‘LGBT-friendly’ Iloilo City plans creation of support office

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ILOILO Mayor Jose S. Espinosa III has formally declared the city as “LGBT-friendly” and is planning to establish an office that will develop programs and activities for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sector. Mr. Espinosa said he is also looking into hiring an executive assistant for LGBT affairs. “Here in Iloilo, we don’t frown upon as to what these people choose. We want to give them self-respect,” he said. During the recently concluded 81st Iloilo City Charter Day, among the activities were the Miss LGBT Ambassadress of Iloilo City 2018 and sporting events. In June this year, the Iloilo City Council unanimously approved an anti-discrimination ordinance that penalizes those who discriminate based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, descent, ethnic origin, and religious beliefs. It also mandates the creation of the anti-discrimination mediation and conciliation board, with the mayor as chairperson, which will initiate the filing of cases against violators. The Iloilo Pride Team, a network of Ilonggo LGBTQIA (queer, intersex, asexual), is holding the 3rd Iloilo Pride March on Oct. 13. — Louine Hope U. Conserva