By Rjhay E. Laurea
MANILA — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte believes the future of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill lies on the hands of mayors and governors.
Belmonte said if all the mayors and governors will have the courage to fight for the rights of their LGBTQIA+ constituents, both the Congress and the Senate may be moved to also pass the SOGIE Equality Bill at the national level.
She cited as example QC’s passage of the very first pro-LGBTQIA+ ordinance in 2014 – the QC Gender-Fair Ordinance – that if every LGU can pass a similar ordinance in their respective localities then our national legislators may possibly have the courage to also stand for gender equality regardless of sexual orientation, identity and expression.
“Iyong ating pagpasa ng ordinansa noong 2014 ay malaking statement na para sa national government na kung hindi niyo gagawin (ang pagpasa ng SOGIE Equality Bill), sa QC gagawin namin [The passage of the ordinance in 2014 is already a huge statement for the national government that if they will not pass the SOGIE Equality Bill, here in QC we will do it],” Belmonte said during the press launching of ‘Alab for Love: Pride PH Festival’.
“Kapag madami na ang governors at mayors na sumusuporta sa pagpasa ng legislation (SOGIE Equality Bill), sana naman ay dumating ang punto na sa Kongreso magkaroon na rin sila ng lakas ng loob at tapang na sumunod sa nasimulan ng local government units [If more governors and mayors will support the passage of a legislation, I hope it will come to a point where in Congress they will also have the courage and bravery to go along what the local government units have started],” she added.
Pride PH lead convenor and Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Habijan expressed her gratitude to the city government for the passage of the pro-LGBTQIA+ ordinance in 2014 and also for being one of the first cities to have its own pride council.
“Ang magandang sinabi ni Mayor (Belmonte) dito sa Lungsod Quezon mayroong pride council and hopefully that will be replicated by other cities and municipalities and that would be done nationwide [One of the beautiful things that Mayor Belmonte said is here in Quezon City there is a pride council and hopefully that will be replicated by other cities and municipalities and that would be done nationwide],” Habijan said.
Pride PH chose Quezon City to be the host city of one of the largest pride marches in the country to be held this Saturday, June 25 at Quezon Memorial Circle. Pride PH is the main organizer and proponent of ‘Alab for Love: Pride PH Festival’. (ai/mtvn)