LGBT leader: Pacquiao can be sued for discrimination

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Nestle L. Semilla February 18,2016 - 10:18 PM

IF BOXING icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao were in Mandaue City when he spoke and compared the Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) in same-sex marriages as “worse than animals,” he could have gotten himself in trouble with the law.

This is because the Mandaue city government has a brand-new ordinance that penalizes offenses against LGBTs,  or the Anti-Discriminatory Ordinance for People of Diverse Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (Sogie), which was enacted to protect individuals against discrimination.

City Treasurer Regal Oliva, who is also the adviser of “Man Pride,” a group composed of LGBTs in the city that is recognized by the city government as a sectoral group, said that Pacquiao’s statement on the LGBTs is  tantamount to discrimination and any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can sue him before the prosecutor’s office in the city.

Under the Sogie ordinance, which was signed by Mayor Jonas Cortes last Feb. 11, violators will pay a fine of P1,000 or face three months in jail for the first offense.

Regal, a proud member of the LGBT community, said Pacquiao’s statement was “very discriminatory and very uncalled for,” particularly for someone who is running for a Senate seat and who wants to be chosen as a leader of the nation.

He said Pacquiao’s  apology might be be accepted by the LGBT community but it did not mean that they would forget the slur, particularly when it is time for them to cast their votes in the elections this May.

“I hope we will not have leaders like this and we will have leaders who will protect each constituent, no matter what the person’s gender, race and religion. Everyone in the Senate must be there to (create) laws; laws that will better the lives of all Filipinos,” he said.

Regal said many in the LGBT community are also against same-sex marriage and he respected Pacquiao’s stand against it.

However, he said, Pacquiao could have just ended there and refrained from issuing  derogatory remarks against people in gay relationships.

Magdalena Robinson, who heads the Cebu United Rainbow LGBT Sector (Curls),  also took exception to Pacquiao’s remarks, saying that he should not discriminate against a particular sector especially as he is an elected official.

“He is a public official. Therefore, he needs to promote  the welfare (of everyone). We respect his opinion but using those words (worse than animals) was too much. He insulted us and it was an act of discrimination,” said Robinson.

When asked if they would campaign against Pacquiao in the coming elections, Robinson said there was no need  because he is sure that members of Curls and other LGBT communities in the country will not vote for Pacquiao.

“We are also nonpartisan so what are we going to do is to conduct a political mapping and check who supports (LGBT causes) and (crosscheck)  against discrimination,” she added.

Like Mandaue, Cebu City has also approved an anti-discrimination ordinance but the latter still has to convene the LGBT community as a sector, said Robinson.

Robinson said  about 20 core members of Curls  have been going around the province to conduct awareness campaigns  about the group and their need to organize.

On March 1,  during World Zero Discrimination Day, Robinson said Curls will organize an awareness campaign and also conduct a voters’ education consultation on LGBT-related issues.

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TAGS: CURLS, lgbt, Mandaue City, Manny Pacquiao

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