LGBTIQA+? ‘Why not just Homo Sapiens? We’re all the same’ – Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — Seemingly struggling with the definition of “LGBTQIA+,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday suggested that they should be just called “Homo Sapiens.”
During the Senate session on Wednesday, some senators appeared to have difficulty in grasping the meaning of LGBTQIA+, which represents the community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queers, intersexuals, and asexuals.
“Why the lengthy letters? Why not just Homo Sapiens? We’re all the same,” Sotto said.
“Why do we have to segregate the gays and the lesbians, the straight guys?” he further asked.
Senator Risa Hontiveros answered Sotto’s query that the term would have been unnecessary should there have been no discrimination against the LGBTIQA+ community.
“Hindi po sana kailangan mag-segregate kung ‘yung human civilization natin at mga societies natin ay nag-evolve to the point na walang discrimination, may equality among all, regardless of identity, regardless of expression,” she noted.
“Kaya lang hindi ganun ang nangyayari… that is why the community felt it’s necessary,” Hontiveros added.
The discussion stemmed from Senator Koko Pimentel’s query on the prevailing term to describe the LGBTQIA+ community during debates on the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill.
“The term now is LGBTIQA?” Pimentel asked.
“Plus (+),” Senator Risa Hontiveros interjected.
“May plus pa? Hihingi sana ako ng definition ng IQA, pero kung may plus pa parang walang katapusan pala ito,” Pimentel quipped.
Hontiveros explained that the “+” in the LGBTIQA+ means that the spectrum of human sexuality is continually refined in time.
“Plus po dahil sa natututunan natin about human sexuality, maraming kulay, maraming shades, so the spectrum may forever be further and further be refined habang nakikilala natin ang ating mga tao,” she said.
During a privilege speech, Hontiveros pushed for the urgent passage of the SOGIE Equality bill, which criminalizes all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, after a transwoman was barred from using a toilet designated for women in a Quezon City mall. /kga
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