SOGIE bill ‘imported,’ disregarded PH culture – Eddie Villanueva

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 3) — Evangelist-turned-lawmaker Eddie Villanueva on Tuesday maintained his opposition to the proposed anti-discrimination law, this time saying that the bill disregarded Filipino culture as it was based from existing policies in other countries.

“It appears this is just an imported template from western countries that’s why it disregarded the culture of the Filipino people,” Villanueva, founder of Jesus is Lord Church and House deputy speaker, told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Sumobra ito kasi galing ito sa western country,” he also said.

[Translation: It became too much because it was based from western country.]

READ: Bro. Eddie Villanueva claims SOGIE bill will give 'special rights' to LGBTQ+

The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, which has been filed in both chambers of Congress, penalizes discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) community. The proposal seeks to give equal access to employment, education, and social services to the members of the community. It also wants to ban the promotion and encouragement of stigma on the basis of SOGIE in the media, educational textbooks, and other mediums.

READ: A law to protect the Filipino LGBTQ+ community against discrimination remains elusive

RELATED: Sotto declares SOGIE bill has no chance of passing in Senate

The proposed measure, Villanueva reiterated, undermines the role of parents in the family, threatens academic freedom, imperils freedom of speech and religion, and destroys essence of rule of law.

Sasagasahan nito ang parental authority and responsibility ng mga parent in rearing their children accordingly as provided by the Constitution na ang moral and spiritual values ng kabataan must be protected,” he said.

[Translation: SOGIE bill will run over the authority of parents in rearing their children accordingly as provided by the Constitution, which says that the moral and spiritual values of the youth must be protected.]

Napakadelikado nitong SOGIE bill… Nakakatakot ito. Kailangang pag-aralang mabuti ito,” he added.

[Translation: SOGIE bill is dangerous. This is scary. This should be thoroughly studied.]

Villanueva also maintained that there is no need for such measure as there are already laws protecting members of the LGBTQ+ community against discrimination.

Lahat ng human rights na gusto ng members ng LGBT (community are) properly provided first ng Constitution,” he said.

[Translation: All human rights that members of the LGBTQ+ community want are properly provided for in the Constitution.]

Villanueva then cited the Revised Penal Code, Civil Code, Labor Code, and Anti-bullying Law, among others. These policies, he said, should just be properly monitored or even amended.

“To craft a preferential law against the rights of all other sectors of the society for just one particular sector, to me this is unfair, this is class legislation,” he said.

On homosexuality

Insisting his belief that homosexuality is a violation of God’s teachings, Villanueva said being a transgender is more than just a mental disorder.

He likened being a transgender to drug addiction, saying it is a "spiritual sickness."

“The Bible reveals it is not just that (mental disorder). Parang drug addiction ‘yan eh (It's like drug addiction). It is a spiritual sickness na ang sagot d’yan (and the answer to that) is the gospel of love and salvation of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Maraming mga sikat na mga gay na ngayon successful ang buhay naging born again Christians. Kaya may pag-asa eh,” he added.

[Translation: There are many popular gay people who are now successful in life after becoming born-again Christians. There is still hope.]

Students support SOGIE bill

A group of students from Catholic schools in Manila threw their support behind the bill, which they said will safeguard the rights and welfare of Filipinos with diverse SOGIE once enacted.

The group includes the student councils of Ateneo de Manila Univeristy, De La Salle University, St. Scholastica’s College, and Miriam College.

“The delay, and subsequent non-passage of the bill in the last Congress is nothing short of disappointing. In the 18th Congress, it is time to renew our commitment to equality for every Filipino,” they said in a statement.

The SOGIE bill was unanimously approved by members of the House of Representatives in the 17th Congress. The bill's counterpart in the Senate, however, was stuck at the plenary.

The student leaders called on groups opposing the measure to “recall the teachings of the Church, and see that the LGBTQ+ community is no different from oneself.”

“We strongly urge the Senate and the House of Representatives to champion the cause of equality, not just for us, but for future generations,” they said.