Alvarez to file bill on same-sex union
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Monday said he would author a bill to legalize same-sex union.
In a press briefing, Alvarez said it’s about time to respect the constitutional rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to be happy.
“I’m willing to sponsor same sex marriage,” Alvarez said.
“Tingnan mo yung Constitution natin. May provisions dun guaranteeing happiness sa mga Pilipino. Eh bakit naman ipagkait natin yun? Sa akin naman, ako’y nakikisa dun sa ating mga kapatid na LGBT. Kung happy sila dun, bakit hindi natin suportahan?” he added.
Alvarez said his proposal would allow LGBT couples legal right to have civil union as recognized by the court.
He said his move was meant to send a message that it’s about time for the Philippines to allow same sex union.
“Gusto ko lang ipakita na ginagalang natin at nakikiisa ako dun sa mga kapatid natin na LGBT. At para din yung dignity rin nila, masuportahan natin,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said his proposal would amend the Family Code, which limits union between man and woman.
Alvarez clarified that his proposal would legalize same sex union, noting that marriage should be left to the mandate of the Catholic Church.
He said he does not mind if the Catholic Church or deeply religious lawmakers would oppose the bill, noting that it’s part of democracy.
Alvarez said in the end, democracy is about the rule of the majority.
“Kaya nga tayo demokrasya. mayroon talagang opposition. Wala namang walang opposition. But the beauty of democracy is we can argue, we can disagree, but at the end of the day, it’s still the majority that prevails,” Alvarez said.
In the 16th Congress, then Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said it would be impossible for Congress to legalize same sex marriage in the country with its deep Catholic roots.
In 2015, openly gay lawyer Jesus Falcis III asked the Supreme Court to abolish the prohibition on same sex marriage in the Family Code.
The Office of the Solicitor General under the previous administration of erstwhile president Benigno Aquino III opposed the petition it dismissed as “intrinsically flawed.”
Falcis asked the Supreme Court to nullify Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code, and Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same law. Articles 1 and 2 limit marriage between man and woman; Articles 46(4) and 55 (6) cited homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation.
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