The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) forwards this alert at the request of the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay).
The Philippine House of Representatives is considering a bill which would define marriage as the union of a "natural-born" male with a "natural-born" female, thereby denying marriage rights to transgender persons, among others. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Philippines previously (see IGLHRC's Action Alert, "Philippines: Proposed Marriage Legislation In Senate Discriminates Against Homosexuals And Transgenders," February 1999. IGLHRC joins ProGay in condemning this new proposed legislation, and in urging IMMEDIATE letters of protest to the bill's sponsor.
- ProGay's call for action
- Sample letter
- Background information, including:
- Sponsor's description of the bill
- Text of the proposed legislation
PROGAY'S CALL FOR ACTION
The Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay) appeals to activists to write protest letters to the Philippine House of Representatives to oppose the passage of House Bill No. 1503 which would strictly define male and female as natural born for the purposes of marriage, presumably to prevent people who elect to correct their genders through surgical reassignment from contracting marriages.
The measure of Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa) will curtail marriage rights for most lgbtq2s people in the Philippines.
Biazon claimed marriages between a man and a transgendered person are against the law of God and the laws of nature, marriages under these circumstance are against the interest of society. This year, a Manila court ruled a man who had a sex change operation that after undergoing a sex change operation, a male can legally become a female.
However, this is the curtailment of the right of a person to determine his sexual orientation and gender identity. The language of the bill casts transgenders in a bad light as criminals who seeking malicious deception of the partners they will marry.
We call on the international human rights community to help local activists oppose this very obvious violation of human rights and discriminatory legislation. Please write hard copy, email or website guestbook your polite letters asking Rep. Biazon to pull out HB 1503. Here is a sample, but you are encouraged to write you own.
Hon. Rufinno Biazon
House of Represatives
Batasan Complex, Quezon City,
Dear Rep. Biazon:
Discriminatory legislation is bad for all the people of the Phillipines. Filipinos have struggled hard to overcome their bad international image of corrupt and divisive politics. Thus House Bill 1503 would only reinforce this negative image and hinder the country's ability to work with other nations.
If Congress really wants to protect the Filipino family, it should promote positive family values by helping gays and lesbians support their unemployed relatives, and pass laws that would protect all families from poverty and economic crisis.
Thank you very much (name and signature)
This message may also be sent to Rep. Biazon's
- guest book:
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
or Telephone (632) 8618762
or fax (632) 8093132
Explanation: the following information was attached to the bill by its key sponsor:
"Marriage is one of the most important acts persons undertake in their lives. By itself, it is an institution protected by the laws of God and by the laws of man, with a specific purpose for existing and a reason for preserving.
"The Family Code is a lengthy law with provisions extensively prescribing conditions covertin the circumstances around marriages. It provides the parameters for entering marriage, maintaining its existence, defining the obligations of spouses and parents and laying down rules for separation and its dissolution. To the State, this is how impotant marriages are.
"But due to recent developments in the field of medicine, science and technology, it is now possible to alter or altogether change a personís sexual organ to make it appear as that of the opposite sex. A man can now change his penis into a vagina, and for a woman, vise versa. With this, we have directly challenged the laws of God, the laws of nature and even the laws of man.
"This bill seeks to amend the Family Code to prohibit such marriages. Aside from being against the law of God and the laws of nature, marriages under these circumstance are against the interest of society in general. Not only does it does stretch the limist of custom, tradition and social norms, it endangers the interests of those entering into marriages who might not know that the person they want to marry, whom they want to have children with and spend the rest of their lives, is actually of the same biological make up as them. To put it in a crude but realistic manner, it can be compared to a person who wanted to buy a shirt of a particular brand name but ended up with an imitation.
"For these reasons, the passage of this bill is earnestly sought."
ROZZANO RUFINO B. BIAZON
Lone District of Muntinlupa City
ACTUAL TEXT OF PROPOSED LEGISLATION
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
House of Representatives
Quezon City, Metro Manila
First Regular Session
House Bill No. 1503
Introduced by Hon. Rozzano Rufino B. Biazon
AN ACT AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 209 AS AMENDED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 227, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, THEREBY LIMITING MARRIAGE TO NATURAL BORN MALES AND NATURAL BORN FEMALES
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Definition of terms. The following definition of terms shall be applicable in the interpretation of the provisions of this Act:
a) Natural Born Male - refers to a person who as born with the necessary biological and physical components such as sexual organs, hormones or other characteristics present in human males. b) Natural Born Female - refers to a person who was born with the necessary biological and physical components such as sexual organs, hormones or other characteristics present in human females. c) Sex Change Operation - refers to a medical surgical procedure wherein the sexual organ of the natural born male or natural born female is removed, altered or replaced with that of the opposite sex.
SECTION 2. Article 1 of the Family Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Article 1. Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a NATURAL BORN MALE (man) and a NATURAL BORN FEMALE (woman) entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequence, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code. (52a)
SECTION 3. Article 2 of the Family Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Article 2. No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present:
(1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must
be a NATURAL BORN male and a NATURAL BORN female; and
SECTION 4. Article 5 of the Family Code is hereby amended to read as follows:
Article 5. Any NATURAL BORN male and NATURAL BORN female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 38 and 38, may contract marriage. (54a)"
SECTION 5. Article 35 is hereby amended to read as follows: Article 35. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning: (7) THOSE CONTRACTED BETWEEN PERSONS EITHER OF WHICH HAS UNDERGONE A SEX CHANGE OPERATION, WITH OR WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF EITHER PARTNER.