LGBTQ couples in Quezon City walked down the aisle in a heart-tugging ceremony last Saturday, February 12.
The event called the “commitment ceremony” was officiated by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte last Saturday, February 12.
During the ceremony, 222 LGBTQIA+ couples exchanged their vows to strengthen their bond and uphold their rights provided by the local government’s Gender Fair Ordinance.
It was the second time the Quezon City government held a commitment ceremony. The first time was in 2020.
“Hangad ng Lungsod Quezon ang masayang pagsasama ng LGBTQIA+ couples at makakaasa kayong magiging katuwang ninyo ang lokal na pamahalaan sa pagsusulong ng pantay na karapatan at paglaban para makamit ang equality at diversity,” the post on QC’s Facebook page reads.
Belmonte also shared photos and video clips of the solemn occasion on her social media accounts ahead of Valentine’s Day.
“Love has no limits. Love is universal. Love wins, always,” the city executive shared on Facebook with a heart and rainbow emojis.
“Pagbati at isang mahigpit na yakap sa mga magkasintahang LGBTQIA+ na nagpalitan ng kanilang panata ng pagmamahalan ngayong araw! Isang karangalan para kay Mayor Joy Belmonte ang masaksihan ang inyong wagas na pagmamahalan,” she added.
Love wins! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 pic.twitter.com/kuahiNeMDH
— Mayor Joy Belmonte (@QCMayorJoy) February 12, 2022
Members of the LGBT community and other Filipinos commended the initiative.
They shared that while the gesture was small, it was meaningful for them.
“This may be just ceremonial for now, but for the LGU to actually officiate and take the lead is really something. Sana soon, even the rights and benefits of even a civil-wed couple will be granted to these cute LGBT+ couples,” a Twitter user said.
“Congratulations to those given a chance to exchanged vows. I hope that this event is the start. Kudos to Mayor Joy Belmonte for making the LGBT Dreams into a reality,” a Facebook user wrote.
“PROGRESS,” an online user tweeted with a rainbow emoji.
Some online users are hoping that this move would open doors to the law allowing civil unions of LGBT couples in the country.
“Beautiful commitment ceremony. Now let’s push for legalizing and validating civil unions for LGBTQIA couples nationwide,” one user said.
LGBT rights advocates were also present and witnesses of the exchange of vows.
These are Project Coordinator for Asia, Outright Action International and Anti-Discrimination Rights Champion Ging Cristobal, Miss Trans Global 2020 and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate Mela Habijan, at Spark Philippines Executive Director/Gender Equality advocate Maica Teves.
Quezon City Councilors Hero Bautista, Irene Belmonte, and Ivy Lagman also attended the service.
Quezon City’s Gender Fair Ordinance was the first policy in the country that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation gender identity and expression (SOGIE).
So far, there’s no nationwide law yet dedicated to protect the rights of members of the LGBT community.
Republic Act 11312 or the Safe Spaces Act, meanwhile, covers all gender-based harassment in public spaces and online platforms.
Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Interaksyon. This article was produced following editorial guidelines.