The COMELEC denied the petition of Ang Ladlad to become a party-list organization representing the LGBT sector this coming 2010 elections. According to an 8-page resolution, COMELEC denied Ang Ladlad because it “tolerates immorality, which offends religious beliefs.” WTF?
See the following news articles for more info:
- “Comelec rejects gays’ partylist group” - Inquirer
- “Comelec’s resolution on Ang Ladlad’s petition to register as a sectoral party” - Newsbreak
- “Comelec rejects party-list bid of gay group ‘on moral grounds’“ - GMA
- “For 'immorality,' gay group denied party-list accreditation“ - ABS-CBN (has a downloadable copy of the COMELEC resolution)
This makes me really mad! The COMELEC denied Ang Ladlad party-list accreditation back in 2007 supposedly for lack of evidence that Ang Ladlad’s membership was national in scope. I find that decision preposterous. But now that Ang Ladlad has proven that its mandate is nationwide, the COMELEC denied Ang Ladlad again due to “immorality.” Seriously? Is COMELEC now an agent of the Church/Islam? What happened to the principle of separation of church and state? And here’s the funny part, the COMELEC said that they “are not condemning the LGBT, but we cannot compromise the well-being of the greater number of our people, especially the youth.” Not condemning? That is essentially what they did when they said Ang Ladlad tolerates immorality.
Yes, homosexuality is considered immoral in Islam, but not to the Catholic Church. The Church considers homosexual behavior immoral, but not homosexuality per se (though I find the distinction to be stupid). Regardless of whether a couple of religions find homosexuality immoral or not, even if one is the majority faith of the population, the Philippine government, being a secular institution, has no business determining what is immoral or not especially on something that is not nearly universally held to be immoral, unlike, say, murder.
The COMELEC cited legal provisions in its decision, including the controversial Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code (which I talked about before). This only highlights the inherent legal ambiguity over the interpretation of the word “immoral.” And the COMELEC even had the gall to cite the Bible and the Qur’an in its resolution. How’s that for legal interpretation?
The nerve of the COMELEC! Their mandate is to manage the elections and to protect the ballot. Why are they overstepping their bounds? Morality? Isn’t it a more pertinent question of morality for COMELEC that there were corrupt people elected to the government? Isn’t it a question of morality that there is cheating in the elections (and which the COMELEC may have abetted)? Why not tackle that instead of using religious verses to legally argue denying Ang Ladlad’s party-list accreditation? Nowhere in the Party-List System Act (R.A. 7941) does it say that organizations may be rejected based on morality grounds!
Yes, I’m really, really angry about this.