Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ushering In A More Tolerant Society

DARE to struggle, dare to win ... as married gays. After raiding a few Army camps, two communist guerrillas hid in a forest gorge and fell in love.

That was three years ago. On Friday, under a romantic drizzle in a muddy clearing in Compostela Valley province in Mindanao, Ka Andres and Ka Jose exchanged vows in a heavily guarded ceremony before local villagers, friends from the city and their comrades in arms.
They are considered the first homosexual couple in the New People's Army (NPA) who were wed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

During the "wedding," sponsors draped a sequined CPP flag around the couple's shoulders. The flag was held in place by a long, beaded cord which also went around the couple and the sponsors -- symbolizing that their marriage would be made stronger with the help of comrades and the masses.

Andres held a bullet, as did Jose and each other's hands. The bullets represented their "commitment in the armed struggle."

First gay marriage

As the first same-sex marriage in the NPA, theirs is a union long awaited by comrades who support gay rights in the movement. It is also a manifestation of the communist movement's recognition of the right to engage in gay relations and to marry.

Although the CPP already recognized gay relations and same-sex marriage, it was not easy for Andres and Jose to make the decision to finally marry.

First, the couple worked hard to change the traditional mind-set of some comrades regarding gays and gay relationships. They attributed these biases to the prevailing "patriarchal" culture in Philippine society.

On gay relations

"[We] conducted painstaking discussions to make comrades understand gay relations and gay rights," Andres said.

"Gay cadres adhere to the strong Party discipline. They enhance the prestige of gays in the movement. This has gained positive results through the years. Comrades (male and female) and even the masses have learned to respect and recognize gays and their contribution to the revolution," he said.

As early as 1995, the CPP's Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee started to discuss gay rights in the movement.

In 1998, a provision on gay relations and same-sex marriage was added to the CPP's guiding policy on relations contained in a document titled "On the Proletarian Relationship of Sexes (OPRS)."

Under the OPRS, the communist movement is committed to guide and ensure there is no exploitation in any relationship-heterosexual or homosexual .

~Thanks to Mr. Schizo for the link to

Love comes in the least likely place you expect it to be. It can be innocent, it can be frivolous, it can even come to seemingly two incompatible individuals. Sometimes its not even in the guise of love at all. It can be between Eros and Psyche, between Ophelia and Ignoble Abelard, Darkwinter and the King of Crosses, The Bitch Boy and his Calendar Boy/s, Mr. Bullish and the Old Friend, Kayumangging_Baka and the Twink, Rakelganda and Numero Dos (winks to all of you), it could even be between Advent and that guy with the odd name. *Sigh.

Celebrate life. Celebrate companionship.

Advanced Happy Hearts Day everyone!

And for those of you who cringed upon reading this article, you can go suck rotten eggs.


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