A Catholic university has come under fire after prohibiting same-sex relationships and cross-dressing.
The University of Santo Tomas (UST)’s new code of conduct, which attendees must sign, states that anyone students in gay couples will face “Non-Readmission, Exclusion or Expulsion.”
The Philippines Supreme Court is currently hearing a legal challenge seeking to establish equal marriage, but LGBT people in the Catholic-majority country still struggle against a culture of discrimination.
This was made clear in a tweet which has gone viral exposing the Enrollment Conforme recently released by the oldest existing university in Asia.
UST is now forcing its students to sign a conforme that bans, among others:
* Anti-UST online sentiments
* Joining rallies/assemblies
* “Acts of indecency in electronic media” (vague)
* Engaging in premarital sex or LGBT relationships
— FJ (@AngryFerds) July 16, 2018
The post, which has now attracted more than 11,000 retweets and likes, pointed out the limiting and anti-gay parts of a contract which must be signed by all of the university’s more than 40,000 students.
The Manila-based institution, which is more than 400 years old, bans “cohabiting without the benefit of marriage, or engaging in relationship contrary to the principles adhered to by the University and the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
This offence is regarded as one of the most serious which students can commit, sitting in a list alongside theft, blackmail and arson.
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Gay sex is also prohibited, with the institution stating that it upholds “the sanctity of the conjugal act within marriage” – an option which is not available to same-sex couples in the country.
The contract also tells students, at length, not to dress in ways which go against gender stereotypes.
“Cross-dressing or wearing the clothes of the opposite sex is prohibited unless otherwise authorised for legitimate purpose only during the duration of the said activity. (Ex. in a play or a similar activity),” it reads.
It also explains: “Male students are not allowed to sport long hair… The use of hairpins, pony tails, headbands, etc. by male students is likewise not allowed.
“Male students are not allowed to wear earrings, and other accessories ordinarily used by females.”
The country’s President Duterte has repeatedly made anti-gay statements.
Last year, he said that when criminals are sent to prison, they become “beyond reform” because they “would have acquired latent homosexuality”.
And when the chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, Chito Gascon, criticised Duterte for an anti-drug campaign that has killed thousands of people, the President asked whether Gascon was gay or a paedophile.
Duterte also made anti-gay comments about US Ambassador Philip Goldberg in 2016, saying: “I had an argument with their gay ambassador, the son of a whore. He pissed me off.”