The heavily Catholic nation of the Philippines this week elected their first transgender person to the House of Representatives, while at the same time electing to the Senate a boxing star who made a vicious anti-gay comment during his campaign.
The Tablet reported that the transgender woman won the congressional seat by a wide margin of votes:
“Liberal Party candidate Geraldine Roman, who has been living as a woman for more than two decades, trounced her closest rival in the congressional district of Bataan, winning 62 per cent of the unofficial vote.”
“If Jesus Christ was alive today, he would not approve of discrimination. I firmly believe that.”During the campaign, Roman, a Catholic, answered critics who said she should not be running for office. She told the AFP:
Roman, who succeeds her mother as representative of their home district of Bataan, campaigned saying that her first loyalty was to the people of her district. But she also did not downplay LGBT issues, making them an integral part of her platform. On the campaign trail, AFP reported:
See more at- Bondings 2.0
Following Pope Francis’ controversial and apparently spur-of-the-moment suggestion that there may be circumstances in which married couples can use contraception, the Philippine Catholic Church wasted little time in signifying its willingness to modify its stance on birth control. Previously, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was a stern opponent of the reproductive health law that provides major government funding for contraceptives.
Things drastically changed last week when Pope Francis spoke to reporters onboard the papal plane returning to Rome from his pastoral visit to Mexico. In an off-the-cuff statement, the pope told the journalists that “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil.”
CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas quickly issued a statement based on the pope’s remarks.
In his statement titled “Truth with Love and Mercy,” Villegas noted two important moral precepts that Pope Francis mentioned. “First, there may be circumstances that invite a re-evaluation of the judgment on artificial means of contraception; second, the prodding of conscience should always be heeded, as long as every effort is made to form conscience properly,” Villegas said.
Source: Christian Today
New book by Raymond Alikpala says ‘being gay is a special grace from God’
Coming to terms with one’s self is not easy for homosexuals in a society where gender is limited to either male or female.
Raymond Alikpala, 46, a lawyer and formerly a seminarian, knows very well the anguish of living in the shadows having done so in the first 38 years of his life.
“I came out because I was tired of hiding who I really am. I wanted to be able to finally live my life honestly and proudly. I stopped caring about what others would think should they find out I ambakla (gay),” says Alikpala.
He shares his story of growing up a devout Catholic and harboring the secret of his homosexuality in a book “Of God and Men” to be launched June 16, 2012 at 3 p.m. at Bestsellers Bookstore, 4th Level, Robinson’s Galleria, Pasig City.
Alikpala said a number of his friends encouraged him to write his story “as catharsis for my years in the closet.” He felt however that “it was much more than that.”
Perhaps because of his years in the seminary, Alikpala’s objective in writing the book is more evangelical. “To spread the good news that God loves bakla, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders and transsexuals as much as She loves all Her other children.”
- New documentary depicts Jesuit’s struggle for LGBT rights (queerchurchnews.wordpress.com)
- LGBT rights in the Philippines – any signs of progress this 2012? (rightonthemark.wordpress.com)
- Gay party set to make new bid for Congress (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- LGBT Community Squares Off Against Pacquiao (newamericamedia.org)
- Ang Ladlad applies for accreditation as partylist (newsinfo.inquirer.net)