‘Huwag tayong hypocrite’: Push for SOGIE bill continues in House
MANILA, Philippines — Despite facing a dead end in the Senate in the 17th Congress, the fight for the passage of the Sogie (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) Equality Bill continues at the House of Representatives.
Three lawmakers—Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas, ACT Teachers’ Partylist Rep. France Castro, and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Jane Elago—filed on Monday House Bill No. 6294 or “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (Sogie) and providing penalties therefor.”
This is the 13th bill on Sogie that remains pending in the lower chamber in the 18th Congress.
According to Brosas, among the differences of the newly filed bill to the other bills pending in the House are:
- Completes the definition of terms on SOGIE;
- Explains trans hate crime, with the case of Jennifer Laude as an example;
- Corrects “based on homosexuality” to “based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression”;
- Proposes for the implementation of the bill to be on the local government unit (LGU) level.
A call to the Senate
Sogie bill was passed by the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress; however, it faced a dead end in the Senate.
In September 2019, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said at least 15 of the 24 senators will vote against the passage of the bill, citing the existence of laws that protect not only one sector, but every Filipino.
Asked about their confidence for the passage of the bill despite the opposition in the Senate, Brosas said that lawmakers should not be “hypocrites.”
“Sa tingin po natin, importante ‘tong matalakay sa panahon ngayon dahil we have so many discriminatory practices even in the Senate, pati sa lower House. ‘Wag po tayong hypocrite,” Brosas told reporters.
(I think it is important for this to be tackled now because we have so many discriminatory practices even in the Senate, even in the lower House. Let us not be hypocrites.)
Castro said Sotto should at least be “open” for “special bills for special people.”
“Matagal na nating nakakaligtaan ito kaya panahon na para mapag-usapan. Mapakinggan lang ni Senator Sotto ito ay masaya na at sana ay ma-aprub itong bill na ito,” the lawmaker said.
(We have been forgetting this for a while now and it is the time now for this to be tackled. If Senator Sotto will just hear this, we are happy and hopefully this bill will be approved.)
The bill, however, also has its dissenters in the House.
In August 2019, Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Partylist Rep. Eddie Villanueva said that instead of promoting equality, the bill will only “unduly give special rights” to some members of society at the expense of others.
Villanueva said 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.
Edited by EDV
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