Bar owners in Puerto Galera fear alleged plans to ban gay performers will damage tourist trade
Suspected plans to ban gay performers in an idyllic seaside town in the Philippines has sparked anger from local businesses.
Comedy bar owners in Puerto Galera town, the tourist capital of Oriental Mindoro province, claim the local government plans to stop gay people performing after customers complained about their obscene behavior.
In their complaint, the bar owners stated that such a policy would damage business from tourists, according to the Phillipine Star.
However, government officials have refuted the claims, saying they were only reprimanding the gay performers to tone down the language they are using on stage.
LGBT political party Ladlad has called for a dialogue between local officials and bar owners.
Bemz Benedito, the first congressional nominee of the group and trans woman, said if such a policy is enforced, it will be a violation of their right to work.
Ladlad suggests solving the problem by setting a minimum age for customers entering bars where gay performers are known to work.
'In a comedy bar, children should not be allowed because of the sensitivity of the language being used in this kind of entertainment,' stressed Benedito.
'Besides you cannot control the performers on what to say and do on stage.
'In television, you have an agency that reviews and classifies programs that suits the right age of its viewers.'