LGBTQ activists push rights at Philippine lantern parade – UCA News

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Community use popular Christmas festival as a platform for the first time to demand equality.

Members of the Philippine gay community called for greater equality when participating for the first time in an annual giant Christmas lantern parade in Pampanga province, north of Manila on Dec. 20.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to San Fernando City to see hundreds of giant Christmas lanterns illuminated by almost a million lights.

This year’s parade, where participants depict themes or advocacies in their lantern-making, followed a three-year hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Finally, we’re back! After three years, we are once again here to show not just how creative Filipinos are in making lanterns but how we convey our advocacy and principles using lanterns,” parade organizer Ogie Samson told UCA News.

This year organizers based their theme on human rights.

“We expected lantern makers to depict human rights — violations thereof or advocating for it,” Samson said.

The LGBTQ group made a giant rainbow-colored parol symbolizing their fight for equality and same-sex marriage.

On top of the lantern were the words “equality” — the battle cry of the gay community, according to LGBTQ youth leader Ernest Laguesca.

Laguesca said the gay community in the Philippines felt the need to fight for gay rights and equality during the Christmas event.

“We are bold and we will not get tired fighting for equality. We are also making a statement that even in events like this [Christmas lantern parade], the members of the gay community in the Philippines can make their quest or advocacies known,” Laguesca told UCA News.

LGBTQ activists push rights at Philippine lantern parade – UCA News

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