We have to do another one of these so soon, huh?
Now that the American election results are pretty much over and done with, we can turn our gaze inward instead and look at a piece of legislation that seems to have certain people up in arms.
Yes, it’s the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Bill. And a lot of its detractors have been peddling misinformation about it that needs to be addressed right now.
8. “Why do the LGBTQI+ get special laws?”
This is an argument that makes no sense, because all the bill does is protect people by saying they need to be treated equally regardless of their SOGIE. A lot of the reactions to these laws are from people who didn’t even read the bill, let alone decipher what the bill’s acronym even means.
This is not a special law for certain people. It’s a law to protect all of us — it’s just that historically, nobody has ever been discriminated against for being straight.
7. “This will legalize gay marriage!”
Where in the law does it say that? This is such a slippery slope argument that it’s bordering on laughable.
Also, this argument presumes marriage equality is a bad thing. Considering America hasn’t exactly exploded into a den of immorality and depravity the likes we haven’t seen since Sodom and Gomorrah, it’s safe to say that letting two consenting adults get married even if they happen to have the same genitals is not a bad thing at all.
6. “It violates my freedom of religion!”
How? If you’re a Catholic, you’d still be a Catholic after this bill is passed. It will not force churches to change their practices so long as they are not discriminatory in nature. If they are discriminatory in nature, then the bill is correcting a problem in the first place.
5. “It violates my right to free speech?”
When people argue this, what they’re really saying is that they want to be an asshole to LGBTQI+ people and not suffer the consequences for it. But why? Why is there a desire to keep treating LGBTQI+ people as “others” and “different” from us, when the reality is, they’re just people, too?
In the end, even with this law in play, people can still make all the veiled and bigoted jabs they want to take. What they can’t do, though, is deny people opportunities (such as work or education) because of that bigotry. As it should be.
4. “Homosexuality is a sin!”
Assuming but not conceding this, not every single sin is a violation of the law. Morality and legality are not interchangeable things.
Also, let’s be real here. Is homosexuality the worst possible sin any person can think of? If it’s not, then why all this preoccupation with it while these same moral crusaders are suddenly quiet when worse things happen, like, say, murder and rape? Weren’t a good chunk of these people the same people who deadnamed Jennifer Laude and blamed the victim for her own death? Is that the paragon of morality we’re supposed to take after?
3. “My gay friends don’t support this, either.”
First, it’s cool you have gay friends. Second, your gay friends are not part of a monolith. They are allowed to speak for themselves without representing the entirety of the LGBTQI+ banner. Thirdly, there are a lot of misogynistic women out there, too, and even homophobic closeted gays, so this does not prove anything at all.
2. “Have you even read the law?”
We have. Have you? Because if you have, you’d realize that while it’s not a big deal to you, it’s a big deal to the people who have been discriminated against and othered for so long. The same people who were told they can only be comedians or hairdressers. The same people who have had to put up with stereotypes. The bi’s who have had their identity erased. The trans women who are called “deceptive” for wanting to hew closer to who they know themselves to truly be. These people need this, even if we straight, cis-gendered people don’t.
1. “This law is redundant and just a waste of time.”
After all these arguments being debunked, this one is the most disingenuous of them all. A lot of us, for one, would never be affected by a law against catcalling. Most of us don’t catcall, and we don’t really get catcalled, either. But we know that when women had this law on their side, the backlash was there precisely because it meant certain people have to come to terms with the fact that what they do is wrong, and now the law reflects it.
Discriminating against people, denying them opportunities, education, or a livelihood solely because of their SOGIE is also terrible. We straight people may never experience this, but others do. Heck, even women, who are considered liabilities if they become pregnant, are discriminated against for this very reason! SOGIE protects that, too.
The fact is, everyone benefits from having a society that protects people’s SOGIE because it is integral to who we all are. To deny people the right to be who they are (when really, who they are is not hurting anybody) is a grave injustice that needs to be corrected.
What do you think of the SOGIE Bill? Sound off in the comments below!