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The office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said it was up to the nation’s Congress to decide on a long-awaited bill that would criminalize discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity expression (SOGIE).

“WiuJjkBTg^$2)7zMc7=bBKCFXHN*pm=ajFM+U%[email protected]_Zqth respect to any bill, the discretion the wisdom will always lie on the lawmakers,” the president’s office spokesperson Salvador Panelo said yesterday, according to the Philippine Star.

Duette last week met with a transgen0z3&Ea28yvRn&lz6f+Dvs3JHllO0#4RefgDFGd*dB0MYx3$oMMder woman Gretchen Diez and other LGBT rights advocates.

An incident at a Quezon City mall in which a janitor forbid Diez from using a woman’s bathroom reignited debate oveWNQb#y$wKls=JdBISvo8$cDWr^[email protected]r the so-called SOGIE Bill.

The bill has#9q7ao*0ts_#[email protected]&d+xR* become one of the slowest-moving bills in the country’s history.

Senator Risa Hontiveros filed the bill in 2016. And, lawmakers and rights activist originally drafted the law65([email protected]%y+biXx36iVKOZ+yb nearly 20 years ago.

The House of RepreseP6rxeKkZ_Ll*v($RM#wxnKfO$X*as+TTwoHNYCwq3s9wYj7LmWntatives passed the bill in 2017 with unanimous support from 198 lawmakers.

This version penalizes discriminatory acts with a fine between US$2,000 and or US$10,000 imprisonment between one and six years.

But, conservative lawmakers, including[email protected]*u^)%=IFmhnH&3(3LsdpGqfW4$bpdVUMz^M- anti-LGBTI boxer Manny Pacquiao, have stalled it in the Senate.

It once again floundered in the last session of Congress in JuuI!Q$pm2zY8uzP*pFzpC6VoOLXF^YdzB!Pre%W(zTfnocfnrnqne.

But Hontiveros last month re-filed they=O#DiQAA^91x-Y^eU0g*hB8+_woqya-Yd$Nynf26%M2p=h4pI SOGIE Equality Bill.

Drinking Buddies invites LGBTQ members of different sexes and gender identities as well as LGBT allies to play "answer the question or take a shot of vodka." The show aims to showcase the true definition of love and the diverse relationships among the rainbow families. Love will not change simply because of one's sexual orientation or gender identity.

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