Student leader, professor urge ‘privileged’ to fight for passage of SOGIE bill
MANILA, Philippines — A student leader and a university professor are urging those who are “privileged” to fight for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill.
“We have always been spectators to things that deep inside, within our Christian values, we know are wrong and hateful,” De La Salle University-University Student Government President Lance Dela Cruz said during the Senate hearing on the SOGIE Bill.
“We have seen discrimination unfold in our own eyes. And we did nothing. Tayo po ay nasa posisyon na ng pribilehiyo. We could only imagine ‘Ano ang gagawin ko?’ if ever it happened to us? Kung katulad na talaga tayo versus sa kanila? Muli, hindi po pinipili ng tao na maging straight o bakla,” he added.
Dela Cruz added that he sees himself as a “good Catholic father” in the future, but fears for the future of his soon-to-be children.
“We have to create a culture that is open for all of us. We may be straight and privileged, but we are not narrow and indifferent,” he said.
LGBTQIA+ community sufferings can’t be negated, ignored
Also pushing for the passage of the SOGIE Bill is Dr. Nathalie Verceles, director of the University of the Philippines (UP) Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.
“I am heteronormative and cisnormative as it gets, but I decry a world against those who are not like me. The sufferings of the members in the LGBTQI community cannot simply be negated, ignored or dismissed,” Verceles said.
“Their sufferings are inextricable from all other struggles for social justice,” the UP professor added.
Despite saying that there is an absence of their rights, Verceles asserted that members of the LGBTQI community are “not going to disappear.”
“From our position of privilege, do we turn a blind eye to this? Or do we utilize our power to create and nurture an economic, political, social and cultural order that embraces and inclusive view of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression?” she asked. /muf
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