SAME-SEX marriage has been put to rest in our High Court. But for the LGBTQ+ , the fight is not over. Quietly, the LGBTQ+ is working for the institutionalization of the Sex Orientation Gender Information Expression (SOGIE) through city or provincial ordinance. Even Bacolod has seen our City Council file a version of this Bill, authored by Wilson “Jun” Gamboa. Though recent talk with him revealed that he withdrew his original SOGIE resolution, and is presently studying amendments to it.
So, what is the content of the SOGIE being pushed at the level of city and provincial councils? The proposed "template ordinance" is entitled "An Act Against Anti-Discrimination on the basis of SOGIE." Immediately, according to Atty. Lyndon Cana, there is exclusion or non-mention of the other sector immediately affected by the bill. It is immediately a one-sided bill, which is supposed to be anti-discrimination. Ex-City Councilor Cana has other major opposing point: As advocated, SOGIE itself is based on feelings. The title itself shows the nature of the basis for the proposed legislation, “sexual orientation that is subjective; gender identity that is subjective, versus later on rights that come from facts. So there is a contest here between facts and feelings.”
Anti-SOGIE advocates are very concerned that it appears that SOGIE bill, under SOGIE bill, facts will be defeated by feelings. Take for example, the definition of gender identity. The proposed SOGIE ordinance itself defines it as a personal sense, personal, sa 'yo lang, sense; it's not a fact, it's a feeling. It's a disposition, among others, characterized by manner of clothing, inclinations, behavior, all subjective. And it goes on to say that a person may have male or female identity with the physiological characteristics of the opposite sex, here, just by reading the plain text of the bill itself.
Cana further argues, “And we are very concerned that in this concept of the bill, where fact will yield to feelings, na-criminalize pa yung mga maninindigan based on fact.”
He cited, “For example, mag insist ang transgender woman -- with all due respect, sir, my conscience tells me that you are really a man no matter what medical procedure you went through. Sa SOGIE bill, patay siya, Your Honor, kasi gender identity can overrule physiological characteristics. In fact, may ruling diyan na, the actual sex of the person in the sizing up of discrimination, is not relevant, is not relevant to the determination of whether a discriminatory act has been committed or not.”
That gender identity is not based on fact; is attested by numerous studies that there is no gay gene and there is a recent study involving 470,000 volunteers made by a group of top-notch researchers, and the conclusion is there is no such thing as a gay gene, because it is all a complex interplay of experience, expectancy, peer environment. Male/female sex distinction is, anatomically established, biological established, and physiologically established. But in a collision of viewpoints under press of LGBTs, facts yield to feeling. It is with this concept that Cana and other anti the legislation of SOGIE, are greatly disturbed.
At the Senate (09/04/19) hearing, where SOGIE Bill was put to rest, the following points were raised by Atty. Caña:
• Being against SOGIE bill means we do not hate the LGBT community
• The title itself implicates the bill is one-sided, non-discriminatory to LGBT, but may somehow discriminate the male and female
• The bill is based on feelings, not facts
• Facts will be defeated by feelings or personal sense
• The bill may criminalize people who will insist on facts
• Person who insists on facts will be punished horrendously (e.g. paying half a million fine)
• Gender identity/ sexual orientation is only subjective and can overrule physiological characteristics
• Will affect implications on our Civil Code vs. Family Code
• According to the Supreme Court, "A change of name based on a change of gender is NOT a right. It is a privilege."
• The bill is based only on personal sense without judicial order/ court order.
In sum, this columnist affirms that gender is a biological and physiological fact. Gender identity is feeling. Sex as to whether male or female is fact, sexual orientation is feeling. I pray, the Sangguniang Panglungsod and Panglalawigans all over the country will seriously take note.