Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman berated a lawyer Wednesday for insinuating that the pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) bill that she was pushing could result to the recognition of the rights of pedophiles and necrophiles.
“I would just like to request, I hope this is the last time I hear about necrophilia, pedophilia–how dare you!” Roman, a transgender woman, told Lyndon Cana of the Coalition of Concerned Families of the Philippines (CCFP) .
Roman’s outburst took place during the four-hour virtual hearing of the Committee of Women and Gender Equality wherein the proposed sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE) equality bill was discussed.
She was one of at least 16 authors of the measure, which seeks to protect members of the “LGBTQ++” community from discrimination in the workplace and education institutions, just to name a few.
Cana, an invited resource person, raised legal questions on the controversial measure which solons have been trying to enact since the 11th Congress.
“We would like to state first that we do not support any hatred for the LGBTQ++ community, we do not condone any insult or disrespect of them. However we do have very serious objections and opposition to the bill both in its concept and its provisions which we are very respectfully submitting to this Committee for its thoughtful and prayerful reconsideration,” he said.
One of his main issues was the supposedly broad coverage of the LGBTQ++ community which the bill seeks to recognize the basic rights of.
“When will the (kinds of sexual) orientation end? What is the legal definition of the right to sexual orientation? For example, if an old man is attracted to very young children, sexual orientation na ‘yun. Pedophilia ‘yun. So included did ba yan sa fundamental human right? (That’s pedophilia. So is that included as a fundamental human right?)” asked the lawyer.
“How about those who are sexually attracted to the dead–necrophilia? So included ba din yan sa LGBTQ++? (Is that also included under LGBTQ++?) The proposed bill does not define a boundary or limitation,” he reckoned.
Cana further claimed that the measure “is very discriminatory–with all due and very great respect to authors–against the straight community.”
A visibly fuming Roman responded: “We are in the House of Representatives, do you seriously think that we would legislate something that would allow necrophilia and pedophilia? How dare you!”
The Bataan lawmaker also said after Cana’s remarks: “Nothing in this bill will stop you from thinking that I’m a sinner or I am an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. But of course pagdating po sa karapatang magtrabaho, sa katapatang mag-aral at tumanggap ng serbisyo mula sa pamahalaan o makapasok sa mga pampublikong lugar at facilities nang walang diskriminasyon, ibang usapan na po yan (When it comes to the right to work, the right to study or receive governmental services, or to enter public places and facilities without discrimination, that’s a different story).”
“So enough of this hypocrisy. Ako na-iinsulto ako sa totoo lang eh (To be honest I feel insulted). You keep on saying na you support us, that you love us, but you do not recognize our rights. What kind of love is that? That’s plain hypocrisy,” she further said.
“Kaya please, huwag niyo na akong sabihan ng ‘I love you (So please, don’t tell me ‘I love you’).’ Just call me an abomination and a sinner. And just tell me straight up that I deserve to be punished here on earth. Huwag na tayong mag-plastikan (Let’s just be phony to each other),” Roman added.
She would later clarify that he didn’t directly call anyone a hypocrite.
Panel chairperson, Bukidnon 1st district Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba gave the resource person a chance to reply, but the latter backed down from a debate.
“I do not wish to argue with the good representative. I am aware that a resource person cannot argue with a member of the House. But under the rules, a resource person is entitled to protection,” he said.