The Quezon City Council on Monday approved a city ordinance banning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals.
Ging Cristobal, project coordinator for the Asia Pacific region of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and vice chairperson of the Quezon City Pride Council, likened the city council’s decision to an “early gift” preceding the group’s QC pride march in December.
“This is very special and better than other ordinances, kasi di lang pine-penalize yung actions, but there is also affirmative action. Maagang regalo ito ahead of the QC pride march in December,” Cristobal said
Cristobal told GMA News Online that the ordinance – which was authored primarily by First District Councilor Mayen Juicoo –received unanimous votes for from more than 30 city councilors in attendance at the 8-hour deliberation session.
The IGLHRC is one of the staunchest supporters of the ordinance, which expands a 2003 resolution on the rights of homosexuals. The original enactment was limited to discrimination in employment opportunities only; the new ordinance, on the other hand, includes sections that prohibit discrimination in terms of employment, education, delivery of goods or services, insurance and access to accommodations.
The new ordinance likewise seeks to educate the work force, employers, industry leaders, and the general public about the rights of the LGBT community.
“Sa employment, ang gusto nila, ma-inform ang employees na merong karapatan ang LGBT persons. In fact, isa sa pinakamaganda dito, yung dapat yung mga establishments, ay magkaroon ng rest room for transpeople,” Cristobal said.
Cristobal also noted that although the ordinance was authored specifically with the rights of the LGBT community in mind, it is beneficial to the entire community, as well.
“Ang maganda dito is the inclusion of gender expression, and this can apply to any person, even heterosexuals, pwede nila magamit itong ordinansa. Halimbawa yung isang babae na medyo masculine ang presentation niya, nadidiscriminate din sila [whether or not they identify as part of the LGBT community.] Kasi sabi daw pang LGBT lang, sabi namin hindi, pasok din ang heterosexual, ang lahat ng tao,” she explained.