WATCH: Nancy Binay asks if she needs to file a bill for people like her
( - September 4, 2019 - 5:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Nancy Binay—whose skin color has been a subject of insults and jokes—asked during a Senate hearing if there is also a need to pass a legislation that would protect people like her.

Binay called for a “more encompassing” discussion on discrimination during a Senate inquiry on the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill Tuesday.

“Maybe [the discussion on] discrimination should cover everybody, not just gender,” Binay said.

She added: “For example, I’ve been discriminated [because] of my color. Does that mean that I need to file a bill to protect people like me? So hopefully our discussion when it comes to discrimination should be more universal, should be more encompassing.”

Binay’s skin tone has been a target of bashing and even memes since she entered the political scene in 2013.

But the senator also used her complexion to deliver her point when she ran as a reelectionist during the 2019 midterm elections. In several occasions, she also poked fun at her skin color.

Binay suggested that gender discrimination should be included in the Senate Bill 137 or the proposed Anti-Discriminatory Act filed by Sen. Sonny Angara. The proposed legislation seeks to eliminate all forms of discrimination in the country.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the author of the SOGIE Equality bill, stressed there is a need to pass a separate SOGIE measure.

“As we explore, support both bills, we’re trying to see how they can complement each other. But we continue to look at the SOGIE Equality bill to find particular protections against discrimination based particularly on SOGIE,” Hontiveros said. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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