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Respect, tolerance insisted by 2 groups over Ms. Gay pageant

in PHILIPPINES, 10/08/2012

Organizers of the first Ms. Gay Universe said the beauty pageant scheduled during the 27th Kadayawan Festival will push through even after being criticized by some sectors.

Ramonito Diding Lopez, one of the organizers of the pageant, said yesterday in the weekly press forum at SM City Davao-Annex that they are not asking for anything else but equal treatment like any event organizers during the Kadayawan.
There should be acceptance and respect, he said.

The first Ms. Gay Universe will be conducted on Friday at Davao City Recreation Center (formerly Almendras Gym) with an entrance fee of P100-P200. The contest already received commitments from 40 participants from all over Mindanao. It generated controversy after Councilor Berino Mambo-o was interviewed on radio as allegedly saying that it would not be consistent with the culture of the Lumads.

Lopez reacted to the article entitled Holding of Miss Gay contest during Kadayawan foolish of one columnist in a daily local newspaper (not the TIMES).

The article, published on Aug. 2, 2012, said that homosexuality will not contribute to the city's tourism industry. The columnist also expressed concern that the pageant will make Davao City as the gay capital of the Philippines which countless Davaoeos will surely be ashamed of.

The idea of staging a pageant in which contestants are composed of lesbians and gays is stupidity of the worst kind, it added.
IWAG Davao, an advocacy group for gays, also condemned the article.

Rhoy Diaz, executive director of Iwag-Davao, said the gay community is also part of the celebration of Kadayawan festival. Although the Kadayawan festival is mainly a celebration of culture and bountiful harvest, he said the conduct of the contest will not even harass the culture of the indigenous people.

It (the article) was really insulting and discriminating, he said.

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