The University of Santo Tomas (UST) is a Catholic university in the country.
A Catholic university in the Philippines has announced a new policy which bans same-sex relationships and cross-dressing. The new policy states that students who break these rules face “Non-Readmission, Exclusion or Expulsion.”
Being in a “relationship contrary to the principles adhered to by the University and the teachings of the Catholic Church” is regarded to be as bad as arson or theft in the new policy. And in regards to cross-dressing, the policy treats men with long hair, ponytails or headbands as examples.
The university also introduced a range of bizarre bans, including a ban on tattoos and “cohabiting without the benefit of marriage.”
Speaking to Gay Star News, Irish Inoceto, the vice-chair of the Iloilo Pride Team heavily criticised the new policy, saying: “No institution should be allowed to place itself above the law nor should it be allowed to divest itself of respect for basic human rights. This is 2018 for Christ’s sake!
“UST remains to be one of the top universities in the country and students who want to pursue higher learning should be safe from discrimination no matter where they choose to study.
“The provision on ‘engage in relationships outside of marriage’ directly affects the LGBTI students, same sex marriage is not legal in the country and will always put LGBTI in danger of being expelled.”
Although the Philippines is often viewed as one of the more accepting countries when it comes to LGBTQ rights, its president, Rodrigo Duterte, isn’t always on the right side.
Last year, he claimed that criminals who went to jail were beyond help because it made them acquire “latent homosexuality.”
“[Convicts] are already monsters in the sense that they are incapable of establishing a relationship with a woman,” he said.
“They develop aberration of the mind. They do not want to get out of prison because they get free food there…and they have lovers, they want to return to prison [to be] with their lovers.”
And referring to ambassador Philip Goldberg he said, ““As you know, I’m fighting with [US Secretary of State John Kerry’s] ambassador. His gay ambassador, the son of a whore. He pissed me off.”