'Ladlad' kicks off campaign for seat in Congress

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 12 2013 03:06 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2013 02:52 AM

MANILA (UPDATED) - The country's first and only political party for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sector began campaigning for the 2013 party-list elections on Tuesday, going around various parts of Metro Manila to convince voters that it's about time to give them a seat in Congress.

Before leaving for the campaign trail, Ladlad party-list group members were prayed over and blessed at the chapel of the LGBTS Christian Church--a religious group for LGBTs--in Quezon City.

They first stopped at a public market in Muñoz, riding a jeepney draped in the gay rights movement's signature rainbow flag.

Bemz Benedito, a transgender woman and Ladlad's 1st nominee, distributed leaflets explaining the group's advocacy to market vendors and customers.

"Ito talaga 'yong isang sektor na wala talagang kumakatawan, walang boses, walang tinig ngayon sa Kongreso," Benedito told ABS-CBN News. "Walang polisiya na pumoprotekta sa amin."

If elected, Benedito said Ladlad will push for the approval of the anti-discrimination bill, promote livelihood for poor LGBTs, and support LGBT-related and LGBT-friendly businesses,among others.

The group, however, is not advocating same-sex marriage for now.