Celebrity hairdresser and businessman Ricky Reyes expressed his disagreement on the proposed measure that aims to prevent discrimination against members of the LGBT community, a video of which made rounds online.
Reyes’ unexpected view on equal rights earned mixed reactions amid the proposed law on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression, known as the SOGIE Equality Bill.
The video was posted by several sources on YouTube. One of these was picked up by Facebook page The Scoop, an entertainment blog, and shared on September 9. It was shared by at least 80,000 users on the platform.
SCOOP: Gay Icon na si Ricky Reyes, hindi pabor sa SOGIE Equality Bill, may banat sa mga 'baklang' hindi marunong…
Based on the video clip, Reyes said that men and women should go to the restroom that identified their biological orientation when he was asked if he supports the SOGIE bill.
It could be recalled that the bill became the subject of headlines after a harassment incident involving transwoman Gretchen Diez at a mall in Quezon City.
“Nirerespeto kita bilang tao, nirerespeto kita bilang bading, pero lumugar tayo sa tamang lugar,” Reyes said.
He also did not believe in same-sex marriage and refused to be a representative of the LGBT community for President Rodrigo Duterte.
The former TV host also said that gays should keep the topic of oppression within their circle rather than making a big deal out of it.
“Ang api ng bakla dapat sa ’tin lang ‘yan. ‘Wag nating ipangalandakan sa tao, ba’t kailangan pa sabihin sa madlang people na, ‘Uy intindihin mo nga ako, bakla ako.’ Teka muna,” he said.
His fans, who also disagree with the passage of the SOGIE bill, expressed their agreement with his opinions.
Some people, however, perceived that Reyes appeared too elitist or privileged to empathize with the rest who experience discrimination.
Award-winning writer Jerry Gracio pointed this out on Twitter.
“Kaya gusto niyang “lumugar” ang bakla sa gilid, OK lang may bakla basta’t nasa gilid-gilid. Hindi lahat ng icon ay iconic,” Gracio said.
Nabuhay si Ricky Reyes sa panahong OK lang bugbugin ang bakla, ilublob sa drum ng tubig. Dahil nakaangat siya sa buhay, akala niya, OK na ang mga beks. Kaya gusto niyang "lumugar" ang bakla sa gilid, OK lang may bakla basta't nasa gilid-gilid. Hindi lahat ng icon ay iconic. pic.twitter.com/etoj5we6Wy
— Jerry B. Grácio (@JerryGracio) September 10, 2019
Senate Bill 689 called the “Anti-Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression” will be the longest-running measure to get stuck in Congress since the first version of it was filed in 1993.
Lawmakers were divided on passing the controversial bill, with Senate President Vicente Sotto and Sen. Manny Pacquiao having expressed their position against it.
According to the proposed measure filed by Sen. Francis Pangilinan, incidents of bullying and discrimination are still rampant against the LGBT community, particularly in terms of job acceptance, despite the implementation of local ordinances against such actions.
In Section 4, the purpose of the act is stated:
“This act seeks to protect individuals and communities that experience human rights violations on the basis of SOGIE, including, but not limited to, individuals and communities of diverse sexual orientation or gender identity or expression who are children, young, poor, differently-abled, of different ethnic background or cultural background, and of various religious belief.”
Vice Ganda, another celebrity who is a member of the LGBT community, is among the showbiz personalities who support the bill.
Vice Ganda criticized Sotto’s opinion against the LGBT people’s move to pass the anti-discrimination bill.
“There are people who pretend to be feminists to hide their being misogynists,” he said, apparently referring to Sotto’s previous controveversial comment on women.