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Friday, September 20, 2019
MANILA

Duterte meets trans woman in ladies' comfort room incident

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte's 10-day hiatus ended when he met with transgender woman Gretchen Diez at Malacañan Palace on Monday, August 19.

Photos from Senator Christopher Lawrence Go showed that Duterte had a meeting with Diez, a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community who allegedly experienced discrimination at the Farmer's Plaza Mall in Cubao, Quezon City on August 13.

Bataan First District Representative Geraldine Roman, the first elected transgender woman in Congress who helped Diez fight for her rights as LGBT member, was also seen in the photo.

Palace, however, has yet to give further details on the meeting between Duterte and Diez.

On August 16, Diez filed a complaint against Araneta Center Inc., Starline Security Agency Inc., and the sanitation services agency contracted by the Araneta Center for supposedly violating the Quezon City Gender Fair Ordinance.

The ordinance penalizes discrimination against the LGBT community, including heckling, verbal or non-verbal ridicule and vilification, as well as the refusal of services and accommodations based on a person's sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (Sogie).

The ordinance also requires government agencies, private offices, and commercial establishments to "designate toilet rooms and lavatories labelled as all gender [comfort rooms]."

Diez filed the complaint after she was prevented from using the women's restroom to pee on August 13.

The incident prompted the renewed call for the passage of Sogie bill, which the 17th Congress failed to pass.

On August 15, Malacañang said Duterte would support the passage of Sogie bill, as he wants to promote "fair treatment to all." (SunStar Philippines)


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