Equality for All

The 2nd Pride Parade in Cebu December 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 12:35 pm

To Our Media Friends:

In celebration of the International Human Rights Day, the Visayas Pride Network will celebrate the 2nd Pride Parade in Cebu City this Dec. 10, 2009.

The Pride March is celebrated internationally with the theme “Your Rights, Our Rights, Human Rights”.
The parade starts at Fuente Osmeña to the Provincial Capitol Grounds. Assembly time will be at 2:00 pm at Fuente Osmeña Circle and the parade will start at 4:00 pm. A short program will follow after the parade with statements of support from different personalities. Performances and a best costume and contingent will also be awarded after the program.

LGBTIQ’s and non LGBTIQ are welcome to join and show their support to the Cebuano LGBTIQ.

Interested individuals/parties may contact Peachy Rivera, Harold de Mesa or Patrick Ty at 0921-748-59-68, 0932-508-41-19, 09163102170 or email us at inquiry.tlp@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for your continued support.


Harold de Mesa and Orly Cajegas
Media Committee – Pride Parade


Latin America’s first gay marriage thwarted December 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 8:06 am

By VANESSA HAND ORELLANA, Associated Press Writer Vanessa Hand Orellana, Associated Press Writer – Tue Dec 1, 6:53 pm ET
BUENOS AIRES – An Argentine couple’s attempt to unite in Latin America’s first gay marriage was thwarted Tuesday when city officials decided to block the wedding because of conflicting judicial rulings.

Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre showed up at the Buenos Aires civil registry office despite a national judge’s ruling late Monday that overturned a city court’s decision to permit them to wed. The first judge ruled again Tuesday that they could wed.

The couple, dressed in black suits, silver ties and a red band symbolizing AIDS awareness, waited for hours in the municipal office as officials debated which judge to obey. They were surrounded by supporters and a swarm of media.

“It’s hard to have to spend this day waiting for a right that should have been ours,” said Freyre, as he fought to hold back tears.

In a twist of events, the final decision fell to Mayor Mauricio Macri, who had originally given the green light to the wedding. Among cheers and chants in what felt like the final seconds of championship game, the lawyers came out to announce the news: The city would not allow the marriage until the Supreme Court has ruled on the case.

Gay rights groups expressed anger at the decision and said they would march to city hall in protest.

“In a complete act of disrespect, the city government has decided to ignore the city judge’s ruling,” said Maria Rachid, president of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals. “Macri lied to us.”

The couple, wedding bouquets in hand, joined protesters outside the mayor’s office.

“We were not allowed to marry today, but it will happen for us soon,” Freyre said, his arm around Di Bello.

The couple of five years were fitting their wedding suits late Monday when national Judge Marta Gomez Alsina ordered the wedding blocked. Her decision reversed a Nov. 20 ruling by city Judge Gabriela Seijas that the couple had been unconstitutionally denied a marriage license and could proceed with their wedding.

Macri at the time announced he would not appeal the judge’s decision and the couple scheduled a ceremony, generating hopes among activists that Argentina could be the site of the continent’s first gay marriage.

Di Bello and Freyre — both HIV positive — chose Tuesday for their wedding because it was World AIDS Day and they wanted to help raise awareness about the issue that brought them together. Di Bello, 41, an executive at the Argentine Red Cross, met Freyre, 39, executive director of the Buenos Aires AIDS Foundation, at an HIV awareness conference.

The couple sued after being denied a marriage license last April. The court rulings apply to their case only, though dozens of other gay couples are now trying the same legal route to win permission to wed.

A bill that would legalize gay marriage was introduced in Congress in October but it has stalled without a vote.

Only seven countries in the world allow gay marriages: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.S. states that permit same-sex marriage are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Argentina’s capital established its gay-friendly reputation in 2002 by becoming the first Latin American city to legalize same-sex civil unions. Four other Argentine cities later did the same, and such unions also now are recognized in Mexico City and some Mexican and Brazilian states. Uruguay alone has legalized civil unions nationwide.


World Aids Day: Universal Access and Human Rights December 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 8:50 am

Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

Millions continue to be infected with HIV every year. In low- and middle-income countries, less than half of those in need of anti-retroviral therapy are receiving it, and far too many don’t have access to adequate care services.

World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for all of us, individuals, groups, and communities, to ensure that human rights are protected and global targets for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care are met

Laws Imperil People with HIV, Gay Men

HIV prevention efforts — and the promise of antiretroviral treatment as prevention — are being undermined by punitive laws targeting people infected with and at risk for HIV,” according to a statement issued last week by Human Rights Watch.

“HIV prevention has failed in many countries not because we don’t know how to design effective prevention programs, but because governments have been unwilling to implement these programs and ensure that they reach everyone,” said HRW Health and Human Rights director Joe Amon. “The potential of HIV treatment in comprehensive prevention programs will be similarly sabotaged if governments continue to pass punitive laws and trample upon human rights.”

In many parts of the world, legislation effectively criminalizes people living with or vulnerable to HIV infection, including sex workers, drug users, and men who have sex with men.

Human rights and gay activists are particularly concerned about a proposed law in Uganda that would not only outlaw sex acts between men (subject to the death penalty), but also penalize any person or organization that supports or promotes gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender rights, or who fails to report a person they suspect of being gay. Several other countries in Africa already have laws against consensual homosexual acts, though none are as draconian as the Uganda proposal.