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Baguio gay pride parade celebrates US court ruling

/ 03:16 AM July 01, 2013

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community here staged a colorful parade Sunday to celebrate a recent US Supreme Court ruling that junked an initiative to ban same-sex marriages in California.

Since the June 27 ruling, California authorities have resumed performing same-sex weddings even as anti-gay marriage advocates scrambled to file a new appeal to stop it, news reports said. The US high court’s refusal to entertain a successful ballot initiative called Proposition 8, which defined marriage as a contract only between a man and a woman, effectively dissolved the state’s same-sex marriage issue.

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Carol Galvez, convenor of the Baguio Pride Network (BPN), said the US court’s decision was “one of a few global victories” in the campaign for rights and tolerance for the LGBT sector.

Galvez, who wore a headdress made of tiger grass, joined the parade alongside 70 people dressed in bright colors who marched down Session Road. This was the seventh BPN parade, which rights advocates in the city mount yearly to preach goodwill and tolerance.

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In 2011, the gay community was condemned by Baguio evangelical organizations after the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) solemnized the unions of eight gay couples.

The evangelical organizations petitioned the Baguio City council to enact ordinances banning same-sex weddings in the city.

The LGBT community had petitioned the council to pass an antidiscrimination ordinance. These petitions, however, did not prosper in the council.

The parade intended to revive some of these concerns, said Galvez.

The tiger grass headdress worn by many of the marchers “symbolizes the need to come together like stalks on a broomstick, because we can only be strong and effective when [united],” she said in a statement.

“Like brooms, we wish to sweep away the hate, the homophobia and violence that plagues our communities,” the statement said, quoting Clyde Pumihic, an official of ProGay Metro Baguio, which is a member of the Baguio Pride Network.

The MCC joined the parade, with a representative. wearing angel wings, and carrying placards raising the question, “Would Jesus discriminate?”—Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon 

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TAGS: Baguio, celebrations, gay parade, LGBT, Philippines - Regions, Same-sex marriage, US Supreme Court
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