A district representative from Manila recently filed a bill that aims to recognize, define, and protect the rights of heterosexuals, which seems to counter the controversial ‘SOGIE’ Bill which, ironically, also covers the rights of our hetero bros and sis. 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. filed House Bill No. 5717 or ‘Heterosexual bill,’ which seeks to “protect”straight people from “oppression” they apparently suffer.
Per INQUIRER.net’s report, Abante’s proposed law aims to protect the following rights of ‘Heterosexuals’:
- To adhere to, practice, proclaim, promote, propagate, defend and protect their religion and religious beliefs, convictions and standards without interference and/or abridgment
- To practice and enjoy their religious profession and worship without interference or abridgment with the right to exclude therefrom others of different beliefs or faith
- To freely express and communicate with others, privately or publicly, verbally or in writing or through print or broadcast media or through social media platforms that now exist or that may hereafter be developed
- To freely express, exercise, and impose, in running or operating their churches, businesses, schools or workplaces
- To freely express their views, verbally or in writing, privately or publicly, in print or broadcast media, or in social media platforms that now exist or may hereafter be developed about homosexuality, bisexuality, and on transgenders and queers according to their religious beliefs and practices and to biblical principles and standards.
The proposed legislation likewise deems these acts as prohibited:
- Preventing, prohibiting, abridging, or otherwise interfering with the free exercise and enjoyment by heterosexuals of any of their rights
- Attempting to prohibit, abridge, or otherwise interfere with the free exercise and enjoyment by heterosexuals of any of their rights
- Threatening, directly or indirectly, in any form, a homosexual for exercising any of his or her rights
If these are violated, the bill recommends penalties of imprisonment from five years and one day to seven years and one day, as well as fines ranging from P100,000 to P200,000.
Understandably, the bill has received backlash from people. Here are some of their reactions online:
Heterosexuals are also included in the ‘SOGIE’ Bill
One misconception about the SOGIE Bill is that it only caters to those who are not straight. But, it doesn’t.
Twitter users pointed out that the SOGIE Equality Bill encompasses all gender and sexual orientations and proposing a bill that only targets one gender is absurd.
Heterosexuals aren’t oppresed
Another argument people online use on why the Heterosexual act is not needed is because, ‘Heteros’ are already protected in the current system.
Some say that this act is just making up problems suffered by the ‘Heteros’.
They questioned the premise of the bill that assumes that heterosexuals experienced prejudice and judgment from society. But for some, it mocks the advocacy for gender equality
An excuse to discriminate the LGBTQIA Community
In section four (4) of the bill, it states that Heterosexuals should be ‘free’ in expressing their views in any way they can about the Homosexuals, Bisexuals, Transgenders and queers. That is according to their religious beliefs and practices and biblical principles and standards.
This triggered a lot of people as this can encourage others to further discriminate the LGBTQIA Community
(Disclaimer: The proposed bill has not not yet been signed into law)
Ginagawa nitong legal ang pagkait ng dignidad ng ibang tao. Anuman ang ating pinaniniwalaan, magkakasundo naman siguro tayong mali ito.
Imbis nitong bill, dapat isabatas na ang SOGIE Law.
— Chel Diokno (@ChelDiokno) November 9, 2022
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno also gave his opinion regarding the matter. He said in his tweet that the bill legalizes the denial of human rights to the members of the LGBTQIA. He also argued that no matter how different our belief is, the proposed act is wrong and that SOGIE is the better bill to be signed into law.
Abante also says in his bill that heterosexuals are ‘direct and actual creation of God’ which were called out by many as an attack to other genders
What exactly ang madadagdag ng heterosexual act sa mga straights na hindi pa nagagawa ngayon? Also, sinong gumawa sa mga bakla kung hindi si God? Si Carly Rae Jepsen? https://t.co/RakUOd8rpM
— Jai Cabajar (@jaicabajar) November 9, 2022
However, the Philippine Social Conservative Movement applauds the said bill as it counters the ‘repressive effects’ of SOGIE on Freedom of Religion and Expression
However, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said in her tweet three years ago that the SOGIE will not penalize people who will practice religious or academic freedom.
Every time equal rights is championed, be it for IPs, women or PWDs, oppositors are quick to take out the “special rights” card. This is dangerous.
Hindi magkakalaban ang mga karapatan ng mga marhinalisadong sektor. The advancement of one is the advancement of all. pic.twitter.com/BJlzzRtsMt
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) August 28, 2019
And it will not dictate churches on their teachings or hiring process.
So…do we really need it?
Many people have called the heterosexual act a ‘joke of a law’ and that SOGIE Equality Bill is actually better as covers everyone in the spectrum, including the heterosexuals.
Other POP! stories you might like:
What’s the deal with ‘Mx.’ and why are people using it?
A twisted perception of the LGBTQIA+ community still permeates in our films and movies
Putting the ‘B’ in LGBTQIA+: What it means to be bisexual in the Philippines