Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo on Monday, June 27, assured that the judiciary, led by the Supreme Court (SC), will always be the “stronghold of the rule of law to check on unwarranted interference in basic human rights.”
During the SC’s celebration of “Pride Month,“ Gesmundo said “the Constitution guarantees that no person should be deprived of liberty and denied the equal protection of the laws….”
He stressed that “the Constitution is a covenant that any person is assured of due process and equal protection, without distinction, without discrimination.”
“I believe that these constitutional provisions arise from the basic premise that we are all human beings, each entitled to respect and a life lived with dignity,” he declared.
He also pointed out that “courts must accept diversity and strive for inclusivity, with a reminder that ‘the courts will never condone intolerance and bigotry.’”
The SC joined the celebration of “Pride Month” this month of June with a program dubbed “The Judiciary Walks with Pride.”
The highlight of the program was the signing of the “Wall of Pride” led by Chief Justice Gesmundo and the other SC justices.
All other courts in the country have also been encouraged by the SC to stage their own way of celebrating “Pride Month” in their areas.
June is “Pride Month” when the world’s members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities “come together and celebrate the freedom to be who they are.”
The SC’s program was spearheaded by the SC’s Committee on Gender Responsiveness in the Judiciary (CGRJ) which is chaired by Associate Justice Amy C. Lazaro Javier.
In her message, Justice Javier invited judiciary members to contribute to the advancement of gender equality “by giving support, respect, and acceptance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community, and to defend and advocate inclusivity.
The SC’ public information office (PIO) said that Chief Justice Gesmundo also cited in his message “the fruits of the Court’s efforts towards gender equality, among which is the recently approved Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations 2022-2027 which includes specific activities that expand access to justice, particularly on gender fairness, inclusivity, and equality.”
It said that the SC issued early this year the first ever organic Guidelines on the Use of Gender-Fair Language and Courtroom Etiquette, which is now being applied nationwide, together with the strengthening of the capacity of judges and court personnel on gender sensitivity.
It also said that “with these efforts, the Chief Justice hopes that ‘any person who comes to our courts will be treated with fairness, equality, and decency.’”
In his recorded message, Associate Justice Henri Jean Paul B. Inting, CGRJ vice-chairperson, invited members of the judiciary “to recognize the LGBTQIA+ community in a spirit of dialogue, and of mutual respect.”
Justice Inting expressed hopes that the event “will be the first of many, so that greater dialogue may be fostered between the Judiciary and the LGBTQIA+ Community.”