MANILA, Philippines – Only two in 10 Filipinos favor the proposal to legalize same-sex unions in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, according to a Social Weathers Stations (SWS) survey held in March but released only on Saturday, June 30.
The survey held from March 23 to 27 showed that 61% of Fiipinos disagree with the proposed bill to legalize same-sex marriage, 22% agree with it, and 16% are undecided.
SWS said in a statement that 1,200 respondents – equally divided among men and women – were asked how much they agree with the statement, “Dapat magkaroon ng batas na magpapahintulot ng legal na pagsasama bilang mag-asawa ng dalawang lalaki o kaya’y dalawang babae (There should be a law that will allow the civil union of two men or two women).”
The nationwide net agreement score is -40, which SWS classified as “very weak.” This indicates that while the Philippines is seen as “gay-friendly,” majority of Filipinos are not ready for same-sex civil unions.
SWS said that based on areas, opposition to the same-sex civil unions was strongest in the Visayas which had a net agreement score of a very weak ‑45 (21% agree, 66% disagree).
Balance Luzon came in next with a very weak -42 (20% agree, 63% disagree), Mindanao at a very weak -38 (21% agree, 58% disagree), followed by Metro Manila at a moderately weak -27 (29% agree, 56% disagree).
The pollster also said that by religion, opposition was strongest among Iglesia ni Cristo members at an extremely weak -64 (11% agree, 74% disagree).
Members of other Christian denominations were also strongly opposed to same-sex marriage, with an extremely weak -55 net agreement rating (15% agree, 70% disagree), followed by Muslims at a very weak -48 (12% agree, 60% disagree), and Roman Catholics at a very weak -36 (24% agree, 60% disagree).
“Opposition to the civil union of a same-sex couple was strongest among single men who are widowed/separated/divorced, with an extremely weak net agreement score of -70 (7% agree, 77% disagree),” SWS added.
The SWS terminology for net agreement is as follows: +50 and above, “extremely strong”; +30 to +49, “very strong”; +10 to +29, “moderately strong”; +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “moderately weak”; -30 to -49, “very weak”; -50 and below, “extremely weak.
The survey has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. SWS said its survey question was non-commissioned and “was included on SWS’ own initiative and released as a public service.”
Weeks before the survey was conducted, the Supreme Court announced the date of the oral arguments on the petition to allow same-sex marriage in the country. The survey results were released days after the High Court ended the oral arguments.
The proposed measure is at the committee level in the House of Representatives, where it counts Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez among its supporters.
President Rodrigo Duterte has also expressed support for the measure. – Rappler.com
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