LOUD WHISPER| What is the Rainbow Rights About?

LAST WEEKEND, I participated in a Research Colloquium where there were three research presentations discussed and tackled. The participants were composed of professors, students and researchers from selected universities and colleges in Metro Manila.

Actually, one is a dissertation of a professor from de la Salle University in Lipa city; the other two are theses of a political science professor from Colegio de San Juan de Letran, and Arts and Sciences professor from Lyceum of the Philippines Univesity.

This forum was sponsored by the Professors World Peace Academy-Philippines which has been existing since 1983. This non-government organization was first established in Korea in 1973 with more than 100 member-countries.

The PWPA-Philippines conventions were held twice at the Manila Hotel where two presidents had been elected one after the other: the late Dr. Salvador P. Lopez, and the late Dr. Andrew B. Gonzales, FSC.

After some time of silence, this was revived when a small group of old members met and elected an interim president in the person of Dr. Venus G. Agustin, president of the International Peace Leadership College in Tanay, Rizal province.

This research forum according to Dr. Venus, is the first research forum of the PWPA in the Philippines and he planned to continue with its vision and mission of helping in strengthening the research programs of higher education institutions in the country in keeping with the mandate of the Commission on Higher Education.

The discussion and reactions on the topic about gender politics gave me a food for thought and it created a sort of curiosity among the participants. In fact some said the gender politics and “Rainbow Rights” are new terminologies to them. So they kept on asking from the presenter questions which the presenter answered very cautiously, politely and comprehensively.

He said that the “Rainbow Rights project” is a gay organization founded in 2005 by Law students and graduates from the University of the Philippines, but now it is spreading widely in different colleges and universities. He said that the group includes legal rights activists and some gay Filipinos.

The presenter motivated the audience by stressing that the research intends to determine how the state relates with the civil society in the passage of the Ordinance No. SP-2191, which established the Quezon City Protection Center.

The paper discusses the circumstances and situations that convinced the local government unit in Quezon City in including the LGBT sector in the said Ordinance. It also looks into the actions of the civil society organizations mainly Rainbow Rights Project Inc.”

The presenter concluded that this state-civil society nexus thus has serious implications in the governance and policy.

This prompted me to do more research about these things or words like: Rainbow Rights Project, LGBT (which the audience needed to ask from the presenter as they claimed these words seem to be strange to them).

And smiling, the presenter said the Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rghts) is an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) legal organization in the Philippines composed of a team of gay and lesbian lawyers and gender activists from diverse fields.

So, the audience said they gained new knowledge from that study. They also said that this group or sector needs the civil society and the government because under our Philippine Constitution, this sector is also covered by the law under Section 11 Article 2 of the 1987 PC which states that the “state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human beings.”

As an addendum, I also emphasized, “I believe that true equality is not the superiority of a man or a woman, but the equal status of man and woman.”

Posted in Opinion