AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – Waving both the Philippine and the LGBT rainbow flag, the Filipino LGBT Europe celebrated Pride Day in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, August 3-4.
Eighty floats paraded along the canals as thousands of spectators joined the street parties. Members coming from different parts of Europe including United Kingdom, France, Belgium among others also joined the colorful parade to show support for LGBTs causes like equality and HIV awareness.
To solidify the organization’s stance on equality, the Filipino LGBT Europe held a forum supporting the recognition of legal rights of same-sex relationships and marriages under the Philippine law on August 3.
“It shows solidarity among the members. The Amsterdam Pride and the LGBT conference are both liberating and very encouraging to push for equality laws in the Philippines,” Aris Ibarando legal advisor for Filipino LGBT Europe says.
Gathering survey results from over 150 respondents, Chei Billedo also reported a strong support for the recognition of legal rights of same-sex couples from the respondents. Some of the salient findings include the importance of legal recognition in cases of accidents or hospitalization where medical decisions are required from a partner, burial, child custody, shared properties, social security and benefits.
“It is important to conduct this survey because we want to make sure that we represent the Filipino LGBTs in Europe well in line with the advocacies of the organization,” academic adviser Chei Billedo says.
“We managed to identify factors which are vital and important to everyone. For instance, making burial and other final arrangements ranked as one of the most important aspects of legal recognition of same-sex marriages. It reflects how loving and compassionate Filipinos are until the very end,” chairman Chris Sta. Brigida says.
The Filipino LGBT Europe calls for unity among the community to reaffirm its stance in demanding the passage of the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression) Bill in the Philippines. We believe that recognizing our rights under the Philippine law is the first step in advancing equality, freedom of expression, and awareness in the country.