Gay group join Reproductive Health Bill debate in the Philippines

Bill would provide free condoms in the Catholic nation with rapidly rising HIV prevalence

Gay group join Reproductive Health Bill debate in the Philippines
06 August 2012 Print This Article

LGBT activists have joined a debate on a proposed Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines that is raging almost as hard as the typhoon that hit the country last week.

If passed the bill will provide citizens with government-funded contraceptives, contributing to the fight against HIV and maternal and child ill-health in the country.

Contraceptives are controversial in the 80% Catholic country however, and bishops lead a rally of thousands on Saturday urged the rejection of the bill. Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that the bill promotes ‘a culture of contraception’ and ‘looks at babies as reasons for poverty… a mistake and not a blessing’, as reported by the Huffington Post.

The spokesperson for Progressive Organization of Gays (ProGay) Clyde Pumihic commented on banners at the rally on Saturday which read ‘No to safe sex, yes to saved sex’. He said:

‘With all due respect to the opinions of the anti-RH [Repoductive Health] camp, we find the call to stop safe sex and substitute it for what some religious radicals call "saved sex" very irresponsible.

‘It is very dangerous to preach that sex without protection is saved, and this will only make sure that transmission of human immunodeficiency virus will be very effective even among faithful partners.’

The Philippines is one of only seven countries in the world where HIV rates are rapidly rising.

‘For the month of May alone, the Department of Health registered 273 new infections, of which 4 out of 5 cases were through homosexual contact, making the number of cases in the country rise to 9,669,’ said ProGay Philippines.

President Aquino supports the bill, as does the UN and business groups – both saying that the Philippines needs to address population growth so it can deal with the country’s poverty.

ProGay Philippines support the bill but are disappointed in a last-minute wording change that removes ‘sexual orientation’ from the non-discrimination part of the bill.

‘We have suffered so much already after this president kept ignoring our pleas to fast track the anti discrimination bill, and now we know why. This administration is dedicated in blocking all efforts to legislate LGBT human rights,’ Pumihic said.

The House of Representatives will vote on the bill, a version of which was first introduced 10 years ago, tomorrow (Tuesday 7 August).



No thumbnail available

Boy Scouts of America to consider ending national ban on gay members and leaders

National organization would let local affiliates decide whether to admit gay scouts
No thumbnail available

See Ellen DeGeneres JC Penney commercials!

Humorous spots debut during the Academy Awards telecast
No thumbnail available

Anna Richardson on her love for Sue Perkins: 'The planets aligned'

The two met at a party a year and a half ago.
No thumbnail available

Mass arrests in Kuwait of party-goers for 'vice' and 'immorality'

Police round up 149 people, including at least four gay men and two transgender women. Checkpoints targeting 'immorality', particularly LGBT people
No thumbnail available

UK Equalities Minister says church does not own marriage

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone sticks to gay marriage equality despite opposition from former archbishop and religious extremists
No thumbnail available

REVIEW: Death of a Salesman at the Noël Coward Theatre in London

The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Arthur Miller's classic American play
No thumbnail available

Oklahoma governor continues to defy US Pentagon over benefits for gay married troops

Governor Mary Fallin permits only National Guard centers run by the federal government to issue benefit ID cards to same-sex spouses
No thumbnail available

Guesting on American Horror Story: Freak Show made Neil Patrick Harris never want to act again

'Acting is hard - you have to become another person and through that you become insecure as that person'
No thumbnail available

Police shut down IDAHO gay march in Kenya

Police stop LGBT community from holding procession aimed at stopping homosexuality being a criminal offence
No thumbnail available

What have 93% of young straight UK men done together in bed?

Nearly every single straight guy interviewed said they had no problem 'cuddling' another male