Roman to LGBT community: Be realistic on same-sex marriage
Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman on Sunday told equality advocates to be “realistic” about same-sex marriage, defending her stance that it would be easier to convince her colleagues to pass a law on civil partnerships instead.
Amid the celebration of Pride Month, the country’s first transgender representative reacted to online criticism by members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community who were disappointed over the compromises she defended as natural to Philippine politics.
“To say that the Philippines and Congress are already ready for same-sex marriage would simply be dishonest,” Roman said in a statement.
She pointed out that civil partnerships under House Bill No. 6595—pending at the level of the women and gender equality committee—would grant “practically the same rights and obligations as any legally-recognized relationship,” like opposite-sex marriages.
“Should we fight for something that will never win at this point in time? Or should we lobby for something that will give us practically the same rights and obligations and that has more certainty of being passed into law?” Roman said.
“A dose of realism will definitely guide us in choosing the right path,” she added.
Roman also stressed that she is “not an activist with an all-or-nothing approach towards issues.”
“Let us not forget that I am a legislator who has to deal with real-life politicians who get turned off by radical, confrontational and intransigent attitudes,” she said, recalling the negotiations and compromises she supposedly made to pass the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression Equality Bill in the House.
“So to my fellow equality advocates, let us remember that a bit of patience and humility won’t hurt. Keep in mind that we all have the same goal,” Roman said.
Reacting to the criticism by the LGBT community, she said: “We have gained so much ground. Let us not put all this to waste by divisive statements. We can achieve more if we are united.”
Before the issue of same-sex marriage, Roman had also drawn flak for flip-flopping on her previous stance against the death penalty in March 2017.
Roman said she had to vote in favor of the measure, citing the supposed wishes of her constituents and the House leadership’s threat of “consequences for those who will vote no.” /ee
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