House Approves Anti-Discrimination Bill on 3rd and Final Reading

A victory for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community!

With 197 affirmative votes and no objections or abstentions, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill 4982 (HB 4982) which protects the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community by prohibiting and penalizing discriminatory actions based on sex and gender orientation.

Under HB 4982 which is titled, “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) and Providing Penalties Therefor,” the following discriminatory acts done based on a person’s SOGIE will be penalized:

  • denying access to public services, including military service, and public and private health services
    including SOGIE, as well as disclosure of sexual orientation in the criteria for any human resource movement and action (e.g. hiring, promotion, dismissal, etc.), performance review, and determination of employee compensation;
  • refusing admission and expelling a person from any educational or training institution;
  • imposing disciplinary sanctions or penalties harsher than customary;
  • refusing or revoking the accreditation, recognition, and registration of organizations;
  • denying an application for or revoking a professional or other similar kind of license;
  • denying access to facilities or services;
  • subjecting or forcing any person to undertake any medical or psychological examination to determine or alter, or both, the person’s SOGIE;
  • harassment or coercion committed by members of institutions involved in law enforcement;
  • publishing information intended to reveal the sex or SOGIE of people without their consent;
  • engaging in public speech meant to shame, or which tends to normalize discriminatory practices against LGBTs
  • subjecting people to harassment motivated by the offender’s bias, belief, or perception regarding the offended party’s SOGIE
  • subjecting any person to gender profiling or any investigatory activities;
  • preventing a child under parental authority, custody, or guardianship from expressing one’s SOGIE; and
  • subjecting a person to any other analogous acts that shall have the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the enjoyment, recognition, or exercise one’s rights and freedoms.

Committing any of the said acts will result to a fine of not less than P100,000 but not exceeding P500,000, or imprisonment of not less than one (1) year but not more than six (6) years or both, depending on the decision of the court.