Solon Abante Files Bill to Protect Heterosexual Rights 

Photo Source: Manila’s 6th District Representative, Bienvenido Abante Jr

MANILA, Philippines — Manila’s 6th District Representative, Bienvenido Abante Jr., has introduced a bill that aims to recognize, define, and protect the rights of heterosexuals. 

The present “legislative rights” safeguarding the LGBTQIA+ group, according to Abante, violate “God’s law and standards, particularly on creation, human dignity and morals.”

He also claimed that heterosexuals “are actual and direct creations of God,” thus they should be “respected and protected. 

In his amendment to House Bill No. 5717, Abante advocated that heterosexuals should be awarded and protected by the following rights:

a. To adhere to, practice, proclaim, promote, propagate, defend and protect their religion and religious beliefs, convictions, and standards without interference and/or abridgment.

b. To practice and enjoy their religious profession and worship without interference or abridgment with the right to exclude there from others of different beliefs or faith.

c. To freely express and communicate with others, privately or publicly, verbally or in writing or through print or broadcast media or through social media platforms that now exist or that may hereafter be developed. 

d. To freely express, exercise, and impose in running or operating their churches, businesses, schools, or workplaces. 

e. To freely express their views, verbally or in writing, privately or publicly, in print or broadcast media, or in social media platforms that now exist or may hereafter be developed about homosexuality, bisexuality, and on transgenders and queers according to their religious beliefs and practices and to biblical principles and standards.

The following acts are declared prohibited and punishable under this act: 

a. Preventing, prohibiting, abridging, or otherwise interfering with the free exercise and enjoyment by heterosexuals of any of their rights.

b. Attempting to prohibit, abridge, or otherwise interfere with the free exercise and enjoyment by heterosexuals of any of their rights. 

c. Threatening, directly or indirectly, in any form, a homosexual for exercising any of his or her rights. 

Abante’s House Bill 5717 imposed heavy fines and jail sentences for lawbreakers. The proposed legislation includes penalties of imprisonment of five to seven years and one day with fines between P100,000 and P200,000 for violations of these provisions.

The bill also implied that “if the offender is a public official, he or she shall, in addition to the foregoing penalties, be dismissed from employment, shall be perpetually disqualified from holding any public office, and all his monetary benefits shall be forfeited in favor of the government.”

Abante also wrote in his bill’s explanation that the LGBTQI+ community “are clamoring for ‘legislated rights’ and ‘state protection’ tailored for their specific kind and class, all in contravention to God’s law of creation and procreation and in utter defiance to His statutes and commandments, and the principles and standards of proper conduct and righteous living that He set for an orderly and morally upright society.”

“In the spirit of justice, equity, and fair play, we must also ‘grant and/or protect’ rights to heterosexuals who are the actual and direct creations of God, as the Bible says.”

Manila’s 6th District Representative, Bienvenido Abante Jr

Representative of the Gabriela Party-list Arlene Brosas was critical of the proposed measure, she cited that “Individuals who identify themselves as heterosexuals already have their rights protected and enshrined under the Philippine Constitution.”

“Moreover, they do not experience discrimination or persecution for their belief, as compared to an overwhelming majority of women and LGBTQIA+ who, for the longest time, are targets of extreme violence and hate crimes.” 

 Gabriela Party-list Representative Arlene Brosas

Meanwhile, the measure has been criticized by an LGBTQIA+ rights organization, which said it would be a “joke of a law.”

It is [Heterosexual Act] a waste of resources, space, and precious time better spent affirmatively addressing actual concerns of Filipinos facing discrimination and violence.”

Reyna Valmores, chairperson of Bahaghari ORG. 

“SOGIESC EQUALITY seeks equality among all Filipinos regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, by uplifting those who are too often discriminated against,” she added. 

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