PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte expressed his full support to the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning) community on August 19, in a meeting with LGBTQ advocates.
Senator Christopher Lawrence Go set up the meeting upon the request of key LGBTQ advocates led by Bubsie Sabarez. Also invited to the meeting were Bataan Ist District Representative Geraldine Roman and Gretchen Diez, a transwoman who figured in the news recently for being arrested after an altercation that started when a mall employee prevented her from using a restroom for female customers.
Duterte said during the meeting the Palace will work with both houses of Congress to push for the passage of a version of the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Equality Bill that would protect the rights of individuals against discrimination.
Go said one of the proposals that was also discussed in the meeting is the possibility of creating a commission for LGBTQ pending the enactment of a SOGIE law.
The government, together with LGBTQ groups, also plans to organize a national LGBTQ convention where advocates from different regions will be represented.
The convention will serve as a venue for the LGBTQ community to raise their concerns and come up with policy proposals to promote and protect their welfare.
The LGBTQ advocates expressed their gratitude after the meeting and are looking forward to the passage of a law that will protect them from discrimination before the President’s term ends.
Go has been vocal with his support to the proposed SOGIE law. He manifested his support to the SOGIE bill during the Senate session on August 14.
“We are all equal under the law and it is our duty in this institution to ensure that all Filipinos—regardless of their age, sex, religion, ethnicity or gender orientation—are treated equally and justly,” Go said.
“As a country that prides itself for its diversity, it is our moral obligation to safeguard a culture of acceptance and inclusivity to ensure that our children and generations of Filipinos to come will live in a nation where they feel loved, cared for and accepted,” Go added.