MANILA - Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno on Friday said the Philippine capital is friendly to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
Moreno stressed this when asked to comment on the incident where transgender woman Gretchen Diez was detained following an argument with a janitress after using the women's toilet at a Quezon City mall on Tuesday.
To demonstrate the city’s support for the LGBT community, Moreno said the city would hold a pride march during the city’s foundation day next year.
“This statement will send a very good signal that no LGBT in the city of Manila will suffer the same thing [as Diez]. Here in Manila, babae, bakla, tomboy, o kung ano man ang preference nila, lahat pantay-pantay (whether you are female, male, gay or lesbian, everyone is equal),” Moreno told ABS-CBN News.
“All men are created equal. If we speak of human rights, this is basic human rights - the right to choose his preference.”
Moreno also called on Congress to finally pass the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) equality bill, which seeks to protect members of the LGBT community from all forms discrimination.
“Let’s just respect each other’s preferences and views so as not to create animosities in the future,” he said.
Diez’s case has sparked discussion on the need to pass the SOGIE equality bill, which failed to pass the Senate in the previous session of Congress.
Bill sponsor Sen. Risa Hontiveros said she was glad the incident involving Diez spurred support for the measure.
“The fight to end gender discrimination and harassment is bigger than all of us. It crosses party lines and political affiliations,” Hontiveros told ABS-CBN News.
“I am happy that we are slowly seeing a rainbow coalition emerge in support of the SOGIE Equality Bill among lawmakers coming from different political parties. This is something we will try to replicate on other issues.”