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Equality for all: Isko Moreno bans discrimination vs LGBTs

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Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has signed an ordinance penalizing any person who discriminates based on a person’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE).

Moreno said Ordinance No. 8695 is the fulfillment of his campaign promise that “every Manileno will be treated equally, regardless of gender and staus in life.”

“Hindi pwedeng umubra ang diskirminasyon dahil sa status sa lipunan – ang mahirap, ang middle class, ang mayaman, ang bakla, tomboy, babae lalaki,” he said.

Under the ordinance, it is prohibited to deny employees access to opportunities for promotion, transfer, training, schooling or any other benefit which are otherwise granted to other employees similarly situated on the basis of actual or perceived SOGIE.

It is also prohibited to deny students admission and or to expel, dismiss or prevent them from graduating due to their actual or perceived SOGIE.

The ordinance also prohibits subjecting persons to physical or verbal harassment, profiling, unjust detention and involuntary confinement because of one’s actual or perceived SOGIE.

The city’s anti-discrimination ordinance also mandates establishments operating in Manila to create their gender-neutral toilets come 2023.

Any person who will be found violating the ordinance may face the following penalties: A fine of not less than P1,000 or imprisonment of six months or both at the discretion of the court for the first offense, a fine of not less than P2,000 or imprisonment of six months and one day to eight months or both at the discretion of the court for the second offense, and a fine of not less than P3,000 or imprisonment of eight months and one day to one year or both at the discretion of the court for the third offense.

Subsequent violations shall be punished by a penalty of one year imprisonment and fine of not less than P5,000. Complaints may be filed before barangays as they are mandated to establish their respective LGBTQI Complaint Desks.