The camp of Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr., who represents Manila’s 6th district, has downplayed the filing of its own resolution, which sought to identify and protect the rights of heterosexuals.
Abante’s office stated, “While we welcome interest in HB [House Bill] 5717, it is our hope that attention to the other priority measures and advocacies of Rep. Abante is also given, especially those that will have a tremendous impact on the lives of the Filipino people.”
They were referring to House Bill No. 5717, also known as the Act Recognizing, Defining, and Protecting Heterosexual Rights and for Other Purposes.
It wasn’t until Wednesday morning that copies of the law started to appear online. This is despite the fact that it had been electronically submitted by Abante’s office on October 26 last year. In it, a heterosexual is defined as “a person sexually attracted or whose sexual attraction, behavior or desire is directed at a person of the opposite sex”.
The five-page bill written by Abante, a pastor, contains remarks derogatory toward members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning/intersex (LGBTQI) community.
According to the Abante bill, the LGBTQI community has been “clamoring for ‘legislated rights’ and state protection’ tailored for their specific kind and class, all in defiance of God’s law of creation and procreation, as well as the principles and standards of proper conduct and righteous living that He established for an orderly and morally upright society.”
In the statement, it furthered, “If therefore, we seek to ‘grant’ and/ or ‘protect’ rights to homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers, 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.”
LGBTQIA and its supporters in the Philippines rejected Abante’s bill.
Heterosexuals in the Philippines are so NOT tolerated that Representative Bienvenido Abante filed a bill to protect their rights. 🤣🤣🤣
— For the Motherland (@srsasot_) November 9, 2022
LGBTQIA+ community: *living life and minding their own business*
Bienvenido Abante Jr: ouch
— P20 Andrew Garfield (@bryceycabs) November 10, 2022
True indeed. The way Congressman Abante said it seems to picture the community as a vermin of this planet, a view that is so outdated that even Pope Francis does not even support it. Pass the SOGIE Bill now!
— 🌱 David D'Angelo 🌱 KALIKASAN MUNA NGAYON NA! (@daviddangeloph) November 9, 2022
Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas expressed, “…heterosexuals 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.”
Those found guilty of violating the rights of heterosexuals under the provisions of House Bill No. 5717 face a prison sentence ranging from five to seven years in addition to a fine ranging from one hundred thousand to two hundred thousand pesos.
Abante is now the Chairperson of the House Human Rights Committee. He was a deputy speaker in the recently concluded 18th Congress.