Another year, another slew of SOGIE statements that have us sighing in frustration. After Atty. Lyndon Cana’s long list of scathing comments, topped off by “#NoToSogieBill” thanks to so-called “straight rights,” the SOGIE bill is once again under the limelight for wrong presumptions.
With a certain segment of the country up in arms about the welfare of the “straight community” once the bill is passed, we’re here to set the record straight as to why the SOGIE bill affects all—yes, even the straights.
Every person has a SOGIE
The proposed bill, with several versions sitting in Congress since the start of the millennium, explains its premise clearly enough. SOGIE, which stands for “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression,” covers every letter comprising the LGBTQIA+ abbreviation as well as cisgendered heterosexuals—who are part of the spectrum, simply because they also have a sexual orientation and a gender they identify with.
“The bill extends equal rights to all persons. Gay or straight, sexual harassment and assault are punishable by law,” writes Risa Hontiveros’ team.
Every time equal rights is championed, be it for IPs, women or PWDs, oppositors are quick to take out the “special rights” card. This is dangerous.
Hindi magkakalaban ang mga karapatan ng mga marhinalisadong sektor. The advancement of one is the advancement of all. pic.twitter.com/BJlzzRtsMt
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) August 28, 2019
While the bill is primarily focused on LGBTQIA+ issues, cis-hets will also be protected, assuring that they will not be discriminated against based on their identity (so, yes, the SOGIE bill covers “straight rights” too).
The SOGIE bill isn’t a special card
Despite some complaints on whether or not we really need the SOGIE bill, the reality among those who have experienced the effects of discrimination is proof enough of its necessity. The bill doesn’t speak of “special rights” but protects those discriminated against from threats at work, school, healthcare facilities and places for the most basic of services. What it does need are programs for non-discrimination, as mentioned in section 10.
The bill may lessen stigma for everyone
HIV discrimination is one crucial factor behind the SOGIE bill, as discrimination against LGBTQIA+ has led to dire consequences when it comes to diagnoses. Those diagnosed with the virus bear a stigma based on public perception, whatever their sexual orientation happens to be. If passed, the bill will provide better access to treatment as well as penalize those who deny patients.
It’s all about protecting human beings however they identify
While going to the bathroom might seem mundane, it’s something that has been a hindrance for trans people like Gretchen Diez. The bill is about letting anyone, regardless of gender, enter public places without fear of harassment or physical threat. In the end, the SOGIE bill is the bare minimum, but it’s one we ought to have by now.
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