MANILA - The University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) faced allegations of discrimination over an event that it said was for "those suffering same-sex attraction."
A post on the Facebook page of the UA&P College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) described the "Ask Father" session as a "video reaction discussion about giving hope to homosexuals and those suffering same-sex attraction." The post has since been deleted but a screenshot of it circulated on social media on Monday night.
The page later published another post that edited out the word "suffering." But this, too, can no longer be found on the page.
The "Ask Father" event was scheduled for Wednesday, while the LGBTQIA+ groups celebrate Pride Month this June, commemorating the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, which protested hostility and discrimination against the community.
One social media user who requested anonymity called out the alleged "bigotry disguised as genuine care or concern" in the university's event.
"So many of our queerfolk are being discriminated against, made to feel invalid, [are] harassed, assaulted, and even killed in no small part due to these harmful myths, stereotypes, and misconceptions about the LGBTQIA+ community," the person told ABS-CBN News.
These harmful misconceptions "still go around where members of the LGBTQIA+ communities work, study, and live... we have to be actively against it," the social media user said.
Other reactions on social media noted that the use of the word "suffering" appeared to imply that homosexuality is a disease.
Sources said some of the topics intended for discussion in the session included whether or not the church can "cure" homosexuality, and what could be done to "people who are not gay but are sympathizers of LGBTQ+ communities."
How to understand homosexuals, their place in the Catholic Church, and whether or not it is bigoted are also among the topics.
The UA&P CAS posted on Tuesday evening a statement apologizing for the language in the announcement.
"We deeply regret and apologize for the language of this announcement and, more importantly, for having offended members of the LGBTQIA+ community," the statement read.
The Opus Dei, a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church "ensures the doctrinal and moral soundness of the other aspects of formation imparted in the University," according to the UA&P website.
As of writing, there is no confirmation on whether or not the event will push through as scheduled.
FROM THE ARCHIVE