Gay rights ordinance clears first reading in Mandaue
At least 35 members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community of Mandaue city marched to City Hall yesterday afternoon to show support for a proposed ordinance that ensures equality and respect for their members.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Nenita Layese, called the Diversity Code of Mandaue, will be a comprehensive local law for people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities in the city.
It states that LGBT members have the “right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest and social services.”
It also promotes the right to quality education and economic development and protection from discrimination, abuse and humiliation.
“The Mandaue City government shall allocate funds to address discrimination and stigma which composed of capacity building and education campaign; discrimination and stigma studies and monitoring,” the ordinance reads.
It also gives them access to scholarships, employment or livelihood opportunities and legal representation.
Mandaue City Treasurer Regal Oliva, a member of the LGBT community, attended the session which passed the ordinance on first reading. The draft was referred to the committee on women, children and family for study. A public hearing is expected to follow.
“I don’t expect any opposition. Mandaue city is known as the cradle of civilization when it comes to gay culture,” Oliva said in jest. The group has about 300 members in the city.
Oliva cited a survey reported in national daily that said 88% percent of the Philippine population upholds and promotes the rights of gays.
“This is it. After years of waiting their voice will be heard. The mayor himself wanted to gather the LGBT community and have it recognized as a group,” Oliva said.
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