Friday, January 15, 2010

Senator lauds SC decision on gay party-list group 'Ang Ladlad'

01/14/2010 | 12:59 AM

Original Story:

A woman legislator on Wednesday lauded the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) recognizing Ang Ladlad as a legitimate party list group which should be allowed to participate in the 2010 elections.

Senator Pilar Juliana “Pia" Cayetano, Senate Committee on Social Justice chairman, said the SC decision on Ang Ladlad guaranteed the rights of different social groups to representation.

Ang Ladlad defines its constituency as “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender" persons.

“The reason used by the Commission on Elections to justify the disqualification of ‘Ang Ladlad’ is unconstitutional; it violates the principle of separation of Church and State," Cayetano said in a press statement.

She added Comelec has jurisdiction to approve or disapprove the accreditation of a party-list, but the poll body must based its ruling on legal principles and not on religious beliefs nor on its subjective view of what is moral and what is not.

Ang Ladlad had applied for Comelec accreditation as a party-list group, with the intent to participate in the May elections. But, in a controversial decision last November, the poll body rejected the group’s application on the grounds that it “tolerated immorality." [See: Comelec rejects party-list bid of gay group ‘on moral grounds’]

The SC on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), which directed Comelec to accredit Ang Ladlad among the party-list groups for this year’s election and include its name on the ballots. [See: SC to Comelec: Include gay group on ballot for May polls]

“May this decision serve as a lesson to Comelec, instead of disqualifying legitimate party list groups, they should be more wary of groups posing as marginalized representatives, but are actually adjuncts of powerful personalities and interest groups in the Arroyo regime," Cayetano said. – Amita O. Legaspi/JV, GMANews.TV

Original Story:

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