Singer and “Drag Race Philippines: Untucked” director Ice Seguerra has this to say about the SOGIE Bill’s status: “Tama na ang delaying tactics. Tama na ang pasikot-sikot. Senators, stop hiding and stop delaying. I-plenary na ang SOGIE Equality Bill.”
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ICYDK, the Senate held its first plenary session of the year on Jan. 23. So far, the bill has not yet been discussed despite the fact that it was approved at the Senate committee level last December. As progressive and anti-imperialist LGBTQIA+ rights group Bahaghari notes, it hasn’t even been scheduled yet for sponsorship in the Senate. It should be ready to be discussed in the plenary sessions now, so what gives?
Unfortunately, there are also alleged rumors swirling that Sen. Joel Villanueva, a staunch critic of the bill, has been persuading church leaders to write letters opposing the bill, and even has plans to bring it back to the committee level.
If these rumors are true, they are concerning—but not surprising. As we noted before, we’ve seen different versions of these delaying tactics since at least 2017. We’ve seen all the different ways critics do to quash the bill and bar it from passing.
As citizens and members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s our job now to keep watch and make sure that these delaying tactics will no longer stick. Part of it is to urge senators, especially Senate President Miguel Zubiri, to include the SOGIE Bill in the discussions.
As Seguerra writes, “I-tweet at i-email ang mga Senador na full support tayo sa SOGIE Equality Bill na i-debate na sa plenaryo. Magpost sa lahat ng social media (Tiktok, FB, at IG) at i-tag ang mga accounts ng mga Senador at mga kaalyado, lalung-lalo na sila Senate President Migz Zubiri at Majority Floor Leader Joel Villanueva.”
Remember: The SOGIE Bill protects our rights against gender and sexual orientation-based discrimination. If a bill seeking to protect people from having their human rights trampled on is threatening to you, then maybe you should take a long hard look at yourself.
Art by Ella Lambio
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