Philippines – AN EDUCATION campaign on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (Sogie) beyond just same-sex marriage is needed more than ever among the public and the Davao City lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, an LGBT leader said.

“We support the President’s stance on same sex marriage, mas mopatibabaw gihapon among faith and belief sa sacrament sa marriage, and ang akong principle na ang marriage is for the natural born man and woman only, (the faith and belief on the sacrament of marriage will be upheld. My principle for marriage is it is only for a man and woman) ” LGBT Davao President, Normal Baloro said in an interview with Sunstar Davao, Sunday, March 26.

Baloro said instead of opposing President Rodrigo Duterte’s perspective on same sex marriage, they need to focus more on pressing concerns related to the LGBT community.

“What’s really important now is to address the issues on transgender sensitivity and some misrepresentations about us in the media. Asking about gender surgery is offensive, addressing transgender people is even more oppressive,” he said.

Establishing programs that aim to educate the LGBT community and the general public will greatly help increase their sensitivity on issues that need awareness.

“Education on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression would give us a step forward,” he added.

Despite LGBT’s support against same sex marriage, Baloro said there should be an acceptance of same sex relationships.

“We would still hope for the acceptance of it. Same sex relationship or civil union cannot compete with marriage and in no way should it be compared to the sacrament of marriage. I consider it a given human right,” he said.

Last March 23, President Rodrigo Duterte maintained he has to uphold the Civil Code of the Philippines that states marriage is only between a man and a woman.

He said, however, he does not condemn same-sex relationship, telling them to go out of this universe happy and fulfilled.

Original article here: LGBT concerns greater than same-sex marriage