Six teenage boys in the Philippines have been banned from their graduation ceremony after school officials found pictures of them on Facebook simulating a gay kiss whilst wearing their uniforms, Gay Star News reports.

The boys, who tried to explain that the kiss was just a prank, are due to graduate from the Infant Jesus Academy in Marikina City. Although they will still be officially recognised as graduates,  after discovering the pictures religious school officials decided to punish the boys by banning them from attending their graduation ceremony or receiving their diplomas.

The school comes down hard on “any conduct inside or outside the campus which brings the student, his/her family and the school in disrepute.”

One of the boy’s mothers told the local radio station, Radyo Inquirer, that as punishment the school may withhold diplomas needed to contact universities for up to eight years.

She said: “For them, the school diploma is sacred. They will give it to the students as the punishment will not be for life. But it will take two years, three years, four years, even eight years.

“The officials said they [the boys] are not deserving as of the moment to receive their diplomas.”

The Philippines is a highly Catholic country. Although homosexual relations between two consenting adults in private is legal, they are not afforded any protection under civil rights laws.

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