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Iloilo holds city’s first LGBT Holy Union

Lesbian couple Ann and Alex tied the knot in what was believed to be the first ever Holy Union in Iloilo City. They were supported by the Iloilo Pride Team and Gabriela Women’s Party Iloilo Chapter; and had the backing of their family members, as well as members of the local LGBT community.

LGBT love was celebrated in what was believed to be the first ever Holy Union in Iloilo City.

Lesbian couple Ann and Alex, who asked for their real names not to be used as they still fear discrimination for being LGBT, tied the knot after five years of being together. They were supported by the Iloilo Pride Team and Gabriela Women’s Party Iloilo Chapter; and had the backing of their family members, as well as members of the local LGBT community.

Although their wedding has no legal bearing, the blessing of their union was seen as necessary “to give us the chance to be united in Christ and in love,” the couple said to Outrage Magazine.

“This union… is great. (The couple had) the courage to face the world regardless of people’s negative feedback. I salute them for that courage. What is important is that they love and respect each other,” said Lucy F. Francisco, Gabriela Women’s Partylist national vice chairperson.

Gabriela Women’s Partylist is proposing for a law that will recognize same-sex relationships and give the same the rights afforded heterosexual couples.

For Rev. Alfred Candid Jaropillo, who heads the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) in Iloilo City, the event is relevant in “raising awareness… that love is not bounded to gender, and that God dwells to couples who are loving each other,” he said. “Indeed, God is the source of love and is love.”

The UCCP did not conduct the said Holy Union, albeit it supports LGBT human rights.

The event was also seen as an “encouragement for LGBT people in Iloilo to seek the said blessing in order to declare their love before God, family and friends,”Jaropillo ended.

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Justin is a proud Ilonggo, as much as he is a proud LGBT advocate for the youth. A political science student from West Visayas State University, he is the founder of The Student Advocates for Gender Equality (SAGE) Network. At 19 years old, Justin has already given SOGIE, HIV and AIDS, and human rights talks and lectures. He is also a Department of Health HIV and AIDS VCT counselor; and a volunteer and member of Youth Voices Count - Asia, a youth initiative led by young MSM and transgender women. As an advocate, he believes that "only when a brave few will raise the rainbow flag can the LGBT movement really reach its pinnacle."

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