Under Sogie bill, it’s illegal to ‘out’ anyone
Forcing a gay person to admit his gender preference and making a speech to vilify him for his gender identity will become illegal under the proposed “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (Sogie) Equality Bill.”
Congressmen passed the Sogie bill, numbered as House Bill (HB) No. 4982, on third and final reading on Wednesday in what was widely celebrated as a victory for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
HB 4982, which consolidated 11 similar measures, was approved by 198 of 293 congressmen with nobody voting against the measure.
The bill was sponsored by Diwa Rep. Emmeline Villar, Dinagat Rep. Kaka Bag-ao and Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman.
“I vote yes to love,” said Siquijor Rep. Ramon Rocamora, while Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate used gayspeak to explain his vote: “Makibeki, ’wag mashokot [Join the struggle, do not fear].”
Under the bill, it will be illegal to publish “information intended to ‘out’ or reveal the sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity of a person without their consent, when such has not been made known by the person concerned, and has been made with malicious intent or is primarily motivated by a desire for commercial profit.”
Another is “engaging in public speech, except religious speech, meant to shame, insult, vilify, or which tends to incite or normalize the commission of discriminatory practices against LGBTs, and which acts or practices in turn, intimidate them or result in the loss of their self-esteem.”
Another act considered an offense under the bill is “subjecting or forcing any person to undertake any medical or psychological examination to determine or alter, or both, the person’s gender or sexual orientation.”
The proposed law also prohibits denial of access to private medical or health services on the basis of gender and refusing admission from any educational or training institution.
Under the bill, offenses shall be penalized with a fine not less than P100,000 but not exceeding P500,000 and imprisonment of between one year and 10 years.
It further mandates existing women’s desks in police stations to be renamed as “women, children, LGBTQ++ protection desk,” which will attend to complaints.
It orders establishments to make available their existing toilets with facilities designated for persons with disabilities as gender-neutral toilets.
Other prohibited acts include the following:
Refusing or revoking the accreditation, formal recognition, registration or plan to organize of any organization, group, political party, institution, or establishment in educational institutions, workplaces, communities, and other settings, solely on the basis of gender.
Harassment, coercion or threats committed by members of institutions involved in the enforcement of law and the protection of rights of any person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
Subjecting persons or groups of persons to harassment generally defined as such unwanted conduct, pattern of conduct, act, or series of acts which tend to annoy, insult, bully, demean, offend, threaten, intimidate, alarm, or create a hostile or emotionally distressing environment.
Subjecting any person to gender profiling or to any investigatory activities, which include unnecessary, unjustified, illegal, or degrading searches to determine whether an individual is engaged in an activity presumed to be unlawful, immoral, or socially unacceptable.