MANILA — Various LGBTQI+ and youth groups on Friday afternoon came together for an equality rally at the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), as part of the university’s annual pride celebration.
Attendees practiced health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and maintained social distancing throughout the protest.
A simultaneous online protest was also held also on social media site Twitter.
Protesters called on the government to pass an anti-discrimination law, and to create measures that would ensure the safety of LGBTQI+ community members.
Those present at the rally also slammed President Rodrigo Duterte for his decision to pardon Joseph Scott Pemberton in September, the US Marine who murdered Jennifer Laude in 2014.
Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago urged the youth to continue fighting against all forms of discrimination and abuse, adding that on Nov. 4, Congress will resume deliberations on the SOGIE Equality Bill.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros also made a virtual appearance, saying the SOGIE equality is for everyone.
"The fight of the LGBTQI+ community is about everyone's right to choose who to be, everyone's right to healthcare, education and livelihood, everyone's right to be free to live our lives, everyone's right to love," she said.
"No one deserves to suffer for who they are. No one should ever be treated as less of a person," she added.
Among the organizations present were the UPD University Student Council, Bahaghari UP Diliman, and the country's longest-existing LGBT student organization, UP Babaylan.