Taking a stand

"There was one good thing that happened as a result of that restroom incident."


It’s been over a week since the Diez restroom incident but yet, there is no slowing down on the social media on the magnitude of outrage it has generated.

While a few lawmakers and their supporters from the LGBT community tried to seize the opportunity to push for the controversial Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression or SOGIE Bill, it has only backfired on them as it had only exposed the real agenda of the measure they are pushing for. SOGIE Bill which was supposed to be anti-discrimination, was actually discriminatory. It was never for equality as it is actually pushing for entitlement.

According to Anna Cosio, vice president for communications of the Alliance for the Family Foundation, Inc., SOGIE Bill is more than just women’s safety and privacy concerns. 

“Once the SOGIE Bill becomes a law, we can say goodbye to some of our most basic freedoms, such as our freedoms of speech, conscience, religion, and association. Parents can say goodbye to some of their parental rights, as well,” says Cosio.

Under SOGIE laws, Cosio avers, people will be forced to ignore science and instead conform to an ideology that is based on feelings rather than fact or logic and that we will be forced to accept that “transwomen” are no different from real women. 

And because they are supposedly no different from real women, they must be treated as women in every way. They must be allowed to use female-only restrooms and locker rooms, compete in women’s sports, join women’s beauty pageants, be admitted into exclusive girls’ schools, accepted into women’s organizations and even into women’s religious orders. They must also be addressed with female pronouns and female honorifics, and be exempted from gender-specific dress codes of schools and companies. They must be treated as women even though nearly every single cell in their body confirms that they are men,” she adds.

Former Cibac Rep. Chona Gonzales agrees with Cosio saying that the proposed bill will trample on one’s religious conviction. An events venue manager for example, cannot refuse an event for a same-sex marriage even if that would run contrary to his or her religious belief. An all-girls school or all-boys school can be sued for refusing to accept a transgender or whatever gender he feels he or she belongs.

And the penalty is something. A fine of P100,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment from one to six years or both.  

But do they really need the SOGIE Bill to ensure equality and fair treatment?

Not according to medical practitioner Ryan Capitulo, himself a member of the LGBT community.

Capitulo insists there are already many existing laws that safeguard the rights of every citizen against discrimination including the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Presidential Decree No. 442 “Labor Code of the Philippines,” Republic Act No. 386 “Civil Code of the Philippines,” Republic Act No. 3019 “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” Republic Act No. 6713 “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,” Republic Act No. 3815 “The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines,” Republic Act No. 7877 “Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995,” and even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Capitulo asks: If we are to enact a law to address discrimination against LGBT, do we also need to enact Anti-Ilokano or Anti-Kapampangan or Anti-Bisaya Discrimination laws to address discrimination against them?

Further, Capitulo says we do not need an Anti-Discrimination or SOGIE Equality law because Filipinos are inherently accepting of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. 

“Our society is innately tolerant of LGBTs. Proof of this would be the many Filipino LGBTs who are very successful in their respective fields: business, trade, media, education, fashion, healthcare, law, I.T., science and technology, arts, show business and even politics,” says Capitulo adding that the election of the honorable representative of the first district of Bataan, Rep. Geraldine Roman, is yet another validation of society’s tolerance of the LGBT.

So, what really is the agenda for the SOGIE Bill? 

In the Senate version as filed by Senator Risa Hontiveros, there is a provision which specifically states that no member of the LGBT and all those included in their alphabets, shall be denied for their application for all kinds of licenses.

Sound harmless? No, it does not. 

Have we heard of any member of the LGBT being denied an application for any kind of license? None as I know of.

Now, is there any law to date, that has barred them from securing any kind of license? Only one­—an application for a license for same-sex marriage. Hence, by enacting the SOGIE Bill, we, in effect, will be legalizing same-sex marriage as the court can no longer deny them the issuance of a marriage license.

SOGIE Bill is actually a measure calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage disguised as a gender equality bill. And that’s more reason to oppose it.

If there was one good thing that happened in the Diez restroom incident, it was that it helped open our eyes on the imminent threat a supposedly harmless bill may inflict on us.

And it is quite heartening to see your social media account each day teeming with opposition to this SOGIE Bill, not based on subjective emotion resulting from that toilet incident but founded on scientific, legal and religious facts. People are now making a stand and they want the whole world to be aware of that.

Topics: Charlie Manalo , LGBT , Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression , SOGIE Bill
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