Following the May 18 rape-slay of transgender man Ebeng Mayor in Quezon City, which – itself – followed the still-unresolved murder of transgender woman Junjie Bangkiao in Leyte, Rep. Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) filed House Resolution 1788, stressing the need to pass the SOGIE Equality Bill.
Backing GWP’s move to decry the brutal hate crimes committed against members of the LGBTQIA community, select LGBTQIA organizations Bahaghari, Metro Manila Pride, United Transgender Masculine Orgs and Rainbow Rights, along with other advocacy groups headed to the House of Representatives in Quezon City.
“Hindi kami papayag na maging normal na lamang ang pagpaslang sa amin. Hindi kami papayag na maging normal ang karahasan. Oras na para labanan natin ang kultura ng abuso sa pamamagitan ng pagpapasa ng isang panukalang magpoprotekta sa ating lahat laban sa diskriminasyon — ang SOGIE Equality Bill,” said Rey Valmores-Salinas, Bahaghari’s spokesperson.
Valmores-Salinas added that “it is not enough that we put individual perpetrators to justice. We must address the violently discriminatory culture that creates such perpetrators. One concrete cultural offensive for this is passing a national legislation that not only provides punitive measures against discrimination, but creates opportunities for educating people on the plight of the LGBTQIA (people) and positive and healthy portrayal of the community. These are all provisions under the SOGIE Equality Bill.”
Despite its necessity, the SOGIE Equality Bill has been languishing in Congress for over two decades now. And for Valmores-Salinas, “each year, the LGBTQIA community is faced with harrowing loss of opportunity, dignity and life; and yet each year, our cries for help are merely silenced. The SOGIE Equality Bill languishes, not for lack of value and support, but for overflow of hypocrisy and criminal neglect by those in power.”
“Kaming mga bakla ay higit pa sa paulit-ulit na balita ng pagpaslang. Ang buhay namin ay sagrado at may dignidad din. Today, we say NO to another trans killing. No to half-measures. Pass the SOGIE Equality Bill now,” Valmores-Salinas ended.