Isabela to host first-ever LGBT Pride March

Posted at 04/21/12 9:25 AM

SANTIAGO CITY, Isabela – Human rights advocates and LGBT members will march on Saturday afternoon in the province to urge the Aquino administration to enact a national antidiscrimination measure in Congress.

The “Isabela’s LGBT Pride March” will kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Barrera Street, Santiago City.

Organized by the Metropolitan Community Church of Quezon City (MCCQC) and the regional chapter of LGBT political party Ladlad, the event is one of the hundreds of similar community-based queer groups worldwide under the banner of the 2012 Worldwide Civil Rights March. The coordinated protests are pushing for the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political and civil rights.

The pride march will also officially unfurl the first few yards of the Philippines' longest rainbow flag.

Mayor Amelita Navarro and the partylist Bayan Muna, which authored House Bill 1483 or the Antidiscrimination Bill of 2010, are supporting the event.

Rev. Ceejay Agbayani, head pastor of the MCCQC, said the first-ever Pride parade in the Cagayan Valley region hopes to draw attention to cases of abuses, violence and discrimination suffered by LGBTs in the rural areas of the Philippines.

Agbayani cited the case of a certain Erano Padilla who dowsed his son Edmund with boiling water as punishment for being the third gay child in the family. The incident reportedly occurred in the neighboring province of Nueva Viscaya shortly after New Year.

"We are taking the campaign to push legislators in the provincial districts to get the Antidiscrimination Bill approved with protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the bicameral committee," Agbayani said.

The Antidiscrimination Bill, if approved, will ban discrimination in the workplace, schools, government service and public access areas.