By Lindley Agustin
Days after same-sex marriage was legalized in New York state, UP students waved rainbow-colored flags and pink banners as they called for gender equality and an end to discrimination during a pride march around the Academic Oval Tuesday afternoon.
Demanding the approval of an anti-discrimination bill in the House of Representatives, UP Babaylan, the university’s lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) group, and the University Student Council Gender Committee led about 50 students in calling on President Benigno Aquino III to support the bill and promote gender awareness.
Gender Committee head Heart Diño said, at the university level, the next step is to finalize the draft of the Magna Carta of Gender Equality and promote it in schools around the country.
Recalling the case of transgender Hender Gercio, who filed a complaint against a professor earlier this year for discrimination, Diño said UP students must be given equal rights to education and treatment regardless of sexual orientation.
“Ang iskolar ng bayan ay iskolar [din] para sa LGBT community,” she added.
The parade, which is part of the university’s annual Pride Week, also commemorated the 1969 Stonewall riots, a series of demonstrations by the LGBT community against violent police raids on gay establishments in New York City, said Diño.
Among the attendees was Rev. Ceejay Agbayani of the Metropolitan Community Church, one of the priests who officiated the wedding of eight gay couples in Baguio City on June 27.