Catholic student councils, leaders back passage of SOGIE bill

MANILA Student leaders from Catholic schools and law students in Metro Manila expressed support to the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill pending in the Senate.

Mikee De Vega, president of De La Salle University (DLSU) Student Government said they are supporting the measure to be able to stop discrimination especially against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Discrimination is real and denying it risks the lives of the LGBT+ community who have to face hate every day, she said in a press conference held in Manila on Wednesday.

We can no longer stay silent on the issue of discrimination. As student leaders from Catholic schools, love and acceptance is in the core of the teachings of our schools. We are here to make our voices count all around the country for the SOGIE Equality Bill, De Vega added.

Another student, Hurjae Lubag of Far Eastern University (FEU) Law said the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill would be historic as it would introduce the concept of SOGIE in the country's legislation for the first time.

This law not only becomes the first law to protect people from the LGBT community from discrimination, it also makes the Philippine state fulfill its international obligations for human rights, he said.

On the other hand, University of Santo Tomas (UST) student Kana Takahashi said they are waiting for Senator Joel Villanueva to fulfill his promise of supporting the bill.

We are addressing Senator Joel Villanueva specifically to stay true to his promise of supporting the bill. Our message to the Senate: we are keeping close watch and we are demanding that the SOGIE Equality Bill gets passed, she said.

A big flower heart with the message #EqualityNow was on display in the press conference as the students posed with heart hand signs and placards urging the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill.

Other student governments and organizations in the event also included College of Saint Benilde-CSG, Students Rights and Welfare PH, University of the Philippines Law, FEU Law and DLSU Law.

Meanwhile, the group of student leaders, advocates and allies will be launching the Fight for Love, Fight for Equality nationwide rally at 5 p.m. Saturday at the People Power Monument in Quezon City to show support for the bill protecting LGBT+ Filipinos from discrimination.

Also on the same day, there will be simultaneous events and mobilizations in Metro Manila, Albay, Iloilo, Cebu and General Santos City.

Source: Philippine News Agency