Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SC restraining order makes Ladlad feel gay

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:08:00 01/13/2010

Filed Under: Judiciary (system of justice), Elections, Eleksyon 2010

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100113-247036/SC-restraining-order-makes-Ladlad-feel-gay

MANILA, Philippines – It may be a temporary victory but it’s a good enough reason for them to feel gay.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from enforcing its resolution disqualifying the gay group “Ang Ladlad” from the party-list elections in May.

In an en banc session, the court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) directing the Comelec to continue recognizing Ang Ladlad as an accredited party-list group and include its name on the ballots, pending a final court ruling on Ang Ladlad’s appeal against the poll body’s disqualification order.

Deputy Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez told reporters that Ang Ladlad’s appeal remained pending in the high court.

Marquez said the court was aware of the time constraints on the Comelec to print the names of eligible candidates and party-list groups on the ballots for the precinct count optical scan system.

“If, later on, the Court finds that Ang Ladlad should be qualified, it might be difficult, if not impossible, to include them on the ballots,” Marquez said.

‘We’re unstoppable’

Danton Remoto, Ang Ladlad president and nominee, hailed the Supreme Court ruling.

“We are the first gay and lesbian party in the world ... nothing can stop us now,” Remoto said in a phone interview. “Our arguments were well-written and were based on the law.”

Remoto said the court order for Ang Ladlad’s inclusion on the ballot proved that the Comelec’s decision, which had quoted passages from the Bible and the Koran to support its position, was wrong.

In a 26-page petition for certiorari filed on Jan. 4, Ang Ladlad asked the court to nullify the Comelec resolution and compel the commission to add the name of the gay group when ballots are printed starting on Jan. 25.

“A cursory perusal of the Comelec thesis reveals that the commission equated Ang Ladlad’s tolerance of the beliefs of those ‘differently oriented’ with the petitioner-applicant’s purported acts or practice of immorality,” the group said in its petition.

Ang Ladlad said the Comelec invoked Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code dealing with the glorification of criminals, violence in shows, obscene publications and lustful or pornographic exhibitions to back its conclusion that the group was espousing doctrines contrary to public morals.

Carried to the extreme
“It may not be amiss to say … that homosexuality per se does not fall within the ambit of the penal law. That one’s affections toward people of the same sex easily translate to lust and immorality is obviously a nonsequitur,” the group added.

Carried to the extreme, equating homosexuality with immorality or criminality would make calling another person “bading” or “tibo” a ground for criminal action, Ang Ladlad told the court.

It said the Comelec commissioner who said there were already many homosexuals in Congress “may be exposed to charges of slander by the offended members of Congress whom he forced ‘out of the closet,’ because simply branding them as gays would then possibly constitute as a malicious imputation of a crime, vice or defect.”

“Then again, as pop celebrities Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby would have probably realized, had they pursued their complaint against show biz agent Lolit Solis, there is nothing depreciatory in the term ‘gay’ to warrant a conviction for libel,” the group said.

“At least for now, the term should be a neutral one,” it added.

With a report from Kristine L. Alave

Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100113-247036/SC-restraining-order-makes-Ladlad-feel-gay

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