LGBTs back passage of bill vs sexual discrimination
IT WAS a pink and rainbow kind of afternoon in the House of Representatives session hall on Monday, as lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) came in full force to support Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman’s push for the passage of the Anti-Discriminatory Bill on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Roman, the country’s first transgender legislator, delivered a privilege speech that was personal as much as it was representative of the experiences of her fellow LGBTs, that her voice cracked at some point while reading her speech.
Roman said her father, the late Bataan Rep. Tony Roman, was “willing to beg” for respect for his transgender daughter.
But she said that with the support the bill was getting from her colleagues in the 17th Congress, she could tell her father that both of them need not beg for respect as “they have treated me with dignity and respect that is due all human beings.”
The bill has languished in Congress for the past 17 years.
Roman told her fellow lawmakers that she was actually “surprised” that this time, the bill had garnered more support in Congress.
“I was expecting more hesitance on the part of my colleagues,” she admitted.
During interpellation, Roman emphasized that the bill had “nothing to do with same-sex marriage.”
Dinagat Island Rep. Kaka Bag-ao noted that same-sex marriage was one of the contentious issues surrounding the bill, which was why it gathered dust for nearly two decades.
Roman said the bill would push for granting equality to the LGBT for access to basic services, treatment from government agencies, schools, the workplace and recreational areas, such as restaurants and clubs.
In her speech, Roman took exception to the repeated disqualification of Ang Ladlad by the Commission on Elections, on the grounds that the group promoted “immorality,” among other issues.
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