by Rex Wockner
Activists in the Philippines are seeking international pressure to encourage a committee vote in the House of Representatives on a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
House Bill 1483, “An Act Defining Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Thereof,” would protect gay and trans people in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, health care, transportation, social services, civil service, the military and other areas.
“Discriminatory acts against LGBT citizens in the Philippines are rampant yet are largely unreported and not provided corrective measures,” said the activist group ProGay Philippines. “Gay men are constantly harassed by police officers, transgendered women are not allowed to use their preferred gender on identity papers, and lesbians are paid lower wages. These are the result of the lack of protective laws that can punish discrimination and allow the courts and government agencies to receive complaints. … We need your help in getting our honorable representatives in the House of Representatives to pass this bill through the Committee on Justice quickly so that the entire House can vote this bill and send it to the president for signing.”