Last August 13 a transwoman was reportedly discriminated on the basis of her identity. Gretchen Diez was violently removed from a mall’s female restroom and barred from using it. Such blatant bias against this protected attribute has renewed calls for the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill to be passed in Congress.
(Trans-woman Gretchen Custodio Diez was violently removed from the women’s toilets)
While the measure previously passed in the House of Representatives during Congress’ last session, the bill was stalled in the Senate. It met opposition from senators Manny Pacquiao, Joel Villanueva, and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. Now, people see a more urgent need for the institution of a bill which prohibits discrimination based on a person’s SOGIE.
This sentiment is strongly advocated by advocate groups such as the Philippine Anti Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders (PANTAY). Their statement on the incident compelled legislators: “to recognize the urgency of passing the SOGIE equality bill.”
(Senator Risa Hontiveros: ‘Trans Rights are Human Rights’)
“We will not be silenced while various cases of discrimination continue to happen all over the country. #SOGIEEqualityNow,” PANTAY strongly expressed.
The Philippine LGBT Chamber of Commerce and Metro Manila Pride Organization likewise encourage members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community “to continue the clamor for the SOGIE Equality Law.”
Araw-araw ay may LGBTQIA+ person na di makauwi, di maka-apply sa trabaho o nasisisante sa trabaho, di makapag-aral, di makakuha ng healthcare, o di makagamit ng palikuran dahil sa SOGIESC-based discrimination.
This has to end.
Pass the SOGIE Equality Act NOW!#SOGIEequalityNow
— Metro Manila Pride 🏳️🌈 (@mmprideorg) August 13, 2019
(“Why not just ‘homo sapiens?’” and Other Questions Senators Had About The LGBTQIA+)
Showbiz personality and proud member of the LGBTQ+ Vice Ganda similarly spoke up on the urgency of the SOGIE bill now:
Nakakakaawa yung mga LGBTQ+ na napagkakaitan ng karapatan dahil sa kanilang gender identity. At nakakaawa rin yung mga ignorante na napagkakaitan ng kaalaman kaya nakakatapak ng karapatan. Kailan pa kaya lalawak ang pang unawa sa LGBTQ+? May pag asa pa ba ang SOGIE BILL?
— jose marie viceral (@vicegandako) August 13, 2019
(14 LGBTQ+ terms and their definitions)
Do you feel the SOGIE bill is needed now in Philippine society?