ILOILO CITY -- Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in this city expressed support to the passage of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (Sogie) Bill, which is currently pending at the Senate.

Led by the Iloilo Pride Team, some 20 LGBT members gathered at Barangay Barrio Obrero Gym in Lapuz District on Saturday, where apart from calling for the passage of the anti-discrimination bill, the group also conducted team-building and workshops aimed at boosting their camaraderie and hone their leadership skills.

One of the outputs of the participants include a short video presentation, which is a compilation of LGBT advocates’ messages pushing for the bill's passage.

Justin Francis Bionat, Iloilo Pride Team chairperson, stressed that the LGBT community in Iloilo is "accepted, but it does not stop there. We still want to have an actual law that can protect the members of the LGBT community."

Bionat said it was only this year when Sogie Bill reached the "farthest", after it was approved at the House of Representatives and is now up for deliberations at the Senate.

Once passed as law, Bionat said, "This will only be the law that will protect the LGBT because now, there are high incidents of LGBT-related murders".

"At least, if we have this Sogie Equality Law, there will be proper ways to solve issues affecting the LGBT," he added.

The gathering of LGBT members in this city is part of the "Fight for Love, Fight for Equality" nationwide rally in support of the Sogie Equality Bill.

The bill aims to protect people from discriminatory acts including denial of access to public services and subjecting any person to gender profiling. (PNA)