Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to file bill legalizing same-sex marriage in PH

Could this be the year that same-sex unions become legal in the Philippines?

On Mon, Oct 2, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez — who is identified as an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte — revealed that he is filing a bill to legalize same-sex marriages in the Philippines.

ABS-CBN News quoted Alvarez as saying, “Dumadami na yung population ng LGBT. Gusto ko lang ipadala ang mensahe na iginagalang natin ang karapatan na.”

(“The LGBT population is increasing. I want to let them know that we respect their rights.”)

Alvarez explained that he is still looking for a co-sponsor for the bill. He also clarified that the planned bill “will only cover civil marriage and will not cover marriages solemnized by the Church.”

Rep. Pia Cayetano welcomed Alvarez’s initiative, syaing, “It will pave the way for healthy discussions on these issues that affect the lives of millions of our kababayans in the LGBT community.”

However, other lawmakers aren’t thrilled by Alvarez’s plan.

For one, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said, “We are very much bothered by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s statement that he would sponsor a bill that would seek the legalization of same sex marriage. Marriage, as defined by law, is a union between a man and a woman. We are ready to defend the rights of anyone especially those in the LGBT community. But marriage should exclusively be, as intended by nature, for a man and a woman.”

Atienza added, “I am quite disappointed that the Speaker would make such a commitment. We thought all along that his priority is federalism and not same-sex marriage. We hope that he will change his mind.”

For his part, Quezon City Rep. Bingbong Crisologo stated, “I’m an advocate of the word of God. Clearly the Bible forbids same-sex marriage. I guess i would vote against it.”

The report noted: “This could be the second time a same-sex marriage bill is filed in the lower House. Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos in 2011 filed House Bill 4269 which among others sought to amend the Family Code of the Philippines to recognize same-sex marriages overseas.”

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