This June has been celebrated by the world as Pride Month, as it has always been in past years to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall protests in New York City. Parades and events putting the LGBT Community front and center have been occurring in many countries within this period. And earlier still, some territories have taken significant steps in securing the rights of their LGBT citizens. One major example has been Taiwan which had legalized same-sex marriage in May. And that is something former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach would like to see happening in the Philippines too, hence her public support.
Inquirer.net has it that Pia Wurtzbach, who gave the country its first Miss Universe title (2015) since Margie Moran (1973), publicly expressed her hope of seeing the Philippines pass legislation providing for same-sex marriage to LGBT couples. The former titleholder said her piece back in June 20 while being interviewed by Inquirer Entertainment at US Ambassador Kim Sung’s residence at Makati, where the Embassy was hosting an LGBT reception dinner in celebration of Pride Month 2019. Wurtzbach is well aware of the obstacles to such a right being extended to the Filipino LGBT community, and expressed dismay at organized opposition to it by certain sectors.
Pia’s LGBT support has been ongoing since even before she participated in the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. She has also opined that there is nothing objectionable in the idea of celebrating LGBT pride at times such as these, also pointing out that Ecuador, a Catholic country in South America has not let religion overcome its own decision to allow same-sex unions in its country earlier this month. “Let’s see how long it will take us, the Catholic Church or the government, before we follow suit,” remarks Wurtzbach. “I hope I’m around to see that day.”
And the once-Miss Universe is not alone in her opinion during that event. Her host, US Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Sung himself, lauded the local LGBT community in its efforts to uplift their marginalization in their own country. He notes that important milestones in developing LGBT rights in the Philippines have been achieved almost every year, such as the diversity and inclusivity index launched by the Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce that tracks which companies in the private sector are genuinely supportive of LGBTs. Kim does note that this is still a work in progress and more work needs to be done to advance these equal rights in employment, education, medical and social services.
On this, Wurtzbach agrees with more focus on the positives. “There’s been a lot of changes, in the past 10 years, maybe even five,” she tells Inquirer. “I’m glad that we have get-togethers like this. We’re now celebrating Pride Month!”
Image courtesy of Inquirer Entertainment