First transgender lawmaker Geraldine Roman, reiterated that the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill is necessary to address the needs of a sector that includes lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+).
Protect the marginalized LGBTQ+
The Bataan First District representative added that the LGBTQ+ sector is often misunderstood and not accepted that’s why the SOGIE Equality Bill is important to protect LGBTQ+ people from any form of discrimination.
“Mga kababayan, hindi po kami humihingi ng mga special rights and privileges. Kaya nga lang po, talagang may isang sektor na may espesyal na pangangailangan na hindi natutugunan kasi noong araw, hindi naman natin naiintindihan at hindi tanggap ‘yung LGBTQ.”
The arrest of transwoman Gretchen Diez rekindled the clamor for a law to protect the LGBTQ+. Diez was arrested on Tuesday for trying to use a female toilet in Farmers Plaza. She was charged with unjust vexation but later dropped by the mall’s management. But Diez would pursue a case against the mall for violation of the Quezon City Pride Ordinance.
A law solely for LGBTQ+
Roman insisted on having a separate law specifically for the LGBTQ+ sector unlike the comprehensive bill proposed by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri where the coverage also includes age, ethnicity and religious belief.
“Hinihiwalay ko po ‘yung sa LGBTQ kasi iba rin ang kanilang circumstances, ” Roman said.
Previously, the SOGIE Equality Bill was passed by the House of Representatives but never prospered due to senators who were questioning the bill then.
Supported but not urgent
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the bill had the support of President Rodrigo Duterte. However, Panelo doubted if the bill will be prioritized as “urgent.” Bills that are under such category usually undergo third and final reading.
While waiting for the bill to be passed into law, the LGBTQ+ community holds on to existing city ordinances as their safeguard against discrimination.
Source: CNN Philippines