Bemz Benedito, founding member of Ladlad political party of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people, told reporters at Fernandina Forum today, “We welcome the pope. Actually, kami sa LGBT (we in the LGBT) community, even if we are non-practicing (their various religions) anymore, we welcome this pope.”
Benedito said Pope Francis “has been very liberal, very embracing, very accepting.”
However, the LGBT leader lamented that “the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines does not reflect Pope Francis’ attitude.”
Bendito addressed the regular Wednesday forum at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan on the topic “Hate Crime and Violence Against Transgenders.”
The forum discussed the killing of Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude who was strangled in a hotel room in Olongapo City, northwest of Manila Oct. 11. A U.S. marine is reportedly detained in a U.S. navy ship in the country as part of an agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines governments to have American military forces in the country.