Same-sex civil union okay with House leader
The leadership of the House of Representatives said on Monday that it supported legalizing civil unions between same-sex and heterosexual people.
In a press conference, Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia said the times were calling for a law that would give property and custodial rights to heterosexual and same-sex couples.
“I believe of great interest to a number of our brothers and sisters, I am speaking of civil union. We have to address this. This is a changing reality. It has become a growing necessity. This is to promote civil and human rights of same-sex and heterosexual couples who want to live together but are not ready to marry,” Garcia said of the bill, which is still to be filed.
Asked about possibly earning the ire of the Catholic Church, which has vehemently opposed same sex marriage, Garcia said the civil union bill would not only cater to same-sex couples but even heterosexual couples who opt to enter into a civil union and not marry.
“This is also the reality of our times. There are homosexual couples that will choose to just perhaps stay unmarried but would live together. We need to address the changing realities of our times,” Garcia said.
“The civil union bill will address the need for same sex couples to have finally achieved custodial rights over children, and even property rights. But we go beyond just same-sex couples, and would now also tackle the existing reality, which is partners who choose to stay unmarried,” she added.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez himself pushed the idea of a civil union bill for both same sex and heterosexual couples.
He is also supporting the passage of a law that would allow unhappy couples to petition the court for the dissolution of their marriage.
Alvarez is separated from his wife, Emelita, and has admitted having a girlfriend, Jennifer Vicencio. CBB/rga
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