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SOGIE bill simply an anti-discrimination bill, lawmaker clarifies

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 11/29/2019 JOAHNA LEI CASILAO,GMA News
a woman smiling for the camera: Bataan First District
Representative Geraldine Roman shares an inspirational message in
celebration of the International Women’s month to Senate Secretariat
employees during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, March 6, 2017. Roman
is the first transgender woman elected to the Philippine Congress.
(PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo, March 6, 2017) © PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo Bataan First District Representative Geraldine Roman shares an inspirational message in celebration of the International Women’s month to Senate Secretariat employees during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony, March 6, 2017. Roman is the first transgender woman elected to the Philippine Congress. (PRIB Photo by Albert Calvelo, March 6, 2017)

The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) is an anti-discrimination bill that seeks to protect Filipinos who are members of the LGBT community, Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman said on Thursday.

During the Notables at AIM speaker series in Makati, Roman said that fake news was peddled misleading and wrong information on the proposed legislation.

"So they were spreading fake news and lies about the SOGIE equality bill, what it is not. First of all, what is the SOGIE equality bill? It's simply an anti-discrimination bill that seeks to protect Filipinos who happen to be LGBT," Roman said.

Roman clarified that the SOGIE bill does not include a provision on same-sex marriage nor does it seek to allow marriage equality.

According to the lawmaker, they were careful in specifying that issuance of professional licenses did not include marriage license.

She also denied claims that the bill will infringe or violate the religious freedom of some Filipinos, adding that critics could be harsh.

"How do you define religious freedom? You know, I find it quite hypocritical that people actually believe that religious freedom is the right to insult, to criticize, to judge, and to discriminate," Roman said.

"That is not religious freedom [...]  When you call out these people who practice their religious freedom to criticize and discriminate, and you remind that they are violating your constitutional right, they call that religious persecution," she added.

According to Roman, SOGIE does not allow children to choose their own gender nor will it curtail academic freedom.

"I would say that the SOGIE Equality Bill is a beautiful bill with clean intentions. The thing is that, people are scared. And the opponents of this bill try to capitalize on that fear: fear of the unknown," Roman said.

"Life is not just about enjoying your privileges. Life is about enabling others to enjoy those privileges," she earlier said. — BAP, GMA News

This article SOGIE bill simply an anti-discrimination bill, lawmaker clarifies was originally published in GMA News Online.

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