By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday maintained that the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Orientation Equality (SOGIE) Bill should consider the rights of everyone and not only the lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community.
Sotto stressed this as he rued what has become a movement against women’s rights.
He cited, for instance, the alleged abuse of some LGBTQs amid the fresh push for the proposed law that will prohibit discriminatory acts based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and orientation.
For instance, Sotto cited a female netizen’s Facebook post complaining about being threatened by three transgender women after she called them out for allegedly exposing their male genitals inside the ladies’ restroom.
The transwomen supposedly taunted the woman for broadcasting her live on social media.
Sotto said he also a received report that a transgender woman was supposedly loitered in one of the Senate’s comfort rooms and appeared to be waiting to be accosted by someone.
Sotto said he ordered the Sergeant-at-Arms “to get rid of him.”
“Definitely, it’s going to be subject to abuse. Kitang-kita ngayon pa lang, eh (It is already evident as early as now),” Sotto told reporters.
Sotto stood firm on his opposition on the SOGIE Bill as he repeated that this would impinge on the rights of religious, educational institutions, companies, and this time, women.
“I feel very strongly about it because it has turned from a transgender rights to a women’s rights,” Sotto said.
“This is now an issue on women’s rights because I feel that a woman’s body is a temple and to her, the toilet is sacred. It’s where she has a weakest point. Kaya kung ikaw meron kang sandata, hindi ka dapat dun nag c-CR. You go to the men’s room,” he added.
“If you are infringing on the rights of others, particularly the women, then you have no right to do it,” he said, addressing members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Sotto called the SOGIE Bill a class legislation. He urged Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the bill’s sponsor, to hear not only the advocates but also those who have reservations against it.
The Hontiveros-led Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family-relations and Gender Equality on Tuesday started discussing the re-filed bills on SOGIE.
“If they bring it to the floor without the side of those who are against it, aba eh we will move to bring it back to the committee,” the Senate chief said.
Earlier, Sotto said the measure has “no chance” of being passed in Senate, especially if it impedes on the rights of others.