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PHILIPPINES - May 24, 2004

The Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP!), Inc. have slammed Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) Chair, Marissa Laguardia, for saying that "lesbian relationships are an abnormality of human nature."

A May 21, 2004 memorandum, signed by Ms. Laguardia, added, "To show such kind of abnormality/aberration on prime time TV programs gives the impression that the network is encouraging lesbian and homosexual relationships and tantamount to sayinglesbianism and homosexuality are alright [SIC]."

Ms. Laguardia, seemingly ignorant of the statistical evidence of commonplace same-sex relationships in humans and animals, has apparently never watched the National Geographic channel.

Ging Cristobal, Executive Director of LeAP!, commented thathomosexuality and lesbianism were removed from the list of mental disorders by the American Psychological Association in January 1975, and the American Psychiatric Association in December 15, 1973.

"Lesbianism is not an abnormality. It is not a mental disorder. As agovernment official, it is highly irresponsible of Laguardia to use her position to propagate this misinformation that is discriminatory against gays and lesbians," Cristobal stated.

The MTRCB memorandum criticized the entertainmentprogram "The Buzz," for covering the wedding ceremonyof two women.

"Homosexuality implies no impairment in judgment,stability, reliability. That has been established along time ago. When a government official says that itis an abnormality, it goes beyond ignorance. Itinvolves malice, designed to maintain a social stigmathat says gays and lesbians deserve social ostracism,infamy, shame, and condemnation." observed Father Richard Mickley.

"The memorandum is an official statement, carrying the imprimatur of the government. And it says we are an aberration. Will it be ready toaddress our rights when we have to ask for protection [from abuse],as a result of these statements?" asked Cristobal.

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