Davao Norte capitol recognizes gay rights
by Noel Baguio
Davao City (27 October) -- The homosexual community received a boost with the organization of the Davao del Norte Gay and Lesbian Federation during a one-day gender and development (GAD) orientation program for gays sponsored by the Provincial Government.
The forum united people from around the province who are dedicated to the principle of equality under the law for lesbians and gay men, and bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons.
Provincial Administrator Rufo Peligro said the program was initiated by Former Vice Governor Anthony Del Rosario, in support of the spiritual and moral recovery program of the province, being the 9th component of the governor's RDR WHEELS agenda.
He stressed the gay community as a social group ought to have equal rights among other sectors.
PA Peligro cited Gov. Rodolfo Del Rosario's thrust of developing human infrastructure, on top of the intensified efforts to bolster up the physical development and economy of the province.
He said this entails the responsibility to recognize all the people's concerns and issues regardless of their status in the society, with the resolve of delivering public service without discrimination.
He assured the province is hundred percent behind all the worthwhile undertakings of the LGBT community.
"Just let us know how we can be of great help to your worthwhile undertakings and rest assured the Provincial Government is more than willing to provide assistance," he said.
Jamal Magantor, Associate Professor of the University of Mindanao- Tagum City College, engaged the participants into a fruitful interaction regarding the ability for gays and lesbians to develop through the normal stages of life, particularly in building a good, positive and healthy self-image and self-esteem.
He urged the participants to be at peace with themselves and with their sexual orientation.
Magantor recalled how the Filipino culture regarded homosexuality as a "mental disease" and "crime" for quite a long period of time.
As the society tilted towards the legal recognition of gay rights today, he urged members of the third sex to grab the opportunity to get on a new sense of empowerment and a burgeoning awareness of their own rights. (Noel Baguio/ PGO-ID) [top]