MANILA, Philippines – The country’s first transgender lawmaker is seeking a congressional probe into a Makati bar’s denial entry of gay comedian Jervi Li, more populary known as Kaladkaren Davila, and her friends.
Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman filed House Resolution (HR) No. 2094 on Tuesday, August 28, 3 days after Li and her friends were barred from entering the H&J Sports Bar in Poblacion, Makati on August 25.
Li caught the incident on video and uploaded it on her social media accounts on August 26. The video showed the bouncer answering “bakla (gay)” when asked to specify those who are not allowed to enter the bar.
“The actions taken by the management of the establishment are unjustified which resulted in the public humiliation of Jervi Li and company,” said Roman.
“The malicious refusal of the establishment for Jervi Li and company to enter the premises on the ground of being ‘bakla’ is an affront to all the members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community who are already suffering from discrimination by society,” she added.
She said that while businesses are given the prerogative to manage implement their own policies, these rules should “not contravene the Constitution,” which mandates every Filipino’s right to self-expression.
Roman is one of the principal authors of the Anti Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Discrimination Act, which was approved on 2nd reading in September 2017.
On Tuesday, H&J manager and supervisor for marketing and promotions Henry Strzalkowski said the incident was a “misunderstanding.”
He said the entry ban was supposedly being implemented only for a “small number of ladyboys who were stealing money.”
“That was only temporary. That was just one night. Otherwise, we are an LGBT-friendly bar completely,” he said.
“I feel it was an unfortunate mistake but we’re taking what moves are necessary to fix the confusion it may have caused,” added Strzalkowski.
Read a full copy of HR 2094 below: