Don’t lose hope. The SOGIESC Equality Act of 2022 or House Bill No. 5551 filed by the Makabayan Bloc, which includes Gabriela Women’s Party, has been approved in the committee level.
“We, in the Gabriela Women’s Party, laud the committee approval of the [SOGIESC] Equality Bill. This is a step towards the long-overdue enactment of legislation which will prohibit all forms of discrimination and harassment against the LGBTQIA+ community,” Gabriela’s Rep. Arlene Brosas said, confirming the news on May 23.
Aprubado na ang SOGIESC Equality Bill sa komite!
Kasama sa substitute bill ang inihain ng Gabriela Partylist na HB 5551 na naglalayong ipagbawal ang diskriminasyon batay sa sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression at sex characteristics. pic.twitter.com/MDXIuobKTd
“This bill aims to ensure that there will be no more members of the LGBTQIA+ deprived of basic rights, such as the right to work, the right to education, the right to access health services, facilities, and establishments, and others, simply because of their SOGIE. Discrimination has been a reality in the lives of the LGBTQIA+,” the explanatory note for House Bill No. 5551 states.
This version of the SOGIESC Bill deems the following actions as discriminatory of a person’s SOGIESC:
Advertising, producing, and publishing materials promoting, encouraging, and perpetuating stigma or inciting violence and sexual abuse against any person or group on the basis of SOGIESC
Denying access to public services to any person on the basis of SOGIESC
Including SOGIESC, as well as the disclosure of one’s SOGIESC, in the criteria for hiring, promotion, transfer, designation, work assignment, re-assignment
Refusing admission or expelling a person from any educational or training institution, such as police and military academies or training institutions, on the basis of SOGIESC
Imposing disciplinary sanctions, penalties harsher than customary or similar punishments, requirements, restrictions, or prohibitions that infringe on the rights of the students on the basis of SOGIESC
Considering the number of Senate bills for SOGIESC also languishing, the clamor for anti-discrimination legislation cannot be denied. What’s next for HB 5551?
The bill is set to go on its second reading at the House of Representatives where it will likely face opposition. “It is our hope that the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate will heed the call of the Filipino people by passing this important legislation as soon as possible to address the long-standing discrimination against LGBTQIA+ in Philippine society,” Rep. Brosas said.
It’s almost Pride month so our fingers are definitely crossed for even bigger wins for the SOGIESC Bills real soon.