[OPINION] Anti-SOGIE Advocates Should Stop Fear-Mongering

Posted by Javan Poblador | Posted on December 1, 2020

Anti-SOGIE Advocates Should Stop Fear-Mongering

by Joshua Villalobos
Bacolod City

 

This is one of the first articles I would write in response to absurd arguments and lies against the SOGIE Equality Law. Fortunately, we don’t have a class in PE so I had the time to construct a response to lies. We cannot allow our spaces for public discussion to be filled with lies and disinformation.

Sadly, advocates against the passage of the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression (SOGIE) Bill or often referred to as the Anti-Discrimination Bill has resorted to lying and fear-mongering. Their basis? Assumptions and imagination.

Most of them are using the Sodom and Gomorrah argument, which I would not waste time to debunk because obviously, we are not sharing the same perspective on that.

One of their distinguishable leaders, Atty. Lyndon Caña of Coalition of Concerned Families, has raised the classic example of fear-mongering related to the issue. He claimed that sexual abusers would have easier access to restrooms of the opposite sex.

He has an unfounded fear that men will pretend as women to enter women’s restrooms and prey on them. Atty. Caña has been making up situations in his head so he can make himself, and other people, afraid of the bill.

…fears over incidents like these are not empirically grounded, hence, a mere product of imagination. A myth. Fictional.

His statements are contrary to what studies say.

A 2018 study by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law(among the best law school in the US) provides evidence that “fears of increased safety and privacy violations as a result of nondiscrimination laws are not empirically grounded.”

The study has rigorous analyses comparing states with and without anti-discrimination laws. They also have checked public records of criminal incident reports related to sexual assaults, crimes, and voyeurism in public restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms. They found that the passage of nondiscrimination laws is not related to the number of incidents in these public spaces.

Moreover, researchers Flores et al, find that violations of the abovementioned cases are “exceedingly rare.”

As the research itself suggests, fears over incidents like these are not empirically grounded, hence, a mere product of imagination. A myth. Fictional.

Almost 40 national and more than 200 local organizations working to eliminate violence against women in the US have signed a national consensus statement to support nondiscrimination laws that would allow the transgender community to access this daily need. 

These initiatives utilize and perpetuate the myth that protecting transgender people’s access to restrooms and locker rooms endangers the safety or privacy of others,” the statement said.

The notorious claim that men will pretend to be women so they can sexually assault women in restrooms is unfounded. Key law enforcers, school officials, and anti-violence against women groups in various US states say “We have not seen that.”

Evidence after evidence would suggest that the public fear being caused by fictional scenarios are not supported with verifiable empirical proofs. However, this sea of evidence would also suggest that the opposition has been spreading an urban myth the whole time. Unfortunately, they were even allowed to broadcast this myth in national and local newspapers because some news sites are giving them platforms without checking if there is any truth to their claims.

The irony of Atty Caña is also painfully obvious. During congressional hearings, he repeatedly dismisses the SOGIE Bill as a bill based on feelings, when in fact it is his arguments that are founded on paranoia and pure imagination throughout their campaign.

They said they want to pursue a democratic solution because they argue that this proposed legislation is violating key provisions of the constitution. However, they have not proven any of their claims with facts and empirical data. Instead of helping to push for equality and protecting people against discrimination, they are instead protecting their own centuries-old beliefs, their homophobia, and their transphobia.

When people do not have any convincing arguments left, they resort to lying and fear-mongering. This is how we know they are losing.

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