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Ang Ladlad LGBT Party v COMELEC (2010)

Doctrine: the enumeration of marginalized and under-represented sectors is not

exclusive. The crucial element is not whether a sector is specifically enumerated,
but whether a particular organization complies with the requirements of the
Constitution and RA 7941.
Petitioner: Ladlad Party List
Respondent: COMELEC
Nature: Petition of Certiorari + writ of preliminary mandatory injunction on
COMELECs refusal to accredit Ang Ladlad as a party list organization under RA 7941

And Ladlad, organization of LGBTs applied for registration on 2006; was

denied on the groud that organization had no substantial membership base
Petition: LGBT is a marginalized and under-represented sector, LGBT are
victims of exclusion, discrimination and violence, LGBTs are constrained to
hide their sexual orientation; they complied with the 8-point guidelines
enunciated by this court in case: ang bagong bayani-ofw labor party v
Comelec dismissed petition on moral grounds:
o Collides with Art. 695 of NCC nuisance: (3) Shocks, defies or disregards
decency or morality
o Art 1306 of NCC: contracting parties may establish such stipulations,
clauses, terms and conditions as they may deem convenient provided
they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs
o Art 1409 CC- contracts whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to
law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy are inexistent
and void from the beginning.
o Art. 201 of RPC- immoral doctrines obscene publications and exhibition
and indecent shows. (1) those who shall publicly expound or proclaim
doctrines openly contrary to public morals
o Petitioner not being truthful when it said that it or any of its
nominees/party-list representatives have not violated or failed to
comply with laws, rules or regulations relating to the elections.
o Cited Lehman Strauss, famous bible teacher in one article that says
older practicing homosexuals are a threat to the youth. Saying that it
is their duty under Sec 13 Art II of the constitution to protect the youth.
o Party-list system is a tool for the aspiration of the marginalized
individuals whose interests are also the nations- until the time comes
when Ladlad is able to justify that having mixed sexual orientation and
transgender identities is beneficial to the nation, application will not be
o US equal protection doctrine pervades Philippine jurisprudents do not
recognize LGBT as a special class- they will remain either male or

female protected by the same Bill of Rights that applies to all citizens
o As a society, we cannot ignore more than 500 years of Muslim and
Christian upbringing
Jan 4, 2010 Ang Ladlad filed this petition; this court ordered the OSG to files
its Comment: OSG supported the petitioner, thus this court ordered Comelec
to file their own.
CHR filed a motion to intervene, saying that denial of Ang Ladlads petition on
moral grounds violated the Standards and principles of the Constitution, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights

Petitioners Arguments:

Denial of accreditation through exclusion by using religious dogma, violated

the constitutional guarantee against establishment of religion.
Contravened its constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of speech and
assembly, and equal protection of laws as well as violations to international
obligations against discrimination on sexual orientation
OSG concurred except on the freedom of speech, expression and assembly.

Respondents Arguments:

Petitioner does not have concrete and genuine national political agenda
LGBT sector is not among the sectors enumerated by the Constitution and RA
Petitioner made untruthful statements in its petition when it alleged national
existence contrary to actual verification reports by comelecs field personnel.

WON only the sectors specifically enumerated in the law or related
to said sectors (Labor, peasan, fisherfolk, urban poor, indigenous
cultural communities, elderly, handicapped, women, youth, veterans,
overseas workers and professionals) may be registered under the
party-list system?
o NO. The enumeration is not exclusive, crucial element is whether a
particular organization complies with the requirements of the
constitution and RA 7941.
WON Ang Ladlad made untruthful statements in its petition being of
nationwide existence.
o NO, there was incongruence between the statements of the comelec of
the untruthful statements by Ang Ladlad, and either accusation of
untruthfulness are not grounds for denial of accreditation- the change
in respondents theory is a serious violation of the petitioners right to
procedural due process.
o Comelec erred in their assessment of the representation of Ang Ladlad
because they searched for registered Ang Ladlad affiliates, whereas
Ang Ladlad gave their own list of affiliates all throughout the country.

WON petition can be dismissed on the basis of Religious Morals

o the court cited Article 3 Section 5 No law shall be made respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Thus, comelec is of grave violation of the non-establishment clause
when they utilized the Bible and Koran
WON public morals as used by comelec, can be used to deny petition
o NO, there are no laws in the Philippines criminalizing homosexual
conduct, therefore these generally accepted public morals have not
been convincingly transplanted into the realm of the law.
o The comelec also failed to explain the societal ills sought to be
prevented or why special protection is required for the youth.
o LGBT have the same interest in participating in the party-list system on
the same basis as other political parties. Laws of general application
should apply with equal force to LGBTs
WON petitioners violated Art 694 and RPC Art 201
o No, violations would require proof beyond reasonable doubt to support
a criminal conviction, and mere allegation of violation is not proof.
Mere blanket invocation of public morals cannot replace the institution
of civil or criminal proceedings and judicial determination of liability or
WON LGBT are a separate class
o No, there are not enough evidence to support the claim and that the
comelec made an unwarranted and impermissible classification not
justified by the circumstances of the case.
WON comelec violated Ang Ladlads right to privacy, freedom of
speech and assembly and equal protection of laws
Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a
democratic society, and this freedom applies not only to those that are
favourably received but also to those that offend, shock, or disturb. Absent of
any compelling state interest, it is not for the COMELEC or the Supreme Court
to impose its views on the populace. Otherwise stated, the COMELEC is
certainly not free to interfere with speech for no better reason than
promoting an approved message or discouraging a disfavored one. Laws of
general application should apply with equal force to LGBTs, and they deserve
to participate in the party-list system on the same basis as other
marginalized and under-represented sectors. This is in accord with the
countrys international obligations to protect and promote human rights. The
principle of non-discrimination as it relates to the right to electoral
participation, enunciated in the UDHR and the ICCPR, should be recognized.
The Constitution and laws should be applied uninfluenced by public opinion.
True democracy should be resilient enough to withstand vigorous debate due
to conflicting opinions.