Senate panel approves SOGIESC-based anti-discrimination bill
MANILA, Philippines — A Senate panel has approved a bill that aims to prohibit the discrimination, marginalization, and violence committed on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characters (SOGIESC).
Senate Bill No. 1934 or the proposed SOGIESC-based Anti-Discrimination Act was passed early this month by the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality chaired by Senator Risa Hontiveros.
Among the long list of violations under the proposed legislation are promoting or encouraging stigma on the basis of SOGIESC in the media, education textbooks, and other mediums, as well as inciting violence and sexual abuse against any person or group based on SOGIESC.
Including SOGIESC in the criteria for hiring, promotion, work assignment, and dismissal, among other actions in the workplaces, is likewise prohibited.
Denying a person access to or use of public or private establishments, facilities, utilities or services based on SOGIESC is likewise considered a violation under the bill.
Further, the measure prohibits preventing a child under parental authority, custody or guardianship from exhibiting or expressing one’s SOGIESC, or manifesting rejection of such child’s SOGIESC by inflicting or threatening to inflict harm against the child or by causing mental or emotional suffering.
Anyone who violates the provisions under the bill shall be fined not less than P500,000 but not more than P1 million at the discretion of the court, which is also authorized to impose community service through attendance in human rights and SOGIESC education, among others.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier said there is no chance that a SOGIE bill would be approved in the upper chamber. Instead, he said, the Senate could pass an anti-discrimination bill that is not focused only on members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community.
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