The council of the second city in the Philippines approved an anti-discrimination law yesterday – the first of its kind in the country.
The law, first proposed in January, declares as unlawful the refusal to provide access to any public program and services on the basis of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity and religion. Anyone convicted of breaking this law would be penalized with a 1,000 to 5,000 Philipine Pesos ($24 to $121 ,â‚¬18 to â‚¬93) fine or sent to prison for 60 days to a year.
Cebu Rainbow Coalition, a network of LGBT groups, helped to draft the ordinance last year. It was approved unanimously by Cebu City council yesterday (17 October) and just awaits the signature of the mayor to be signed into law.
‘We are very proud of this development in LGBT human rights in the Philippines because Cebu is the first local government unit to enact such an ordinance,’ Naomi Fontanos, co-founder of Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas told Gay Star News.
‘We owe the activists on the ground who worked hard for its passage particularly the members of the Coalition for the Liberation of the Reassigned Sex (COLORS), a transgender advocacy group in Cebu through its head, Ms Magdalena Robinson.’