LGBTQIA+ members welcome in Leyte town

TACLOBAN CITY – The local government of Carigara, Leyte has issued a resolution promoting equal rights and condemning discrimination against members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA+).

"Karawat ka ha Carigara (You are accepted in Carigara),” Carigara Mayor-elect Eduardo Ong Jr. told members of the community as hundreds of individuals from different towns in Leyte marched and attended a concert organized by the local government Saturday, June 18, in celebration of Pride Month.

Ong said they aim to promote awareness on the rights and openness of LGBTQIA+ members through these activities.

"Just like the rest of the country, there's no upfront discrimination here in Carigara. However, we're not yet 100 percent open. That is why we came up with these activities to achieve that," Ong said.

Ong said that once session reopens, they intend to craft an anti-discrimination ordinance. "It's very basic that we are all equal but, sadly, not everyone is treated equally," he lamented.

He said the concert also called for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) bill in the 19th Congress.

The concert was a success and Ong said they plan to make the activity an annual event and hopes other local government units would also stage them.