Christian evangelical churches in the city gathered Thursday to express their disapproval of the controversial Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) equality bill.

Different banners and stickers stating “We love the LGBTQ+, but we are against the SOGIE Bill” were carried and displayed by the crowd that showed up at the event at the People’s Amphitheater in Mendoza Park.

Bishop Gene Udang, national deputy for Western Mindanao of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (WMPCEC), was the main speaker who explained the dynamics of the bill, explaining every part of it and its impact on the Filipino culture and traditional family set up.

“Basing from Romans 1 alone, this bill is suppression of the truth and a confrontational attack on God Himself,” part of Udang said in his speech to the crowd of mostly young people.

The current versions of the bill are being championed by then Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (now governor of the Dinagat Islands), and Reps. Geraldine Roman and Tom Villarin in the House of Representatives, and Sen. Risa Hontiveros in the Senate.

The version in the House of Representative passed the third reading on September 20, 2017, but died in the Senate.

Controversy regarding SOGIE resurfaced following the “female comfort room” incident between trans woman Gretchen Diez and janitress Chayra Ganal.

Dr. Popoy Monserate, department head of the Social Security System (SSS), discussed the gender identity from a  medical point of view and how they “label” individuals based on physical condition.

“Hindi pwedeng dalawa ang che-chekan namin na M for male sa pisikal na anyo tapos F for female sa gender na gusto ng tao,” he said.

A teacher from Puerto Princesa City, Carina Bakshani also took a stand against SOGIE, claiming it is confusing and will help in forming morally upright young people.

“We are teaching core values such as pagiging maka-Dios and aim to produce morally upright students and not confuse them regarding their gender identity,” Bakshani said.

“Hindi tayo sumasang-ayon sa SOGIE bill, pero wala tayong diskriminasyon dito. Mayroon tayong ipinaglalaban dito at ito ay para sa pamilyang pilipino. Ang ating lipunan na dapat ay magtaglay ng moralidad na totoong nagpapahalaga at nagmamahal sa kulturang pilipino,” said Pastor Meynard Cadangen, president of the Puerto Princesa United Ministerial Fellowship (PPUMF).

The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Equality Bill (SOGIE Bill), also known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), is a proposed legislation and one of the longest and most controversial bills that are yet to be approved.

The refusal to allow Diez to use a woman’s comfort room catalyzed the SOGIE bill’s return in the arena of public opinion.

Since then different famous personalities such as politicians and lawmakers have voiced out their views regarding the bill.

Recently, Sen. Risa Hontiveros pushed for the interpellation of the bill so that it will be subjected for amendments and voting.

Rep. Eddie Villanueva, a well known evangelical pastor, said that the bill is against the Filipino family pattern and culture.

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