Gretchen Diez urges Duterte: Certify SOGIE equality bill as urgent

MANILA, Philippines – Transgender woman Gretchen Diez called President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, August 16 to certify as urgent the SOGIE equality bill.

Mister President, naumpisahan na natin. Sana ipagpatuloy na natin ang pagpapasa sa SOGIE equality bill (Mister President, we already started it. I hope we follow through with the passage of the SOGIE equality bill),” Diez said in a press briefing at the Quezon City Hall.

Diez caught the nation’s attention after a janitress kept her from entering a women’s toilet at the Araneta Center Cubao mall. She tried to document the incident, angering the janitress who had her arrested.

While she was being held inside the mall, Diez went live on Facebook, triggering a social media firestorm. Public outcry eventually pushed the janitress to drop the case against Diez. 

Diez made the call to Duterte as the SOGIE equality bill, which protects the LGBTQ+ community, languished in the past Congress.

After what happened to Diez, LGBTQ+ rights-advocates in Congress such as Bataan congresswoman Geraldine Roman and Senator Risa Hontiveros saw a “new wind” pushing the movement forward.

Malacañang had stressed the importance of respecting LGBTQ+ rights  in light of the incident, and reiterated Duterte's support for the community. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.