Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for December, 2013

Filipino President ambivalent about marriage

Timothy Kincaid

December 4th, 2013

Filipino President Benigno Aquino remains uncommitted on the issue of marriage equality: (Rappler)

“One side of me says human rights are supposed to be universal. On the other hand, if we go into gay marriages, then of course the next step will be adoption and I don’t know if… I still have to look at it from the child’s perspective,” he said. “Is that something that is desirable in an environment for a child?”

Aquino also questioned whether it would affect the children in “understanding the world” or if it would “induce more confusion.”

His stance is the same as his original opinion from two years ago.

This could be a reflection of the position of the nation. The Philippines is heavily Catholic and (ironically) history suggests that such demographics open opportunities for marriage equality advancement.

Well, maybe not ENTIRELY boring

Timothy Kincaid

June 13th, 2012

When you hear “but there’s no gay gene”, it can make you want to pull your hair out. Or, if as in my case you want to keep every last hair that you have, you want to go into excruciating detail as to exactly what science does or doesn’t say, what twin studies reveal, and lesbian auditory evoked potentials.

Instead, just refer them to this amusing and interesting primer from Ma. Isabel Garcia in the Philippine Star. The entire article is a joy, but here is the masterpiece ending paragraph.

Biodiversity is a concept that we are so eager to promote because we recognize that it faithfully reflects nature’s realities. But we cannot seem to readily think “diversity” when it comes to gender. Somehow, we become frugal and intellectually budgeted when we classify human genders that nature gives rise to. Most of us are limited to thinking only in binary gender denominations — male or female. If you want to look for gender, look at the person, inner and outer spaces, and put genitals in the bottom of your clues. The person will tell you rich, scrumptious tales. Genitals are boring.

Philippines Supreme Court: homosexuality not immoral

Timothy Kincaid

February 27th, 2012

The Philippines is unique in one regard. Other than the Vatican City, it is the only nation with no provision for divorce. So instead Filipinos who simply cannot abide each other for another moment either legally separate or get an annulment. Inquirer News brings an interesting story about the process.

Judge Eliseo Campos, seeking to end his marriage in 2008, went for an annulment. His stated reason, which didn’t much please his wife, was that she had engaged in several affairs with other men but he didn’t object because he’s gay.

In addition to denying the affairs, the wife countered that he wasn’t really gay but wanted an annulment so he could marry another woman. Gay? Of course not. He was married and had a child.

And so, it seems, charges of dishonesty about being gay and immorality for being gay were brought against the judge. Now the Supreme Court has ruled and their findings on the matter are interesting.

The Philippines Supreme Court observed getting married and having children is not proof of heterosexuality. (This may seem like a no-brainer, but that bit of logic is the backbone of a good deal of anti-gay presumptions.) That the court distinguished between his lifestyle and his “true sexuality” reveals an understanding that promises future progress.

But as importantly, it declared that homosexuality was not an indication of immorality. This is a rather welcome position in a country with 70 – 80% of the population affiliated with the Catholic Church.

(Totally irrelevant, but I love that the leader of the Catholic Church in the Philippines is Cardinal Sin)

Nondiscrimination bill introduced in Philippines

Timothy Kincaid

December 11th, 2010

A bill to ban anti-gay discrimination has been introduced into the Philippines House. I’m not particularly optimistic about its chances, but even introducing the idea for discussion is beneficial. (Manila Times)

Rep. Kaka Bag-ao of Akbayan party-list, the principal author of House Bill 515, or the Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and providing penalties, noted that such homophobia is stirred by the fact that the country has no standing policy on human rights abuses against lesbians, gays bisexual and transgenders (LGBT).

“Here in the Philippines, you can fire a gay or lesbian employee simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and get away with it. You can expel lesbian and gay students arbitrarily or impose arbitrary rules against them and you won’t face any charges. It’s wrong,” Bag-ao said.