The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) expressed its support to the proposed legislation on Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination which seeks to protect minority groups — including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community — against discrimination.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, June 2, the IBP rallied all lawyers to help support and advocate the passage of the bill.
Last May 20, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Human Rights approved the consolidated version of the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination bill.
The proposed law seeks to penalize acts that inflict stigma, vilification and ridicule; profiling; harm on health and well-being; abuses by State and non-State actors; and arbitrary detention and confinement against those belonging to these minority groups.
Other features of the bill include protection to the rights of expression, education, employment, promotion and access to goods and services.
“We celebrate ‘Pride Month’ in June by urging Filipino lawyers to support the aspirations of the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups for equality before the law,” IBP President Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa said.
“Let us advocate for the passage of the Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Bill, a long-pending proposal to prohibit discrimination based on ethnicity, race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, language, religious belief or expression, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, and other status, or protected attributes,” Cayosa said.
He explained that “lawyers as true sentinels of the rule of law can help enlighten our countrymen about anti-discrimination rules, laws, and policies and the ideal of equality before the law.”
“Let us assure the marginalized that they are not alone. Filipino lawyers stand with them. Bawat isa mahalaga (Everyone is important),” he stressed.