Thursday, March 15, 2018

Catholic Student Councils, Student Leaders Push for SOGIE Equality Bill

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Our faith is grounded on love.

This was the message that student leaders from Catholic schools and law students in Metro Manila had on Wednesday urging the public to support the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill in the Senate.

“Discrimination is real and denying it risks the lives of the LGBT+ community who have to face hate every day,” Mikee De Vega, President of DLSU Student Government said.

“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.

“The passage of a SOGIE Equality bill will be historic as it will introduce the concept of SOGIE in our country’s legislation for the first time,” Hurjae Lubag of FEU Law said.  “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,”

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

“Senator Villanueva, don’t be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t betray the LGBT+ community by feeding into the misinformation campaign of some groups,” De Vega said. “As an author of an anti-discrimination bill in the Senate, there’s no sense to backbend on your promise.”

De Vega also hit statements that skew the SOGIE bill as a measure against religious freedom: "Religious freedom should not entrap persons in a culture of hate. The SOGIE Equality Bill is about love and respect, values which most religions should believe in."

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

The student governments and organizations in the press conference also included College of Saint Benilde- CSG, Students Rights and Welfare PH, UP LAW, FEU LAW and DLSU LAW.

The student leaders, advocates and allies will be launching the Fight for Love. Fight for Equality nationwide rally on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 5PM in People Power Monument to show popular support for the bill protecting LGBT+ Filipinos from discrimination.

There will be simultaneous events and mobilizations in Metro Manila, Albay, Iloilo, Cebu and General Santos City on Saturday. 

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