Legal Opinion on Sogie Bill
Legal Opinion on Sogie Bill
The push for global equality and the anti-discrimination of persons in the LGBTQ community is a strife that has known more than five decades of legal struggle. The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) bill is an anti-discrimination legislation that criminalizes any form of abuse towards individuals that identify as LGBTQ in the Philippines. However, the legislation has stagnated in the proposal phase for over the last 20 years (Chaves, 2019). The proposal has never been passed in congress meaning it is yet to be implemented under the Philippine 1987 constitution. There are several cited reasons as to why the proposal never passed in congress. According to Malasig (2019), House Bill 4982 and Senate Bill 935 contain the same human rights protections and provisions that the proposed SOGIE bill promises to cover. The existing laws already protect Philippine citizens from discrimination making the SOGIE bill unnecessary. The reality is that there is some cultural constraint against the adoption of LGBTQ protective laws in the Philippines that is being implemented through politics.
Citizens of the Philippines need to engage in more collective action to advance the cause of anti-discrimination. Effective collective action can result in the bill receiving approval in the third and final phases of the 17th Congress’ House of Representatives (Abad, 2019). For the proposal to pass there is still a great deal of work to be done. Collective action should not only focus on Congress but also on the cultural roots in the Philippine society. According to Esguerra (2019), people need to constantly acknowledge that the fight for equality exists beyond laws and the question of identity. Discrimination does not exist in a vacuum; as it is interconnected with the struggle of the masses in bring down a capitalistic, oppressive and traumatized social system. Anti-discrimination needs to be complemented by freedom from oppression and exploitation.
Abad, M. (2019). Timeline: SOGIE equality in the Philippines. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/238593-timeline-sogie-equality-philipp
Chavez, C. (2019). Karapatan pushes for SOGIE equality bill. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved from https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/09/09/karapatan-pushes-for-sogie-equality-bill/
Esguerra, C. (2019). Is wider anti-discrimination law, with exceptions, better than SOGIE bill. ABS-CBN News. Retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/spotlight/09/13/19/is-wider-anti-discrimination-la
Malasig, J. (2019). Why an LGBTQ member strongly opposes the SOGIE bill. Interaksyon. Retrieved from http://www.interaksyon.com/politics-issues/2019/08/29/154073/sogie-bill-op