Padilla seeks to institutionalize same-sex union
UPDATED Senator Robin Padilla is seeking to institutionalize the civil unions of same sex couples in the country.
Padilla has filed Senate Bill No. 449 or the Civil Unions Act to provide equal rights and recognition for same sex couples.
“It is high time that the Philippines provides equal rights and recognition for couples of the same sex with no prejudice as to sexual relationships are protected and recognized and given access to basic social protection and security,” he stated on his bill’s explanatory note.
“Providing equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples will in no way diminish or trample on the rights granted to married couples,” he continued.
Noting that same-sex marriage or civil unions have been legalized in 31 nations and territories, Padilla lamented that legislative proposals in the country regarding the matter are insufficient.
“The Philippines, however, still lacks legislative measures to afford equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples that is enjoyed by different-sex couples,” Padilla said.
“This proposed measure therefore seeks to recognize the civil union between two (2) persons of the same or opposite sex to be able to enjoy the rights, protection, and privileges afforded in this bill,” he added.
Under the senator’s bill, the following are the requirements for a civil union:
- Legal capacity of the contracting parties (at least 18 years old; not prohibited to enter into civil union by reason of public policy; free from any previous marriage or civil union)
- Consent freely given in the presence of the administering officer
- Authority of the administering officer
- Valid license to contract or enter into a civil union issued by and obtained from the local civil registrar of the city or municipality where either party habitually resides
- Civil union ceremony which takes place with the personal appearance of the contracting parties before the administering officer and their personal declaration with at least two adult witnesses.
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