MANILA — Discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is now a punishable offense in Cebu City.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed Ordinance No. 2660 that specified penalties for those who would humiliate someone in public or inflict physical harm due to one's sexual orientation.
Harassment and verbal or physical threats against LGBT members are also punishable under the ordinance. It also set sanctions on jokes and pranks related to gender identity.
Offenders will face 3 to 6 months imprisonment with a fine of P3,000 to P5,000, depending on the violations or the discretion of the court.
The ordinance also called for the creation of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sex Characteristics Pride Empowerment Council (SPEC), which would be in charge of looking after the rights of the LGBT community.
The SPEC is also mandated to create programs and initiatives which are in line with the city’s gender and development plan.
“I look forward to this because they deserved to be treated right,” Rama said of LGBT members.
Sangguniang Kabataan ex-officio Councilor Jessica Resch authored the ordinance.
— Report from Annie Perez