Zubiri: It’s time to vote on Sogie bill; Bato reminds rights of straight
MANILA, Philippines— Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri believes that it is now high time to debate and put to a vote the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (Sogie) Equality bill.
Or maybe just pass a “happy” compromise anti-discrimination bill?
Zubiri offered these two solutions following the arrest of a transgender woman, Gretchen Diez, who was barred to use the ladies room in a mall in Cubao, Quezon City last Tuesday.
Diez was nabbed for unjust vexation when she documented the incident.
“It’s time that we should debate it on the floor and put a vote to it. Tingnan natin kung sino sa amin ang susuporta,” Zubiri said in an interview at the Senate on Thursday.
“As I mentioned before, I am inclined to support the measure. Kalahati ng staff ko ay LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer), kalahati ba o sobra sa kalahati?” he added.
Zubiri even compared the issue to other contentious measures like the death penalty and divorce where he expects his colleagues to vote based on their conscience.
While he is inclined to support the Sogie bill, the senator likewise backed the passage of Senator Sonny Angara’s anti-discrimination bill.
“It could be a happy compromise e…” Zubiri said, explaining that Angara’s bill would eliminate all kinds of discrimination.
While claiming to be a pro-LGBT, neophyte Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said he would rather wait for a law that would address this problem.
Dela Rosa noted that many Filipinos are still conservative and some may not be ready yet to share a common restroom with other genders.
Because what if a man pretends to be gay just to be allowed entry to women’s restroom?
“Magpabakla-bakla sya, magsuot sya ng buhok ng babae, mag-ayos bakla, papasok sa CR ng babae tapos gagawa ng kalokohan sa loob. Those are things that we have to consider in crafting that law,” he pointed out.
“While kinukunsidera natin yung rights ng LGBT, hindi lang ang LGBT ang tingan natin. Yung straight din tingnan natin kung apektado sa ganung batas. So dapat balance tayo, i-balance natin,” the senator added.
Senator Cynthia Villar said she also has no problem with the Sogie bill.
“Okay lang iyon basta ilagay lang sa ayos. Kasi may negative, may positive. Supportive naman ako,” she said in a separate interview.
But in the meantime that the bill is not yet passed into law, Villar suggested that the LGBT members be allowed to use the restroom for persons with disabilities (PWD).
“Hindi naman palaging nagagamit iyon (PWD),” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.