Have you ever been the victim of discrimination?
Discrimination in any form is never okay. Every day, people are treated differently for the color of their skin, their socio-economic status, and their beliefs. People are even being discriminated for their Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (Sogie).
Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community are more likely to experience discrimination based on sexual orientation as compared to heterosexuals. They are the subject of offensive jokes, insults, unequal treatment, and violence at work and in their respective communities. This is why there’s a need to give LGBT people protection against discrimination.
The Philippines’ Sogie Equality Act
There seems to be hope for the Philippines as we take a step forward in protecting the LGBT community. Last September, House Bill 4982 was approved by the Lower House on its third and final reading. The bill, also called the Sogie Equality Act, won’t seek to legalize same-sex marriage, but it wants equal opportunities in other aspects for the LGBT community. It seeks to penalize those who will be found practicing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a big step for the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country.
Among others, the bill seeks to penalize the following acts:
· denying access to public service and utilities;
· including Sogie as criteria for hiring and promotion;
· subjecting an LGBT person to harassment; and
· forcing a person to undergo medical or psychological tests to alter one’s Sogie
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Let’s work together to make that happen!
How can you help battle LGBT discrimination? Share your thoughts and tag us on Facebook and Instagram @iamclaireph.