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SOGIE Equality Bill ‘not a priority,’ says religious senator Villanueva

The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Equality Bill is not considered a priority measure, stated newly-assigned Senate caretaker Joel Villanueva.

No legalization of human rights of LGBTQIA Filipinos. At least not while Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva is in the house.

The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Equality Bill is not considered a priority measure, stated newly-assigned Senate caretaker Villanueva, who stressed that “I don’t see any urgency for that particular measure… I don’t know why, who is following it up, or saying that it is a priority measure because it is not a priority measure to begin with.”

The senator – who used to package himself as for the human rights of all irrespective of their SOGIESC – now argues that this bill only protects one sector of the society, and that it will eventually promote the legalization of marriage equality in the country. And as such, there are more urgent bills that the Senate ought to focus on, such as the Philippine Salt Industry Development Act.

The SOGIESC Equality Bill has been pending in Villanueva’s committee on rules for about four months now.

This May 24, in the House of Representatives, the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality approved its version of the SOGIESC Equality Bill after the consolidation of House Bills No. 222, 460, 3418, 3702, 4277, 5551, 6003, and 7036, and other measures seeking to ban discrimination of people on the basis of their SOGIESC.

The first anti-discrimination bill was filed at the 11th Congress by the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales.

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