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Former CBCP head: Church won’t tell you who to vote for… but vote for anti-LGBTQIA pols anyway

Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, current archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan, urged voters in the May 2019 election to choose politicians who recognize that “ang human sexuality ay banal (human sexuality is sacred).”

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Photo by Edwin Andrade from Unsplash.com

In an under-the-radar video released on February 10, 2019, Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, current archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan, urged voters in the May 2019 election to choose politicians who recognize that “ang human sexuality ay banal (human sexuality is sacred).”

By this, Villegas meant that “sinumang gumagamit ng human sexuality para sa sariling sarap, sariling ginhawa, sariling kapakanan ay lumalabag sa kalooban ng Diyos (whoever uses human sexuality for personal gratification, personal comfort, personal good/benefit is violating the will of God).”

The video from the former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – titled “Bumoto ng Tama: Gabay sa Pagpili (Vote wisely: Guide to choosing)” – starts with a disclaimer that “kami pong mga obispo ay hindi magsasabi sa inyo kung sino ang iboto subalit kami po ay tutulong sa inyo upang makilala ang kalooban ng Diyos (we – bishops – will not tell you who to vote for, but we will help you discern the will of God).”

This seeming disclaimer may sit well with advocates of the separation of Church and State, as stipulated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which declares that “The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable (Article II, Section 6).”

But the same won’t sit well if they see it as just a cover to appear as if the Church is not intervening in the affairs of the State.

In his just-under-20-minute speech, Villegas said that when voting, the criteria should – in the end – still return to the Ten Commandments.

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He specifically stressed for people not to vote for those who do not believe in God, or those whose mission is to remove religion on the surface of the planet; and to be cautious when voting for those who have unsavory words of speaking since “ang pagmumura ay labag sa kagandahang asal (speaking with invectives is against good etiquette).”

Villegas also touched on the “tyranny of performance”, or those politicians who always work (“kilos nang kilos, gawa nang gawa”) and “hindi binibigyan ng pagkakataon ang sarili para makapagpahinga (not giving him/herself chance to rest)”; those who belong to political dynasties; those who see criminals as less-than-humans (“na ang tingin sa kriminal ay hayop”); those who steal; those who lie; and those who look down on women.

Villegas similarly stressed the Church’s position against politicians who support divorce, abortion, and those who commit adultery – all these lumped with LGBTQIA issues (e.g. marriage equality/“homosexual union”) – in an elaborate discussion of the sixth commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery).

The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines continues to be only partially supportive of LGBTQIA human rights. Until 2015, it staunchly opposed the passage of an anti-discrimination bill, erroneously insisting it will lead to marriage equality, even if the bill never made mention of the latter. In 2015, CBCP released a statement partially supporting an ADB, even if it stressed its desire to still be allowed to discriminate, particularly in: 1) determining who should be admitted to priestly or religious formation, who should be ordained and received into Holy Order, or who should be professed as members of religious communities and orders; and 2) for Catholic schools to be allowed to discriminate on who they can admit or retain.

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The CBCP also stressed its “love the sinner, hate the sin” position by claiming its “disapproval of homosexual acts (that) remains part of the Church’s moral teaching.”

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Mormon church drops anti-LGBT policy from 2015; children of same-sex couples can now be baptized

A 2015 church rule stipulated that church members in same-sex marriages were apostates and subject to excommunication, and that children of same-sex couples were banned from rituals like baptisms and baby-naming ceremonies.

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Gilbert Arizona Temple in Gilbert, United States. Photo by Joe Cook from Unsplash.com

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nee Mormon church) announced that it would allow children of same-sex couples to be baptized.

This is a reversal of church policy from one of the more prominent anti-LGBTQIA religious groups. A 2015 church rule stipulated that church members in same-sex marriages were apostates and subject to excommunication, and that children of same-sex couples were banned from rituals like baptisms and baby-naming ceremonies.

But the decision, which was delivered by President Dallin H. Oaks, did not end the church’s teaching that acting on same-sex attraction is sinful.

“While we cannot change the Lord’s doctrine, we want our members and our policies to be considerate of those struggling with the challenges of mortality,” the First Presidency, the church’s highest governing body, said in a statement. “We want to reduce the hate and contention so common today.

It is worth noting that the church still considers same-sex marriage “to be a serious transgression,” the statement added, but “it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline.”

It added that instead, “the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”

The 2015 policy allowed children of same-sex couples to join the church only after they reached the age of 18 and moved out of their parents’ homes, technically abandoning their families. They also had to disavow same-sex relationships and receive approval from the church’s leadership.

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Gay, lesbian, bi people more likely to perpetrate or become victims of ‘revenge porn’

The rainbow community is tarnished, with gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents more than twice as likely to admit to taking and threatening to distribute sexual images of another person without their consent. They were also 2.5 times more likely to actually distribute them.

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Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to perpetrate or become victims of “revenge porn” and other forms of abuse involving sexual photos or videos.

This is according to a study done by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and first reported by Perth Now.

The researchers polled more than 4,200 people aged 16 to 49, asking them if they’d secretly taken photos or videos of someone, distributed the images, or threatened to do so. Eleven percent (11%) admitted to engaging in some form of image-based sexual abuse over their lifetime.

Behaviors included here are: receiving a consensually-shared nude or sexual selfie and sending it onto others without the subject’s consent; covertly filming or photographing someone without their knowledge; and threatening to share or sharing explicit images of another person — including past sexual partners — in an attempt to embarrass or humiliate others.

Another 9% of the respondents said that they had taken nude or sexual photos or videos of someone without their consent, and 6% admitted to distributing such images. This includes instances where people covertly filmed up women’s skirts or down their blouses.

Interestingly, self-identified victims of these abuses were also more likely to be abusers. And these abusers were also more likely to share images of people they knew, including partners, ex-partners, friends and even relatives, rather than images of strangers.

Men were twice as likely as women to admit to perpetrating revenge porn.

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The rainbow community is tarnished, with gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents more than twice as likely to admit to taking and threatening to distribute sexual images of another person without their consent. They were also 2.5 times more likely to actually distribute them.

Additionally, gay and bisexual men were more likely to engage in such behavior than lesbian or bisexual women.

Governments all over the world are actually already developing/implementing laws pertaining “revenge porn:, even if the success of cases still largely depend on the willingness of victims to go after the perpetrators.

In the Philippines, for instance, there is an existing Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 (Republic Act 9995) that eyes to prevent the publication, copying and distribution of similar materials that would damage the honor of a person on media platforms.

However, violations to this law continue to increase. Data from the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) Cybercrime division show that in the first three months of 2019 alone, there were already 142 reported cases of violations of RA 9995, a figure surpassing the total 94 cases filed in all of 2018.

For its part, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) recorded 106 cases in the first two months of the year: 49 in January and 57 in February.

Members of the local LGBTQIA community also make the news for this, including – and more recently – the Vic Fabe scandal.

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Men are over three times more likely to sleep with someone on a first date than women

A survey of 2,500 adults has revealed that 13% of men compared with just 4% of women would sleep with someone on or after a first date.

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen from Unsplash.com

An online poll of 2,493 adults conducted for Psychic Guild in the US reveals 13% of males admit that they would sleep with someone on or after a first date, compared with just 4% of women.

The poll exposed that nearly twice as many females as males would either wait until marriage or abstain at 23% (the highest result of all categories in the survey) and 14%, respectively.

The unanimous result for both genders combined is that 18% of the respondents would either wait until marriage or abstain, and the lowest figures across the board come from the 8 to 10 dates category.

The split also shows the highest result for males at 17% saying they would wait until the third date and the lowest at 3% saying that they would wait for 8 to 10 dates. The lowest result on the female side is also either 8 to 10 dates or 1 (the first) date.

Alice Ruffle, editor at PsychicGuild.com, said: “It’s interesting that by the 3rd date a whopping 40% of men would hope to sleep with their new partner by then. This compares with only 18% of women (less than half), which shows the sexual promiscuity of men over women. Furthermore, the third date remains true for both genders – it is by far the most popular date by which couples would expect to sleep together.”

The total sample size is 2,493 adults. The fieldwork was undertaken between 14th – 18th March 2019, with the survey carried out anonymously online. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all American adults (aged 18+).

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Young adults with lesbian parents more likely to report same-sex attraction, experiences

A study found that children of lesbian parents are more likely than their peers to report same-sex attraction, sexual minority identity and same-sex experiences.

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More open minds?

New analysis finds that the 25-year-old children of lesbian parents are more likely than their peers to report same-sex attraction, sexual minority identity and same-sex experiences.

The 25-year-olds are participants in the ongoing US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), which has followed the same cohort of offspring from conception to adulthood. It has a 92% retention rate since it began in 1986. The current analysis compared 76 offspring of lesbian parents and 76 demographically matched participants from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).

“Our 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that adults who were conceived through donor insemination and raised by lesbian parents are as psychologically healthy as their peers,” said lead author Nanette Gartrell, MD. “Our current study suggests that being raised by sexual minority parents may lead to more diverse sexual expression for their adult daughters and sons.”

Other key findings include:

  • 31% of female and 73% of male NLLFS offspring reported being only attracted to the opposite sex, compared to 54% and 91% of NSFG females and males.
  • 54% of female and 33% of male NLLFS offspring reported having a same-sex sexual experience, compared to 38% and 9% of NSFG females and males.
  • 70% of female and nearly 90% of male NLLFS offspring identified as heterosexual or straight, compared to 88% and 98% of NSFG females and males.
  • Among the NLLFS female offspring, the percentage identifying as sexual minorities decreased from 49% to 30% between the ages of 17 and 25. In contrast, the percentage of NLLFS females who had engaged in same-sex sexual behavior increased from 15% to 54% in the same period.
  • The percentage of NLLFS male offspring identifying as sexual minorities decreased from 22% to 10% between the ages of 17 and 25, and the percentage reporting same-sex sexual experiences increased from 6% to 33%.
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“The offspring of sexual minority parents may have more expansive perspectives on sexuality because they were raised by parents who are nonjudgmental about their exploration of non-heterosexual relationships,” said co-author Henny Bos, Ph.D., professor of child development and education, and chair in sexual and gender diversity in families and youth at the University of Amsterdam. “They may also be more attuned to their own same-sex sexual feelings because of the environment in which they were raised.”

This is the 24th publication from data collected in the NLLFS.  The report, “Sexual Attraction, Sexual Identity, and Same-sex Sexual Experiences of Adult Offspring in the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS)” appears in Archives of Sexual Behavior and is co-authored by Nanette Gartrell, M.D., Visiting Distinguished Scholar, along with Henny Bos, Ph.D., former Visiting International Scholar at the Williams Institute, and Audrey Koh, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco.

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‘Huwag kang mahiya. Gawa ka ng Diyos’ – Duterte to LGBT community members

Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte said that LGBTQIA community members have nothing to be ashamed of because they are also made by God. Duterte’s statement was but part of a longer speech that was still riddled with misogynistic statement, as well as stereotypes on SOGIE. But all the same, Duterte stressed: “God created all of us. Male, female, tomboy, pati bakla.”

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MALABON CITY – In what may appear to be a pro-LGBTQIA statement, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte said that LGBTQIA community members have nothing to be ashamed of because they are also made by God.

During the proclamation rally of PDP-LABAN candidates in Malabon City, Duterte also said that he has family members who are members of the LGBTQIA community, including two brothers-in-law (“dalawa kong bayaw, kapatid ng asawa ko, first wife ko, bakla”).”

Duterte is known for off the cuff remarks, and in Malabon City, even claiming not to want to give any speeches but just to “converse” with the people.

To contextualize, though, Duterte’s statement was but part of a longer speech that was still riddled with misogynistic statements (e.g. “lending of a wife to another man who is still able to get an erection), as well as stereotypes on SOGIE (e.g. disbelief in a “macho” gay guy being the “woman” in a relationship).

All the same, Duterte stressed: “God created all of us. Male, female, tomboy, pati bakla (lesbians and even gay men). Bakit man natin i-ano ‘yan (Why would we question/criticize that)?”

Duterte’s statement was but part of a longer speech that was still riddled with misogynistic statements (e.g. “lending of a wife to another man who is still able to get an erection), as well as stereotypes on SOGIE (e.g. disbelief in a “macho” gay guy being the “woman” in a relationship).
SCREENCAP FROM PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY

The President has been repeatedly criticized in the past for equating being “bakla (gay)” with cowardice; even as he also signed an anti-discrimination ordinance for LGBTQIA human rights while serving as mayor of Davao City.

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Duterte also said he does not support same-sex marriage (because of the law of the land), but supports civil union. Nationally, though, the anti-discrimination bill (ADB) and the bill on civil union are not considered priority bills by the Duterte administration.

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Metro Manila’s Pride party slated on June 29 in Marikina City

Themed #ResistTogether, Metro Manila’s once-a-year Pride party is slated on June 29, from 12PM, at the Marikina Sports Center, Marikina City.

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Metro Manila’s once-a-year and more commercial Pride party is slated on June 29, from 12PM, at the Marikina Sports Center, Marikina City.

Themed #ResistTogether, the event – as Pride events intend to do (though with different success levels) – eyes to showcase everything LGBTQIA.

Last year’s gathering – also held in Marikina City, where the event has been held since 2017 – was attended by an estimated 25,000 people, easily topping 2017’s estimated 8,000 participants. More than anything, this highlights the growing widespread popularity of everything LGBTQIA-related in the Philippines, with the show of force serving as advertising magnet for those targeting the pink market.

But the once-a-year party, even if well-attended, does not necessarily equate to promotion of LGBTQIA causes in the Philippines, since the challenge remains – not just for Pride’s organizers but the Filipino LGBTQIA community as a whole – on how to leverage the growing popularity and profit-earning of Pride parade to actually push for policies promoting their human rights.

Marikina City, for instance, may have hosted Metro Manila’s annual LGBTQIA Pride gathering for two years in a row (2017 and 2018); and it may have held its own autonomous Pride parade in 2016, but the city still does not have an anti-discrimination policy that protects the human rights of its LGBTQIA people.

The SOGIE Equality Bill may have also passed the Lower House in 2017; but with a Senate version still failing to pass, the Philippines continues not to have a law protecting the human rights of LGBTQIA Filipinos.

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