Saudi toughens policy against homosexual workers; Ang Ladlad appeals to DOLE to defend gay rights

Saudi Arabia's new policy against recruitment of homosexuals has highlighted the clash between more tolerant cultures such as the Philippines, reports GMAnews.TV.

In a memo dated May 26, the consular section of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia reminded recruitment agencies in Manila to tighten the screening of job applicants to Saudi Arabia.

"Officials of recruitment agencies who are responsible in conducting interviews of job applicants to Saudi Arabia are strongly advised to screen them thoroughly so that those belonging to the third sex are excluded," the memo read. The Middle Eastern nation follows Shari'ah or Islamic law, which strictly prohibits open display of homosexual behavior.

Ang Ladlad incoming chair Bemz Benedicto told GMA Network's Unang Hirit, that the new order discriminates against homosexuals and deprives them of their right to livelihood. "Sana ang Department of Foreign Affairs huwag maging silent dito, at ang DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment)," Benedicto told GMAnews.TV.

According to Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, his department has to follow Saudi Arabia's policies.   "Bawal ang openly na kayo ay naghaharutan at may ginagawa na labag sa kanilang kultura. I remember a year ago, may pinauwi kasi sobra ang kanilang public display...   Minsan may nagpa-party na sobrang ingay," Roque said in the same Unang Hirit interview.

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