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Sen. Legarda bats for LGBT anti-discrimination; forces snowballing of support for SOGIE Equality Bill in Senate

Members of the LGBT community found allies in the Senate, with Senators Loren Legarda, Migz Zubiri, Ralph Recto and Frank Drilon finally openly expressing their support for the SOGIE Equality Bill that seeks to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Forcing hands to openly support non-discrimination of LGBTQIA Filipinos.

Members of the LGBT community found allies in the Senate, with Senators Loren Legarda, Migz Zubiri, Ralph Recto and Frank Drilon finally openly expressing their support for the SOGIE Equality Bill that seeks to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Senate Bill No. 1271 or the Anti-Discrimination Bill was filed last August 1, 2016 and has faced an uphill battle in the upper chamber. Its counterpart in the House of Representatives was already approved in September 2017.

“It would be a great legacy of this chamber if we are able to pass the anti-discrimination measure during our watch,” Legarda said, prompting the other senators to also voice out their support for the bill. Legarda added: “I just want to give my full unequivocal, urgent support to this measure.”

In an Instagram post, Legarda stated the need to “give our #LGBTQIA friends the love that they truly deserve. After two years of exhaustive discussions, we should no longer prolong the debates on the SOGIE Bill. Let’s spread the love. No to discrimination!”

Senate President Pro-Tempore Recto said – for the record – that “I also associate myself with the statements made by Senator Legarda.”

Majority Floor Leader Zubiri, for his part, pledged attention to the bill. “I commit to the good sponsors, Sen. Risa [Hontiveros] and Sen. Loren [Legarda] that we’ll place this on the calendar, the agenda, every day, so that we can tackle this anytime within the next few weeks”, Zubiri said.

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Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon also expressed support for the measure.

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier noted that the said measure has been under the period of interpellation for 602 calendar days, since her sponsorship last December 2016. The Senate session resumes on Monday and leaves three session days for the bill to get passed before the chamber’s adjournment on Wednesday.

Two of the three senators largely seen as delaying the passage of the ADB – Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Joel Villanueva – are scheduled to interpellate next week.

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