MANILA, Philippines – In a historic first for Asia, Taiwan’s parliament legalized same-sex marriage on Friday, May 17. Should predominantly Catholic Philippines follow suit?
Maybe, but that’s wishful thinking.
The fight for same-sex marriage in the Philippines goes beyond what is morally accepted or not. It’s about the equal protection of the law.
For so long, the Philippine LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) community has lobbied for the enactment of an anti-discrimination law and not a law on same-sex marriage. Last year, the issue was brought before the Supreme Court. (READ: Your guide to the Supreme Court oral arguments on same-sex marriage)
For Jhio Aranzaso and Jake Buenvenida, the issue on same-sex marriage is not about religion. Aranzaso appealed to the public to not take away from them the right that heterosexual couples enjoy.
The same sentiment was shared by Tes Fajardo Baldridge saying, everyone has the right to be happy and be with someone they love.
Meanwhile, Anthony Nachor, asked: “If a person has identified him or herself as gay, lesbian, trans, queer, etc, why would you infringe their right to choose a suitable partner for themselves and start their own families?”
Nachor added that it’s about time for the Philippines to move forward and stop stigmatizing the members of LGBTQI community by allowing them to choose someone they like to marry.
Not ‘marriage’ but ‘union’
But it seemed that the idea of same-sex marriage did not sit well for others. For some, civil union is okay, but same-sex marriage is not.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that he supported same-sex civil unions, but not same-sex marriages. (READ: Duterte supports same-sex civil union, says Malacañang)
Calling it “union” instead of “marriage” seems to be a popular compromise among groups within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI). It would grant them the same civil rights, but it would reduce the opposition of conservatives who don’t want to call it a marriage. (READ: Justice Carpio: Same-sex civil union is constitutional)
Not at all
Meanwhile, others expressed strong condemnation on the idea of same-sex marriage by citing verses from the Bible.
But for Rae Jann, who said he was a member of the LGBTQI community, asking for same-sex marriage is too much. Jann said that he was only asking for acceptance and not being tolerated.
Here’s what others had to say about the issue:
With the new composition of the Senate, is there hope for the LGBTQI community to win this battle for equal rights? – Rappler.com