0248E: Willful SOGIE Ignorance

SOGIE is a complicated concept to wrap one's head around as it goes beyond "traditional" notions of biological sex automatically determining one's gender and tries to cover the larger spectrum of people. Everyone has SOGIE whether you're straight or non-binary.

The SOGIE Equality Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that attempts to protect Filipinos from acts of discrimination based on one's SOGIE, but naturally, the assumption is that the law is providing special rights to the LGBT community alone. There's a lot of inherent prejudice that advocates for the bill have been fighting against and if today's hearings on the bill are any indication, we still have a long way to go.

Senate President Sotto has repeatedly told the media that the bill will never pass in the Senate. And that has been the default mindset for many. They often use the argument that existing laws already provide protections for people - they just leap over the fact that the law does not formally recognize the diversity of the LGBT spectrum.

That's the real goal of this law, I feel - to create a legal definition for the LGBT community - and opponents of the law are not ignorant of this fact. They're doing everything in their power to keep such definitions out of the law since that's the first, crucial step for making some serious progress for LGBT rights.

We have a long way to go, but we have to keep fighting.