SOGIE
While there are city ordinances that protect the rights of the gay community, activists have expressed concern that the absence of an anti-discrimination legislation for LGBTs and stiff opposition from religious groups and conservative senators could offset any progress made at the local level.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos, File
SOGIE Equality Bill a ‘class legislation’, says Sotto
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - September 4, 2019 - 5:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Wednesday he was “very doubtful” that the SOGIE Equality Bill would clear the Senate hurdle, adding that the proposed measure is a “class legislation” that would violate women’s rights.

LGBT Filipinos still face discrimination despite seemingly high tolerance in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, prompting some lawmakers to file a bill that would penalize discrimination based on a person’s SOGIE, or Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression.

Speaking to reporters, Sotto, a religious conservative, said the SOGIE bill supposedly tramples on women's rights, academic freedom and religious freedom.

“If you are a man, you will never be a woman, no matter what you do, because you cannot reproduce. You cannot give birth, you do not have ovaries,” Sotto said in a media interview, a transcript of which was posted on the Senate’s website.

“You will never be a woman. So this, to me, the SOGIE bill is a bill against women's rights and it's giving transgender rights (unclear), so it's class legislation,” he added.

READ: SOGIE bill will not outlaw Bible-based beliefs on LGBTs

While there are city ordinances that protect the rights of the gay community, activists have expressed concern that the absence of an anti-discrimination legislation for LGBTs and stiff opposition from religious groups and conservative senators could offset any progress made at the local level.

Sen. Sonny Angara had filed a “comprehensive” anti-discrimination bill, which has been pending on the committee level. In the same media interview Wednesday, Sotto said he prefers Angara’s proposal, arguing that the SOGIE bill “is so concentrated on the G of the LGBT.”

Sen. Risa Hontiveros had said the SOGIE Equality Bill she filed at the Senate does not infringe on religious doctrines, teachings and rights. 

"It starts with accepting the fact that LGBTQ+ persons should enjoy the same rights as everyone – including the right to live peacefully, and to not be treated as a lesser person," Hontiveros said.

SOGIE BILL TITO SOTTO
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