3,000 plus Christians of Cagayan de Oro from the Evangelical sector gather last December 16, 2017 at the KioskoKagawas in Dvsoria Park, Cagayan de Oro City to take part in the synchronized national prayer rally for No to SOGIE Bill. SOGIE or Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression that was passed and approved on the 3rd and final reading on the House of Representatives last September 20, 2017, voted by 197 Representatives in the Congress. Church leaders headed by Bishop Bong Udang of the Philippine Council of the Evangelical Churches (PCEC) have expressed their sentiments that the House Bill Number 4982 or an Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) provides Penalties that marginalizes the rights of the majority of Christians on the country,this bill also attacks the moral, social and spiritual conviction of the Christian families. Majority of Filipinos upholds the belief that God the creator created only man and woman; that during creation there was only two specific and distinct gender; male and female. The scriptures are explicit that the LGBTIQ is a lifestyle and not a gender as implied on the bill when accords preferential rights. The bill will water down the meaning and institution of marriage between a man and a woman that have been believed by the Christian communities for many centuries.
The Church leaders in the prayer rally expresses their concern and understands the plight of the LGBTIQ sector in their search for equality and anti-discrimination, but theChurch leaders also wants to express that promoting the SOGIE Bill will marginalize the existing majority of the community by imposing certain laws like same sex marriage and other provisions in the bill.Those convicted as defined in the bill will be fined not less than P100,000 but not more than P500,000, or be imprisoned for less than one year but not more than 6 years or both.
Christmas is just a few days away. It is a celebration of love where Jesus Christ came to humble himself for the salvation of many. The Christian community are praying for the welfare of the LGBTIQ community and at the same time prays that the SOGIE Bill won’t push through. Known Blogger and LGBTIQ advocate Sass RogandoSassot posted on facebookdated December 18, 2017“For pragmatic reasons, I don’t agree with amending the laws on marriage. “ “No forcing of churches and religious groups to change their definition of marriage. Leave the legal definition of traditional marriage alone. Less friction. Let them keep their tradition. Peaceful co-existence with the religious is possible. And this is how we do it: We respect their tradition, and they respect how the State affords legal recognition to the consensual, loving, and committed partnership people forged in their lives. Everybody happy. Love wins.”
(The author is a member of the Rotary Club of West Cagayan de Oro and President of Dire Husi Initiatives, Inc. national winner of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organization. For comments please email at firstname.lastname@example.org)