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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4)— The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said

it opposes the proposed anti-discrimination measure for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community.

While the agency supports the protection of the LGBTQ community’s rights, PNP Police Community
Relations director Maj. Gen. Bong Durana said that the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and
Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill will “in effect discriminate” other sectors of the society.

“We are 101 percent in support of protecting the rights of Filipinos in the LGBTQIA+ community. We will
not allow them to be hated, discriminated, bullied, or inflicted with harm,” Durana said during a Senate
hearing into the SOGIE bill.

“You would see that while it prevents discrimination against our LGBTQIA+ community, it in effect
discriminates the rest of the people who are straight like me. And so I think while we respect our
LGBTQIA+ community, we don't promote that in the Philippine National Police,” he added.

Durana, in opposing the measure, noted that the practice and protection of human rights “should never
be above another’s.”

Apart from penalizing discrimination, the SOGIE Equality Bill, which has been filed in both chambers of
Congress, seeks to give equal access to employment, education, and social services to LGBT community
members.

It also wants to ban the promotion and encouragement of stigma on the basis of SOGIE in the media,
educational textbooks, and other mediums.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III meanwhile said the bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, adding
that it is unconstitutional. Sotto said the proposed measure violates religious freedom, academic
freedom, and women’s rights.
Some religious leaders have expressed support for the controversial bill, saying there is a need to provide
equal access to members of the LGBT community in terms of education and other basic social services.

CNN Philippines' Alyssa Rola and Robert Vergara contributed to this report.

YOU say that you have no problem with lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT). You even claim
that you have LGBT friends and you love them. But you oppose the Sexual Orientation and Gender
Identity and Expression (Sogie) Equality bill.

Perhaps it hasn’t crossed your mind, but allow me to inform you of the things that you actually tolerate
because you oppose the Sogie bill.

You agree that the LGBT, which include your friends, can be denied access to public services, including
military service, simply because of who they are.

You do not have any problem if sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, as well as the
disclosure of sexual orientation, becomes part of the criteria for hiring, promotion, transfer, designation,
work assignment, reassignment, dismissal of workers, and other human resource movement and
actions, performance review; and in the determination of employee compensation, access to career
development opportunities, training and other learning and development interventions, incentives,
privileges, benefits or allowances, and other terms and conditions of employment.

You support educational or training institutions refusing admission or expelling a person on the basis of
sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. In addition, you also support discriminating against a
student or trainee due to the sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of the student’s parents
or guardians. You also do not oppose the imposition of disciplinary sanctions and penalties that are
harsher than customary or similar punishments, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions that infringe
on the rights of the students because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, or
that of his or her parents or guardians.

You do not have a problem if a group or organization is refused accreditation, formal recognition or
registration, or if such would be revoked solely on the basis of the sexual orientation or gender identity
or expression of their members of their target constituencies.
You support denying your LGBT friends access to public or private medical and other health services
open to the general public on the basis of their being LGBT. Moreover, you have no problem if your LGBT
friends are denied their application for a professional or other similar kind of license, clearance,
certification, or any other similar document issued by the government, or if such could be revoked
simply because they are members of the LGBT.

You will also advise your LGBT friends to just accept it if they are denied access to or the use of
establishments, facilities, utilities, or services, including housing, open to the general public on the basis
of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

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It is perfectly acceptable for you if your LGBT friends will be subjected or forced to undertake any
medical or psychological examination to determine or alter, or both, their sexual orientation or gender
identity or expression without their consent. You also have no problem if your LGBT friends will be
harassed, coerced or threatened by members of institutions involved in the enforcement of law and the
protection of rights such as the police, and the quasi-judicial and judicial bodies.

You approve of your discreet LGBT friends being outed maliciously, without their consent, and primarily
motivated by a desire for commercial profit.

You tolerate people who engage in public speech meant to shame, insult, vilify, or which tends to incite
or normalize the commission of discriminatory practices against the LGBTs, and which acts or practices in
turn intimidate them or result in the loss of their self-esteem. You have no problem if your LGBT friends
are subjected to harassment, which may be conducted through any form or medium, and which could
include acts that tend to annoy, insult, bully, demean, offend, threaten, intimidate, alarm or create a
hostile or distressing environment, or put them in fear of their safety simply because they are LGBT.

It is perfectly acceptable for you to subject your LGBT friends, particularly those who have not publicly
disclosed their identities, to gender profiling or to any investigatory activities. This includes the conduct
of unnecessary, unjustified, illegal or degrading searches to determine whether they are engaged in an
activity presumed to be unlawful, immoral or socially unacceptable, or of recording and analyzing their
psychological and behavioral characteristics to make generalizations about their sexuality.

Finally, you tolerate children manifesting early tendencies of being LGBT to be threatened with or
subjected to actual bodily harm, or to suffer mental distress through intimidation, harassment, public
ridicule or humiliation, or repeated verbal abuse.

If you truly have no problem with the LGBT, why would you tacitly support these acts? These acts are
precisely those that the Sogie bill, which you oppose, would seek to outlaw and penalize.

You cannot say you accept the LGBT and then oppose the Sogie bill. When you say you have no problem
with the LGBT, and then follow it with a “but,” then you are in denial. You have a problem. You rationalize
because deep in your heart you know that you are prejudiced. You even use religion as your excuse with
your preposterous claim that the Sogie bill will prevent you from exercising your faith. You claim to be
straight. So how can the Sogie bill deny you the free exercise of your religion? What kind of religion
would be violated just because you would fight for the rights of a cohort of people against
discrimination?
Acceptance of the LGBT is easier said. But it will remain hollow unless you accept that sexuality is a
continuum, that being LGBT is not a disease that could be cured, or a sin that can just be exorcised or
prayed over with. You have to realize that your LGBT friends and people like them do not just need
acceptance or tolerance, but are entitled to rights which the Sogie bill, which you oppose, vows to
protect and ensure.

MANILA - Several groups on Wednesday denounced efforts to pass a measure that protects individuals
from discrimination based on their gender identity and expression, but the proposed law’s lead author
stressed it is meant to protect everyone.

The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, filed by minority Sen. Risa
Hontiveros, seeks to prevent and penalize discriminatory acts against a person's sexual orientation.

But this bill is facing stiff opposition from conservative groups who believe it would violate the rights of
people who do not belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

The SOGIE Equality Bill is in itself discriminatory for being “one-sided,” said lawyer Lyndon Caña of the
Coalition of Concerned Families of the Philippines.

“We do not hate the LGBT community. We don’t condone any form of bashing… We, however, have the
strongest reservations and concerns or opposition to the SOGIE bill and I hope it will not be
misconstrued as hatred to the LGBT community,” Caña said in a Senate hearing on the bill.

“There is exclusion or non-mention of the other sector immediately affected by the bill. It is immediately
a one-sided bill which is supposed to be anti-discrimination.”

Caña also believes that in the SOGIE Equality Bill, “facts will yield to feelings,” as he noted that one’s
gender identity is based on an individuals “feelings.”
“We are very concerned that in this concept of the bill where facts will yield to feelings, na-criminalize pa
ang mga maninindigan based on fact (those who stand up for facts are criminalized),” he said.

Cesar Buendia, who represents a group of “former homosexuals redeemed and changed by Jesus Christ,”
said the bill guarantees rights to its citizens “based on mere perceptions, beliefs and mindsets.”

“It is dangerous,” Buendia exclaimed.

“What if a 12-year-old child believes and asserts he is already 21 years old? Should the child be accorded
the right to vote marry, and drink alcohol?” he said.

Buendia added the SOGIE Equality Bill is “excessively discriminatory [against] the majority of Filipinos”
who believe that there are only two sexes.

“We pray that no part of the SOGIE bill be passed. If the framers of the bill only seek protection for
people who are discriminated upon, then pass a law that will protect all people from discrimination and
not only a group of people,” Buendia said.

Addressing Buendia’s concern, Hontiveros said the intention of the hearings on the proposed measure is
to “eventually pass a law that indeed protects all.”

“It is the belief that each individual has a SOGIE, even cisgender, even heterosexual people,” she said.

“But certainly [it seeks to provide] protections against discrimination to all and especially at this point in
time the LGBT+ community who historically suffer the greatest amount of discrimination.”

Obed Dela Cruz of the Christian group Intercessors for the Philippines said a SOGIE Equality Bill may not
be necessary as there are already several laws protecting a person’s rights.
“The laws are already enough to be applicable to all, and if ever a court or a public officer will refuse to
apply this law to the LGBT, let that public officer be [made] liable,” he said.

FIGHT VS DISCRIMINATION

But Sister Mary John Mananzan, St. Scholastica College's Vice President of External Affairs and Director
of the Institute of Women's Studies, said she supports the bill because it fights for the rights of a group
of people who have been victims of discrimination.

Mananzan said while issues on sexual orientation are highly debatable, one must not ignore the fact that
many people who have chosen to freely express their gender identity face discrimination.

She explained that heterosexual men would not normally demand equal treatment because "it is a fact
that they are not discriminated against as gender."

"Therefore, it is really the one that is discriminated against that is the focus of our attention," Mananzan
said.

"Even if we are really against discrimination of anybody, sometimes you have to focus on groups of
people that are actually suffering discrimination and violence."

Koko Alviar of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, also known as the Aglipayan Church, said the church
supports the SOGIE Equality Bill because "we believe the full realization of human rights is our way of
establishing heaven on earth."

"We believe God wants us to exist in a community of love," said Alviar, an openly gay man.

"'Love the sinner,' we are told by our anti-SOGIE Christian siblings, but how do you say you love the
sinner when you are refusing them secular, universal rights to jobs, education, and healthcare based on
their dissonance from your expectations?" he added.
The SOGIE Equality Bill recently became a hot-button issue after transgender woman Gretchen Custodio
Diez was arrested following an altercation with a mall personnel for her use of a woman’s restroom.

The proposed measure has deepened divisions among various sectors in predominantly Catholic
Philippines.

But President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed

The problem with all the discussions surrounding the sexual orientation and gender identity legislative
proposals are many. But it’s on the fundamental grounds that the flaws are truly significant.

One sees this in the opening portion, for example, of Senate Bill Nos. 159 and 689, defining the following
terms:

“Gender Expression: refers to the outward manifestations of the cultural traits that enable a person to
identify as male or female according to patterns that, at a particular moment in history, a given society
defines as gender appropriate.”

“Gender Identity: refers to the personal sense of identity as characterized, among others, by manner of
clothing, inclinations, and behavior in relation to masculine or feminine conventions. A person may have
a male or female identity with the physiological characteristics of the opposite sex.”

The definitions are important because on them, along with the definition of “sexual orientation”, are
practically built the entire structure of alleged “rights” that SBs 159/689 (or the “Anti-Discrimination”
bill) are supposed to protect.

But one searches in vain for any factual or scientific data to back up the definitions. Or serve as sufficient
rationale why additional legislation is even needed at all.
Instead, SBs 159/689 misleadingly refer to international law when no international law recognizes SOGIE
“rights.”

Then SBs 159/689 rely on a five-year-old Pew survey finding “73% of adult Filipinos agree that
homosexuality should be accepted by society.” But SB 689 fails to mention that “nearly two-thirds (65%)
of Filipinos surveyed said homosexuality was immoral” (Thomson Reuters, 2014).

This proves that Filipinos, while correctly believing homosexuality should be tolerated, equally correctly
don’t agree with it.

In the end, the SOGIE bills (House Bills 134 and 136 and Senate Bills 159 and 689) substantially base their
“logic” on two UN studies without any objective factual data.

Pathetically, SOGIE’s foundations are thus revealed to be merely self-referential (e.g., Pew surveys),
anecdotal, biased, or outrightly misleading.

Practically no effort was made to gather information from the relevant labor, educational, judicial, or
police agencies.

And yet Filipinos are expected to acquiesce to the wholesale reengineering of Philippine society on this
flimsiest of grounds?

Its congressional backers base their claim on gender being non-binary, like “a rainbow.” If true, can they
at least be identified and enumerated?

How can the proposed laws protect something if even their authors don’t know what they are?
This is no way to make legislation.

The bills’ authors can’t identify the said genders because their proposed law is based on fantasy not fact.

The gender identities and expression aren’t based on biology. Nothing remotely scientific supports the
claim of categorizing a gazillion genders mutable through time. Not our history or culture. Not race,
which is biological as well.

What then? The only thing such “genders” are based on are the purely emotional and subjective belief of
whoever claims it.

Yes, at most that’s all what SOGIE is: feelings, idea, a belief.

But as beliefs, such are already constitutionally and legislatively protected. So what reason could these
additional legislation, these SOGIE bills, have?

Furthermore, not only are these proposed SOGIE laws completely unnecessary, they are also
constitutionally infirm.

One may have the constitutional right to believe something and express that belief but legislation cannot
be made to force you to agree to that belief or its expression. Others are also entitled to such innate
constitutional rights.

What is provided for under the Constitution is the guarantee to be left alone to believe and speak as one
wants, so long as such does not violate others’ rights.
To ask for more rights over and above that of others to protect your own belief, ideas, and expression
violates the neutrality that government is constitutionally required to do. It violates individual property
rights as well.

You are in effect asking for a privilege not available to other beliefs, speech, or expression.

It may be argued that educational institutions, religion, and even media are given dispensation but note
this is mostly only as to taxes. And such is neutrally available to all beliefs, religions, or expression.
Nothing is taken away from, confiscated, forced, or makes a specific belief or thought superior to or
treated with privilege over and above other beliefs, expression, or religion.

Incidentally, public toilets have been long segregated based on privacy, modesty, and safety. And
definitely biology. One sees this in the design difference between the toilets for men and women. Beliefs
cannot be a reasonable basis to segregate toilets. Certainly not such that would justify putting one
specific belief over all others.

The SOGIE bills should be defeated for their utter non-conformity not only with our Constitution but also
sheer common sense.

And conflict with many other laws, particularly those protecting women, children,
labor/business/property, schools, the military, as well as penal and civil relations.

And the SOGIE bills become even more repugnant when read alongside the ill-advised Safe Spaces Act.

So again: No to SOGIE.

And again: There are no SOGIE rights, just human rights.


Jemy Gatdula is a Senior Fellow of the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations and a Philippine Judicial
Academy law lecturer for constitutional philosophy and jurisprudence.

MANILA, Philippines – Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church founder turned party-list lawmaker Brother Eddie
Villanueva is strongly opposing the bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and
gender identity or expression (SOGIE).

In a privilege speech on Wednesday, August 28, the Citizens' Battle Against Corruption representative
claimed that the SOGIE equality bill would "undermine" the role of parents, "threaten" academic
freedom, "imperil" freedom of speech and religion, and "puts into question the very foundation of our
laws."

Villanueva said that out of the 13 versions of the SOGIE equality bill in the House, 10 would require
parents to secure a family court order should they want their children to undergo any medical or
psychological examination in matters related to SOGIE.

"Since when has it become our official policy to give the government authority to decide for our
children's lives, especially on an issue as sensitive as their identity?" asked Villanueva.

He also zeroed in on the provision that would penalize public speeches meant to shame or insult the
LGBTQ+ community. Religious speeches would be exempt from penalties, but the JIL founder said there
is a loophole in the bill.

"What happens to a Christian like me, and to the majority of the people in this chamber, if we are to be
threatened by punishment every time we share our Bible-based beliefs on matters of transgenders and
homosexuals?" asked Villanueva.

"Mr Speaker, we respect the lives they choose to live, but to make us conform to their lifestyle with the
threat of punishment under our necks if we do not is, in itself, a violation of our own rights," he added.

'Special rights'?
Passing the SOGIE equality bill, Villanueva claimed, would be tantamount to giving "special rights" to the
LGBTQ+ community. (READ: TIMELINE: SOGIE equality in the Philippines)

Villanueva delivered his privilege speech two weeks after transgender woman Gretchen Diez was barred
by janitress Chayra Ganal from using a women's restroom at Farmers Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City, and
was later arrested for it. (READ: Gretchen Diez comes out)

The incident renewed calls for the passage of the SOGIE equality bill, which was approved in the House
of Representatives in the previous 17th Congress but languished in the Senate. Senate President Vicente
Sotto III already said the bill has "no chance" in the 18th Congress.

Villanueva believes Diez's ordeal became a "full-blown tug-of-war" that supposedly disregarded Ganal's
side of the story. Ganal and Farmers Plaza have since apologized to Diez.

Villanueva, who is also a House deputy speaker, did not allow any lawmaker to interpellate him after his
speech.

But two other conservative lawmakers – House Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Representative
Bienvenido Abante Jr, and Buhay Representative Lito Atienza – delivered brief manifestations backing
Villanueva's opposition to the SOGIE equality bill.

Geraldine Roman calls for openness

Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman, the country's first transgender congresswoman,
told Villanueva she is open to working with her colleagues to look for a "win-win solution that will be
respectful of the rights of everyone."

Roman urged House members to read the SOGIE equality bill that she is championing. (READ: Roman to
LGBTQ+: 'Demand from gov't what is due us as human beings’)
"Let us not be carried away by extrapolations nor by fear nor by very far away scenarios from other
countries," said Roman.

"But rather focus on the essence and the objective of the bill, which is simply to afford fellow Filipinos
the same rights when it comes to work, to study, to receive services from the government, and to access
commercial and public establishments, not to be insulted in the streets. And these fellow Filipinos just
happen to be members of the LGBT community," she added.

Roman then reminded the legislators in the plenary hall that the members of the LGBTQ+ community are
their "friends and neighbors."

"So there is nothing to fear but everything to look forward to in a society that welcomes everyone, even
people coming from the minority that is known as the LGBT community," said Roman. – Rappler.com