The latest on the COMELEC-Ang Ladlad controversy is that Ang Ladlad fully went through the constitutionally-mandated processes. They filed an appeal to the COMELEC en banc, which was denied (but hooray for the body’s first division!), and so they brought the issue to the Supreme Court. As of this moment, the high court hasn’t ruled yet on whether Ang Ladlad deserves Party List accreditation, but they forced the COMELEC to provisionally put Ang Ladlad on the ballot while the justices haven’t decided yet. (The bishops of the CBCP have decried this SC decision—some with really laughable reasons. Their reaction probably deserves another post.)
While it’s not clear that the SC will rule in favor of Danton Remoto’s organization, it’s clear that their order to the COMELEC proves that they do find some merit in the appeal. So, I’m optimistic that Ang Ladlad will get the nod. Now the question is, assuming that Ang Ladlad gets its place on the ballot, would you vote for them this coming election?
I would. I was intending to vote for them in 2007 but they got disqualified so I won’t hesitate to vote for them in 2010 if ever. If they get disqualified, I won’t vote for any other Party List as a form of protest. How about you?
If you won’t vote for Ang Ladlad, I guess it will fall among any of the following reasons:
- You can’t vote in the first place.
- You don’t support gay rights and/or explicit representation for the gay sector.
- You support gay rights/representation but you want to vote for some other Party List more.
- You support gay rights/representation but you don’t like Ang Ladlad or Danton Remoto.
- You support gay rights/representation but you are afraid of putting that on public record (i.e., the ballot).
I think these are all valid reasons except for the last. I can imagine that some guys have that apprehension. It’s true that the ballot is a government document and that the ballot number is tied to your name, but we do have ballot secrecy laws intended to establish voter independence. So I think the risk that your family members, friends, or colleagues would know that you voted for Ang Ladlad is negligible.