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Should LGBTs Be Disqualified to Run for Government on Moral Grounds? | Ang Ladlad vs. COMELEC

Ang Ladlad vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 190582  – April 8, 2010
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Ang Ladlad filed for a petition for recognition as a party-list after the COMELEC refused to accredit them under RA 7941 or Party-List System Act
The RELIEF sought by Ang Ladlad is TO BE RECOGNIZED as a Party-List candidate for the May 2010 elections.


  • Ang Ladlad is composed of men and women who identify themselves as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or trans-gendered individuals (LGBTs)
  • COMELEC denied in 2006 due to lack of membership base, dismissed their petitions in, Nov 11, 2009 on moral grounds
PLAINTIFF Ang Ladlad argues/alleges:DEFENDANT COMELEC denies Ang Ladlad contentions and defends:
LGBTs are a marginalized, disadvantaged, under-represented. Victims of exclusion, discrimination, and violence Complied with the 8-point guidelines enunciated by this Court in Ang Bagong Bayani-OFW Labor Party v. Commission on Elections. Laid out its national membership and supporter base. Our exclusion using religious dogma is violative of the Constitutional guarantee against the establishment of religion. Contravenes its constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of speech and assembly, equal protection, and Ph international obligations against sexual orientation discrimination
OSG: COMELEC has NO BASIS for immorality. LGBTs have their own rights and other rights
Petitioner tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs as laid down in Romans 1:26, 27 (Bible) and Koran (7.81) Law Department comment: Petitioner advocates sexual immoralityANG LADLAD collides with Article 695 of Civil Code which defines nuisance as “Any act… disregards decency or morality x x x”Collides with Article 1306 of NCC: “contracting parties… provided they are not contrary to law, morals… (1409) or they are void from the beginning”Penal Code Art 201 penalizes those who proclaim ‘Immoral doctrines…contrary to public morals”Not truthful by saying they haven’t violated any election rulesExposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of our faith… “old homosexuals are… threat to the youth.”Article II of the Constitution – “protect our youth from moral and spiritual degradation.”


  • Three OVERTURNED the assailed resolution
  • Three DENIED Ang Ladlad’s petition
  • COMELEC Chairman: Upheld the Assailed Resolution, citing:
    • The Spirit of Act 7941: If the party-list system depends on representation, then it would be a party-list race. The party-list must be in the interest of the people and beneficial to the nation.
    • No substantial differentiation: Citing US jurisprudence, homosexuals are not a “special class” and not a right, just like race, religion, or belief. They still remain as males and females under the Bill of Rights. 
    • Public Morals: This is not to impose Christian or Muslim religious beliefs on Ang Ladlad, but to put parameters on public morals. Cannot ignore that the Philippines has more than 500 years of Christian and Muslim upbringing.
    • Legal Provisions: Article 201 RPC, OSG, CHR

Who filed to SC: Ang Ladlad

Primary Issue: Whether or not Ang Ladlad is qualified to run as a Party-List

The SUPREME COURT, penned by Justice Del Castillo, AFFIRMED the Petition.

On the grounds that:

  • Legal Requirements. The ruling in Ang Bagong Bayani is not an exclusive list… Ang Ladlad’s never claimed to exist in each province of the Philippines… Ang Ladlad has sufficiently demonstrated its compliance with the legal requirements for accreditation.
  • Religion as a basis: Non-establishment clause calls for is “government neutrality in religious matters.” It was a grave violation of the non-establishment clause for the COMELEC to utilize the Bible and the Koran to justify the exclusion of Ang Ladlad.
  • Morality. The morality referred to in the law is public and necessarily secular, not religious. The morality proscribed by the RPC is secular in nature – ONLY ON GROUNDS articulable in secular terms. If the government based its actions upon religious beliefs, it would disprove other religions, and not provide religious freedom. The government must proscribe an act as immoral because it is detrimental to the progress of society, and not merely in conformity to a religious authority. A law must have an articulable and discernible secular purpose and justification to pass the scrutiny of the religion clauses.
  • Constitution – religion clauses do not prescribe strict adherence to religion but benevolent neutrality. The Philippines has not seen fit to criminalize homosexual conduct. The “moral” not transplanted to the realm of law. OSG: There should be filings that Ang Ladlad members committed immoral acts. 
  • Immorality – sexual attraction to same-sex are not mere immoral acts. There is a great divide between thought and action. If immoral thoughts could be penalized, COMELEC would have its hands full of disqualification cases.
  • Threat to the Youth – we cannot put morality to an end without bothering the rigors of legal reasoning. The denial is more of a dislike rather than public morals. 
  • Equal Protection Clause – COMELEC’s action targets homosexuals as a class, not because of morally reprehensible act. It implicates our Eq.P.C.

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