Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the Executive Order creating a special committee on LGBTQIA+ affairs

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the Executive Order creating a special committee on LGBTQIA+ affairs

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes Executive Order (EO) No. 51, series of 2023, creating the special committee on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) affairs.

According to the EO, the creation of the Special Committee on LGBTQIA+ aims to strengthen existing mechanisms to address the continued discrimination against the community and provide them an avenue to participate in policy formulation of the government.

Section 11 of Article II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution declares that the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. Pursuant to this article, the issuance of EO 51, s. 2023 signifies a pivotal moment in institutionalising a more progressive policy framework aimed at ensuring the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

This collaborative approach promotes an extensive and unified strategy across various branches of government and other stakeholders, highlighting the importance of LGBTQIA+ rights on the national agenda.

Such institutionalisation is critical for fostering long-term social acceptance, legal protections, and equal opportunities for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions (SOGIE).

The Commission notes President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s effort to implement this EO as it not only sets a clear tone for the country’s prioritisation of LGBTQIA+ rights, but also signals a similar effort among other government agencies to actively implement and support this initiative and ensure a whole-of-government approach.

We hope that this kind of support from the Executive Department shall pave the eventual attainment of equal rights and protection for LGBTQIA+ members through the passage of the pending SOGIE Equality Bill.

As Gender Ombud, the CHR is persistent in its determination to protect the rights of all individuals, regardless of their identity or how they choose to express it.###