Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman on Wednesday appealed to the Senate leadership not to cave in to the pressure of not having passed the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill.
Roman, chair of the House committee on women and gender equality, made the appeal as she welcomed the bill filed by Sen. Raffy Tulfo that promotes gender-neutral school uniform by allowing female students to wear pants.
Tulfo’s Senate Bill 1986, or the Pants for Her Act, would also help protect students from dengue amid the spike in the case of the mosquito-borne disease nationwide.
Tulfo explained that while the current uniform policies do not cause harm, it still has a potential to spark gender inequality.
Tulfo added that uniform policies must be developed in a way that does not foster gender disadvantages and discrimination.
While Roman welcomed Tulfo’s bid to promote “freedom of choice, gender equality and safety, among students,” Roman said the best defense against gender discrimination is the SOGIE bill.
“The SOGIE Bill is a clear protection for women against discrimination and harassment not only in schools but also in their workplaces and other public places,” Roman stressed.
“I encourage my fellow lawmakers to take action on this because no one should be harassed because of their choice of clothing,” Roman added.
bid to promote “freedom of choice, gender equality and safety, among students.
Roman stressed that time is ripe for the passage of the SOGIE bill, stressing that for centuries, discrimination, oppression and marginalization of the LGBTQIA community remain prevalent such as being stoned to death, burned in the name of religion or criminalized and even imprisoned because of intolerance and bigotry.
“We have been denied opportunities for work, education, and services because of prejudice. We have been judged as immoral and sinful, excluded, ostracized, and treated as though we were lepers because of personal beliefs. And because we have been denied equal opportunities, many of us have been condemned to a life of misery and deprivation,” she said.
The sponsorship of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) bill has been stalled in the Senate last month due to the opposition from several religious groups and various sectors.