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Council wants PWD restrooms gender-neutral

Council wants PWD restrooms gender-neutral

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) – August 21, 2019 – 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council has enjoined all establishments in the city to designate gender-neutral restrooms to prevent similar incident where a transgender woman was arrested for using a female bathroom in Quezon City.

In a resolution the City Council approved, Councilor Alvin Dizon requested the malls, supermarkets, movie houses, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and other commercial establishments to designate the PWD restrooms as gender-neutral that can be used by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“In the light of the unfortunate incident that recently happened which involved a transwoman who was discriminated at a mall in Cubao, Quezon City, for using a female bathroom which was covered on national TV and caught the attention of many particularly the LGBTQ+ community and advocates, it is imperative to orient/re-orient our establishments on the fundamentality of respect and non-discrimination within their business premises especially towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in our community,” reads a portion of the resolution.

To recall, a certain Gretchen Custodio Diez, 28, was arrested and detained at a police station after she entered the women’s restroom at a mall in Quezon City.

Dizon cited as basis of his resolution the City Ordinance No. 2339 otherwise known as “An Ordinance Prohibiting Discrimination in the City of Cebu on the Basis of Disability, Age, health status, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Ethnicity, and Religion.”

Dizon said this ordinance, which he also authored in 2012, implements the declared policy that the state recognizes the fundamental right of every person regardless of sex, age, disability, class, status, color and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression to be free from any form of discrimination.

Section 4 of City Ordinance 2339 prohibits discrimination of any group or persons regardless of their disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, among others.

In yesterday’s session, Vice Mayor Michael Rama asked Dizon what will happen if the establishments refused to heed the request of the city government. Dizon said the Council is just making an appeal to establishment owners to heed the request.—  FPL (FREEMAN)


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