Solons expedite passage of anti-discrimination bill also protecting LGBTQ community


By William Casis i FilAm Star Correspondent

TWO women senators pressed for the immediate passage the Anti-Discrimination or Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill to protect individuals, which include members of the LGBTQ community who experience human rights violations.
Sen. Loren Legarda said no person should be discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

She noted that there have been exhaustive discussions on the SOGIE Bill for the past two years and it is about time that the measure is passed by the Senate.

Legarda said Senate Bill No. 1271 or the Anti-Discrimination Bill was filed last August 1, 2016 and has faced an uphill battle in the upper chamber, unlike in the House of Representatives that approved its version of the bill in September last year.

“It would be a great legacy of this chamber if we are able to pass the anti-discrimination measure during our watch,” said Legarda.

“I hope we do not further delay the approval of this measure that seeks inclusion and equality. We must promote a society that values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender and sexual orientation,” added Legarda.

Akbayan Sen. Risa Hontiveros earlier noted that the measure has been under the period of interpellation for 602 calendar days, since her sponsorship last December 2016.

“We should build an inclusive and equitable society where diversity is celebrated and every citizen is given an equal opportunity to achieve his or her full potential as a person,” Legarda added.

For his part, Majority Floor Leader Zubiri vowed attention to the bill. “I commit to the good sponsors, Sen. Risa and Sen. Loren that we’ll place this on the calendar, the agenda, every day, so that we can tackle this anytime within the next few weeks,” Zubiri said.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Minority Leader Frank Drilon also expressed support for the measure that seeks to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Earlier, Catholic student councils in Metro Manila expressed support for the bill and urged the Senate to end the interpellation and move for its approval.