Solons mull third toilet, ‘all-gender’ toilet after harassment of trans woman
MANILA, Philippines — Instead of a gender-inclusive or unisex toilet, 1-Pacman Rep. Enrico Pineda on Thursday proposed establishing a third toilet for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
LGBTQIA+ refers to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queers, intersexuals, and asexuals.
Pineda’s proposal came after a transgender woman, Gretchen Custodio Diez, was arrested for unjust vexation after she documented how a janitress denied her entry to a women’s toilet inside a mall in Quezon City on Tuesday.
“I think one resolution there is to also come up with another (toilet) for the third sex so that hindi na tayo nagkakaroon ng problema,” Pineda pointed out in a press conference.
“Sakin mas maganda ‘yung ganun we can come up with another (toilet) for our brothers and sisters in the LGBT,” he added.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Rep. Jericho Nograles, meanwhile, lauded Clark
International Airport’s “all-gender” restroom which he said is not against any law.
“Ako hindi ako naiilang… it’s a matter of people’s tolerance… I have the right to feel ok, Cong. Pineda has the right to feel not ok about it, but no one has the right na mambugbog,” Nograles said.
For Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman and the House Makabayan bloc, transgender women should be allowed to use women’s toilet, and doing otherwise would be considered discrimination.
“Ito po ay malinaw na discrimination or harassment sa isang transgender woman. Ito po ay kinukundena namin,” Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said Wednesday.
“Is it so difficult for us to be kind and considerate? … Si Gretchen went there for a basic human need to relieve herself and she was denied this, at bukod pa don hinimuliate pa, pinosasan, ipinarada, sinabihan pa na nawala raw ‘yung susi (ng posas). For a long period of time she was being paraded as if she was a criminal,” said Roman, the first transgender woman to be elected in Congress.
Several bills prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression (SOGIE) have been filed in the House of the Representatives, including Roman’s House Bill No. 136, and the Makabayan bloc’s HB No. 258.
Under Section 4 of HB 258, one of the practices considered discriminatory and illegal is the denial of a person’s access to or use of establishments, facilities, utilities, or services on the basis of SOGIE.
The recently approved Republic Act 1131 or the “Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act” also seeks to prevent gender-based sexual harassment from occurring in streets, public places, online workplaces, and educational and training institutions.
Despite an apology from the mall establishment and personnel, Diez said she would pursue filing charges for violations of the Quezon City “Gender-Fair City Ordinance.” Her lawyer is also eyeing civil suit of slight physical injuries and unjust vexation.
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