FALSE: Robredo 'suggests' gender not be identified in birth certificates till age 10
Claim: Based on the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGIE) bill, Vice President Leni Robredo supposedly said that the sex of newborns should not be indicated in birth certificates until a child reaches the age of 10.
Facebook page Minandaya Vines posted on August 27 a photo grid of Robredo, trans woman Gretchen Diez, and Ganda Pilipinas president Naomi Fontanos.
Its caption says the “satanic” SOGIE bill is supposedly aimed at establishing 4 genders in the country.
The post claimed:
“BREAKING NEWS: Nanawagan ang bise nyo na si Robredo na ipasa na ang batas ni Satanas para maging apat na ang gender sa Pilipinas. ‘Wag daw munang lagyan ng male o female ang birth certificate pag may ipinapanganak, hintayin daw 10 yrs baka kumembot yung male saka ilagay ang gay.”
(BREAKING NEWS: Vice President Robredo is calling for the passage of Satan’s law to create 4 genders in the Philippines. Withhold indicating in birth certificates whether the newborn is male or female until he or she turns 10 years old. By then, if the hips sway, the newborn male would be gay.)
The claim was flagged through Facebook group Fact-checking in the Philippines for verification. The post has been shared 14,000 times with over 12,000 reactions and 5,000 comments, as of writing.
The facts: In a text message to Rappler, Robredo's spokesperson Barry Gutierrez denied that the Vice President made the statement. The proposed SOGIE bill contains no clause about indicating the gender of a newborn in birth certificates, too. (READ: TIMELINE: SOGIE equality in the Philippines)
“She recently called for a more truthful debate on the measure, precisely to avoid wild claims about the supposed effect of the bill if enacted into law,” Gutierrez said.
Robredo and Gutierrez, who were once members of Congress, were among those who co-authored a House bill similar to the SOGIE bill filed in the 16th Congress.
Robredo renewed her call to pass the SOGIE bill after a trans woman was refused use of a public restroom of her choice. (READ: Gretchen Diez comes out)
Gutierrez also responded to the claim that the bill proposed to add more genders. “The characterization of the bill as establishing four genders, and having implications on birth certificates is false,” he said.
The part of the claim asserting that the sex of newborns should not be assigned in birth certificates was also from a different conversation. It was from a discussion between Senator Nancy Binay and Ganda Pilipinas president Naomi Fontanos during a Senate hearing on the anti-discrimination bill on August 19.
Based on a transcript of an ABS-CBN video clip, Fontanos said, "In our case as trans people, as a trans woman, I was assigned male at birth. It was incorrect, it was just a guess and it was a wrong guess. Sex assignment is predictive, it is not final."
Binay eventually asked Fontanos about sex assignment of newborn babies following the discussion on differences of gender identity, sex characteristics, and sexual orientation.
“So i-impart ba ng proposal n'yo na eventually, kunwari sa birth certificate, aalisin na ‘yung part ng sex or sex up to a certain age?" she asked.
The LGBT advocate cited the practices in countries like Australia where birth certificates have a gender-neutral option aside from binary categories of sex that parents can choose from. (READ: EXPLAINER: What you need to know about SOGIE) – Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com
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