The House of Representatives approved the second reading of the SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) Equality Bill which prohibits the denial of access to facilities and opportunities, harassment, and humiliation just because of sexual orientation. Today, September 20, marks the third and final reading of the SOGIE Equality Bill and many have high hopes for it. The bill was approved on the third reading back in the 11th Congress but was denied by the Senate right after.
The SOGIE Equality Bill was also previously called the Anti-Discrimination Bill and strictly prohibits the following, according to CNN Philippines:
- Denial of access to public services – including SOGIE as a criteria for hiring or dismissal of workers
- Refusing admission or expelling students in schools based on SOGIE
- Imposing disciplinary actions that are harsher than customary due to the student’s SOGIE
- Refusing or revoking accreditation of organizations based on the SOGIE of members
- Denying access to health services
- Denying the application for professional licenses and similar documents
- Denying access to establishments, facilities, and services open to the general public – Forcing a person to undertake any medical or psychological examination to determine or alter one’s SOGIE
- Harassment committed by persons involved in law enforcement
- Publishing information intended to “out” or reveal the SOGIE of a person without consent – Engaging in public speech which intends to shame or ridicule LGBTQ+ persons
- Subjecting persons to harassment motivated by the offenders bias against the offended party’s SOGIE, which may come in the form of any medium, including telecommunications and social media
- Subjecting any person to gender profiling – Preventing a child under parental authority from expressing one’s SOGIE by inflicting or threatening to inflict bodily or physical harm or by causing mental or emotional suffering
Protection from discrimination is a fundamental right for every human being. However, despite these efforts, some legislators are still on the edge regarding this bill leading to same-sex marriage.
On this day, to show solidarity, we encourage you to go on Twitter and tweet your support with the hashtags #YEStoEquality and #PassADB.