Sunday, January 31, 2010

News & Commentaries


1. Pope Urges New Answers for Today's Problems

Says Youth in Particular Need Reasons for Hope

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is inviting members of the Pontifical Academies to give "adequate" and "creative" answers to the problems posed by contemporary culture, always taking recourse to "the riches of the Christian tradition." [Read More]

2. HIV Cases Soar Among Filipino Yuppies, Call Center Workers

Casual sex, orgies are seen as possible causes of the problem

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine General Hospital on Wednesday said the number of Filipinos infected with HIV rose dramatically in the past 10 months and now includes young urban professionals such as call center agents. [Read More]

3. 5,542 Priests and Bishops Attend Clergy Congress

MANILA, Jan. 29, 2010 ─ The five-day 2nd national congress of the clergy (NCC II) which ended today drew some 5,542 priests and bishops representing 87 arch/dioceses nationwide and few priests abroad. [Read More]

4. Same-Sex Adoption Displays Contempt for Children, Warns Council

Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 30, 2010 / 12:56 am (CNA).- Members of the Council of Catholic Analysts of Mexico have criticized Mexico City’s law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, saying it reveals the contempt lawmakers of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) have for children and human life. [Read More]

5. California's Prop. 8 Trial on Hold

The trial intended to overturn California's Proposition 8, which voided a state Supreme Court ruling for homosexual "marriage," is in a holding pattern. [Read More]

6. Gay Military Porn Bust Reminds Us of Some Inconvenient Truths Regarding Homosexuality and the Military

“Gay” lobby group HRC plans $2 million campaign to push radical agenda on Armed Forces [Read More]

7. Calif. Quietly Shifts Fruitless Embryo Research Funds to Adult Stem Cells

LOS ANGELES, California, January 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - California's Institute for Regenerative Medicine came into being five years ago, fueled by a conviction that the Bush administration's restriction on embryo-destructive research in the National Institutes of Health was stifling the progress of science. [Read More]

8. Guttmacher Study Shows "Devastating Consequences" of Sex-Ed: American Life League

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to American Life League (ALL), new numbers from the Guttmacher Institute show Planned Parenthood-style sex education is having a dramatic impact on the rise in teen pregnancy rates. [Read More]

9. British Survey Shows Increasing Openness to Homosexuality

LONDON, England, January 26, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to the findings of the newly-released, government-backed British Social Attitudes Report, British society has become more accepting of homosexuality. [Read More]

10. Pro-life Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad Draws Protesters and Defenders

New York City, N.Y., Jan 27, 2010 / 06:30 am (CNA).- Plans to air a pro-life Super Bowl ad with Tim Tebow and his mother have attracted protest from pro-abortion women’s groups. Defenses of the advertisement, themed “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” have come from Tebow and the organization sponsoring the commercial. [Read More]



Quote:

"Last, but by no means least, courage—moral courage, the courage of one's convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It's the age-old struggle--the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other." - Douglas MacArthur

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No. 23's Journey with Courage



This is No. 23's Journey with Courage. He is one of the newer members around and quite a bit the silent type. Well, as they say, silent waters run deep.


Whenever I let go of my will to fight, I always end up defeated. Each fall made me weaker and a greater drift toward homosexuality would follow. My case was hopeless, I thought, until divine intervention showed me how to deal with my own complexities. God revealed a ray of light and directed to me the way to get out of the limbo I was in – a journey with Courage.

It had been two months, a very little portion of the seemingly lifetime walk-fall-crawl-stand cycle yet unbelievably important to be discounted. For me, this short while was already a big leap. Not that I was accelerated but because I had my first step of the walk. I decided to lift a foot to begin the journey which in no way a mere time killing wander. The difference now appears much motivating unlike my thoughts before of traveling without any purpose and doing it alone. God incessantly calls me to have my exodus and His grace strengthens me. I can feel the immense love and the generous forgiveness of God during the sharing meetings and Sacrament Sundays. Jesus had never been judgmental as it was reflected upon the faces of my fellow Courage members.

The journey was never easy though. My first step did not of course grant me an instant triumph over myself and the enemies roaming around. Actually, it became increasingly difficult. Unlike from my previous falls, however, I learnt from my mistakes and this lead me away from the limbo instead of getting stuck inside it. The defeats were not something I can crow about neither the few successes I had. Doing so would be my gateway to another fall, but these could be my stepping stone to decide for a stride and eventually move on. In the process, I had to be humble and humility pushed me to rely on God, my courage.

My journey with Courage had not yet assured me of a tighter and a more permanent grip to fight. It might not even happen. I am still hopeful, on the other hand, that in the end God’s light will prevail and the road I would have to walk through will lead me to Him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Anti-Discrimination Position Addendum



This is an addendum to our previous posts regarding House Bill 956 or the Anti-Discrimination Bill on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity set to be approved this month. Through this, we hope to raise greater public awareness on the implications of this bill and thereby give us an opportunity to present our logical valid arguments against HB 956. By the same token, Courage Philippines along with other support groups for people with SSA vehemently oppose the inclusion of Ang Ladlad as a candidate for the party list election in May 2010 as we believe that this group's main objective in Congress is to advance the gay agenda in the country. We continue to pray that our leaders in Congress be enlightened and convinced not to approve this piece of legislation. You can download a copy of this post here.


ADDENDUM ON THE POSITION PAPER
OF
COURAGE PHILIPPINES
ON HOUSE BILL 956 and SENATE BILL 11 and other similar bills
“An Act Prohibiting Discrimination
On the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
And Providing Penalties Therefore”


1. There is no wide-scale discrimination against homosexual persons in the Philippines that would necessitate a nationwide legislation of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

The Philippine society is one of the most tolerant and accepting of homosexuality. In fact, a youth commentary by a gay “balikbayan” from the United States, Nelson Everett Toriano, has this to say:

“I was surprised to find that in the mostly Catholic society of my homeland, gay culture is more tolerated than in America. From nightlife to the media, baklas (Tagalog for gays) are the norm. The strangest part of the entire experience was realizing that although I'm a gay male, as an American I was uncomfortable with such tolerance.

In the Philippines, I was aware of almost every gay interaction or innuendo. But no Filipino seemed to give any such occurrences a second glance. Upon returning to San Francisco, I realized that in the so-called "gay Mecca" of the United States, most public displays of gay affection take place only in the Castro district. Gays in the media have only recently increased in presence. And gays who act flamboyant in the hood are asking to get beat.

I was overwhelmed by the Philippines' social acceptance of gays. It was also fascinating to see how men in a different country interpreted femininity: thin bodies, long hair, thick layers of makeup. But what was most surprising was how much I, as a gay man, noticed these things while my straight friends there didn't even care.”

(http://www.sawatdee-gay-thailand.com/forum/gay-thailand/bangkok-philippines-t18302.html)

Most practicing homosexuals around the world is aware that the Philippines has the most gay-friendly environment in the world! They come to the Philippines because, second only to Thailand (http://philippines-travel.suite101.com/article.cfm/gay_manila), we have the most accepting society for homosexuality and even homosexual behavior. Consider these things that the Philippine society has to offer to homosexual persons:

a. Cruising Areas – places where LGBT persons thrive in great numbers and engage in bar-hopping or massage. The website http://wikitravel.org/en/Gay_and_lesbian_travel describes Manila as the GAY CAPITAL OF ASIA, where “most gay-friendly or LGBT-friendly destinations are found in the city and are owned by LGBTs themselves”. It also describes Cebu as having – “active LGBTQ organizations and gay-friendly restaurants and cafes”, and includes also Cagayan de Oro as an LGBT place to be. Another website, http://www.gayfriendlyislands.com/gay-friendly-islands-philippines.html describes the Philippines as GAY FRIENDLY ISLANDS, where “the choices are endless” in terms of places and destinations frequented by LGBT.

b. Personalities – if a boy is teased “bakla” or a girl “tomboy”, they would look up to these icons in the movie and television industries and will mimic their mannerisms and even embrace their ideals and principles in life. The website (http://tagaloglang.com/The-Philippines/People/gays-in-the-philippines.html) enumerates some of them:

Renee Salud, fashion designer to the stars
Jose "Pitoy" Moreno, fashion designer to the stars
Ricky Reyes, hairdresser to the stars
Jun Encarnacion, the deceased beautician to the stars who had a wife and children

Lino Brocka, critically acclaimed director of Macho Dancer (1988) who died in 1991
Mel Chionglo, director of Burlesk King (1999) and Midnight Dancers (1994)
Maryo J. de los Reyes, director of Magnifico (2003)
Ishmael Bernal, award-wining director
Soxy Topacio, director
Elwood Perez, director

Rustom Padilla, actor who came out of the closet in 2006
Ogie Diaz, gossip columnist and TV host
Boy Abunda, journalist and TV host
Aiza Seguerra, actress and singer
Ricky Lee, critically acclaimed screenplay writer of Burlesk King (1999)

c. Publications – mainstream bookstores are now aligned to have a new section in their stores “Gay and Lesbian Publications”, featuring books of foreign and local gay authors who want to promote the homosexual lifestyle – such as the Ateneo professor Danton Remoto and UP professor J. Neil C. Garcia who even freely teaches Gay Literature to his students at the university. These are some of the popular books and magazines of LGBT in the Philippine bookstores:

Books: (http://www.glbtq.com/literature/philippine_lit.html)
Danton Remoto's Skin, Voices, Faces (1991)
J. Neil C. Garcia's Closet Quivers (1992)
Tony Perez's Cubao 1980 at Iba pang mga Katha (1992)
Margarita Go-Singco's A Different Love: Being Gay in the Philippines (1993)
Nicolas B. Pichay's Ang Lunes na Mahirap Bunuin (1993)
Remoto and Garcia's Ladlad: An Anthology of Philippine Gay Writing (1994)
Remoto and Garcia's Ladlad 2 (1995)
Aida F. Santos and Ginay Villar's Woman to Woman: A Collection of Lesbian Reflections (1995)
Remoto's Seduction and Solitude (1995)
Garcia’s Philippine Gay Culture (1996)

Most of the gay titles have been published by Anvil Publishers, the publishing division of the National Book Store chain, which has bookstores in most of the Philippines' large shopping malls. By 1997, Anvil was publishing a considerable number of gay titles each year.

Magazines:
Weegender (LGBTQ Travel and Lifestyle Magazine)
MyFemme (magazine for lesbians)
Icon (skin magazine for gay men)
Valentino (skin magazine for gay men)
Ketchup (for the advancement of LGBT rights)

d. Advertisements – the gay political agenda of desensitizing our public on homosexual behavior is further seen on its promotion on print and television advertisements. Examples of such advertisements that promote homosexuality that was not censored by any advertising monitoring group are:

Pond’s Whitening Lotion television commercial in the year 2001 featuring two gay men holding hands while walking ( see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6sHKyPxnBM&feature=related)

Glutamax billboard in SLEX (which is still there despite of objections of church groups because of pressures and influence of the gay community) featuring DJ Mojo Jojo and a silhouette man with the tag line “I feel Whiter and GAY each day” (see http://titlletatlle.blogspot.com/2009/08/dj-mojo-jojos-glutamax-billboard.html)

Added to these are tons of billboards depicting almost nude men in compromising positions – to which psychologically the market are gay men more than women, since men are more sexually aroused visually. This is still part of promoting the homosexual lifestyle to the public (if not promoting the wrong sense of masculinity).

e. Websites – there are a lot of LGBT websites available in the Internet, which are utilized frequently, even by our youth. Sad to say these websites promote the homosexual “sexual” behavior and thus endanger the innocence and morality of our young people. Examples of such websites are ManJam, Guys for Men, Men on the Net Erotic Stories, Gay Asia Online (where Manila is listed as a primary spot) and Philippine Gay Resources and Travel Tips

f. Movies – since most LGBTs work in the media, particularly in the movie industry, they utilize the production of movies, particularly the mass production of independent “gay indie” films that further desensitize the public on homosexual behavior and would mostly explain why Filipinos are accepting of LGBT. Some of these movies are:

(Sources are http://tagaloglang.com/The-Philippines/Movies/filipino-gay-movies.html
http://manilagayguy.net/2008/01/30/gay-indie-films-galore/ and www.imdb.com)

Macho Dancer (1988) starring Allan Paule, William Lorenzo, Daniel Fernando, Jaclyn Jose, Princess Punzalan, Bobby Samo, Joel Lamangan, Lucita Soriano, Charlie Catalia, Anthony Taylor & Johnny Vicar; directed by Lino Brocka; screenplay by: Ricky Lee; the ultimate Lino Brocka classic about sex, violence & corruption in the underbelly of Manila

Midnight Dancers (1995) starring Alex Del Rosario, Gandong Cervantes, Lawrence David, Perla Bautista & Ryan Aristorenas; directed by Mel Chionglo; screenplay by Ricky Lee; about three brothers from Cebu entering Manila's sex industry to work as "sibak"

Pusong Mamon (1998) featuring Albert Martinez, Eric Quizon and Lorna Tolentino, directed by Joel Lamangan tells about a unique story of a woman trapped in a homosexual relationship of two gay men.

Burlesk King (1999) featuring actors Rodel Velayo, Joel Lamangan, Leonardo Litton, Cherrie Pie Picache, Raymond Bagatsing, Elizabeth Oropesa & Nini Jacinto; director is Mel Chionglo; screenplay by: Ricky Lee; the story of an Amerasian and his friends from Olongapo eking it out in the gay nightclubs of Manila

Markova (2000) starring Dolphy and directed by Gil Portes tells the unconventional true story of Walter Dempster, Jr, otherwise known as Markova, the comfort gay man during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines

Doubt / Duda (2003) starring Andoy Ranay and Paolo Gabriel; written and directed by Crisaldo Pablo; nominated Best Director at the 2004 New York Asian American Film Festival and the Barcelona International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival; a critically acclaimed independent film about the relationship of a gay couple in the Philippines

Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (2005) starring Nathan Lopez and JR Valentin directed by Auraeus Solito tells a tale of a 12-year-old gay who comes from a criminal family and falls in love with a handsome policeman.

Bathhouse (2005) featuring Jet Alcantara directed by Cirsaldo Pablo tells of a love story in a bathhouse in Metro Manila

Bilog (2005) starring Archie De Calma and directed by Crisaldo Pablo tells of a story of persons estranged in a cycle of homosexual behavior

Pantasya (2007) (director Brillante Mendoza) is a Filipino feature consisting of five episodes that all deal with wild gay fantasies involving men in uniform. The display of naked Asian male flesh is beautifully portrayed in each of these five erotic stories.

RoXXXanne by Jun Lana (writer/director) (February 2, 2008) tells of a story of a young man obsessed with cell phone sex scandal videos, even to the point of selling his body to homosexuals

Ang Lihim ni Antonio by Lex Bonife (writer) and Jay Altarejos (director) (February 4, 2008) tells of a tale of a teenage boy who discovers his homosexual attractions and begins to explore it

Daybreak by Charliebebs Gohetia (writer) and Adolfo B. Alix, Jr. (director) (March, 2008) tells of a married man and a light house guardian who falls in love

Sagwan (2009) by Monti Parungao tells about the prostitution of boatmen towards gay tourists

Heavenly Touch (2009) by Joel Lamangan tells the sexual struggle of male masseurs

These movies present the gay person in all walks of life, birthing the term MSM – men having sex with men. This means that they are teaching the public that anyone, even a straight person, can embrace homosexuality.

g. Church – many are not aware that there are already existing gay churches in the Philippines that perform same-sex “marriages” (which they call holy unions) and a religious order that ordains gay priests.

Metropolitan Community Churches (http://mccph.wordpress.com/) that perform holy unions are to be found in Makati, Quezon City, Baguio and Dasmarinas Cavite

The Order of St. Aelred is a religious order in the Philippines which accepts all people from all sexual orientation and ordains women and men to the holy priesthood for the purpose of serving the spiritual needs of God's children. The order promotes the eligibility of the LGBT community for the friendship of God, which follows the absolute right of the LGBTs for human rights. The order also supports the Pride March.

h. Gay Advocacy Groups – homosexuals are not deprived of organizing into political groups that want to advance their political agenda of promoting homosexual behavior to the public. Examples of such groups are:

Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (LAGABLAB-Pilipinas)

Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines (ProGay Philippines)

Rainbow Rights Project

Lesbian Advocates Philippines, Inc.

Indigo Philippines

Women Supporting Women Center

Lunduyan ng Sining (Sanctuary of Art)

Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP)

University of the Philippines Babaylan (UP Babaylan) - first LGBT student organization in the entire UP System and the Philippines

The website http://wapedia.mobi/en/List_of_LGBT_rights_organizations#4. lists the Philippines with the most number of LGBT organizations in Asia. They come to fight for their human rights, but their “rights” are based on their behavior, which is dangerous since it encourages other behavior based groups to clamor for their “rights”.

With all of these happening in the Philippines, how can we say that there is wide-scale discrimination happening in our country that necessitates the passage of a bill on non-discrimination? We are an accepting and loving people, and as such LGBT has been successful in breaking grounds in Philippine society. Now, a passage of anti-discrimination bill will turn the level acceptance of gays into superiority – where a special class is treated preferentially by law.


2. Cases of discrimination of homosexuals is not due to the persons themselves but to the behavior that they exhibited (or a collective knowledge of behaviors of homosexual persons) – which in authentic criminal law should be judged as good or bad accordingly

The LGBT community is always crying foul over cases of discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity. However, one must be discerning whether such cases of discrimination were made because of the person per se, or of the behavior that the person manifested, or a collective knowledge of the general public on homosexual behaviors, that may be the basis of the person being “discriminated”.

The following are some local news reports made in recent years that tells us that institutions are generally accepting of homosexual persons, and explain how bad or criminal behavior manifested becomes the basis of “discrimination”:

“Inihayag ng isang opisyal ng Armed Forces of the Philippines na posibleng buksan ang institusyon para sa mga bakla at tomboy na nais maging sundalo. “For as long as you are not showing outward manifestation, you are not disturbing others, you are not causing scandals, then there is no problem with that," pahayag ni Army chief Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado nitong Martes. Sinabi naman ni AFP Civil Relations Service Brig. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan na maaaring maalis sa serbisyo ang isang sundalo kapag gumawa ng mali. ”Remember, we have certain officers who were removed, discharge from the service because of scandalous acts. That we cannot tolerate," ayon kay Pangilinan. Ilang taon na rin ang nakararaan nang masangkot sa iskandalo at matanggal sa serbisyo si Army Maj. Ferdinand Ramos matapos lumabas ang isang video habang pinipilit umano nito ang isang kasamahang sundalo na makipagtalik.” (http://www.gmanews.tv/story/151239/afp-posibleng-tumanggap-ng-bakla-tomboy)

“Bakla man o tomboy ay kuwalipikadong mag-enrol sa Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) para mapabilang sa organisasyon ng kapulisan. Ito ang binigyang diin ni Sr. Supt. Melvin Mongcal, Dean of Academics ng PNPA sa gitna na rin ng mga isyu na hindi tinatanggap sa PNPA ang mga 3rd sex kahit pasado ang mga ito sa entrance at medical exam. Ayon kay Mongcal, walang umiiral na diskriminasyon sa PNPA at lahat ng babae at lalaki na ibig mag-pulis ay kanilang tinatanggap basta’t kuwalipikado, ke bakla pa siya o tomboy. "We are more particular in the capability of our cadettes rather than to give focus about their respective genders," ani Mongcal.”
(http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=338523&publicationSubCategoryId=92)

“The Manila Archbishop Monday said that having homosexual Catholic priests wouldn’t be “too bad” as long as they didn’t “act out” their “tendencies.” In an interview on Church-run Radio Veritas, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales acknowledged that gay men had been accepted into the priesthood because “even if [the priest] has [homosexual] inclinations, it does not immediately mean that he is evil.” The cardinal noted that such priests had chosen “to make a distinction between inclination and acting out.” “A homosexual inclination is not bad but acting it out is an entirely different matter, and that is what is written in the sacred scriptures,” he added. Rosales explained that this had been the stand of Pope Benedict XVI who, he said, was “not condemning homosexuals” per se when he confronted the issue of pedophile priests during his recent visit to the United States. He noted that when Benedict declared in New York that “the Church needs holy priests, not many priests,” the latter was speaking out particularly against men of the cloth who had sexually abused children and brought shame to the Church.”
(http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20080520-137636/Cardinal-Rosales-says-gay-priests-OK-but-)

If we are to pass an anti-discrimination bill that is based on sexual orientation and gender identity where these terms are defined on a person’s behavior/s, then we are in danger of passing judgment that all homosexual behaviors are good, innate and uncontrollable because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. We will legitimize homosexuality in all its forms, whether the behavioral manifestations of homosexuality is socially (and morally) acceptable or not. We will penalize our people for the ability to pass judgment on someone’s behavior.


3. The terms Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are political terms that only advances the gay agenda and are not recognized in binding principles by international laws

Just this December 18, 2009 the United Nations General Assembly “eliminated a reference to General Comment No. 20 on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights, which was issued earlier this year by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. “ This reference, according to the Iraq’s delegate who introduced the amendment “would recognize controversial concepts on sexual orientation”, and the removal would “prevent international instruments from being "strangely interpreted"”.

Even Prof. Douglas Sanders, a gay activist and member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), admits in his paper “Sexual Orientation in International Law” three points:

• None of the international human rights instruments mentioned make any reference to “sexual orientation” or "gender identity"
• Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is impermissible under international human rights law
• Continuing reforms at the level of individual states – in the West and, more slowly, in Africa, Asia and Latin America – will permit sexual orientation issues to be openly addressed at the United Nations and in regional intergovernmental organizations in the years to come.

This last point clearly supports the idea in his paper that “two essential elements have laid the foundation for the advancement of the homosexual agenda: the repeal of any anti-homosexual criminal laws and the prohibition of discrimination. With these two elements in place, Sanders details a progression of homosexual rights in the realms of parental custody, inheritance laws, immigration rights for same-sex partners, government-sponsored educational programs against any criticism of homosexuality in schools as well as paving the way for cases challenging laws against same-sex unions and homosexual adoption.” (see www.c-fam.org)

It is just puzzling to think that we, as a supposed to be sovereign nation, will give in to the emotional and political pressures of ILGA and other LGBT organizations especially in our country, to include the complicated terms sexual orientation and gender identity in our legal system, and approve a bill on non-discrimination based on these terms, when the United Nations as a body, of which we are a member of, has eliminated these terms from their references (from any international instrument), especially on issues of non-discrimination.

The controversial Yogyakarta Principles, presented in a United Nations event in New York in November 2007, has only twenty-nine (29) countries as signatories, and the Philippines is NOT included as one of them (http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/index.php?item=25#_Toc161634723). We as a nation, and you, our dear legislators, should try to review these principles and see if we as a people are ready to accept ALL of the provisions given in these principles. Some of these principles are as follows:

• Repeal criminal and other legal provisions that prohibit or are, in effect, employed to prohibit consensual sexual activity among people of the same sex who are over the age of consent, and ensure that an equal age of consent applies to both same-sex and different-sex sexual activity;
• Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that procedures exist whereby all State-issued identity papers which indicate a person’s gender/sex — including birth certificates, passports, electoral records and other documents — reflect the person’s profound self-defined gender identity;
• Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure the right of each person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, to enjoy the private sphere, intimate decisions, and human relations, including consensual sexual activity among persons who are over the age of consent, without arbitrary interference;
• Repeal any law that prohibits or criminalizes the expression of gender identity, including through dress, speech or mannerisms, or that denies to individuals the opportunity to change their bodies as a means of expressing their gender identity;
• Release all those held on remand or on the basis of a criminal conviction, if their detention is related to consensual sexual activity among persons who are over the age of consent, or is related to gender identity;
• Ensure that education methods, curricula and resources serve to enhance understanding of and respect for, inter alia, diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, including the particular needs of students, their parents and family members related to these grounds;
• Ensure training and awareness-raising programmes, including measures aimed at teachers and students at all levels of public education, at professional bodies, and at potential violators of human rights, to promote respect for and adherence to international human rights standards in accordance with these Principles, as well as to counter discriminatory attitudes based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
• Ensure that notions of public order, public morality, public health and public security are not employed to restrict, in a discriminatory manner, any exercise of freedom of opinion and expression that affirms diverse sexual orientations or gender identities;
• Take all necessary legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure the right to found a family, including through access to adoption or assisted procreation (including donor insemination), without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity;
• Ensure the protection of human rights defenders, working on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, against any violence, threat, retaliation, de facto or de jure discrimination, pressure, or any other arbitrary action perpetrated by the State, or by non-State actors, in response to their human rights activities. The same protection should be ensured, to human rights defenders working on any issue, against any such treatment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity;

If we are to pass into a law this anti-discrimination bill or any other bill that was based on these principles, then we are accepting these principles in its very essence. Soon, we shall be facing ourselves with the other gay rights bills that await the passing of the anti-discrimination bill. This bill will open the doors of Philippine society to the legitimization of homosexual behavior and practice, since it is based on the terms of sexual orientation and gender identity.


4. The Anti-discrimination bill may be used to incriminate people who does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle and behavior

Since the bill is based on the terms sexual orientation and gender identity that is defined on behavioral aspects of homosexuality, and discrimination is defined as actual or perceived – there is a danger that this will be used against persons or groups that does not approve of the homosexual behaviors and lifestyle. This danger is evident on the other nations who have already anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation and gender identity is in placed. Examples of how this type of anti-discrimination law has in fact brought discrimination to other types of persons:


South Africa: Homosexual Discrimination Against Heterosexuals and Women “Necessary” for Democracy

“It’s okay for guest houses catering to a homosexual clientele to discriminate against heterosexual couples, women, and lesbians, the Commission on Gender Equality ruled recently, saying it is a “necessity in our democratic society.”

The Human Rights Commission received an official complaint against two Amsterdam guest houses over a year ago, stating that the resorts were billed as “men only.” The Gay and Lesbian Alliance initiated the action after claiming to receive 107 complaints of discrimination from women, lesbians and heterosexual couples who had been turned away, Pretoria News reported yesterday. The complaint was referred to the Commission on Gender Equality, which determined that the guest houses were operating within their rights when they specified “men only,” saying they were “serving a legitimate interest in…that they seek to create a comfortable environment for gay men where they can express themselves freely.” (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/jun/06062704.html)


Cardinal Says Church Must be Exempted From British Homosexual Discrimination Law - Warns if exemption not granted Church could no longer operate adoption agencies
The Chancellor of England, Lord Falconer, told the BBC this weekend that there would be no religious exemptions to the new Equality Act's "sexual orientation regulations" (SOR). In response, England's highest-ranking Catholic prelate has warned that the Church could no longer operate social services such as adoption agencies if the government insists on coercing adherence to the homosexual doctrine. (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/jan/07012401.html)

Homosexual Indoctrination in Schools
Under this new version of the homosexual indoctrination bill, private schools would also be banned from any teaching or activities deemed “adverse” to the homosexual or other alternative lifestyles. This means that any teaching promoting traditional families would be discriminatory. Any activities such as having a prom king and queen or gender-specific bathrooms would also be discriminatory. (http://www.capitolresource.org/web/34.html)

Oakland Employees Persecuted for Stand on Marriage
Two city employees in Oakland were denied their free- speech rights when a supervisor removed a flier the pair had posted on a workplace bulletin board, expressing support for traditional marriage. Despite the fact that the city had earlier disseminated information to workers on a “National Coming Out Day” rally to oppose “hatred and bigotry” against homosexuals, the workers were not permitted to express their own views on the issue. The flier posted by the employees simply promoted a “Good News Employee Association,” where workers could come together to “preserve our workplace with integrity.” The flier stated that the association “is a forum for people of faith to express their views on contemporary issues of the day with respect for the natural family, marriage and family values.” A supervisor removed the flier after a lesbian coworker complained. The employees then sued, claiming that their rights were violated by an Oakland anti- discrimination policy that promotes homosexuality and denounces Christian values. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit and now the case is being appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (http://www.capitolresource.org/web/34.html)

Parental Rights Disappear at the Public School Door
It is alarming when public schools trash parental authority in order to force a politically correct agenda. That’s exactly what happened earlier this month in Massachusetts when a federal judge sided with public schools over parents. Four parents had sued Lexington public school when their children were given books normalizing homosexual families, without their parents’ permission. One couples’ seven-year-old son was read a homosexual fairy tale, “King & King” where a prince turns away a beautiful princess after falling in love with another prince. The princes marry, kiss, and live happily ever after. The story was read as a part of class on weddings. Lexington public school officials argued that schools have the authority to teach homosexuality in a positive light and that parents have no right to remove their children from such instruction, but that parents’ only option is to entirely remove their children from the public school. (http://www.capitolresource.org/web/34.html)


This are the scenarios that will face us when the Anti-Discrimination bill becomes a law. The liberty and freedom of other persons will be jeopardized to favor the LGBT community. Any person who stands to oppose the promotion of homosexual behavior will be outlawed. Now, see this local news taken from Philippine Star dated June 2, 2008:

Sekyu kinuyog ng 5 maingay na bakla
Ni Rose Tamayo-Tesoro (Pilipino Star Ngayon) updated June 02, 2008 12:00 AM

Halos hindi mailarawan ang mukha ng isang guwar­diya makaraang kuyugin, sabunutan at bugbugin siya ng limang bakla na pawang naburyong maka­raang sita­hin niya sa pag-iingay ng mga ito sa loob ng kanyang binabantayang internet cafĂ© kahapon ng hatinggabi sa Makati City. (…) Nauna rito, labis uma­nong nairita ang mga suspek nang sawayin sila ng biktima dahil sa labis nilang pag-iingay na ikinabulahaw din ng iba pang kostumer. Iginiit naman ng mga sus­pek na sila ay mga kustomer at hindi naman sila nang­gugulo. Humantong lamang uma­no ang mainitan nilang pag­tatalo nang laitin na umano sila ng guwardiya sa pagiging homosexual nila na naging dahilan upang pagtulungan nila itong kuyugin at bugbugin.

This is just an example of how members of the LGBT community will be encouraged to harass persons who oppose their behavior, even if these behaviors are already violating the rights and moral sensitivities of other persons. They will vouch on sexual orientation and gender identity as their license to conduct themselves in these behaviors. And this anti-discrimination bill, when it becomes a law, will have a “chilling effect” on the general public, making them avoid and fear homosexual persons all the more for fear of being involved in a discriminatory case.

The LGBT community is not merely asking for acceptance, but superiority. We, members of Courage, are persons with same-sex attractions (like them), but we are working not only for acceptance by society, but for us to be empowered to face our condition and humbly change to become better persons for others. We begin with ourselves.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

News & Commentaries


1. To Proclaim Christ, Know Him, Pope Recommends

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Being a witness to Christ presupposes knowing him firsthand, not just being told of him by others, Benedict XVI says. Read More

2. Abortion Judged Morally Wrong by US Majority

Survey Shows Increasing Pro-Life Trend

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, JAN. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- As Americans mark today's 37th anniversary of the U.S. court decision that legalized abortion, a new poll shows that the country's majority thinks killing the unborn is morally wrong. Read More

3. Women, Children to Suffer From ‘Renewable Marriage’ Proposal

MANILA, Jan. 20, 2010— More women and children are bound to suffer from a proposal that would mandate a 10-year limit on the validity of marriage contract. Read More

4. Prop. 8 Trial Witnesses Make ‘Troubling’ Attack on Religion and Catholic Teaching

San Francisco, Calif., Jan 22, 2010 / 07:17 am (CNA).- Court witnesses arguing against California’s Proposition 8 have described religious beliefs of those who believe marriage is between a man and a woman as biased and a “chief obstacle” to homosexuals’ “political progress.” The comments were part of a “troubling” attack on religion, Proposition 8 defenders say. Read More

5. McCain's Wife, Daughter Back Gay Marriage Movement

WASHINGTON – Cindy McCain, the wife of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, and their daughter Meghan have posed for photos endorsing pro-gay marriage forces in California. Read More

6. What Qualifies the United States to Lecture Uganda on Homosexuality? Read More

7. Study: Teens who Get Intoxicated Regularly are More Likely to be Sexually Active

OTTAWA, January 20, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new study released yesterday by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada has revealed that teens who become intoxicated regularly and smoke marijuana are more likely to become sexually active, among other findings. Read More

8. Hawaii Faces Same-Sex Civil Unions Vote Today

HONOLULU, January 19, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Thousands of pro-family demonstrators filled the state capital of Hawaii this Sunday, telling legislators that homosexual “civil unions” are not welcome in their state. Attendees at the event, sponsored by the Hawaii Family Forum, were joined by Lt. Gov. James Aiona, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and several state lawmakers. Similar events were held across the state, with hundreds more rallying at the State Building in Wailuku. Read More

9. Highlights of Vatican Document on Homosexual Unions (Must Read)

Following are quoted highlights of the Vatican document “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons” which was released on July 31, 2003. The document was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope John Paul II. Read More

10. Why You Should Watch an Otherwise Brainless TV Show Read More



Quote:

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in time of great moral crisis." - Dante Alighieri

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Journey Through Life


This is an open invitation from our pro-life friend, Dr. Orestes Monzon, on Family Life.


The Philippine Heart Center in celebration of The Heart Month and 35 years of Service to the Filipino People invites you to a Symposium on Family and Life on February 9, 2010 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, DAPA Hall Philippine Heart Center, East Avenue, Quezon City.


Programme

8:00-9:00 AM Registration

9:00-9:15 Welcome Ceremonies
Dr. OP Monzon
AM Moderator: Ms. Emilia P. Olbes

9:15-10:00 Talk I
“Life and Love”
Fr. James Mc Tavish, FMVD
Loyola House of Studies
University of Santo Tomas

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-11:00 Talk II
“Why me ?” The Real Meaning of Suffering
Dr. Edna Garayblas-Monzon
Department of Bioethics
University of Santo Tomas

11:00-12:00 Panel Discussion & Open Forum
Panel: Fr. James Mc Tavish, Dr. Edna G. Mnzon,
Dr. Angelita Miguel Aguirre, Dr. Minerva Calimag
Ms. Letty Kuan, Moderator

12:00-1:00 Lunch
PM Moderator: Dr. Florimond Garcia

1:00-1:45 Talk III
Love is Worth Waiting For
Fr. Joel Jayson
Ministry for Family and Life
Archdiocese of Manila

1:45-2:30 Talk IV
Raising Children with Values in a
Secular World
Dr. Eligio Maghirang
De La Salle University

3:30-4:30 Panel Discussion & Open Forum
Panel: Fr. Joel Jayson, Dr. Eligio Maghirang,
Dr. William and Salve Olalia
Dr. Florimond Garcia, Moderator

4:30 Closing Ceremony
Dr. OP Monzon, Ms. Jean Wong


INVITED PANELISTS/MODERATORS

Dr. Angelita Miguel Aguirre
Dr. Minerva Calimag
Dr. Florimond Garcia
Ms. Letty Kuan
Dr. William Olalia
Dr. Salve Olalia

Orestes P. Monzon, MD
Symposium Director


REGISTRATION FEE

Registration: PHP 600.00 only

Catholic Physicians’ Guild of the Philippines
Members: PHP 500.00 only

Free Admission to Registered
PHC Employees
Call PHC HRD Ms. J. Wong

For paid registrants:
Registration fee include Lunch,
Coffee, Tea and Certificate.

Open to the Public
Interested persons may call:
PHC Nuclear Medicine (Edith)
925.2401 Local 2165
cell: 0917.7960900
email: voices4life@gmail.com

Seats are limited.
Please register today.


INVITED SPEAKERS

James Mc Tavish (jamesmctavishfmvd@yahoo.co.uk) is a Verbum Dei Catholic priest. Graduating in medicine from Cambridge University, England (1992) he specialized in Pediatric Plastic surgery before leaving everything behind to follow the call of the Lord. He had further studies in Moral Theology and Bioethics in Rome and is currently teaching at the Graduate School and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Santo Tomas and the Loyola School of Theology. He is thankful to God for the mission in the Philippines, with a dedication to preach the Word of God through retreats and recollections and the formation of the lay for their mission of evangelization. He is trying hard to learn Tagalog.

Edna Garayblas Monzon (ednamonzon@yahoo.com) earned her medical degree from the University of Santo Tomas. She was trained in the field of Heart Diseases at the Philippine Heart Center and at the Hopital Cardiovasculaire I de Lyon in France. She had an intensive post graduate training in the field of Bioethics at Baylor Medical College in Houston Texas and Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University in Missouri. She is at present, a Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioethics at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas.

Joel Jayson (frajoel@mydestiny.net) is a Catholic priest assigned at the Family and Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila.

Eligio Maghirang (maghirange@dlsu.edu.ph) finished his medical degree from De La Salle University and residency in Emergency Room Medicine at the Makati Medical Center. He has a certification program for Health Care Ethics at the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He is presently connected with Makati Medical Center and Asian Hospital. He teaches at De La Salle University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology . He is happily married with three daughters and two sons. His interests include practical shooting in paintball and airsoft wargames, kendo, mountaineering, hiking, automobiles. Add classical and jazz music.


“You give but little when you give of your material possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." - Kahlil Gibran

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Choosing Christ without Demanding Change



This is a newsletter article written by Josh Glaser for Regeneration Ministries.


Sexual sin has been tenacious in my life. I remember my very first night at a Regeneration gathering—sharing that I wanted to “get in, get better, and get out because I have work to do for the Lord.” I had no idea how deeply my sexual sin ran, and I had no idea how long freedom would take.

We live in a consumer-driven culture,and as such our mindset about nearly everything is from the perspective of being consumers: What does this offer me? Is this a good deal for my money (or time, or energy, etc.)? What do I get out of this? If we don’t like this show, we turn the channel. If we don’t like our neighbors, we build a fence. If we don’t like the pastor’s preaching, we find a new church.

But pursuing sexual wholeness is a journey, and a long one at that. This doesn’t fit well into our what does this offer me mindset.

Sexual sin is not the next door neighbor of sexual purity, addiction is not the neighbor of freedom, and brokenness is not the neighbor of wholeness. Moving from one to the other can be a lengthy trek. When the Jews escaped Egypt, they were not yet home. They were free, but they weren’t free like those who have a home are free. In fact, they longed at times to return to slavery in Egypt—it felt more familiar and more secure to them than following God.

In between where we were and where we’re headed we encounter desert, waiting, battle, hunger, and pain. Sometimes these are in the form of powerful and soothing temptations: I can’t resist this forever, he/she understands me like nobody else does, I’ll just give in this one last time so I can get some sleep, or No one will find out. Sometimes these are in the form of vast amounts of space once filled with the excitement and pleasure of our sin. And sometimes these are in the form of new challenges—areas of growth we never dared walk through before—perhaps in the area of our relationships, or how we see our pasts, or how we take responsibility for our lives.

An added challenge are the many voices around us saying that if we’re experiencing desert it means we’re on the wrong track. They beckon us back into slavery, saying pornography doesn’t hurt anyone, some marriages simply don’t work, homosexual men and women cannot change, all of this sexual purity stuff is antiquated and repressive. We must hold to One stronger than the voices around us.


Obeying Without Condition

In the book of Daniel when three Jewish boys were given the choice by king Nebuchadnezzar to worship a false god or be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire, they responded:

"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16 – 18, NAS)

These three boys had been stripped of their home and taken into captivity in Babylon. They were stripped of their Hebrew names (Hananiah means YAHWEH is gracious, Mishael means Who is like God, and Azariah means YAHWEH has helped) and given Babylonian names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (meaning Command of Aku [Babylonian moon god], Who is like Aku, and Servant of Nebo [Babylonian god of wisdom], respectively). But when given the choice to bow under pressure to another god, they said no. Who would have blamed them if they had bowed? After all, they would have only been assenting outwardly; inwardly they would have remained believers in the one true God, right?

They lead the charge for us. They submitted themselves (including their bodies) to obedience whatever the cost, no matter how God pulled through for them. Like them, we choose obedience to Christ no matter what, however foolish our choice appears to the world around us. And like Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, we do not need to give an answer concerning this matter when voices around us tempt us to give in.

Our obedience is not based on what we expect Him to do for us. Too many have forsaken following Christ when they did not receive from Him what they expected when they expected it. This is an attitude of entitlement, a consumer mentality. Our first question is not whether or not we will choose to change our behaviors or attractions or temptations, but whether or not we will choose Christ.

I remember talking with Jeff Johnston (who was on our staff for several years) after yet another sexual fall. I was discouraged and questioning whether or not I’d ever be able to walk in consistent freedom. He responded, “Well, what are you going to do, give up?” It was a clarifying question for me—the choice was that clear: continue to pursue Christ and His healing or forsake Him and give my life over to sexual sin. I knew what I wanted to do.


Offering Our Small 'Yes'

Once we’ve decided we are going to pursue Christ no matter what, most of us still face the daily battle with sexual urges and desires that do not match up with this decision. And if we end up returning to our sin, we question our sincerity.

After defeat, it’s common for men and women to respond by making a ‘big decision’ to overcome all over again. They rededicate their lives to Christ or ‘repent’ more fervently. There were times for me when I wondered whether or not I was really a Christian; I’ve met many who wrestle with this based on repeated defeats with sin.

For ten years of my sexual addiction, into the first few years of recovery, it seemed I could not say no to certain temptations. I didn’t want to admit this to myself at first—it was humiliating, frightening, and it didn’t fit too well with my understanding at the time of how my Christian life was supposed to be going. But time and time again, my actions showed me this was true.

Though the ‘big decision’ to follow Christ with one’s sexuality has been made, our wills aren’t yet big enough to handle the big decision. Our wills have become weakened with every yes to sin, and they seem to be powerless to say no when temptation comes. When we hear the justification “This will be the last time,” deep down we know it’s not true. Giving in this time makes our wills even less able to refuse sin next time, less willing to say yes to God.

Here it can be helpful to start with smaller decisions, smaller yes’s to God. As Jesus said to the Pharisees at the beginning of His ministry, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). We do this initially by offering what we can to keep with repentance, not what we can’t. Later in Matthew, Jesus says that if your hand, foot, or eye causes you to stumble, to cut it off or pluck it out (Matthew 18:8,9). He makes this personal. He doesn’t say someone else ought to cut off our hand if they see it’s causing us to sin. Why not? Because He is after more than just outward obedience, He is after our hearts as well, and avoiding those things that cause us to stumble is an act, however small, that comes from our hearts.

If your behavior has shown that you cannot refrain from looking at pornography on-line, you can’t say no to his/her advances, or you can’t stop calling the chat line for sex, then perhaps these yeses are too big for your will right now. This isn’t an excuse because you can offer your smaller ‘yes’ to God: install a good Internet filter (or get rid of your computer), make it your decision to never be alone with him/her so his/her advances won’t come your way, have the phone company block the chat line number so you can’t call. These are just examples of some smaller yes’s. There are so many more.

Early in my journey, I had to take a number of steps like these: I had a roommate hold my credit cards so I couldn’t use them to buy pornography; I had certain phone number prefixes blocked on my phone; and I committed to weekly participation in a support group and daily phone calls to an accountability partner. I’ve known others who have given up driving to and from work, others who chose never to go to certain parts of town, some who sent out e-mails to past lovers telling them politely but firmly to never contact them again.

A small yes offered to God is no small thing. We begin where we are; we cannot begin where we aren’t. And the small yes helps build our will to be able to offer a larger yes along with more and more of ourselves—heart, soul, mind, and body—to God. And as Dallas Willard puts it in Renovation of the Heart, God “is sensitive to the slightest move of the heart toward Him.”


Consecration to God

An interesting thing happens for those who commit to follow Christ no matter what, taking small but definitive steps to walk out that commitment — they change. Frequently, the change starts somewhere differently than they’d imagined. The late John White, in his book Eros Redeemed discusses how God’s priorities for changing us are often not the same as our own. He likens it to when a person is brought into the hospital with critical wounds—the triage doctors and nurses have to decide what is most vital and where they will begin focusing their efforts.

Over the years, some who have come to our ministry came wanting their same-sex attractions to go away, or to have their marriage restored, or to find freedom from habitual sexual sin, or to no longer bend into other men or women. Instead they found that God began working in a different area of their lives: helping them to renounce self-hatred; calling them to put down their masks of “good Christian”; gently inviting them to face the abuse of their past with Him; bidding them to forsake pride and isolation. There have been a myriad of issues where God has been at work.

Yes, the journey God has for you will lead to victories along the way, and so sometimes there is great joy! But your journey may also lead to an empty place, a desert, just like it did for the Jewish people so many years ago. In Gerald May’s book Addiction and Grace, he writes:

Consecration means dedication to God. It occurs when we claim our deepest desire for God, beneath, above,and beyond all things. Everything we do involves some kind of dedication. When we simply try to reform a troublesome addiction, our struggle is dedicated to minimizing the pain that addiction causes us and others. But in consecration we dedicate our struggle to something more; consecration is our assent to God’s transforming grace, our commitment homeward.

When we consecrate this journey to God, everything takes on new meaning. Our victories and our failures alike become opportunities to revel in God’s grace; resisting temptation and leaving a desire unmet become acts of worship; the objects of our temptation become those we fight for not against; and the journey itself—however long it takes and no matter how outwardly successful it may or may not seem—becomes a journey between Father and child.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

News & Commentaries


1. Vatican Asks US Agency to Lead Haiti Effort

Catholic Relief Services Coordinating Earthquake Aid

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, JAN. 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Catholic Relief Services, the international humanitarian agency of the U.S. bishops' conference, was asked by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum to coordinate aid for earthquake victims in Haiti. Read More

2. Church Doesn't Oppose Research, Says Pope

Recalls Natural Law Is Accessible to Non-Believers

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Church is not opposed to medical research, but seeks to offer a moral framework that is understandable for anyone who exercises right reason, Benedict XVI reminded the Vatican congregation he formerly led. [Read More]

3. CBCP: Reject Candidates Supporting Birth Control

MANILA, Jan. 15, 2010—Presidential survey frontrunner Senator Benigno Aquino is likely to lose major votes if Catholics will seriously take a call from their church leaders not to vote for candidates supporting birth control. [Read More]

4. SC Restraining Order Makes Ladlad Feel Gay

MANILA, Philippines – It may be a temporary victory but it’s a good enough reason for them to feel gay.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday restrained the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from enforcing its resolution disqualifying the gay group “Ang Ladlad” from the party-list elections in May. [Read More]

5. Homosexual Icon Frank Kameny Calls the God of the Bible a 'Sinful Homophobic Bigot' who Needs to Repent

Frank Kameny, a “pioneering” homosexual activist celebrated by fellow homosexuals the world over — and honored by President Obama and his administration — says the God of the Bible is a “sinful homophobic bigot” who needs to “repent of his sinful homophobia.” [Read More]

6. Liberty From Sin, Not Liberty To Sin [Read More]

7. Judge Says Public Vote on D.C. Gay “Marriage” Law Would Violate Human Rights Act

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 15, 2010 (LifeSIteNews.com) - A Washington D.C. judge has ruled that a ballot initiative against the recently approved same-sex "marriage" law would violate the District's Human Rights Act, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. [Read More]

8. Ontario Bishops Reject High School “Gender Studies” Course

TORONTO, Ontario, January 15, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario have rejected a “Gender Studies” course that is being promoted by the Ontario Ministry of Education. [Read More]

9. Churches Bear Brunt of Anger in Malaysia

BANGKOK, Thailand — Churches in Malaysia have come under attack after a court ruling permitted Christians to use the word “Allah” in publications.

In the wake of the ruling, nine church buildings had been attacked around the country, though no injuries have been reported. [Read More]

10. Portugal MPs Approve Gay Marriage

LISBON — Portugal's parliament Friday approved plans to legalise gay marriage, less than three decades after revoking the country's ban on homosexuality, but rejected proposals to allow same sex couples to adopt. [Read More]


Viva Senor Sto. Nino!



Quote:

"It is the childlike mind that finds the kingdom." - Charles Fillmore

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lord, Have Mercy on Haiti



Father Jean Jadotte, associate pastor of Miami's Notre Dame D'Haiti parish, sends these prayer intentions for Haiti.

-We are praying for hope despite this situation, that even as we face darkness, people may see a pinpoint of light.

-Praying for families.

-Pray for a greater conscience among everyone not just in Haiti but all over that we must do something [to help].

-Pray for a spirit of thanksgiving for international agencies for their good heart and good faith.

-Pray for relief workers to have a spirit of patience and perseverance.

-For those who at this time are in search of meaning in their lives and peace.

-Eternal rest grant these victims of the earthquake in Haiti oh Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all your faithfully departed, by your mercy, rest in peace. Amen.


For additional news and info on the earthquake, including pictures, videos and articles, as well as ongoing plans for relief services, visit:




Thursday, January 14, 2010

M&M's Journey with Courage



This is M&M's journey with Courage. All I can say about this lady is that she is one of the most amiable and thoughtful persons around. She is truly a joy to be with.


I have been with the group at exactly 11 months by now. At first I was very hesitant to attend because I’m afraid that the group will judge me, but I was wrong. Instead, I’ve found a new set of friends that will help me and will guide me towards my struggle. I was very amazed seeing some of my brothers and sisters in the group. Why? Because I’ve found them very “pogi” and “handsome” and “beautiful”. No kidding! They are all peace-loving men and women.

During my 11 months of journey with the group, I must say that it’s not very easy for me like any other members. Until now, I’m still in pain – that pain almost makes my heart and life turn around. My experience and struggle with SSA made me an undesirable person (as I think of myself) because I never thought that I will have such struggle since I’m a devout Catholic and involved in many different church activities and organizations. Last 2008 was a big challenge in my life; an answered prayer came. When Bro. Rollie was our speaker, he talked about how the church deal with people with SSA. I found a way of how I can get his number and became interested in joining the group. Because I want to change, that is one desire of my heart.

I know from that time on God has a wonderful plan for me. I really tried my best to attend the group meeting although sometimes my schedule does not permit me to come, but I knew that the group is praying for me. Surprises by surprises came. One of those happened last May 2009 when for the first time I attended the group outing. I thought that all of the members will join since it’s a group activity. Guess what? I am the only girl in the group of 11 men. I am surrounded with 11 “handsome” men, but since I’m the only girl they call me “yaya”. One of them call me “ate” even though he is much older than me, but it’s fine with me. It was the first time in my life that I was not afraid being with boys. When I was young I was taught by my grandmother to stay away from boys, maybe because she is afraid because I’m the eldest granddaughter. I don’t know how to swim, but my brothers carry me in their backs just to go to the deep part of the pool. I went home happy telling my family my experience. They were also surprised knowing that I’m the only girl in the group.

My life continues after that keeping it in my heart. Months pass by, my emotional dependency still keeps my heart and my everyday life ruined I must say. Because I cannot anymore work and be focused in my life, I ask God to really give me the grace to move on and be healed by God. It’s not easy because I refuse God’s grace maybe because I really give my whole heart not to God but with my ED. It’s also God’s blessing that Bro. Rollie, Kuya B, and Ate C were there to support me, answering every text, phone calls, and always ready to listen to my mourning.

Thanks to the continuous prayer of the group for me and with the other members because now I can say that step by step I felt that God is guiding me in my way towards chastity and goodness. I always remember Fr. Dan telling me to always trust God every time I would feel emptiness and loneliness because it is only in God that I can find true solace and peace. Those are just some changes in my life this year. I finally accepted that I will never be happy with that past relationship. All I want now is to be happy and have a peace in my heart. And who knows maybe God has a greater plan for me this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Courage's Counter Proposal to HB 956



In our previous post, we explained in great detail our position on the Anti-Discrimination Bill (HB 956). This time we have come up with a counter proposal that will more effectively answer the issue of discrimination of homosexual persons, without the dangers and ambiguity of the current bills. You can download a copy of this counter proposal here.



COUNTER-PROPOSAL
OF
COURAGE PHILIPPINES
ON HOUSE BILL 956, SENATE BILL 11 and other similar bills
“An Act Prohibiting Discrimination
On the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
And Providing Penalties Therefore”


1. The Anti-Discrimination bills (HB956, SB11 and similar bills) is not the answer to discrimination.

As we have outlined in our position paper, there are several reasons why HB956, SB11 and similar such bills do not answer the problem of discrimination. Such reasons are the following (details of which are found in the position paper)

a. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Classification is Unreasonable and Against the “Equal Protection” clause
Classification of individuals according to law must have a clear and distinct difference between categories. It must go beyond a superficial difference to a substantial distinction. The terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” does not pass this criterion. Moreover, a law that is passed for persons using these classifications unjustly favors a group of individuals over the rest of similar nature, and therefore violates the constitutional guaranty of equal protection.

b. The Danger of “Discrimination”
As this bill defines “discrimination” as actual or perceived draws it into a relativistic point – depending upon the perception of an individual that cries for discrimination. Among many other “dangers” that this definition and its accompanying provisions bring, there can be four (4) major points:
- Scheming individuals, whether or not they are homosexuals, may manipulate the law and use “discrimination” to extort from persons and/or institutions that are not protected by this bill
- By mere suspicion and without any substantial evidence, any homosexual person may use “discrimination” against anyone whom he or she pleases
- The definition of sexual orientation and gender identity in this bill includes inclinations and behavior, to which the bill does not account for the legitimacy of the behavior done – such as public scandals & sexual activities
- Discrimination under other analogous circumstances may pave the way for other groups, such as pedophiles, sadomasochists, and exhibitionists, to justify their actions and behavior as being part of their sexuality.

c. Superceding Other Criminal Laws
The repealing clause of the bill will consider useless and numb all other criminal laws that are “inconsistent” to the agenda of the bill – that is protection of persons with a different sexual orientation. It will warranty any kind of behavior of homosexual persons – whether or not it is legal or moral in nature, or whether or not it undermines the rights of another human person.

d. Redundant of Existing Laws recognized in the Philippines
There are sufficient laws recognized in the Philippines that can be invoked for the protection of the rights of anyone – including homosexual persons. The common problem of these laws being practiced and conferred upon persons in the current situation of Philippine society is NOT a matter of the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, but a matter of the person’s popularity, riches and/or power.

e. Causes versus Effects with Discriminatory Practices
Hon. Loreta Ann Rosales, in her introductory cover of HB 634, mentions that discrimination is caused primarily by “misconceptions and ignorance”. With this being said, is it justifiable to confer punishment to anyone who does not fully understand, much less define, sexual orientation and gender identity? Is it right to impose penalty on someone who is brought up by a society that misunderstands, makes fun of, and scoffs at homosexual persons? It is like training a dog to bite a person in red pants, and kills the dog when it does bite a person in red pants. It is best to properly educate the general public first, let this new learned concept be practiced, before imposing a law.


2. Learning about Homosexuality.

We must ask ourselves – where does the Filipino public get their idea/s about homosexuality? There is a wide genre of information available about homosexuality, but let us examine those sources that are immediately available and are popularly presented in Philippine society:

a. Immediate environment – in the home, in the neighborhood, in school or in the office, are there self-confessed homosexual persons? How do they conduct themselves? What is their lifestyle? How are they perceived by family, friends and immediate environment? Are there issues of gossiping, extortions, falsehood or immoral acts such as public sexual acts attached to the homosexual person? Or is the news about being a good provider and defender of the family, or being a creative and responsible student or worker?

b. Direct experience with a homosexual – how does one describe his or her experience being with a homosexual person? What are the products of these experiences? Are they fond of homosexual persons, just because they are funny but because they are worth of friendship? Or are they despising of them because of experiences of sexual advances or betrayal of friendship?

c. Mass Communications – though it may be indirect information, one cannot deny the effects that media imposes upon its subscribers; particularly gay literature that presents an agenda to its recipients

- Books such as Skin, Voices, Faces (1991) by Danton Remoto, Closet Quivers (1992) by Neil Garcia, Cubao 1980 at iba pang Katha (1992) by Tony Perez, A Different Love: Being Gay in the Philippines (1993) by Margarity Go-Singco, Ang Lunes na Mahirap Bunuin (1993) by Nicolas B. Pichay, Ladlad: An Anthology of Philippine Gay Writing (1994) edited by Remoto and Garcia, Ladlad 2 (1995) edited by Remoto and Garcia, Woman to Woman: A Collection of Lesbian Reflections (1995) edited by Aida F. Santos and Ginay Villar, Seduction and Solitude (1995) by Remoto; mostly published by Anvil Publishers.

- Magazines such as Icon, L, Valentino and Generation Pink

- Television shows such as GMA-7’s OUT and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

- Movies such as (international) Philadelphia, Broke Back Mountain and (local) Pusong Mamon, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Markova and movies with sex themes such as Macho Dancers, Twilight Dancers, Sibak, Bathhouse, Duda, Bilog, Masahista, Ang Lalaki sa Parola, Day Break, Lihim ni Antonio

- Stage Plays such as ZsaZsa Zaturnah and M Butterfly

- Gay Icons such as Boy Abunda, John Lapus, IC Mendoza, Ricky Reyes, and Inday Garutay

Collectively, what do these sources tell us about homosexuality? Let us examine only those points that aim to provide a foundation for the gay agenda (see attached speech of Michael Swift, 1987).

• Homosexuality is a gift of nature
Gays are born, not made. It is a gift that must be celebrated and flaunted for everyone to see.

• Homosexual behavior cannot be controlled
Dressing up and having mannerisms of the opposite sex, desiring and engaging in sexual activities with persons of the same-sex, and other similar behaviors are innate with the homosexual person; if you are homosexual, then you behave as such.

• Homosexuals are preoccupied seeking sexual relationships with the same-sex
Gay literature and websites would most often feature items which are sexual by nature – nude pictures, erotic stories, sex toys, cruising places, bars and meeting up places etc.

• The Church is homophobic and propagate a culture of hate against homosexual persons
Conservative (anti-liberal) movements such as the Church condemn homosexual persons as sinners and sick people, and thus contribute to hate crimes and acts of discrimination against gays.

• Homosexuals who are accepted for what they are AND for what they do live happy lives
If only people will accept homosexuals for who they are (including what they do like same-sex sexual activities and same-sex partnerships/marriages), they will be happy.

• Once a homosexual, always a homosexual
This is a finality statement – that no matter what a homosexual do (having heterosexual marriage, being in therapy etc.), he or she will always remain a homosexual.


3. These ideas about homosexuality contribute to “misconceptions and ignorance” that leads to discrimination.

Let us ask another question: are these ideas presenting the whole picture about homosexuality? Or are they contributing to the misconceptions and ignorance about homosexuality?

For a typical Filipino, if asked to describe a “bakla”, terms that will probably be enlisted are: “mukhang babae”, “malandi”, “maharot”, “kikay”, “nakikipag-sex sa kapwa lalaki”, “parlorista”, “chismosa”, “madaldal”, “maingay” – and if asked to describe a “tomboy”, terms that will probably come out are: “mukhang lalaki”, “brusko”, “matapang”, “security guard”, “bouncer”, “possessive”, “nakikipag-sex sa kapwa babae”…

One may say these are all stereotypical descriptions of homosexuals – but where do they get these descriptions? Where do homosexuals get information on the character and behavior of homosexuals? We have answered this already. Yet, despite of all the gay literature available, these notions about homosexuals still abound, and homosexuals still behave the same. And these ideas directly or indirectly contribute to discrimination of homosexuals.

For the homosexual: knowing that he or she is born gay, is pre-occupied with sex, his/her behavior cannot be controlled, and that he or she will forever be gay – this person will engage himself or herself into a lifestyle that seeks to integrate behaviors into the person, such that he or she will not be able to see himself or herself apart from the dressing up or the mannerisms or the sexual activities or the same-sex partnerships that he or she has.

For the person who is not homosexual: knowing that homosexuals are born, are pre-occupied with sex, with behaviors that cannot be controlled, and that they will never change – this person will relate with a homosexual as if the behavior is integrated with the person, and so if news reach him through media or through experiences of other persons (sometimes even his/her personal experience) that a homosexual behaved badly (e.g. involved in a financial scam or caught in sexual activities in public or harassing young men into having sex with him for a price or for fame), he or she will label this behavior upon all homosexuals, and thus develop a discriminating mindset against homosexuals.

The cases of discrimination or “hate crimes” against homosexuals are a by-product of the behaviors that homosexuals exhibit in either public or private affairs. People who have bad experiences with homosexual persons (e.g. molested or scammed or abused) tend to relate with hatred towards any homosexual. But people who have had good experiences with homosexual persons tend to relate with love towards any homosexual.

Yet, gay activists have always accused the Church of propagating a culture of hate. However, difficult as it may seem, the Church has always distinguished the person from the behavior – and continued to protect the dignity of the human person, whether homosexual or heterosexual, while disapproving of the behavior of sexual activity outside marriage, whether homosexual or heterosexual.


4. Better understanding of homosexuality leads to a better treatment of homosexual persons.

In spite the proliferation of gay literature, gay films, gay lingo and ultimately the gay culture in Philippine society, homosexuals still cry out as being victims of discrimination. Why is this so?

Gay culture only presents WHAT homosexuals DO, and play down, if not totally avoid, the discussions on WHY.

It is one thing to present what gay people do, yet if we want people to understand homosexuality, we must go beyond definitions and behaviors and start answering the question: why does a person become gay?

To dismiss this question and state that society must just accept homosexuals for who they are AND what they do undermines the intelligence of the Filipino people – unless it is really part of the gay agenda to dismiss discussions on the origins of homosexuality.

If people will understand why a person becomes a homosexual, and what factors contribute to homosexuality; as well as the painful road that a homosexual undergoes in his or her growing up years, there will be no room for discrimination, only much room for love and affirmation.

Our group can testify as to how our family and friends have better understood and loved us knowing this.


5. Education is the answer to Discrimination!

There are hard facts that must be given to the Filipino public, and this is to be given through continuous education. We hope that our legislative bodies, instead of approving bills that are deceptive and are ultimately cloaked with the gay agenda, will develop and approve measures that will re-educate our people on the truths about homosexuality. Some of these truths are as follows:

a. A homosexual is a person with same-sex attractions.
There are homosexuals in all walks of life – whether or not they fit into the stereotypes presented in society. They may be fashion designers or showbiz personalities or corporate managers or teachers or persons in high authority – the common characteristic is that they are sexually attracted to persons of the same-sex.

b. There is a difference between homosexual attraction and homosexual behavior.
Being attracted to persons of the same-sex is something that one doesn’t have control – initially. But how do we respond to such attractions, and how do we conduct ourselves as a result of these attractions – our behavior, this is where we have control.

c. Homosexuality is not all of genetics but more of environment.
Gay research has for years been searching for a gay gene but has found no concrete, repeatable and reliable study to prove one. Though it may be uncertain that genetics may play a part in the development of homosexuality in a person, many studies (see those published in www.narth.com) suggest that it is more of environmental factors (family, peers, school, religion, media, society etc.) that determines the homosexual inclination of an individual.

d. Homosexuals have choices.
Since behavior is a matter of choice, the homosexual can choose whether to dress and act like the same-sex or the opposite sex, whether to flaunt their homosexuality or to hide it “in the closet” or to deny it, whether to engage in same-sex activities or not, whether to look for a partner or not and similar such other choices

e. Change is difficult but possible for the homosexual.
Since the homosexual has choices, then ultimately he or she has a choice whether or not to continue living in the homosexual lifestyle, or to break free from this lifestyle and live a chaste life, and furthermore to rediscover his manhood or her womanhood and be happily heterosexually married and bring up a family. Countless individuals can testify to the hope of change, and as such ministries have been developed and continue to reach our to persons with same-sex attractions who are now open to change (see www.peoplecanchange.com, www.gaytostraight.org, www.pureintimacy.org and Door of Hope ministry of www.settingcaptivesfree.com)

f. There are groups available to help homosexuals who decide to change.
Individuals who were formerly gay are less known today – but they exist. Yet we could name some famous names such as Ansel Beluso (who was a screaming gay personality in the 1980’s, and who is now a loving husband and a father to three kids) and Vins Santiago (who is a transsexual under the classic statement “woman trapped in a man’s body”, and who is now a man dressing and acting like a man).

These individuals have decided to proclaim the message of hope that homosexuals can change, and have formed groups that help other men and women find their own unique roads to change. Such groups are:
- Bagong Pag-asa under the leadership of John Zulueta (www.bagongpagasa.org )
- Called to be Free Ministries under the leadership of Vins Santiago (www.called2bfree.com )
- Gentlemen of the Lord (Couples for Christ) under the leadership of Ansel Beluso and Myke Perfecto
- Courage under the leadership of Rollie delos Reyes II (www.couragerc.net )
- Ichthus Community under the leadership of Joe Garcia
- Aftercall Community under the leadership of Jelo de Guzman (www.aftercall.ning.com)

g. God, through the Church, loves the homosexual person.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that homosexuals “…must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” If only every Catholic knows this teaching of the Church, as well as its other teachings on homosexuality such as Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI) Letter to the Bishops On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986), we would understand how much the Church cares for its flock – even the homosexual person.

Through these hard truths we may educate our people on homosexuality, and thus end the discrimination that emanates from the incomplete and sometimes twisted ideas presented by the gay agenda to our society.


THE HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA
By Michael Swift,
"Gay Revolutionary." Reprinted from The Congressional Record. First printed in Gay Community News, February 15-21 1987


"We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

Women, you cry for freedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make you unhappy. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculine physique, shall take your men from you then. We will amuse them; we will instruct them; we will embrace them when they weep. Women, you say you wish to live with each other instead of with men. Then go and be with each other. We shall give your men pleasures they have never known because we are foremost men too, and only one man knows how to truly please another man; only one man can understand the depth and feeling, the mind and body of another man.

All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men. All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.

If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.

We shall write poems of the love between men; we shall stage plays in which man openly caresses man; we shall make films about the love between heroic men which will replace the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, heterosexual infatuations presently dominating your cinema screens. We shall sculpt statues of beautiful young men, of bold athletes which will be placed in your parks, your squares, your plazas. The museums of the world will be filled only with paintings of graceful, naked lads.
Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable and de rigueur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles. We will eliminate heterosexual liaisons through usage of the devices of wit and ridicule, devices which we are skilled in employing.

We will unmask the powerful homosexuals who masquerade as heterosexuals. You will be shocked and frightened when you find that your presidents and their sons, your industrialists, your senators, your mayors, your generals, your athletes, your film stars, your television personalities, your civic leaders, your priests are not the safe, familiar, bourgeois, heterosexual figures you assumed them to be. We are everywhere; we have infiltrated your ranks. Be careful when you speak of homosexuals because we are always among you; we may be sitting across the desk from you; we may be sleeping in the same bed with you.

There will be no compromises. We are not middle-class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are the natural aristocrats of the human race, and steely-minded aristocrats never settle for less. Those who oppose us will be exiled. We shall raise vast private armies, as Mishima did, to defeat you. We shall conquer the world because warriors inspired by and banded together by homosexual love and honor are invincible as were the ancient Greek soldiers.

The family unit-spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence--will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants.

All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men. We adhere to a cult of beauty, moral and esthetic. All that is ugly and vulgar and banal will be annihilated. Since we are alienated from middle-class heterosexual conventions, we are free to live our lives according to the dictates of the pure imagination. For us too much is not enough.

The exquisite society to emerge will be governed by an elite comprised of gay poets. One of the major requirements for a position of power in the new society of homoeroticism will be indulgence in the Greek passion. Any man contaminated with heterosexual lust will be automatically barred from a position of influence. All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice and will become invisible men.

We shall rewrite history, history filled and debased with your heterosexual lies and distortions. We shall portray the homosexuality of the great leaders and thinkers who have shaped the world. We will demonstrate that homosexuality and intelligence and imagination are inextricably linked, and that homosexuality is a requirement for true nobility, true beauty in a man.

We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages. We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution.
Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks."