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Cebu passes ordinance protecting LGBTQ community

Mary Ruth Malinao - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed on Thursday an ordinance, which recognizes members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and creates a body that will protect and look after their welfare.

Inflicting physical harm and publicly humiliating anyone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics or civil status are among the acts punishable under the ordinance.

Vexing, harassing and threatening whether verbally or physically as well as subjecting a person to jokes, pranks and humor based on sexual orientation are also punishable offenses.

Violators face imprisonment of three to six months and fine ranging from P3,000 to P5,000.

The ordinance also calls for the creation of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sex Characteristics Pride Empowerment Council, which shall advocate for empowerment and development of the sector.

“This is timely because the city will now have a body that will help fight discrimination among the members of the LGBTQ,” Rama said.

MICHAEL RAMA

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