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Second Negative Speaker

Your honor and worthy opponents, dear audience, a pleasant salutation from the negative
bench once more.

I am here to further solidify the stand of the negative side that passing SOGIE to
recognize the third sex as a valid gender status in the Philippines is more harmful than helpful
and it is not beneficial to all stakeholders in the Philippines.

This is so for two grounds:


One, the culture and society in the Philippines already accept LGBT people and afford
them basic rights as recognition of their legitimate existence; and
Two, SOGIE, when enacted into law, may be used as instruments to stifle or violate our
freedom of religion and freedom to live out our faith.

On my first point, the culture and society in the Philippines already accept LGBT people
and afford them basic rights as recognition of their legitimate existence. We do not need an Anti-
Discrimination or SOGIE Equality law because Filipinos are inherently accepting of lesbians,
gays, bisexuals and transgenders. Our society is innately tolerant of LGBTs. Proof of this would
be the many Filipino LGBTs who are very successful in their respective fields: business, trade,
media, education, fashion, healthcare, law, I.T., science and technology, arts, show business and
even politics. The election of the honorable representative of the first district of Bataan, Rep.
Geraldine B. Roman, is yet another validation. The Philippines has also consistently been
recognized as one of the gay-friendly countries in the world and one of the gay-friendliest in
Asia. In many households and families all over the country, LGBTs are accepted and loved, with
many serving as primary breadwinners and caregivers. As an LGBT, most people never
experienced discrimination growing up, whether in school or at work. They are not exempted
from the usual formula to success which is hard work, discipline, God-given intelligence and
prayers and the never-dying fervor to succeed.

On my second point, SOGIE, when enacted into law, may be used as instruments to stifle
or violate our freedom of religion and freedom to live out our faith.

Allow me to elaborate by posing these questions: What will happen to a seminary or


convent that will uphold Church laws by refusing admission to a transgender who wants to study
and become a priest or nun? What will happen to parishes and Catholic universities that will not
allow or recognize LGBT organizations in keeping with their mandate to abide by Church
doctrines?

What will happen to “all boys” or “all girls” Catholic schools that will not accept
transgender children as students because this would go against the catechism they teach? What
will happen to Catholic and Christian offices or companies like bookstores, travel agencies, radio
stations, television networks or religious organizations that will not hire LGBT employees
because it violates their faith-based beliefs? What will happen to a Muslim school (madrasah)
that pledges obedience to the Quran and hadith and will not enrol transgender students who
desire to be an imam?

What will happen to a Jewish school that will not accept LGBT students applying to be a
rabbi since Orthodox Judaism prohibits it? What will happen to churches of other denominations
that will not employ LGBTs as pastors in compliance with their biblical beliefs? In all of these
possible scenarios, the proposed bills may be used to take legal action against churches,
mosques, temples, religious communities and faith-based organizations resulting in fines of up to
500,000 pesos or imprisonment of up to 6 years.

Proponents of the bill have always asserted that ensuring non-discrimination for LGBTs
on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity will not diminish or encroach on the
rights of others. But the penal provisions of the proposed law say otherwise. Surely, we cannot
expect the followers of the great religious traditions of the world to change their doctrines to
accommodate a law that will violate their fundamental right to freely practice the very religion
that they uphold. Forcing organized religion to set aside or modify its tenets is as absurd as
forcing LGBTs to change their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The negative side understands the affirmative side in their aim of providing better living
conditions for our LGBT brothers and sisters. But we can achieve that NOT by carelessly
legislating a law to recognize the third sex as a valid and legal gender status.

Again, we stand firm on our argument: The present law may not be perfect, but they are
sufficient, they are legal, they are valid, and they are effective. The answer is not passing a new
law. The answer is regulating present ones.

With this, I am now ready for interpellation.