Appeal for an inclusive travel policy for LGBT spouses of Filipinos
The Filipino LGBT Europe foundation would like to appeal for the inclusion of LGBT spouses in the new travel advisory (Inter-Agency Task Force Resolution No 85) allowing former Filipinos and their spouses and children to enter the Philippines effective 7 December 2020.
While we are happy to hear this news, we are concerned whether the term “spouse” in the advisory includes same-sex / LGBT partners that are legally recognised in many European countries. Currently, the travel advisory does not allow a foreigner to enter the Philippines, unless in the company of Filipino spouses.
We are fully aware of the strict concept of “spouse” under the Philippine family code, but we believe that this advisory should be inclusive of our LGBT siblings. “A significant number of the members of LGBT community would like to travel to the Philippines in the hope that they would not only celebrate Christmas, a tradition that is very close to every Filipino, but more importantly, to support their respective families that have been devastated by the recent natural calamities,” Chris Sta. Brigida, FilipinoLGBT Europe Chairman said.
“It is also good for the mental well-being of our members and our families to be reunited after an extended lockdown, subject, of course, to compliance to COVID-19 pandemic guidelines.”
We are hopeful that the definition of “spouse” is inclusive of same-sex / LGBT partners. If this is not the case, this policy could be potentially discriminating against members of the LGBT community.
We stand firm in our belief that there is no modern civilised society should adhere to discriminate its citizen based on gender and sexual orientation. Even His Holiness Pope Francis recognised our right as a family in a civil union where he said that:
“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”
In the interest of justice and humanitarian consideration, we appeal to the Philippine government to make this an inclusive travel advisory that respects and recognizes the rights of LGBT Filipinos and their spouses.
For inquiries or request for interview/more information, please contact our Press Officer Sophia Balod via Sophia@FilipinoLGBT.eu