What Is SOGIE Bill ? Philippine Proposed Law

Amid the height of the controversial rest room incident involving the trans woman Gretchen Custodio Diez in one of the mall in Quezon City, the SOGIE Bill has been immediately resurfaced in which both lower and upper house had their own versions.

With this, many people are asking on what is this SOGIE Bill? Is this proposed law is just talking about letting the trans women to use the ladies room?

First, SOGIE Equality Bill stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality Bill which is also known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB). On its current, house of representative's version was authored by Kaka Bag-ao, Tom Villarin and Geraldine Roman - the first transgender woman who was elected as the representative of the 1st district of Bataan. The senate version on the other hand was authored by Risa Hontiveros the senate chair on Women and Gender Equality Committee.
Photo source : inquirer.net
Here is the link on the senate version from 2016, though according to the recent senate hearing this month, Senator Hontiveros will create a new committee report regarding the SOGIE Equality Bill.

It can be recalled that Senator Risa Hontiveros marched with thousands of members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community at the 2019 Metro Manila Pride March which was celebrated last June 29 of this year.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said that she supports the rights guaranteed to LGBTQ+ members under the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression (SOGIE) bill, but clarified that she doesn't support to allow them to use public comfort rooms for women.

Some of the senators that expressed their disagreement on the proposed law were Sotto, Lapid and Villanueva.

"I am all for respecting rights. But how about the sensitivities of women who are uncomfortable with transgenders using women's restrooms; or straight men donning women's clothes" Sotto said on the media while talking about allowing transgender people to use restrooms of the opposite sex.

Konting reality check naman (Get a reality check)," - the senator added.

Senator Joel Villanueva expressed his view regarding the controversial bill - "Yung [The] SOGIE [Equality Bill] that we were discussing and deliberating in the last Congress, I feel that it is not the right bill that we should be passing," - the senator who ranked second from the 2016 Philippine national elections said on a media interview.

Senator Lito Lapid who just came back on the senate express his disagreement on the proposed law. "Pinag-aaralan pa namin kasi parang may masasagasaan ka diyan, kasi dati namang wala 'yan eh... Kaya naman solusyonan ng mga local 'yun," - he said on a media interview.

When asked directly if he will likely to support the bill once it's tackled in the Senate, Lapid boldly answered, "Hindi na siguro."

Comedian Vice Ganda on the other hand used the mall's rest room incident to call out to Senator Villanueva and Sotto to pass the bill.

"Nananawagan kami kay senator Joel Villanueva at tsaka kay senator Tito Sotto, para ipasa na 'yan," he then said, in a serious tone. "Kasi ang hirap eh. Para walang gulo. Ayaw niyo kami diyan, ayaw niyo kami dito, eh di bigyan niyo kami ng sarili." - the comedian said.

(Translation: We are appealing to senators Joel Villanueva and Tito Sotto, to already pass that bill. It’s so hard. So we can avoid conflict. You don’t want us there, you don’t want us here, then give us our own.)

For the common Filipinos, it seems like that the proposed bill is just talking about whether to allow the non-straight genders to use the other's comfort room. If this would be included on this proposed bill, questions arises on how can you be sure that it is really a real trans woman or just a sex maniac disguising himself? Will all men feel at peace knowing that their wife and daughter are using the comfort room with them - case in point Gretchen Custodio Diez? How can you be ensure that he is a trans woman or trans man before using the toilet? Who will check?

Anyare.com is for the equality of everyone as long as it wouldn't go against the rights of others.

Whatever it is, the whole anyare.com team is hoping that the 18th congress could formulate a regulation that would protect our LGBTQ+ members.