Dr. Ryan Borja Capitulo

A member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has come out in strong opposition to an anti-discrimination bill being pushed in Congress, saying there were enough laws to protect LGBT members.

Dr. Ryan Borja Capitulo’s Facebook post titled “An LGBT who is Anti- ‘Anti-SOGIE Discrimination Bills’ has gone viral for going against the vocal LGBT support for the proposed measure being championed by legislators such as Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the country’s first transgender lawmaker.

Capitulo, 46, an obstetrician and gynecologist, professor, and pro-life activist, gave three reasons for opposing the “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE)” bill.

First, he wrote, “There is no need to pass these proposed bills given that there are already many existing laws that safeguard the rights of every citizen against discrimination.”

These are: (1) The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, (2) Presidential Decree No. 442 “Labor Code of the Philippines,” (3) Republic Act No. 386 “Civil Code of the Philippines,” (4) Republic Act No. 3019 “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” (5) Republic Act No. 6713 “Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,” (6) Republic Act No. 3815 “The Revised Penal Code of the Philippines,” (7) Republic Act No. 7877 “Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995,” and the (8) Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“There are victims of discrimination for being ilocano or Kapampangan or Bisaya, but do we need an Anti-Ilokano or Anti-Kapampangan or Anti-Bisaya Discrimination Act? There are victims of discrimination because of their height, but do we need an Anti-Short Stature Discrimination Act? There are victims of discrimination because they are fat, but do we need an Anti-Obese Discrimination Act?” Capitulo said.

‘PH society innately tolerant’

Second, Capitulo said, Filipino society is accepting of LGBT members.

“Our society is innately tolerant of LGBTs. Proof of this would be the many Filipino LGBTs who are very successful in their respective fields: business, trade, media, education, fashion, healthcare, law, I.T., science and technology, arts, show business and even politics. The election of the honorable representative of the first district of Bataan, Rep. Geraldine B. Roman, is yet another validation,” he said.

“The Philippines has also consistently been recognized as one of the gay-friendly countries in the world and one of the gay-friendliest in Asia. In many households and families all over the country, LGBTs are accepted and loved, with many serving as primary breadwinners and caregivers,” he added.

‘Freedom to live our faith’

Third, Capitulo warned that the a SOGIE law could be “used as instruments to stifle or violate our freedom of religion and freedom to live out our faith.”

He drew several scenarios that could result in court cases against religious institutions.

“What will happen to a seminary or convent that will uphold Church laws by refusing admission to a transgender who wants to study and become a priest or nun? What will happen to parishes and Catholic universities that will not allow or recognize LGBT organizations in keeping with their mandate to abide by Church doctrines?”

“What will happen to ‘all boys’ or ‘all girls’ Catholic schools that will not accept transgender children as students because this would go against the catechism they teach? What will happen to Catholic and Christian offices or companies like bookstores, travel agencies, radio stations, television networks or religious organizations that will not hire LGBT employees because it violates their faith-based beliefs?”

“What will happen to a Muslim school (madrasah) that pledges obedience to the Quran and hadith and will not enroll transgender students who desire to be an imam? What will happen to a Jewish school that will not accept LGBT students applying to be a rabbi since Orthodox Judaism prohibits it? What will happen to churches of other denominations that will not employ LGBTs as pastors in compliance with their biblical beliefs?”

He pointed out that in all of these scenarios, legal action could be taken against churches, mosques, temples, religious communities and faith-based organizations, resulting in fines of up to P500,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 years.

“Proponents of the bill have always asserted that ensuring non-discrimination for LGBTs on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity will not diminish or encroach on the rights of others. But the penal provisions of the proposed law say otherwise,” Capitulo said.

“Surely, we cannot expect the followers of the great religious traditions of the world to change their doctrines to accommodate a law that will violate their fundamental right to freely practice the very religion that they uphold. Forcing organized religion to set aside or modify its tenets is as absurd as forcing LGBTs to change their sexual orientation and gender identity,” he said. (PressONE.ph)