By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday clarified that the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill does not include any provisions on same-sex marriage.
But that may come later after the proposed SOGIE equality measure, which she re-filed for the 18th Congress, passes into law.
“The SOGIE Equality bill, I don’t think has a provision on same-sex marriage. It’s just a simple reiteration and strengthening the force of law on non-discrimination on the basis of SOGIE which is part of the International Human Rights instruments and which is enshrined in the Philippine Constitution,” Hontiveros said in a Kapihan sa Senado forum.
“On same-sex marriage, that can be a law that would be part of the ‘Rainbow Agenda.’ That is separate. If ever, that will come later. This SOGIE Equality Bill, simply promotes non-discrimination on education, jobs, social services, including health and employment. So no new and special rights,” she stressed.
As far as she is concerned, the proposed same-sex marriage policy is still under discussion by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
“They have not given any go-signal for us to draft one, or to file one. So first things first, SOGIE Equality Bill. Other laws on the expanded rights of LGBT community may come later in a so-called ‘Rainbow Agenda’,” she further explained.
“If the SOGIE Equality Bill passes into law, then the matter can move up in the minds of the LGBT community when we ask them what other legal rights they wish to fight for,” she said.
“Then that would undergo another legislative process. I just hope it won’t take another 20 years,” she pointed out.
Hontiveros also renewed her assurance she would work hard for the passage of the SOGIE bill this 18th Congress.
“Even though we failed to pass it during the last Congress, we have filed it again, and we found new allies and champions of the SOGIE equality bill,” she said
“Its concept and principles has also become popular among the public. So I trust that this will now pass in the 18th Congress. Totoong, we will paint the Senate with rainbow colors,” she said.