Pope Francis’ support a ‘fresh push’ for same-sex civil union – lawmakers
MANILA, Philippines — With the support of no less than Pope Francis, two lawmakers in the House of Representatives are hopeful that more legislators will back pending bills for same-sex civil unions.
Davao del Norte 1st Dist. Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez said the Pope’s pronouncement that “homosexual people” should be protected by civil union laws brings a “fresh push” for House Bill No. 2264 or the “Civil Partnership Act.”
Alvarez is the author of the said proposed measure, which remains pending before the House committee on women and gender equality.
“With Pope Francis (the leader of the Roman Catholic Church) sharing his thoughts about this issue, let us be optimistic that more legislators in the House and in the Senate become open and supportive to the objectives of House Bill 2264,” Alvarez said in a statement.
“Our LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) brothers and sisters deserve to have protections, under the law, for their respective union with the person they choose to be their life partner,” he added.
Alvarez said the measure he filed seems to be “stuck in the doldrums, but with the recent remarks from the Pope, the lawmaker is hopeful that his colleagues, as well as the senators in the upper chamber, “will be enlightened too.”
“For some, maybe they’ll need more time to digest the signs of the times. But let us be patient because, in the end, reality eventually catches up,” Alvarez said.
“This is a good opportunity to reignite, once more, the conversation about the realities of existing relationships and the need to have a legal framework for this kind of human relations,” he added.
The Davao del Norte congressman, who has been pushing for same-sex civil union since the 17th Congress, raised doubt if “there really (is) reason to oppose Civil Unions based on conservatism.”
“After all, if two persons choose to love, care for, support (and be faithful to) each other, and to have these rights, duties, and obligations protected and enforceable by law, is this not conservatism too?” Alvarez asked.
Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera likewise expressed hopes that the bills pushing for same-sex civil union will “finally move forward after being dormant for so long.”
Herrera is the author of House Bill No. 1357 or “An Act Recognizing the Civil Partnership of Couples, Providing their Rights and Obligations” which is also pending before the House committee on women and gender equality.
“The public support of Pope Francis for the enactment of civil union laws could be exactly the impetus needed so that opposition to the civil partnership bill will melt away,” Herrera said in a statement.
Herrera said the issue of same-sex civil union is not about religion, but about human rights.
“Saklaw ng ating HB 1357 ang property relations sa pagitan ng mga partido sa partnership. Pati pangangalaga sa mga anak, mana, donasyon sa isa’t isa, adoption, social security, at insurance saklaw rin ng civil partnership,” Herrera said.
“Karapatan nilang alagaan ang isa’t-isa pati na ang kanilang pamilyang nabuo o binubuo. Kikilalanin iyan sa HB 1357 kapag ito ay naging batas,” she added.
In January 2020, the Supreme Court dismissed with finality the petition to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines. SC initially dismissed the same petition in September 2019 as it pointed out that the issue should be addressed by Congress.