Op-Ed

After almost 20 years, now is right time for SOGIE Equality Bill to be passed – Kasarianlan

For PUP Kasarianlan, the rights of LGBTQIA+ Filipinxs are constantly threatened and under attack due to the stigma attached to the community by a bigoted majority, in addition to the absence of a legal safeguard.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PUP KASARIANLAN

PUP Kasarianlan’s statement on the delay in the passage of the  SOGIE Equality Bill

Countless are the documented and undocumented hate crimes and instances of discrimination experienced by LGBTQIA+ Filipinx. This is evident even on a daily basis at schools, offices and other public places. Services and opportunities are regularly withheld from LGBTQIA+ persons on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression (SOGIE), which should not be happening in such a progressive era and in a place many consider as “accepting”. Ultimately, the right of LGBTQIA+ Filipinxs are constantly threatened and under attack due to the stigma attached to the community by a bigoted majority, in addition to the absence of a legal safeguard.

This is why it is imperative to enact an anti-discrimination law. The blatant disrespect for basic human rights could be curbed if the perpetrators are penalized, and the victims are offered safeguards. In perspective, the promise of the right to life, liberty and property, and equal socio-political and civil rights can finally be fulfilled for LGBTQIA+ Filipinxs.

Twenty years ago, the anti-discrimination bill was introduced in Congress. It finally managed to pass in the Lower House (House of Representatives), and a counterpart bill is now pending in the Senate. Unfortunately, the latter bill has suffered stagnancy in the Upper Chamber of Congress.

Equality and justice have always been PUP Kasarianlan’s values and were the foundation for the establishment of the organization. In pursuance of equality and justice, PUP Kasarianlan fervently supports the SOGIE Equality Bill pending in the Senate. We believe that all human rights should not be exclusively granted to only a privileged few and not be granted to LGBTQIA+ members of the society on the shallow basis of their SOGIE. The right and inclination to love and be loved by others and oneself should not be a barrier for one to be be deprived of his/her rights.

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We call for our legislators to finally allow members of the LGBTQIA+ the chance to live their lives without fear and oppression.

Now is the right time for the SOGIE Equality Bill to be passed.

We want #EqualityNOW! Senate, #PassADB!

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