Duterte backs gender equality, not same-sex church or civil marriage – Palace
MANILA, Philippines —President Rodrigo Duterte supports gender equality but he is not in favor of either church or civil marriage among same-sex couples, his spokesperson Harry Roque said Thursday.
Roque issued the statement when asked about the President’s stand on the contentious sexual orientation and gender identity expression (SOGIE) bill, which is currently being tackled by a House panel.
The Palace official said that while Duterte supports equality regardless of sexual orientation, he is letting lawmakers iron out details of the proposed legislation that aims to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ members.
“Malinaw na malinaw po ang paninidigan ng ating Presidente. naniniwala po siya na lahat ng Pilipino ay pantay-pantay anuman ang kanilang kasarian,” Roque said in a televised press briefing.
“Pero hahayaan na po natin sa Kongreso kung ano ang magiging pinal na bersyon ng SOGIE bill. Ang Presidente naman po ay nagsabi…hindi po sang-ayon ang Presidente sa same-sex marriage, be it church or civil hindi po siya sang-ayon,” he added.
Roque’s latest pronouncements, however, contradict the statements he himself made before about the issue.
In December 2017, Duterte said in a speech that he was in favor of changing the law to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
But Roque then explained that the President was only referring to same-sex civil union.
In the Catholic-dominated Philippines, legalizing same-sex marriage remains one of the most polarizing issues as church teachings deem “homosexual acts” as sinful.
But proponents of the measure are insisting that the SOGIE bill is an anti-discrimination legislation and does not seek to legalize same-sex marriages nor change legal gender markers.
“It is not a same-sex marriage bill. It is not a gender recognition bill that will allow us to change our legal markers. It’s a totally different issue. This is not about civil union, this is not about same-sex marriage or civil partnership,” said Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the country’s first transgender lawmaker, during a House committee on women and gender equality public hearing on SOGIE bill
The bill has failed to pass Congress since it was first filed by the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and former Rep. Etta Rosales in 2000.
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