Gay communist rebels marry in Phillippines

Ross von Metze | February 08, 2005

MANILA, Philippines — Two communist rebels have become the first same-sex couple to marry under the New People�s Army, exchanging wedding vows on a rainy afternoon in the Philippine jungle and officiated by the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Ka Andres and Ka Jose, who each use the mane �brother� before their names, married draped in a red flag with hammer and sickle in gold sequins. They exchanged vows under an archway of assault rifles and were serenaded with revolutionary love songs by a choir of New People's Army comrades.

"What we have to do now, with the help of the party, is to work on our marriage and to be strong while serving the people," Jose said as reported by Reuters. At 21 years old, Jose is 33 years Andres� junior.

Homosexuality is largely shunned in the Philippines, where stereotypes of effeminate men are strongly reinforced in the media. The communist movement has been more progressive.

In 1995, the CPP's Southern Mindanao Regional Party Committee started to discuss gay rights in the movement. In 1998, a provision on gay relations and same-sex marriage was added to the CPP's guiding policy on relations contained in a document titled, "On the Proletarian Relationship of Sexes (OPRS)."

Still, Jose and Andres said they ran into the "patriarchal" culture of the Philippines when they decided to marry.

"We conducted painstaking discussions to make comrades understand gay relations and gay rights," Andres said. Issued by Gay Link Content

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