VP camp: SOGIE not redundant as Sotto says
MANILA, Philippines—The spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo continued the Vice President’s push for a now controversial bill that would protect the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) sector.
Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, said the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill does not create “new rights,” but seeks to ban discrimination against anyone because of sexual orientation.
“We all have the right to be treated equally,” Gutierrez said in Filipino over radio station dzRH. “We all have a right against discrimination,” he said in response to questions about Senate President Vicente Sotto III’s quip that the SOGIE bill is as good as dead in the Senate if it “transgresses on academic freedom, religious freedom and women’s rights.”
Gutierrez said the proposed law simply gives those who suffered discrimination because of their sexual orientation a legal remedy.
Sotto also said the bill could be redundant as the discriminatory acts it seeks to criminalize are already covered by other laws such as the Magna Carta of Women and the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act.
“All of the discriminatory acts mentioned here are covered by corresponding laws,” he said.
Gutierrez, however, maintained that SOGIE bill could pass if senators, especially Sotto, will take a close look at its provisions.
Gutierrez added that experts, advocates and lawyers can help explain the importance and effect of the SOGIE bill for the members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community./tsb
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