On October 29, Manila’s mayor Isko Moreno signed an anti-discrimination law that prohibits any discrimination based on “Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression” (SOGIE).

According to the decree, discrimination is defined as:

“any distinction, exclusion, restriction or other differential treatment based directly or indirectly on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and having the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of equal rights”.

 

Manila thus joined Quezon City and several other cities in the Philippines that had introduced the law last year after almost two decades of repeated requests from the Philippine LGBTIQ* community.

“I hope this is just a beginning”

With the words, “I hope this is just a beginning,” Mayor Isko Moreno addressed the population directly in the Manila Bulletin. He himself has always had the support of the LGBTIQ* community, Moreno wrote.https://twitter.com/IskoMoreno/status/1321742274531745793

“Queer people have always played an important role in my work and on my journey through life. They were among those who helped me get out of poverty by giving me the opportunity to become part of show business, especially during my time with ‘That’s Entertainment'”.

Therefore, it is time that “those who look down on our homosexual friends pay for their actions,” Moreno said. No member of the queer community should suffer any more from any form of discrimination, “neither in the workplace nor in schools or educational institutions, nor on social media platforms.

 

Groundbreaking bottom-up concept

 

 

Each Barangay – the lowest level in the administrative structure in the Philippines, which is similar in structure to a village, town or district – is assigned to establish a LGBTIQ* contact point. Queers whose rights against discrimination have been violated can lodge a complaint with the Barangay chairman, who is responsible for documenting all incidents of physical, emotional or psychological abuse and representing the rights and interests of the aggrieved members of the LGBTIQ* community.

Gender-neutral toilets are also planned. Within three years of the adoption of the ordinance, gender-neutral toilets must be installed in restaurants, bars, stores, cinemas, shopping malls and other similar business facilities open to the general public.

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