Duterte creates inter-agency committee for LGBTQ interests

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    MALACAÑANG lawyers have drafted an executive order creating an inter-agency committee on diversity and inclusion that will oversee the welfare and promote the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in the country.

    President Duterte made the announcement on Tuesday night during a thanksgiving dinner that he hosted for members of the LGBTQ community and the oath-taking ceremony of officers of the LGBT Pilipinas Inc. that was held in Malacañang.

    Sen. Christopher Go accompanied the Duterte during the LGBT reception.

    No copy of the executive order was available at the moment.

    Go said the President shared with the group that he recently signed the executive order aiming to institutionalize the Diversity and Inclusion Program by creating an Inter-Agency Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

    “During his message, the President expressed his support for the community, saying that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or preference, has the right to be recognized by society. He also emphasized that the dignity of all human beings must be protected,” Go said.

    Duterte in August this year announced his plans to create a commission that will hear and address the concerns and grievances of the LGBT community, as well as organize a national convention to help draw up policy proposals to promote and protect the community’s welfare.

    Duterte made the promise when he received in Malacañang Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman and some members of the LGBTQ community, including Gretchen Diez who was previously arrested after an altercation with a mall employee who prevented her from using a restroom for female customers.

    The President had also vowed then to work with Congress to push for the passage of the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression) Equality Bill which aims to protect the rights of individuals against discrimination.