Roman to colleagues amid SOGIE bill debates: ‘Not our duty to decide what’s a sin or not’
MANILA, Philippines — As a House panel began its initial deliberations on the proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill, Bataan 1st. District Rep. Geraldine Roman reminded her colleagues Friday: “It is not our job to determine what is a sin or not.”
Roman said this during the online hearing of the House committee on women and gender equality as she called on her colleagues to pass the controversial SOGIE Bill which seeks to prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Us legislators, we know that our laws have to be based on the Constitution and not any particular holy book. It is not our duty to decide what is a sin or not. Hindi trabaho ng mambabatas ‘yan,” Roman said.
“We are aware that the Constitution alone does not suffice to promulgate itself as if it were a cure-all antidote and that it needs enabling laws that will establish the parameters of our dealings in society. And this is our job,” she added.
Roman pointed out that there are laws “aimed at protecting traditionally marginalized groups” like women, indigenous peoples, OFWs, and senior citizens, among others. However, there are no laws to protect citizens who are discriminated against on their basis of SOGIE.
“We are part of society and we also deserve protection under the law. We need your help and we, as legislators, must respond and not turn a blind eye,” Roman said.
“Wag tayong maging manhid sa pangangailangan ng maraming Pilipino na nagkataon lang na LGBT. We are no less Filipinos nor do we have less rights because we are LGBT. What we are asking for here are just the same rights that all Filipinos enjoy,” the lawmaker added.
Roman likewise hit “army of paid trolls” that previously “demonized the bill” on social media and portrayed the SOGIE bill for “what it was not.”
In the 17th Congress, the House approved the SOGIE bill on final reading but its counterpart bill in the Senate only languished in the period of interpellation.
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