alcoholism and drug addiction are portrayed by the law. There are laws that have reportedly been used by unscrupulous law enforcers to extort from and harass LGBT people. These include the “grave scandal” prohibition in Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code, as well as RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003). In Metro Manila, venues like bathhouses are frequented by men who have sex with men (MSM). When raids happen, the MSM who are at these venues are threatened with being charged with “grave scandal” of the said law. Many MSM pay the extortion demanded by law enforcers and officers for fear of being “outed” to peers and family members (IGLGHRC, 2011). The persecution that LGBT Filipinos experience was highlighted in 2009, when an immigration judge in the United States granted the political asylum application of Philip Belarmino10, a 43-year-old gay Filipino. After being placed in deportation proceedings for overstaying his visa, this immigration judge determined that Belarmino would suffer persecution on the basis of his “membership in a particular social group” (being a homosexual in the Philippines) and granted him asylum. The absence of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law in the Philippines is apparent even if antidiscrimination bills (ADBs) have been filed in both the Lower and Upper Houses of Congress since the 1990s. So far, there are no intentions to pass national anti-discrimination laws that exclusively seek to protect LGBT people. Instead, the protection of LGBT people from discrimination is included in proposed laws against discrimination based on race, ethnicity and religion. Politicians are known to block these proposed laws because of their inclusion of LGBT people (Manila Bulletin, 2012).

Please click on the LINK to access full report by USAID.



LGBT culture in the Philippines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender (LGBT) people in the Philippines have a distinctive culture but limited legal rights. Gays and lesbians are generally tolerated, if not accepted, within Filipino society, but there is still widespread discrimination. The most visible members of the Filipino LGBT culture, the Bakla, are a distinct group in the Philippines.

According to the 2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey, 11% of sexually active Filipinos between the ages of 15 and 24 have had sex with someone of the same sex.

Filipino poet and critic Lilia Quindoza Santiago has speculated that Filipino culture may have a more flexible concept of gender because kasarian, the Tagalog word for “gender”, is defined in less binary terms than the English word gender.[2] Kasarian means “kind, species, or genus”.


A bakla and bar rabanzo is a man who displays feminine mannerisms, dresses as a woman, or identifies as a woman. The term itself is not the equivalent of the English term “gay”, but bakla are the most culturally visible subset of gay men in the Philippines. They are often considered a third gender, embodying femaleness (pagkababae) in a male body. The term bakla is sometimes used in a derogatory sense, although bakla people have largely embraced it.

Bakla individuals are socially and economically integrated into Filipino society and are considered an important part of society. The stereotype of a bakla is a parlorista, a cross-dresser who works in a salon. Miss Gay Philippines is a beauty pageant for bakla.

In the Philippines, the term gay is used in reference to any LGBT person. For Filipino gays, the Tagalog phrase paglaladlad ng kapa (“unfurling the cape”), or more commonly just paglaladlad (“unfurling” or “unveiling”) refers to the coming-out process. Tibo, T-Birdand tomboy are derogatory terms for butch lesbians just as bakla is for effeminate gay men. Some lesbians, both butch and femme, use the terms magic or shunggril to refer to themselves. Neutral slang terms for gay men include billy boy, badette,bading, and paminta (masculine gay man).

While many of these terms are generally considered derogatory, they are sometimes used casually or jokingly within the Filipino gay and lesbian community. For example, gay men often refer to their gay friends as bakla or baklatutay when talking to each other.



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