MANILA — Majority of Filipinos rejected the idea of allowing transgender women in female toilets, but agreed there should be a law specifically protecting members of the LGBT community, a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released Wednesday showed.
Sixty percent of 1,800 adults surveyed nationwide disagreed with the question on toilet access, a hot-button issue in August when a female janitor confronted a trans woman who insisted on using a toilet for women in a Cubao mall.
Thirty-two percent of the respondents favored female toilet use for those who were born men but now identified as women.
Among religions, opposition was highest among Muslim respondents, 72 percent of whom strongly disagreed, followed by members of Iglesia Ni Cristo at 55 percent, according to the Sept. 27-30 survey.
Strong disagreement was at 53 percent among other Christian groups, and 44 percent among Catholics.
“Catholics are more tolerant compared to other religions,” Vladymir Licudine, SWS fellow and deputy director, told a Quezon City forum.
The survey did not particularly mention the bill on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE), which has raised concerns among religious conservatives questioning proposed prison terms for supposed discriminatory practices.
Licudine said details of the bill could be asked in subsequent surveys as the measure progressed in Congress. The proposal is undergoing committee deliberations at the Senate.
“There’s no use in asking the details if the bill is still very vague,” he said.
Sixty-percent of the respondents agreed members of the LGBT community were experiencing “too much discrimination,” a sentiment felt most strongly among the 18-24 age group (45 percent)
The survey showed 64 percent of Filipinos rejecting the idea of allowing transgenders to make changes in their official documents to reflect the “gender of their identity.”
At least half of the respondents (56 percent) also did not agree that transgenders had “mental illness.” The results were also neutral on whether transgenders were committing sin.
Licudine said members of the LGBT community should be “statistically visible” in subsequent surveys for Filipinos to “understand their plight.”
One challenge, he said, was to identify where these groups were specifically located to include them as respondents, not just topics, in surveys.