The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) insisted that the SOGIE Equality Bill does not create or ascribe new rights, but merely “demands recognition” that everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights.
“We need to recognize that violence and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community exist, and that persons of diverse SOGIE are oftentimes being disadvantaged for simply not conforming to some’s conservative notion of what makes males and females,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.
“It is crucial to understand that diverse SOGIE form part of a person’s identity. And if people are harmed for simply asserting themselves as humans, then the State must be ready provide equal protection through laws and policies,” she added.
Comedian turned politician Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who happens to be the Senate President, has repeatedly stated that the SOGIE Equality Bill’s future at least under his leadership is bleak; just as he also repeatedly expressed his anti-LGBTQIA sentiments.
More recently, Sotto claimed that the bill will violate women’s rights; even as he, himself, discriminated against women not included in his personal definition of what makes a woman.
“If you are a man, you will never be a woman no matter what you do because you cannot reproduce,” Sotto said, immediately excluding those who were assigned female at birth who can not, or who choose not, to bear children.
For De Guia, however, SOGIE as a term, “recognizes the diversity of human sexuality and its many forms of expression. Boxing then the debate in the perspective of ‘male versus female rights already highlights some of the issues that the SOGIE Equality Bill seeks to address.”
The CHR spokesperson stressed that the message of SOGIE Equality Bill remains simple: “Regardless of your sexual orientation and no matter how you opt to express your gender, you are human, as is with everyone else who needs to be respected and given the opportunity to pursue a well-lived and dignified life.”