Roman believes House ready to tackle same-sex civil union bill
MANILA, Philippines — Following the recent pronouncement of support by Pope Francis, Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman believes the House of Representatives is prepared to tackle legislation on same-sex civil partnership.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News on Friday, Roman was asked if the lower chamber is ready to tackle pending bills covering the issue of same-sex civil union especially following the statement of support made by no less than Pope Francis.
“I would say so. Because there clearly is a distinction between civil union and marriage. These two legislative measures only refer to civil unions and the granting of legal protection with their corresponding rights and obligations,” Roman said.
Roman said “many” of her colleagues also liked her post when she shared articles about Pope Francis’ statement on same-sex civil union in their Viber groups.
“This brings us a glimmer of hope. The fact is that many of my colleagues who are practicing Catholics had doubts about the possibility of a civil union but with the Pope’s statement, I think it will spell the difference, Roman said.
Further, Roman also expressed hopes that under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, pro-LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual) legislation such as the proposed Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill will be passed.
“I am pleased to inform you that our Speaker now Lord Allan Velasco actually signed the SOGIE Equality Bill and the co-author in the 17th Congress. He is a young man and is quite open-minded,” Roman said.
“He is a practicing Catholic and after hearing the statement of the Pope, I believe that our Speaker Lord Allan Velasco will allow this bill to be at least handled in the committee and will allow the members to vote on it,” she added.
Aside from Roman, two other lawmakers have also expressed optimism on the chances of a civil partnership bill getting approved in the House.
Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez said Pope Francis’ pronouncement that “homosexual people” should be protected by civil union laws serves beings a “fresh push” for House Bill No. 2264 or the “Civil Partnership Act.”
Alvarez is the author of the said measure which remains pending on the House committee on women and gender equality.
Bagong Henerasyon Partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera likewise expressed hopes that 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 papal approval of same-sex unions came from a documentary titled “Francesco” where the Pontiff was quoted as saying: “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it.”
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