Solon: Retain LGBT rights in proposed anti-discrimination law

A SENIOR lawmaker called on members of bicameral conference committee from both houses of Congress tasked to reconcile versions of the proposed Anti-Racial, Ethnic and Anti-Religious Discrimination Act “not to emasculate the measure by taking out sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) provisions.”

“It will be a monumental mistake for the Congress, particularly the Senate, to discriminate the Filipino Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders (LGBT) sector in passing an Anti-Discrimination Law. It would be a shame if any of the senators attempt to remove SOGI protection provisions from its version of the Anti-Discrimination Act (Senate Bill 2814). In fact, the House wants to adopt the Senate version as the House-approved version (House Bill 4807) has no SOGI provisions. It is rather surprising that alleged efforts by some Senators pushing for the adoption of the House version instead of its own version that is considered a more progressive one by LGBT and human rights groups,” Party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) said.

“It is also saddening to note that some legislators still choose to ignore, isolate and show prejudice to Filipino LGBTs,” Casiño added.

Rep. Casiño is the author of House Bill 1483, also known as the LGBT Rights bill.

“We would like to remind the bicam committee that the inclusion of SOGI in the proposed law is among the recommendations given by the United Nations Human Rights Council when the Philippines underwent its Universal Periodic Review in May 2012. Failure to comply with this recommendation will definitely add to the disreputable human rights record of the Philippines due to the unsolved extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and decades of hate crimes against the LGBT community,” Casiño said.

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