Filipino gays march against discrimination

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A group of gays take part in the annual Pride March in Manila, Philippines, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. Lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgenders called for the urgent need to pass the anti-discrimination bill and for government protection from hate crimes committed against them. (AP Photo/Pat Roque)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — More than 1,000 gays, lesbians and transgenders have marched in the Philippine capital to demand equal rights and an end to discrimination, and more support for an AIDS program.

The marchers carried a large rainbow flag during the annual Pride parade around Manila's Malate district Saturday, some dancing to the beat of drums played by a band.

Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines spokesman Goya Candelario says they're pushing Congress to pass a law against discrimination that they say denies them jobs and social services.

Jessie Dimaisip of the Akbayan political party, which supports gay rights, says they're also seeking more funds for HIV-AIDS testing and a support program. The Health Department says 7,884 people have been infected with HIV since 1984, including 937 AIDS cases.