House panel OKs SOGIESC equality bill

After securing a House panel nod, the SOGIESC equality bill will now be up for approval by the entire lower chamber.

The House Committee on Women and Gender Equality has approved a substitute bill for the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) bill. 

Gabriela Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas shared the news on Tuesday after the House panel deliberated on the technical working group report.

The report consolidated House Bills No. 222, 460, 3418, 3702, 4277, 5551, 6003, and 7036, all seeking to penalize discrimination based on an individual’s SOGIESC. 

Under the substitute bill, the following actions will be deemed 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;
  • Publishing information intended to “out” or reveal the sex or SOGIESC of persons without their consent, whether or not done in good faith, when such has not been made known by the person/s concerned and has been made with malicious intent or is primarily motivated by a desire for commercial profit; and
  • Engaging in public speech, except religious speech or comments made in the context of a religious service, ceremony or activity, meant to shame, insult, vilify, or which tends to incite or normalize the commission of discriminatory practices against persons of diverse SOGIESC, and which acts or practices in turn, intimidate them or result in the loss of their self-esteem.

“This is a step towards the long-overdue enactment of legislation which will prohibit all forms of discrimination and harassment against the LGBTQIA+ community,” Brosas said in a statement.

“Naninindigan kami na karapatan ng bawat miyembro ng LGBTQIA+ na makatamasa ng pantay na karapatan sa edukasyon, trabaho, serbisyong kalusugan, at iba pa ng walang takot at pangamba,” she added

Brosas also urged both chambers of Congress to pass the SOGIESC bill “to address the long-standing discrimination against LGBTQIA+ in Philippine society.”

Thumbnail photo made via Canva

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