After transgender woman handcuffed over attempt to use restroom
VP Leni presses for passage of SOGIE Bill, urges Pinoys to take responsibility in fight for equality
Vice President Leni Robredo has reiterated her call for the passage of the anti-discrimination bill, after a transgender woman was arrested after being barred from using the female restroom in a mall in Quezon City.
VP Leni—who co-authored the bill during the 16th Congress—said the “unfortunate” incident “should not have happened” to Gretchen Diez, a 28-year-old transgender woman who was brought to the police station in handcuffs by mall personnel, after she questioned why she was being turned away from the women’s restroom.
Robredo said the incident, though unfortunate, opened the eyes of more Filipinos to the discrimination suffered by the LGBTQIA+ community, and underscored the need for the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill.
“[S]a akin, iyong hope ko, na sana itong incident na ito, no matter how unfortunate, maging daan para finally ma-realize ng ating mga lawmakers na it’s about time na ipasa natin [itong bill na ito]… Ang tagal na nitong nakabinbin,” she said in an interview with One Media TV48 Naga over the weekend.
Robredo also noted that more Filipinos should be encouraged to acknowledge the widespread discrimination being faced by the LGBTQIA+ community and take the necessary steps to address it. She said it is everyone’s “responsibility” to ensure equality will be present—both “in the eyes of the law” and “in the eyes of the people.”
“Iyong nangyari, very unfortunate; as I have said, it should not have happened. Pero baka maging daan iyon para ma-realize ng marami nating mga kababayan na iyong diskriminasyon talagang nangyayari. Na mayroon tayong mga kasama na dapat sana ine-enjoy iyong karapatan na ine-enjoy natin, pero hindi na-e-enjoy [ang mga karapatang iyon] dahil sa diskriminasyon,” she said.
“[H]indi natin nare-realize na nangyayari ito sa mga kababayan natin, na dapat sana hindi… [T]ayong hindi nadi-discriminate, tingin natin hindi mahalaga iyong isyu. Kaya para sa akin, time na to pass the SOGIE Bill. Time na for everyone to acknowledge, ‘di ba—time na for everyone to acknowledge na maraming diskriminasyon na nangyayari in our midst, at hindi tayo kailangang magbulag-bulagan,” she added.