Amid heated debates, Catholic student councils from major schools backed the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill, a measure aimed to protect members of the LGBTQIA community from discrimination.
A statement expressing this support was signed by the student councils of the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University-Manila, St. Scholastica’s College-Manila, and Miriam College.
Citing the Christian values of compassion, love, and acceptance, the Catholic student councils urged the public to “recall the teachings of the Church” and “champion the cause of equality”.
“LGBTQ+ persons live in constant fear of stigma, harassment, and in many cases, death”, the statement said. “These are our fellow Filipinos, ating mga kapwa, that are deprived of, and denied the full enjoyment of their rights,” the student council furthered.
The statement of support is below.
CATHOLIC COMPASSION DEMANDS EQUALITY
We are student leaders from student governments of Catholic academic institutions, united under the pillars of respect for human rights, diversity, love, and equality. We express our support for the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill in the 18th Congress. This is a legislation that—if passed—safeguards the rights and welfare of Filipinos of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, through government policies of acceptance and non-discrimination.
Everyday, people of diverse SOGIE face discrimination. They are thrown out of their homes, rejected by their families, bullied in schools, barred from employment, denied healthcare, or ridiculed in the streets.
LGBTQ+ persons live in constant fear of stigma, harassment, and in many cases, death. These are our fellow Filipinos, ating mga kapwa, that are deprived of, and denied the full enjoyment of their rights.
The delay, and subsequent non-passage of the bill in the last Congress is nothing short of disappointing. In the 18th Congress, it is time to renew our commitment to equality for every Filipino.
Raised on the Christian values of compassion, love, and acceptance, as Filipino youth, as student leaders in our Catholic institutions, we reach out to the various groups who stand in opposition, to recall the teachings of the Church, and see that the LGBTQ+ community is no different from oneself. We strongly urge the Senate and the House of Representatives to champion the cause of equality, not just for us, but for future generations.
The time for Equality is now.
LANCE DELA CRUZ
President, University Student Government
De la Salle University – Manila
President, Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral
Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila
MA. ALLISON S. BOBIER
President, Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Miriam
External Vice President, College Student Council
St. Scholastica’s College, Manila