Pura Luka Vega goes to court, reiterates: ‘Drag is not a crime’
Pura Luka Vega stressed that the law should not be used to “persecute minorities for unique cultural practices,” as court hearings for the criminal charges filed against the drag artist appear to have begun.
Pura Luka, who uses the pronoun they or them, dolled up as they went to the Quezon City Hall of Justice, as seen on their Instagram page on Friday, Sept. 8.
“Let me state and reiterate that Drag is NOT a crime. This experience has highlighted hypocrisy and is an education on hate,” the drag artist said. “This is hate.”
“We are facing these charges in the hopes of upholding the freedom of expression for ALL,” they added. “The law should not be used to persecute minorities for our unique cultural practices.”
Pura Luka faces criminal suits filed by the Christian churches under the Philippines for Jesus Movement (PJM) for the drag artist’s “Ama Namin” (The Lord’s Prayer) drag performance. The religious group cited a supposed violation of Article 201 of the Revised Penal Code and in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Pura Luka concluded their post with the greeting “Happy birthday Mama Mary!”, saying they plan to drink after their court appearance. The drag artist also included the hashtag “WWJD,” an acronym that stands for “What would Jesus do?”
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Pura Luka disclosed in a separate post that they do not have legal counsel yet, but that there are lawyers who have been extending help.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga lawyers na tumutulong sa akin pansamantala. They have helped me with the kindness of their hearts,” Pura Luka said. “Wala pa rin naman akong legal firm/counsel, but grateful na ako sa kung anong suporta ang natatanggap ko.”
Aside from the charges against them, Pura Luka was also declared persona non grata by several local government units including Cebu City; Floridablanca, Pampanga; General Santos City; Toboso, Negros Occidental; Bukidnon; Dinagat Islands; the City of Manila; Nueva Ecija; Laguna; Occidental Mindoro; Lucena City; and Bohol. /ra