By Chito Chavez
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) stressed the need to recognize that “violence and discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) community exist.
CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said that persons of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) were “oftentimes being disadvantaged for simply not conforming to some’s conservative notion of what makes males and females’’.
As the term itself suggests, de Guia said SOGIE, as a term in itself, recognizes the diversity of human sexuality and its many forms of expression.
“Boxing then the debate in the perspective of ‘male versus female rights’ already highlights some of the issues that the Sogie Equality Bill seeks to address,’’ de Guia said.
She noted that it was a hard reality that persons of diverse SOGIE were oftentimes being discriminated due to the old adage of what makes a man and a woman.
Stressing her point further, de Guia said “it is crucial to understand that diverse SOGIE form part of a person’s identity’’.
She stressed the state must be on hand to “provide equal protection’’ the LGBTQ community “ through laws and policies if people are harmed for simply asserting themselves as humans’’.
“The SOGIE Equality Bill, therefore, does not create or ascribe new rights. It merely demands recognition that everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights, and that systemic oppression necessitates corrective, affirmative action,’’ de Guia asserted.
“In the end, the message is simple—that regardless of your sexual orientation and no matter how you opt to express your gender, you are human, as is with everyone else who needs to be respected and given the opportunity to pursue a well-lived and dignified life,’’ she concluded.