CSC President signs statement in support of Sogie bill

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INVOKING the “Christian value of love and acceptance,” the heads of the student councils of seven Catholic schools, including UST Central Student Council (CSC) President Francis Santos, have signed a statement calling on the Senate to pass the “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (Sogie) Equality” Bill.

The Sogie Equality Bill, the student council presidents said, was needed to secure the rights and welfare of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community through a government policy of “non-discrimination and acceptance.”

“Brought up on the Christian values of love and acceptance, and as leaders and representatives of students in Catholic academic institutions, we urge the Senate’s leadership and its members to stop the delay on the SOGIE Equality Bill and move for its approval,” the statement read.

The presidents of Ateneo de Manila University – Sanggunian, De La Salle University Manila Student Government, De La Salle College of St. Benilde – Central Student Government (CSG- Benilde), Miriam College – Sanggunian, St. Scholastica’s College Manila –  Student Council and San Beda University Student Council signed the manifesto.

Joint statement of Catholic schools’ student councils calling for the passage of the Sogie Equality Bill.

The Varsitarian was unable to reach Santos for further comment on the bill, which punishes discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, as well as “gender identity or expression.”

A press release on Tuesday claimed the seven student council presidents ignored “possible sanctions from their school administrators” in signing the statement.

Under House Bill 4982, passed by the House of Representatives in 2017, penalties for discrimination include up to six years in prison and up to P500,000 in fines.

Christian and civic groups fear that the Sogie Bill, if passed, would heavily penalize religious speech and force churches, parishes, schools and other private organizations to recognize groups whose advocacies contradict their sincerely held religious beliefs.

Pro-Life Philippines, in a position paper, cited as an example the likelihood that “Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of the Philippines will be apprehended if they will not admit individuals with active homosexual orientation as scout masters.”

In a separate position paper, the Filipinos for Life group said: “Religious institutions, schools, and organizations whose precepts do not condone LGBT practices, may be forced to hire practicing LGBT applicants and allow the establishment of LGBT organizations within their institutions, and will be prohibited from imposing sanctions on employees or members for overtly practicing homosexual/bisexual acts, thus infringing on the freedom of religion of the members of these religious institutions/organizations.”

Other groups opposed to the bill are  the Mindanao Evangelical Leaders Council and the Christian Coalition for Righteousness, Justice and Truth of Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

Villanueva’s son, Sen. Joel Villanueva, a UST alumnus, said in March that cases of discrimination exist not just against the LGBT community “but also against people from different religion or belief, social class, civil status, age, race, and medical condition.”

“We need an anti-discrimination law that will promote genuine equality–a measure that is concrete and holistic. We will never allow the suppression of people’s rights to exercise their religious freedom or cultural beliefs,” he said during a rally against the bill.

Senate Bill 1271, sponsored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros last December 14, 2016, “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,” the press release said.

“In the Senate, It has been scheduled for debate 26 times, making it the longest-running bill under interpellation from Senators Tito Sotto, Manny Pacquiao and Joel Villanueva, since its sponsorship close to two years ago,” the statement of the student council presidents noted. Sherwin Dane Zauro C. Haro

1 COMMENT

  1. Inclusivity should not be abused. Read very well the Sogie bill before supporting it. Its not about equality. It is about changing the moral landscape of our society. There are enough laws for equality. Sogie is a trojan horse for same sexmarriage, pedophilia, and loose morals forced into our children.

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