LGBT PINOYS WELCOME OPINION SHIFT AS COURT DATE LOOMS

Steve Angeles ABS-CBN North America Bureau

March 22, 2013

LOS ANGELES–Jun and Mark Mendoza have been together for 8 years. They’ve been living as domestic partners with Mark even taking Jun’s last name. This is as close to marriage as they can get.

But these days, these active members of Fil-Am Gay Support group Barangay LA feel a shift coming in their favor with the US Supreme court scheduled to hold hearings on same sex marriage next week. A poll by Washington Post-ABC News shows 58% of Americans now support same sex marriage, a drastic change since 2003 when only 37% supported it.

“I’m glad it’s happened because it’s really about time to have the equality that we deserve. We’re just like anybody else, we’re people. We need to have the equality that every human being is entitled to,” said Jun.

The research claims that with age comes acceptance. The Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) run by mostly self-described conservative seniors has taken their acceptance further by planning an awards gala honoring Filipinos in the LGBT community. “In this broad prospective of a national progressive movement, which the United States is taking, FACLA would not be left behind, so we are holding this event to recognize, appreciate, and accept our brothers and sisters in the gay and lesbian community,” said FACLA president Austin Baul.

But not everyone is warming up to the idea of men marrying men and women marrying women. Filipinos with strong religious Christian beliefs say, the bible forbids it. “I don’t think I can support that because that’s my belief, that marriage is for woman and man, if that’s their belief, it’s OK, it’s a free country,” explained Catholic Jun Dos Pueblos.

Next week the US Supreme Court will hold hearings on both California’s 2008-voter passed same sex marriage ban, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Both restrict marriages between same sex partners, and the Mendozas are hoping the Supreme Court can repeal both. “It’s about time Americans are heard and equal rights are supported by our government,” said Mark.

Contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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