Senator Leila M. de Lima has sought an end to “bathroom discrimination” following the humiliation suffered by a transgender woman who was barred from using the women’s public restroom inside a shopping center in Quezon City last Aug. 13.
De Lima, a human rights and social justice champion, said the incident is a clear case of discrimination and therefore, violates the human rights of the members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.
“Isa po itong malinaw na paglabag sa karapatang pantao ni Gretchen Diez at isang pananalamin sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon na kinakaharap ng ating mga kapatid sa LGBT community,” she said.
“Ang diskriminasyon sa mga miyembro ng LGBT ay nangyayari araw araw at walang pinipiling lugar. Sobra na. This has to stop!” she added in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 571.
Last Aug. 13, a transwoman, identified as Gretchen Diez, was reportedly dragged in handcuffs and was briefly detained after she protested from using a women’s public restroom inside the Farmer’s Plaza, Araneta Center, Quezon City.
The mall authorities filed an unjust vexation complaint against her for supposedly recording her confrontation with a janitress attending the shopping center’s women’s public restroom.
While the shopping mall withdrew its complaint against Diez, the latter filed a complaint against the mall officials for violating Quezon City’s gender fair ordinance, which prohibits gender-based discrimination among business establishments.
The lady Senator from Bicol reiterated her support for the immediate passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill to help stop gender-based discrimination and abuses.
“Buo po ang aking suporta sa pagpasa sa SOGIE Bill at sa ating katuwang sa pagsulong ng mga makabuluhang batas sa Senado na si Sen. Risa Hontiveros,” she said.
“Let’s all rally to support the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill and let’s work together in putting an end to any form of discrimination against the LGBT community,” she added.
More than the sympathy from the public, De Lima, a former justice secretary, maintained that the LGBT community needs reliable laws that would ensure that their rights are protected and respected at all times.
“Hangga’t hindi natin nabibigyan ng sapat na suporta ang ating LGBT community laban sa anumang uri ng pang-aabuso at diskriminasyon at walang sapat na impormasyon ang publiko ukol sa mga ganitong usapin, magpapatuloy lang po ang mga ganitong uri ng insidente,” she said.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros has refiled the SOGIE Equality Bill this 18th Congress after it failed to pass the Senate in the 17th Congress. The measure seeks to prohibit all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Just like last Congress, De Lima intends to co-author the same.
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