SOGIE bill won’t promote equality; only ‘special’ rights to LGBT – solon
MANILA, Philippines — Instead of promoting equality, the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill will only “unduly give special rights” to some members of society at the expense of others, a lawmaker said Wednesday.
Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Partylist Rep. Eddie Villanueva manifested his opposition against the SOGIE bill during a privilege speech on Wednesday.
“Let it be put to record that this representation is in opposition to SOGIE bill. [In] its current form and provisions, I believe, [it] will not promote equality but will, instead, unduly give special rights to some members of our society at the expense of the rights of other members and to the detriment of the social order in our community,” Villanueva said.
He reasoned that the SOGIE bill “undermines the role of parents in the family,” “threatens academic freedom,” “imperils freedom of speech and religion,” and “puts into question the very foundation” of the country’s laws.
The lawmaker also said the SOGIE bill is “loaded with legal infirmities and unsettling questions on social acceptability and feasibility of implementation.”
During his speech, Villanueva further put emphasis on the August 13 incident where a transgender woman, Gretchen Diez, was barred by a janitress to use a women’s toilet room in a mall in Quezon City.
He noted that the side of the janitress has been given “little, if any, attention.” Villanueva came to the janitress’s defense, saying that she was “just doing her job.”
Villanueva said his party-list filed a resolution calling for a probe on the August 13 incident but will put particular attention to get the side of the janitress, “whose side has not yet been comprehensively heard.”
“To guarantee impartiality and objectiveness in this issue, hearing all sides of the story is a must,” the lawmaker said.
As interpellation on Villanueva’s speech was not allowed, Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman instead manifested her request for lawmakers to read the SOGIE bills filed in the chamber.
“My request to all is to read the bills. Let us not be carried away by extrapolations nor by fear by very far away scenarios from other countries,” Roman said.
She added that lawmakers should also focus on the “essence” of the bills which is to afford all Filipinos and LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) members the same rights when it comes to work, schooling, receiving services from the government, access to public establishments, and “not to be insulted in the streets.”
“There is nothing to fear but everything to look forward to in a society that welcomes everyone even people that is coming from the minority,” Roman said. /kga
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