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Filipino judges learn how to protect LGBT rights

in PHILIPPINES, 07/12/2012

Twelve regional and family court judges from all over the Philippines learnt how to better protect the rights of LGBT citizens at a roundtable discussion sponsored by the US Department of Justice last week in Manila. During the one-day seminar titled Roundtable Discussion: Knowledge Sharing on the Protection of the Rights of the LGBT Sector, community activists and experts spoke about the human rights of sexual orientation and gender identity (sogi) minorities in the Philippines.

Raymond Alikpala, legal counsel for Ladlad (the world's only LGBT political party) explained the Yogyakarta Principles (international human rights precepts around sogi) and gave examples of groundbreaking judicial decisions from the US and India.

The group discussed recent landmark rulings in the Philippines including the 2010 decision to overturn the Commission on Election's non-acreditation of Ladlad and the legal gender change of an intersex person.

'This is a historic initiative of the judicial branch and completes the contributions of the other two branches - Congress and executive - towards making the Philippines at least legally able to provide some equality and justice for LGBTs,' said Oscar Atadero of Progay Philippines, who also presented at the seminar.

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