MANILA, Philippines - A gay rights group is urging President Benigno Aquino to prioritize the passage of legislation that will protect homosexuals and lesbians from discrimination.
Progressive Organization of Gays (ProGay) Philippines, in a press statement, criticized Aquino for saying at an Asia Society forum in New York that he would be in a dilemma to allow gay couples to adopt children.
ProGay spokesperson Goya Candelario said the President should instead focus on having House Bill 1483 or the Anti-Discrimination Act of 2010 enacted into law.
"ProGay believes it is truly shameful display for the Philippine government to display total lack of knowledge and appreciation of what the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Filipinos need. Aquino must realize he should stop issuing mere motherhood statements on gay rights and do his homework on the existing legal work that gay activists have been pushing the government for more than 15 years now," Candelario said.
Candelario said Aquino should devote more time working with Congress, the judiciary, and government agencies to start work on fulfilling the country's international obligations on United Nations conventions protecting the rights of LGBTQs.
HB 1483, which was filed by Bayan Muna partl-list Rep. Teddy Casiño, is now languishing in the House Committee on Justice, according to the gay rights group.
ProGay cited the 2006 Yogyakarta Principles, a compendium of human rights provisions culled from basic UN conventions, that the Aquino administration must promote.
"Everyone has the right to found a family, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Families exist in diverse forms. No family may be subjected to discrimination on the basis of the sexual orientation or gender identity of any of its members," Yogyakarta Principle No. 24 states.