Letter to Honorable Jose A.R. Melo Chairperson of Commission on Elections
Hon. Jose A.R. Melo
Commission on Elections
Cc. Hon. Leila de Lima
Commission on Human Rights
Dear Chair Melo,
We are writing to convey our concerns about the decision of the Commission of Elections (Comelec) to deny the petition of the Ang Ladlad LGBT Party for party-list accreditation to contest the May 2010 elections. The decision and subsequent statements made by officials of Comelec discriminate against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation and promote intolerance, and are contrary to the rationale behind the party-list system. Human Rights Watch calls on you to urgently review this decision, to consider disciplinary action against commissioners who make discriminatory remarks, and to take measures to remedy the negative impact of the decision and statements.
Ang Ladlad seeks to represent the views of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos and their supporters. On November 11, 2009, the Comelec’s Second Division presided over by Commissioner Nicodemus Ferrer dismissed Ang Ladlad’s petition to register as a sectoral party under the party-list system of representation "on moral grounds." On November 18, 2009, Ang Ladlad applied for this decision to be reconsidered by the full bench of Comelec commissioners.
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