Opposition increases gay unions

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

PASTOR Myke Sotero of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Metro Baguio is thanking opposition for the increase of gay and lesbian unions.

Sotero said the publicity inadvertently given by the Roman Catholic Church and local councilors opposing gay and lesbian union increased since the June mass wedding in Baguio City.

“Mas madami na sila. The promotion of the Roman Catholic Church helped open the minds of people at how backward [the Church] thinks and how hateful they could get,” he said.


He added that since June when he united eight couples, there has been at least one union every month. “We have couples coming up to the city to have their weddings with their families.”

Sotero said couples have made Baguio as the venue for their union with the thought they could have their honeymoon in the city as well.

In June, a mass wedding was patterned after traditional Catholic ceremonies at an inn in the city officiated by pastors Sotero, Egay Constantino, Ceejay Agbayani and Regen Luna of the MCC, raising eyebrows and the ire of the Baguio Benguet Bishop Carlito Cenzon.

The MCC brands the “marriages” they solemnize as “unions”, making it free from legal implications and protecting the interest of their church as well as their clients.

Cenzon branded Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) groups as mentally ill and called the same sex union officiated by LGBT pastors as a sham.

City councilors questioned MCC pastors on the validity and morality of the union, as well as moved to ban gay and lesbian weddings in the city. The councilors were worried these unions may tarnish the image of the city as a place of character and good morals.

Talks have also circulated Sotero would be declared persona non grata for the act. After June, however, the council became silent.

Councilor Ed Bilog said although resolutions have been forwarded to the City Legal Office, no action has been made, to date, stalling the investigation of the same sex unions.

Bilog said he has called for the investigation of the unions and is waiting for the legal go-signal of city legal officer Melchor Rabanes. But until then, there is a standstill.

Councilor Philan Weygan–Allan likewise filed a resolution supporting the bill of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago and Ruffy Biazon amending the family code; defining natural-born male and female as parties to marriage.

Sotero said the hoopla made by opposition has also opened the eyes of the public to LGBT rights, and House Bill 1483 or the Anti-Discrimination Bill to rage against LGBT killings and equal opportunities for all.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 02, 2011.

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