Gay Group Seeks Solon’s Support

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Tito Sotto has earned the ire of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Filipinos for his proposal to remove sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) from a bill protecting minorities.

The Progressive Organization of Gays (ProGay Philippines) scored the alleged reports that Sotto is working to remove SOGI protections from the proposed Anti-Racial, Ethnic and Anti-Religious Discrimination Act of 2011.

The allegation was reported by Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Brawner Baguilat Jr., who crafted a version that will be reconciled with the Senate version in a bicameral conference.

However, Baguilat did not name other senators who were supposedly opposed to SOGI.

"We are saddened that Senator Sotto, whose successful showbiz and political careers are in part supported by hardworking LGBTs, may think that they are second class citizens who for him do not deserve equality before the law," claimed Goya Candelario, spokesperson of ProGay.

ProGay urged Congress to include SOGI as a protected status because this was one of the recommendations given by the United Nations Human Rights Council when it subjected the Philippines to the Universal Periodic Review in May 2012.

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