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On Manila’s rainbow crosswalk

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SHOWING solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

On 23 October, the city government of Manila, led by its mayor Isko Moreno, unveiled through Facebook a rainbow crosswalk as a show of support to LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and others) community.

The four pedestrian lanes now in multi-colored thermoplastic paint cover the newly asphalted intersection of Arroceros and Natividad streets. The area is a very busy one being in front of SM City Manila mall and behind the Manila City hall and Liwasang Bonifacio.

“Pinangako ko sa (I promised the) LGBT society that we just want to show you in our own little way how sensitive we are with your plight,” Moreno said in a Facebook video. “We want to make you feel that you are part of the society with regard to the policy of the city government of Manila. Excited po ako para sa inyo (I am excited for you).”

There are a few other places in the Philippines that have rainbow crosswalks before Manila’s to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. The barangay of Subangdaku in Mandaue City, Cebu, painted a rainbow crosswalk on Lopez Jaena Highway in January 2015. This was followed by Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City, in 2018; and San Julian, Eastern Samar in June 2019.

Moreno is said to have been supportive of the community even before becoming mayor. During this year’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month, he sent messages of solidarity.

There are a few other places in the Philippines that have rainbow crosswalks before Manila’s to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

“Pagmamahal sa isa’t isa ang magpapanalo sa ating malayang diwa. Ngayong buwan ng Hunyo, ating itaas ang banderang bahaghari (Love for one another will bolster our freedom of consciousness. This month of June, let’s uphold the rainbow flag),” he posted on Facebook last 1 June.

He also wished for a Pride march and festivity to be held in Manila. The rainbow crosswalk is a prelude to that plan, and there will more, he said.

Moreno is also said to be a supporter of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, championed by its principal author Senator Risa Hontiveros.

Many people though pointed out that Manila still has no anti-discrimination bill to protect the LGBTQ+ and they want to see more concrete programs to further promote acceptance, understanding and equal treatment of the community.

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