Let people live their lives, says PHL Volcanoes’ Jon Morales

Filipino rugby player backs Bahaghari Center’s call for equality for LGBT Filipinos.

“If it doesn’t harm anyone else, or infringe on someone else’s right to pursue their vision of happiness, then let people live their lives as they see fit,” Jon Morales said.

Highlighting the importance of freedom to choose, Jon Morales of the Philippine Volcanoes expressed his support for the push for equality, taking part in the “I dare to care about equality”, a photographic campaign spearheaded by the Bahaghari Center for LGBT Research, Education and Advocacy (Bahaghari Center) as a call for everyone to take a more proactive stance in fighting discrimination.

“I dare to care about equality” campaign forms part of the localized efforts aligned with the annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) celebrations. Celebrated every May 17 since 2004, when it was founded by Louis-Georges Tin, IDAHO is an effort to coordinate international events to call for respect for lesbians and gays worldwide. May 17 was chosen as the date of the event because homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1990.

“People should have the freedom to choose how they live their life and who they want to build a life with. If it doesn’t harm anyone else, or infringe on someone else’s right to pursue their vision of happiness, then let people live their lives as they see fit,” Morales said.

With his show of support for the push for equal rights for all, the athlete has joined the ranks of international IDAHO supporters, including several Nobel Prize winners (Desmond Tutu, Amartya Sen, Elfriede Jelinek, Dario Fo, José Saramago), artists (Merryl Streep, Cindy Lauper, Elton John, David Bowie), intellectuals (Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Bernard-Henri Lévy), non-government organizations (ILGA, FIDH), politicians, and many others. Local supporters include veteran journalist Cheche Lazaro, TV personalities Boy Abunda, Karen Davila and Atty. Adel Tamano, and Sen. Chiz Escudero.

Behind the camera are photographers Jed Yumang and Patrick King Pascual, with make-up and styling provided by artists Kaye Candaza and Nicole Magay. “I dare to care about equality” was co-developed by Outrage Magazine, the only LGBTzine in the Philippines, with the support of IDAHO, Ladlad Partylist, Rainbow Rights, Bed Bar, Deaf rainbow Philippines, Metropolitan Community Church-Quezon City, Zest Magazine, and Queeriosity Palace.

For more information, call +639287854244 (Michael David), +639274171518 (Patrick King) or +639263167735 (John Ryan); or email bahaghari.center@gmail.com or info@outragemag.com.

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