Cebu City Hall of Justice celebrates Pride Month 2023
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Hall of Justice took part in the Pride Month celebration on Monday, June 19, 2023, carrying the theme: “Pride is love” at the Qimonda Building in North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.
The celebration is part of the supreme court’s judiciary-wide Pride Month celebration for 2023, according to a memorandum from the supreme court in May 2023.
It is the supreme court’s “first ever” nationwide ceremony to acknowledge and honor the LGBTQIA++ community, in coordination with the Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRI).
Executive Judge Marlon Jay Moneva of Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City told CDN Digital that the judiciary supports the members of the LGBTQIA++ community.
He said that the celebration is timely and relevant because a lot of people are “coming out.”
“I think this celebration is one way of telling, informing the people that there should be no more discrimination, no more marginalization of LGBTQ++ community. The judiciary supports them in their endeavor and recognize the fact that they play an important role and part in the society,” Moneva said.
Also present in the event was Lawyer Magdalena Lepiten M. R. Lepiten, President of Cebu for Human Rights who revealed as an “openly lesbian” lawyer during the event.
“We, the LGBTQ++ community are grateful the supreme court decided to celebrate gay pride and recognize us as a marginalized and discriminated minority of the Philippine society.
Lawyer King Anthony Perez, chief legal officer of the University of the Philippines Cebu, who was also one of the attendees, told CDN Digital that it is significant that the supreme court has issued a nationwide order to celebrate Pride Month.
“This is also aligned with the current administrative policies issued by the supreme court in line with the power to exercise administrative supervision all over the courts as well as the practice of lawyers,” Perez said.
He explained that there is an “existing policy” now, calling for all judges and lawyers to have a “proper etiquette” for the courts and to use “gender-fair language” inside and outside the courts.
“The current code of professional responsibility and accountability of lawyers…has also recognized that lawyers should be free from any form of discrimination on the basis of gender or on the basis of SOGIE,” he said.
Moreover, he said that he never imagined that the rights of persons like him, as he considers himself “bisexual,” would be vindicated by the courts like the supreme court.
“Celebrating pride month within the judiciary does not only provide visibility on the concerns of LGBTQIA+ people but also materialize the mandate of the government to ensure equality among all genders,” he said.
“As a professor of law, teaching gender laws, this is an important activity to really show that the human rights, particularly rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals are not found in text that there is an actual effort to make them happen and I think this is a good start and we hope that this would also translate into more far-reaching policies like the passage of the SOGIE bill and other laws or bills that forward rights of the LGBTQIA people,” he added.
The event was also attended by 25 RTC branches and 15 branches of municipal trial courts in cities, and members of LGBTQIA++ Mandaue.
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