SOGIE bill respects religious freedom, Hontiveros says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2019 11:38 AM | Updated as of Aug 20 2019 11:50 AM

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MANILA - The anti-discriminatory measure for members of the LGBTQ+ community respects the constitutional right to freedom of religion, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said Tuesday.

Hontiveros made the remark as Senate President Tito Sotto expressed concern that the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) bill would encroach on religious freedom.

"Wala pong probisyon tungkol sa same-sex marriage sa SOGIE Equality Bill. Yung marriage equality na iyon ay bahagi ng maaaring buuin ng longer term rainbow agenda," she told radio DZMM.

"Nirerespeto ng SOGIE Equality bill yung freedom of belief."

Sotto on Monday said that while the SOGIE Bill makes no mention of same-sex marriage, it penalizes institutions for refusing to issue marriage licenses.

"Hindi puwede mag-discriminate sa pagbibigay nang lisensiya tulad nang marriage license sa kahit anong gender. Anong ibig sabihin nun? Saan papunta 'yun?" he asked.

Aside from the LGBTQ+ community, the measure aims to protect people with real or perceived class, status, ethnicity, color, disability, and religious and political beliefs from discrimination.

The bill finally overcame resistance in the House of Representatives and reached the Senate plenary in 2016 after 17 years. It, however, languished in the period of interpellation, making it the longest-running bill under interpellation in the Senate.