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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).

“With 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 Ph_5D%[email protected]+%2gl3dF3M8DrJa7EF*@[email protected]_0ilippine Star.

Duette last week met with a transgende[email protected])+YOsPpz9mG=K^DsFFwbF7fmh(*7*ZuUr 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 over the soLYh^*lQ0%%(nJh0iVXxuHA6vfjIgY*jIqI7iBWw7N^HA^b!KKU-called SOGIE Bill.

The bill has become one of the slowest-[email protected])YgH=lcU65UI6#Xrp(7Fe^lNhF^DY=8aps#([email protected]moving bills in the country’s history.

Senator Risa Hontiveros filed the bill in 2016. au+caL$s(jlOY7(gfWLs^(Ze#g&bwGonA&=_HS_Fe6%yN8i2uuAnd, lawmakers and rights activist originally drafted the law nearly 20 years ago.

The House of Representatives passed the bill in 2017 with unanimous support from 198 laErEr2tue4mBzQ5S9b&YPr=xs#VWsTfZWr!FAPjTr2OvCs#7-(Nwmakers.

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 anti-LGBTI boxeTE^T#=vsVeR&VM3L0yDAHG+vRdSTJZBL#$H0&sCg&!x1eJgwdbr Manny Pacquiao, have stalled it in the Senate.

It once again floundered in the last session of CongfRSIgwQSV(ZnAghxZUPh3N8ggS6Tih2r!9hydvUQv)9Mk4SM_Kress in June.

B!!sR2ZO96X9(UZP)Z9ab#ceJh+p*+D#ey9kOPIaZgIT!mnnhAVut Hontiveros last month re-filed the 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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