200 groups urge Marcos to certify gay rights bill as urgent

200 groups urge Marcos to certify gay rights bill as urgent

/ 05:46 AM June 15, 2024

200 groups urge Marcos to certify gay rights bill as urgent

PRIDE LANE Pedestrians outside Manila City Hall cross the rainbow-colored pedestrian lane at the corner of Antonio Villegas and Natividad Lopez Streets on Saturday, as the country marks Pride Month this June in behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

More than 200 organizations, together with Bataan First District Rep. Geraldine Roman, on Friday “strongly urged” President Marcos to certify the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sexual Characteristic (SOGIESC) bill as urgent.

In a “love letter” presented at a news conference by the Equality Alliance, they asked Mr. Marcos to “make equality your legacy” by safeguarding the rights of everyone, including the LGBTQ+ community.


READ: SOGIESC bill reaches House plenary after almost a year


“The bill, once enacted into law, will protect our country’s economy from the preventable costs of discrimination through inclusive workplaces. It will also improve LGBTIQ+ persons’ access to healthcare and education and enhance Filipino families’ quality of life,” the alliance said.

The alliance is a coalition of 203 human rights, academic, LGBTQ+, local government units, environment, health, and faith-based groups.

Senate push

Roman echoed the plea and called on Senate President Francis Escudero and Majority Leader Francis Tolentino to be consistent with their support for the SOGIESC bill.

“I think it would be a call to be consistent with our principles and to give the SOGIESC equality bill its fair share of time in the plenary,” Roman said.

Roman was referring to the committee report on the SOGIESC bill by the women, children, family relations, and gender equality panel of the Senate in 2022 that was signed by 19 senators, including Escudero and Tolentino.

But just last February, the bill was reverted back to the Committee on Rules, which is chaired by Tolentino, after several religious groups asked to join the discussions.


“For me, it’s not unacceptable for you to just sit on it,” Roman said, adding that no progress has been made in the last four months.

READ: UN body calls for passage of SOGIESC bill

Roman, though, is confident that the “majority” of the members of the House of Representatives will support their version of the bill.

“In the lower house, I don’t think we will encounter difficulties, especially with the new batch of legislators who are millennials and [members of the] Gen Z. I’ve been getting messages of support from them about how excited they are to pass this bill,” Roman said.

While Roman admitted that there had been previous instances where lawmakers withdrew their support for the bill due to pressures from religious groups, she said the political landscape in Congress has now changed.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“We’re not afraid anymore to vote for what we think will benefit the Filipino nation. For example, the divorce bill,” Roman said, referring to the 131 in-favor majority votes that approved the divorce bill last month.

TAGS: Gay rights, Marcos, SOGIESC, SOGIESC bill

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.