Political rainbow. Finally.
Simultaneous yet unified events and mobilizations will be held in Metro Manila, Albay, Iloilo, Cebu and General Santos City on Saturday, March 17, as the LGBTQI community in the Philippines turns political following the realization that the Anti-discrimination Bill (ADB) that has been languishing in Congress for almost 20 years now may still not see the light of day.
Dubbed “Fight for Love. Fight for Equality”, the rally in Metro Manila will happen at the People Power Monument starting 5.00PM. In Cebu City, it will start earlier at 4.00PM at Fuente Osmena Circle.
The event in General Santos City is scheduled earlier, on Friday, March 16, from 4.00PM to 7.00PM at Queen Tuna Park.
This move comes even after the SOGIE Equality Bill was already passed by the likes of Reps. Geraldine Roman and Kaka Bag-ao in the House of Representatives in 2017, the first time it went this far in 11 years; and yet the Senate version – that is in the hands of Liberal Party-aligned Akbayan partylist helmed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros – is not gaining grounds.
According to Aaron Bonette of the Bahaghari Center for SOGIE research, education and advocacy (Bahaghari Center), “the LGBTQI community has become political pingpong ball used by political parties/politicians for personal or party gains. It is time for us to reclaim this struggle; everyone should come out to support equal rights for all. This shouldn’t be about your political color/s, or about your social class, or about your age, or even (just) about your SOGIE. With people in power failing us, even those who claim to be supportive of us, it is time for our community to show our strength and our firm paninindigan that no one should be deprived of human rights. As such, this is a gathering that is about human rights that we, as LGBTQI Filipinos, should not be deprived of.”
In a statement released to Outrage Magazine, Mikee De Vega, president of the student government of the De La Salle University, said that “discrimination is real and denying it risks the lives of the LGBTQI community who have to face hate every day. We can no longer stay silent on the issue of discrimination.”
De Vega is also critical of statements that link the SOGIE Equality Bill with opposition to religious freedom, since “religious freedom should not entrap persons in a culture of hate. The SOGIE Equality Bill is about love and respect, values that most religions should believe in.”
For Hurjae Lubag of FEU Law, the passage of the “SOGIE Equality Bill will be historic as it will introduce the concept of SOGIE in our country’s legislation for the first time. And so for Lubag, “this law not only becomes the first law to protect (LGBT people) from discrimination, it also makes the Philippines fulfill its international obligations for human rights.”
Meanwhile, Kana Takahashi of UST Hiraya said that the message to the Senate is that “we are keeping close watch and we are demanding that the SOGIE Equality Bill gets passed.”
Join one of the events and mobilizations in Metro Manila, Albay, Iloilo, Cebu and General Santos City this Saturday, March 17 to show strength in numbers.
Get more information HERE.