MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he would certify as urgent a bill seeking to protect LGBT rights.
The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill, filed by minority Sen. Risa Hontiveros, aims to prevent and penalize discriminatory acts against a person's sexual orientation.
Duterte, in a speech in Malacañang Tuesday, said he would do whatever would make the LGBT community happy.
"Yes, whatever would make the mechanisms, what would make them happy. Gusto ko, kagaya kay Senator Enrile, gusto ko happy siya," Duterte said, referring to former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's campaign tagline.
(Like Senator Enrile, I want them to be happy.)
The bill has been undergoing hearings at the Senate, which came in the wake of the controversial detention of a transgender woman following an argument with a janitress over the former's use of the women's toilet at a Quezon City mall last month.
Conservative groups, including Christian denominations, have been opposing the proposition, citing Biblical doctrine and alleging that it would be discriminatory against sectors outside the LGBT community.