World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

LGBT rights in the Philippines


LGBT rights in the Philippines

LGBT rights in the Philippines
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal
Military service Gays and lesbians allowed to serve since 2009
Discrimination protections No
Family rights
Recognition of
The Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as "a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman". The Constitution of the Philippines does not prohibit same-sex marriage.[1]
Adoption Yes (Step-adoption only)[2]

LGBT citizens may face different social attitudes and legal challenges than heterosexual citizens with more traditional gender roles. Tolerance for LGBT people has increased over the years due to greater education about sexual orientation and gender identity issues and the growing visibility and political activism of the LGBT community.[3] Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized and the LGBT community is not protected by any civil rights laws.


  • Legality 1
  • Discrimination protections 2
  • Religion 3
  • Media 4
  • Military 5
  • Politics 6
  • Marriage and family 7
  • Community 8
  • Summary table 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Non-commercial, homosexual relations between consenting adults in private are not a crime, although sexual conduct or affection that occurs in public may be subject to the "grave scandal" prohibition in Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code.

Discrimination protections

As of October 2015, 9 cities, 1 municipality and 2 provinces have enacted anti-discrimination laws. Those are:
The cities of:

The municipality of:

As well as the provinces of:

Baguio City (Benguet) has no anti-discrimination ordinances but it is considered as one of the core strongholds of LGBT equality in the Philippines, being the base of a same-sex recognizing church.


The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, with approximately 92.5 percent claiming to be Christian. Despite this, the Philippines has recently been ranked as one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world, and the most gay-friendly in Asia.[4][5][6] On a global survey covering 39 countries, only 17 of which had majorities accepting homosexuality, the Philippines ranking as the 10th most gay-friendly. The survey titled “The Global Divide on Homosexuality” conducted by the US-based Pew Research Center showed that 73 percent of adult Filipinos agreed with the statement that “homosexuality should be accepted by society,” up by nine percentage points from 64 percent in 2002.[4] Prevailing social attitudes about sexual orientation and gender identity issues are heavily influenced by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which has been active in opposing LGBT rights.[7][8] Beyond the Catholic Church, most other citizens affiliate with a Christian or Islamic sect that generally looks upon homosexuality and cross-dressing as signs of decadence and immorality.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has always been against any civil rights legislation for the LGBT community.[9][10]

Bangon Pilipinas senatorial candidate Eddie Villanueva, a religious leader who founded the Jesus is Lord Church, said he is against same-sex marriage because, "Sabi ng Good Book, huwag gayahin 'yung nangyari sa Sodom and Gomorrah dahil darating ang paggunaw sa isang bansa 'pag 'yun ay ginawa, (The good book says, don't do what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah because judgement will befall the country if it should be done.) " in an interview.[11]


The LGBT community in the Philippines has steadily been gaining greater visibility in the news and information media. LGBT people working in fashion and arts are often given some measure of tolerance, especially if they are successful.[12]

The explosion of online social media, has led to many different expressed viewpoints on the subject of LGBT rights, from citizens and even celebrities. Miriam Quiambao,[13] Floyd Mayweather[14] & most recently the article of Christine Bersola-Babao entitled "Being Gay."[15]


Sexual orientation or religion does not exempt citizens from Citizen Army Training (CAT), although some reports do suggest that people who are openly gay in this high school curriculum are harassed.[16] On 3 March 2009, the Philippines announced that it was lifting its ban on allowing openly gay and bisexual men and women from enlisting and serving in the Philippine Armed Services.[17]


Marginalized sectors in society recognised in the national electoral law include categories such as elderly, peasants, labour, youth etc. Under the Philippine constitution some 20% of seats in the House of Representatives are reserved. In 1995 and 1997, unsuccessful efforts were made to reform the law so as to include LGBT people. A proponent of this reform was Senate President Pro Tempore Blas Ople who said (in 1997), "In view of the obvious dislike of the ... administration for gay people, it is obvious that the president will not lift a finger to help them gain a sectoral seat."[18]

The Communist Party of the Philippines integrated LGBT rights into its party platform in 1992, becoming the first Philippine political party to do so.[19] The Akbayan Citizens' Action Party was another early party (although a minor one) to advocate for LGBT rights in 1998.

Philippine political parties are typically very cautious about supporting gay rights, as most fall along the social conservative political spectrum. A major political opponent of LGBT rights legislation has been Congressman Bienvenido Abante (6th district, Manila) of the ruling conservative Lakas-CMD party.[20] Rodolfo Biazon and his son Ruffy Biazon along with Miriam Santiago are the most vocal opponents of same sex marriage in the Philippines. They have filed bills in the Senate and Congress in 2006 that would ban recognition of such marriage, even if those marriages were performed in other countries. As of 2009 the bills are stalled.[21]

The administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was recently called "not just gender insensitive, but gender-dead" by Akbayan Party representative Risa Hontiveros. Rep. Hontiveros also said that the absence of any policy protecting the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender betrays the government’s homophobia. “This homophobic government treats LGBTs as second-class citizens,” she said.[22]

On June 17, 2011, the Philippines abstained from signing the United Nations declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity, which condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, on September 26, 2014, the country gave a landmark yes vote on a follow-up resolution by the UN Human Rights Council to fight violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity(SOGI).[23]

The Ang Ladlad is a new progressive political party, with a primary agenda of combating discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

On 11 November 2009, the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC) denied the Filipino LGBT political party Ang Ladlad's petition to be allowed to run in the May 2010 elections, on the grounds of "immorality".[24][25] In the 2007 elections, Ang Ladlad was previously disqualified for failing to prove they had nationwide membership.[26]

On 8 April 2010, the Supreme Court of the Philippines reversed the ruling of COMELEC and allowed Ang Ladlad to join the May 2010 elections.[27][28]

Marriage and family

The Philippines does not offer any legal recognition to same-sex marriage, civil unions or domestic partnership benefits.

In 1998, Senators Marcelo B. Fernan and Miriam Defensor Santiago submitted a series of four bills that barred recognition of marriage involving transgender individuals, contracted in the Philippines or abroad, and bar recognition of marriages or domestic partnership between two people of the same biological sex contracted in countries that legally recognize such relationships.

Since 2006, three anti-same sex marriage bills have been introduced and are pending before the Senate and Congress. In early 2011, Rep. Rene Relampagos of Bohol filed a bill to amend Article 26 of the Philippine Family Code, to prohibit "forbidden marriages." Specifically, this seeks to bar the Philippine state from recognizing same-sex marriages contracted overseas. The bill is in committee.[29][30][31]

In December 2014 Herminio Coloma Jr, a spokesperson for the Presidential Palace, commented on same-sex marriage, saying; "We must respect the rights of individuals to enter into such partnerships as part of their human rights, but we just need to wait for the proposals in Congress".[32]

Right after Ireland legalized same-sex marriage through a popular vote last May 2015, the Philippines has the possibility to legalize this law by a petition. [33] The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, however, is opposed to the idea despite stating that it supports 'equality for all'. To the extent of even stating that 'same-sex marriage' and 'falling for the same sex is wrong'. [34]


In LGBT community did not begin to organize on behalf of its human rights until the 1990s. Poverty and the political situation in the Philippines, especially the dictatorship, may have made it difficult for the LGBT community to organize. One of the first openly gay people of significance was the filmmaker Lino Brocka.

The first gay lesbian bisexual and transgender pride parade in Asia and also the Philippines was led by ProGay Philippines on 26 June 1994 at the UP Babaylan group. The pride event was attended by hundreds, and the march coincided with march against the government's VAT or the value added tax.

Since the 1990s LGBT people have become more organized and visible, both politically and socially. There are large annual LGBT pride festivals, and several LGBT organizations which focus on the concerns of University students, women and transgender people. There is a vibrant gay scene in the Philippines with several bars, clubs and saunas in Manila as well as various gay rights organizations.

Summary table

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (Except for Muslims in Marawi City)
Equal age of consent Yes (Except for Muslims in Marawi City)
Anti-discrimination laws in employment Yes / No (Not nationwide)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services Yes / No (Not nationwide)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No
Same-sex marriage(s) No (Pending)
Recognition of same-sex couples No (Pending)
Step adoption by same-sex couples Yes
Joint adoption by same-sex couples No
Gays allowed to serve in the military Yes (Since 2009)
Right to change legal gender [36]
Commercial surrogacy No
Access to IVF for lesbians No
MSM allowed to donate blood[37] No
Automatic parenthood for both spouses after birth No


  1. ^ "CBCP exec: US should respect PHL law regarding same-sex marriage | Pinoy Abroad | GMA News Online". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  2. ^ "Adoption Law". Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  3. ^ "International Encyclopedia o". Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  4. ^ a b "PH ranks among most gay-friendly in the world | Inquirer Global Nation". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Asia's most gay-friendly tourist destinations | CNN Travel". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  6. ^ "The 20 most and least gay-friendly countries in the world | GlobalPost". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  7. ^ Bishop Soto tells NACDLGM: 'Homosexuality is Sinful', accessed 29 September 2008
  8. ^ Help topics Assemblies of God (USA), accessed 6 July 2009
  9. ^ "CBCP wants anti-discrimination bill cleansed of provisions on gay rights | Inquirer News". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  10. ^ "CBCP targets gay rights provisions in anti-discrimination bill, fears it may pave the way for same-sex marriages | The Feed | Your One-Stop Urban Lifestyle Guide to the Best of Manila". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  11. ^ "Most senatorial bets against same-sex marriage; Enrile is lone supporter | News | GMA News Online". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  12. ^ "The Manila Times Online | Trusted Since 1898". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  13. ^ "miriam quiambao - Google Search". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  14. ^ "Gays slam 'homophobic' Pacquiao". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  15. ^ "Being gay | Entertainment, News, The Philippine Star |". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  16. ^ "Military training formatted". 9 May 2005. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  17. ^ "Philippines ends ban on gays in military | News Story on". Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ "Communist Party of the Philippines recognizes LGBT rights, welfare". outrage. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-23. 
  20. ^ "Pro-gay bill not a rights issue - House HR chair - Nation - GMANews.TV - Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs - Latest Philippine News". GMANews. TV. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  23. ^ "UN: Landmark Resolution on Anti-Gay Bias". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  24. ^ "CHR backs Ang Ladlad in Comelec row". ABS-CBN News. 15 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  25. ^ "2010 National and Local Elections". Comelec. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  26. ^ Aning, Jerome (1 March 2007). "Gay party-list group Ladlad out of the race".  
  27. ^ jpepito78 on Thu, 04/08/2010 - 13:34 (19 January 2010). "SC allows Ang Ladlad to join May poll". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  28. ^ "G.R. No. 190582". Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  29. ^ "There's a cure for that: Discriminatory Amendment Proposed by Bohol Representative | A European biologist's look at homosexuality in the Philippines". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  30. ^ "Bohol Sunday Post - February 27, 2011 - Common-law, same-sex marriages abroad invalid in the Philippines". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  31. ^ "HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | 16th Congress of the Philippines". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Tokyo Lesbian Gay Parade, TLGP in 1994.
  36. ^ "PH tolerates gays but abuses continue, says UN-backed study | Inquirer News". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  37. ^ "Bloed geven - Risicofactoren hiv mannen | Sanquin Bloedvoorziening". Retrieved 2014-04-06. 

External links

  • University of the Philippines Babaylan
  • Philippines Gay and Lesbian Resources
  • Promoting Human Rights and Sexual and Gender Diversity and Equality in the Philippines
  • Philippines LGBT Interest Group
  • ProGay Philippines
  • Outrage Magazine - a publication for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and ally (GLBTQIA) communities in the Philippines; readily available online as a webzine.
  • Myfemme Magazine - a monthly magazine for women, femmes, butches, F2F, bi-femme & bi-curious
  • [Invoice Magazine] - a business and lifestyle magazine for gays and lesbians
  • The Philippine Network of Metropolitan Community Churches - an ecumenical Christian church with special ministry for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and allies.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.