Duterte asked to end discrimination, push for passage of Sogie bill
As President Rodrigo Duterte expressed support for same sex marriage, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community reminded the chief executive of his promise to end discrimination against the sector by passing the anti-discrimination bill into law.
Metro Manila Pride, a volunteer group of LGBT advocates, welcomed Mr. Duterte’s latest pronouncements supporting the community but also urged him to push for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (Sogie) Equality Bill, or formerly Anti-Discrimination Bill, to protect the basic rights of LGBTs.
“We welcome the President’s renewed support for marriage equality as a civil right,” Metro Manila Pride said in a statement.
“While we recognize marriage equality as a human right, we reiterate the need for the government to prioritize ending discrimination on the basis of Sogie by passing the long-overdue Sogie Equality Bill.”
“We challenge the President to make good on his promise that oppression will not reign in his term, by passing to law the Sogie Equality Bill,” it added.
The group said upholding Sogie is “fundamental” to protecting the dignity of all persons of various sexual orientations, as well as the right to civil union.
“Genuine progress and true equality is achieved not just with bold words–but with compassionate and consistent policies that affect not just our laws, but our culture,” it said.
In a recently-concluded LGBT yearend gathering held in Davao City, Duterte called on the LGBT community to nominate a representative for the sector in the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP).
At the same event, President Duterte also expressed his support for same-sex marriage or marriage equality.
Metro Manila Pride welcomed Duterte’s pronouncement and assurance of increased opportunities for the LGBT community’s “meaningful participation in nation-building and governance.”
However, the group reminded the president that LGBT people exist in every sector—women, PWD, the poor, indigenous people, the youth, the elderly, and all minority sectors in the Philippines.
“As such, for LGBT representation in the PCUP to be truly inclusive, in depth consultations must be held to ensure that the Commission can fully address the issues and concerns of [LGBT, Queer, Intersex and Allies] people across these different sectors,” it said.
“We challenge the President to protect the humanity of all Filipinos and respect all minorities as actual human beings who deserve equal rights under our laws,” it added.
The Sogie bill has so far hurdled the third reading at the House of Representatives. /kga
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