Angara assures anti-discrimination law to benefit LGBTQ community

Published September 12, 2019, 9:13 PM

by CJ Juntereal

By Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Thursday assured that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community would benefit as much in the passage of an anti-discrimination law.

Sen. Sonny Angara

Angara made the statement after hearing that President Rodrigo Duterte is more keen on expediting the passage of an anti-discrimination bill rather than the Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill.

“It’s still a step in the right direction,” Angara said. “This bill has better chance of passing because it’s more comprehensive.”

The SOGIE bill, he noted, is more concentrated on a gender-based discrimination, whereas the anti-discrimination talks about not only gender, “but also religion, belief, ethnicity, appearance and many other issues.”

“Practically lahat ng klase ng discrimination. Ang SOGIE, naka concentrate lang siya sa isang group,” Angara said.

Angara earlier filed Senate Bill No. 137 or the proposed Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act of 2019 to cover a wide range of discriminatory practices as possible.

The senator said he has been pushing for the passage of the bill while he was still a member of the House of Representatives.

The bill primarily lists 13 ‘acts of discrimination’ that covers a broad spectrum of actions and the consequences of these on the affected parties.

Protected attributes under the proposed bill includes age, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief, political inclination or conviction, social class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expressions, marital or relationship status, disability, HIV status, health status or medical history, language, physical features or other status.

Under the bill, it will be deemed illegal for any person to commit any acts that promote and encourage stigma.

However, Angara lamented that the measure has yet to be taken up in the committee level. Senate Bill No. 137 was referred to the Senate committee on cultural communities.