h_50891860Manila: The United States Embassy in the Philippines has officially celebrated LGBT Pride Month with a reception hosted by its residing ambassador to celebrate equality.

The reception tool place at the US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg at his residence on June 25 and attended by over 100 guests, many of whom represented human rights organizations or were advocates for gay rights in the country, according to manila.usembassy.gov.

The LGBT Pride Month reception is in recognition and appreciation of the Filipino LGBT community, the report added.

Ambassador Goldberg  in his welcome message reiterated the United States’ commitment to support the Philippines in the advancement of LGBT equality and reminded guests that gay rights are human rights.

He also encouraged LGBT and human rights advocates to continue their efforts to bring equality to all Filipinos.

The LGBT Pride Month reception is a tradition of U.S. Embassy Manila, in solidarity with the international community, in upholding and protecting the rights of LGBT persons around the world, the report said.

The US Embassy in the Philippines also posted a rainbow as the cover photo for its Facebook page along with the terms Diversity, Equality, Pride, Love, Rights, and Everyone.

This is in keeping with US President Barack Obama’s recent official promulgation of June as LGBT Pride Month and where he said his administration proudly stands alongside all those who fight for LGBT rights  and is extending family and spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

In the Philippines, despite a more recent acceptance of LGBT people where a majority are very well-known in industries such as entertainment, fashion and beauty care same-sex relations, conduct or affection may be subject to the “grave scandal” prohibition in Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code and the LGBT community is not protected by any civil rights laws.

Anti-LGBT bias is largely a result of the Philippines being a Catholic country with over 80 percent of its 97 million people belonging to that religion and where the powerful and influential Catholic Church has been active in opposing contraceptives and any civil rights legislation for the LGBT community.

Source: manila.usembassy.gov