MANILA — Sen. Imee Marcos believes that passing a "more general" anti-discrimination bill is a "good first step" in addressing discrimination in the country, as opposed to the more contentious SOGIE bill by Sen. Risa Hontiveros.
During a dialogue with the Filipino community in Europe last month, Marcos was asked if she supports the Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) bill.
According to Marcos, she authored a SOGIE bill in the previous Congress, but it failed to garner enough support from her colleagues.
"I re-filed it as the universal anti-discrimination bill, to make it more general that would also address discrimination against ethnic, religious, and other groups. This would include the LGBTQ," Marcos said.
Once the measure is passed, "then we can have the SOGIE bill later on," Marcos said.
The SOGIE bill is the top priority measure of Hontiveros for the 19th Congress. Her committee held its first hearing on the measure last Sept. 19.
There are currently 3 SOGIE bills pending before the Senate filed by Hontiveros, Sen. Loren Legarda, and Sen. Mark Villar. Marcos, for her part, is seeking the passage of the "Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Act."
The SOGIE bill has been languishing in Congress for decades and faced opposition from conservative groups.