Christian groups show support by marching with LGBTQ+
MANILA, Philippines – Christian groups marched along the streets of Marikina City to show support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community on Saturday, June 24.
Among the groups present was Freedom in Christ Ministries (FICM), a Pentecostal, evangelical, and Bible-based church. FICM aims to apologize on behalf of other churches that condemn the gay community. (READ: A Christian church embraces the LGBT community)
The group carried placards that read "I'm sorry. We're here to apologize for the ways that we as Christians have harmed the LGBT community."
"We really try hard to educate our gays, lesbians, sisters, and brothers, that in Christ we are all equal," Mak of FICM also told Rappler.
According to him, their church has been attending the Pride March since 2014. He said they have pledged to support the event every year.
Aside from FICM, members of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and the Episcopal Church of the United States of America were also seen at the Pride March. (IN PHOTOS: Why we're #HereTogether)
Mikhail Quijano of Metro Manila Pride said seeing Christians express their support was empowering.
"Seeing the Christian groups who came out in support of the LGBTQ+ community is a clear example of this year's theme 'Here Together,'" Quijano said.
While many groups marched in solidarity with the gay community, there were also some who rallied against them, citing religious reasons.
Protesters held placards showing "It's not ok to be gay! It is a sin!" (IN PHOTOS: #HereTogether at the 2017 Metro Manila Pride March)
Another protester traveled 10 hours from Naga City in Bicol just to "preach the truth."
"Ayaw ng Panginoon ng mga lesbian at homosexual dahil sinabi sa Bibliya na walang lugar ang mga iyan sa kaharian ng Diyos," said Jay-r Arabaca.
(The Lord does not like lesbians and homosexuals because the Bible says there is no place for them in the Kingdom of God.)
One tweet comparing Christian supporters and protesters got thousands of likes and retweets.
Two types of Christians in the world pic.twitter.com/Yr6Kf61Cxh— JUPA (@jmartiaga) June 24, 2017
The 2017 Metro Manila Pride March was attended by over 5,000 participants to celebrate freedom and diversity.
This year's theme is "Here Together" in the hopes of gathering members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community to fight for equal rights and end discrimination. – with reports from Clyde Jayvy Villanueva / Rappler.com