Aquino on gay marriage: Is it good for their children?

Natashya Gutierrez

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President Benigno Aquino III asks whether being raised by same-sex couples is a 'desirable environment' for a child

UNDECIDED. President Benigno Aquino III says he is unsure about how children will be affected by gay marriages, thus undecided on his stance. Malacanang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has yet to make up his mind on gay marriage, mainly because he said he is not sure if it will be good for children to have same-sex parents.

In a media forum on Tuesday, December 2, Aquino initially hesitated to answer the question, saying he had made enemies when he first shared his thoughts on the issue, but eventually conceded.

“One side of me says human rights are supposed to be universal. On the other hand, if we go into gay marriages, then of course the next step will be adoption and I don’t know if… I still have to look at it from the child’s perspective,” he said. “Is that something that is desirable in an environment for a child?”

Aquino also questioned whether it would affect the children in “understanding the world” or if it would “induce more confusion.”

His stance is the same as his original opinion from two years ago.

At the Asia Society Forum in New York in September 2011, Aquino first shared his thoughts on the issue just two months after New York legalized same-sex marriages.

Back then, Agence-France Presse quoted Aquino as saying “adults should be able to do whatever you want as long as you don’t harm anybody else.”

He then shared his reservations about gay couples adopting. “But if the next step happens to be, we want the right to adopt, then I would be in a dilemma,” he said. “My priority would be looking after the child, who has a very tender and impressionable mind.”

In the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, no bill on same-sex marriage has yet been filed in Congress, although Gabriela Women’s Party said it plans to in the future. Partylist Rep Luz Ilagan earlier slammed Aquino in 2011 when he first made public his stand on the matter.

In a statement, Ilagan accused Aquino of being “two-faced, saying he is pro-people, but bows to the pressure of the conservative Catholic Church.”

The Catholic Church staunchly opposes same-sex marriages. –

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.