De Lima seeks end to ‘bathroom discrimination’

Published August 17, 2019, 10:14 AM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Mario Casayuran

Detained Senator Leila M. de Lima has sought an end to “bathroom discrimination” after a transgender woman was recently barred from using the women’s public restroom inside a shopping center in Quezon City.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Leila de Lima

De Lima, a human rights and social justice champion, said the incident was a clear case of discrimination, and, therefore, violated the human rights of the members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.

The lady lawmaker said the case of Gretchen Diez mirrored the current difficult situation that the LGBT community faces in this country.

‘’This has to stop,” she maintained.

Last August 13, Diez, was reportedly dragged in handcuffs, and was briefly detained after she protested when she was barred from using a women’s public restroom at the Farmer’s Plaza, Araneta Center, Quezon City.

Mall authorities filed an unjust vexation complaint against her for supposedly recording her confrontation with a janitress, who was maintaining the shopping center’s women’s public restroom.

While the shopping mall withdrew its complaint against Diez, the latter filed a complaint against the mall officials for violating Quezon City’s gender fair ordinance, which prohibits gender-based discrimination among business establishments.

The lady senator from Bicol reiterated her support for the immediate passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill to help stop gender-based discrimination and abuses.

De Lima said she fully supports the passage of the SOGIE bill and her support for the effort of he colleague, Senator Risa Hontiveros, for her pushing for its passage.

“Let’s all rally to support the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill and let’s work together in putting an end to any form of discrimination against the LGBT community,” she added.

More than the sympathy from the public, de Lima, a former justice secretary, maintained that the LGBT community needs reliable laws that would ensure that their rights are protected and respected at all times

Hontiveros has refiled the SOGIE Equality Bill this 18th Congress after it failed to pass the Senate in the 17th Congress.

The measure seeks to prohibit all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Just like last Congress, de Lima intends to co-author the same.