Trans actress Mela Franco Habijan invites Eddie Villanueva to debate on SOGIE Equality Bill
Transgender actress Mela Franco Habijan has invited televangelist Rep. Eddie Villanueva to a “dignified debate” following the latter’s controversial remarks on the SOGIE Equality Bill.
Habijan, the first-ever Miss Trans Global titleholder and an LGBTQIA+ advocate, said in an open letter to Villanueva that she was “appalled” by his “faith-based arguments and thoughts” during the Congress’ online hearing on the said bill yesterday, Nov. 4.
Villanueva, founder of the Jesus is Lord Church, claimed that the bill is discriminatory against straight people. The anti-discrimination bill or ADB is the previous name of the said bill.
“[In] the spirit of democracy and open discourse, I am reaching out to you to invite you in a dignified debate, an open-minded exchange of views and principles,” Habijan said in the letter.
“I desire to challenge your Bible-based arguments with progressive perspectives rooted in diversity and inclusion, that hopefully could enlighten you about the plight of every Filipino LGBTQIA+. In the same manner, I am open to hearing your counter-arguments as well,” she added.
Habihjan also stressed that while she is not a lawmaker, she is “a Filipino citizen desiring to uphold the humanity my beloved LGBTQIA+ community, who has been belittled, oppressed, scared, and silenced.”
Through the tweet’s caption, Habijan said that “it’s about time for us to elevate the discourse on humanity, dignity, faith, and love.”
“Nawa’y maging bukas siya sa paaanyayang ito,” she added. (I hope that he will be open to this invitation.)
I wrote this letter of invitation to Bro. Eddie Villanueva to engage in a dignified debate. I believe it’s about time for us to elevate the discourse on humanity, dignity, faith, and love.
Nawa’y maging bukas siya sa paanyayang ito. pic.twitter.com/n87mgm9UNu
— Mela Franco Habijan (@missmelahabijan) November 5, 2020
Amid the hearing yesterday, several stars and creators of Filipino Boys’ Love and Girls’ Love series rallied online to support the SOGIE Equality Bill.
Following yesterday’s hearing, the Committee on Women and Gender Equality approved to adopt the version of the measure from the 17th Congress as its working draft in the discussions of the current 18th Congress. JB