MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the officers and members of the LGBT Pilipinas Inc. in Malacañang on Tuesday for their first Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Reception.
In his message, the President expressed his support for the community, saying that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or preference, has the right to be recognized by society.
He also emphasized that the dignity of all human beings must be protected.
Duterte also shared with the group that he recently signed the executive order institutionalizing the Diversity and Inclusion Program, creating an inter-agency committee on diversity and inclusion and for other purposes.
Last September, the president vowed to certify as urgent a law against discrimination much like the city ordinance in Davao City.
Pending in the Senate is the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill, which was debated following the temporary detention of transgender woman, Gretchen Diez, who attempted to use a female toilet at a Quezon City mall last August.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, author of the SOGIE Bill, has asserted that the bill remains the "best policy tool" to protect members of the LGBT community from discrimination.
On the other hand, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III previously opposed some provisions of the measure, saying it could lead to the end of religious and academic freedoms.
The SOGIE Bill seeks to protect the LGBT community from hate crimes and prejudice.