Press Release
August 11, 2018

Support for anti-discrimination bill snowballs in the Senate

Members of the LGBT community found allies in the Senate majority last Wednesday when Senators Migz Zubiri, Loren Legarda and Ralph Recto took to the stand to express their support for the bill that seeks to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or SOGIE.

Senate Bill No. 1271 or the Anti-Discrimination Bill was filed last August 1, 2016 and has faced an uphill battle in the upper chamber, unlike in the House of Representatives that approved its version of the bill in September last year.

"It would be a great legacy of this chamber if we are able to pass the anti-discrimination measure during our watch," remarked Legarda during Wednesday's session.

"I just want to give my full unequivocal, urgent support to this measure", Legarda added, to which Senate President Pro-Tempore Recto replied, "And for the record, I also associate myself with the statements made by Senator Legarda."

Majority Floor Leader Zubiri, for his part, pledged attention to the bill. "I commit to the good sponsors, Sen. Risa [Hontiveros] and Sen. Loren [Legarda] that we'll place this on the calendar, the agenda, every day, so that we can tackle this anytime within the next few weeks," Zubiri said. Senate Minority Leader Frank Drilon also expressed support for the measure.

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier noted that the said measure has been under the period of interpellation for 602 calendar days, since her sponsorship last December 2016. The Senate session resumes on Monday and leaves three session days for the bill to get passed before the chamber's adjournment on Wednesday. Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Joel Villanueva are scheduled to interpellate next week.

Earlier, Catholic student councils in Metro Manila expressed support for the bill and urged the Senate to end the interpellation and move for its approval ( Celebrities Anne Curtis, Bianca Gonzalez, Iza Calzado, and veteran broadcast journalist Karen Davila also took to social media last month with their support for the bill using the campaign hashtag #LoveIsAllWeNeed.

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