Philippine Congress Passes Gay Rights Law

MANILA, February 5, 2004 ( - The Philippine House of Representatives has passed a bill prohibiting discrimination based on “sexual orientation”.  The bill, filed by Akbayan Party-list Representative Loretta Ann Rosales, is a product of a legislative partnership between Akbayan and the Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (LAGABLAB-Pilipinas, Inc.). Passed on January 23, House Bill 6416 prohibits discrimination in areas such as employment, education, health services, public service (including military service), commercial and medical establishments.  The bill must still pass in the Philippine Senate and be signed by the President.  Since federal elections are scheduled for May 2004, if the bill is to pass it must do so prior to June 30 when the winners of the election are declared.  Similar legislation in Canada has resulted in Christian schools being forbidden to dismiss teachers discovered to be active homosexuals, Christian mayors being forced to proclaim gay pride day, Christian publishers being forced to reproduce printed materials for homosexual activist organizations, and Christian teachers being suspended for voicing their stand against the homosexual lifestyle even outside the classroom. In addition, a Christian man and a newspaper were fined for an ad which cited Bible verses against homosexuality and a Catholic school was denied the right to forbid a male student from bringing his homosexual boyfriend to the school prom.

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