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SOGIE bill passing in Senate? 'No chance,' says Sotto

Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III on Wednesday said there is "no chance" that the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality bill will pass in the Senate.

In a message to reporters, Sotto said the chamber could pass an anti-discrimination bill but not one that is focused on members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

"Anti-discrimination on persons pwede. Pero focused on gays, which the SOGIE bill is, and religious and academic freedom impeded plus smuggling of same sex marriage? No chance!" he said.

In a privilege speech last week, Senator Risa Hontiveros urged her colleagues to immediately pass the SOGIE bill, following the incident where a transgender woman, Gretchen Diez, was prevented from using a female comfort room in a mall in Quezon City.

Hontiveros said the experience of Diez underscored the grave and urgent need for a SOGIE bill.

Three senators — Leila de Lima, Bong Go and Imee Marcos — have expressed support for the bill. —KBK, GMA News