Senate bets oppose same-sex unions, LGBT discrimination
Four senatorial bets running in the upcoming May polls were united in their opposition to same-sex marriage, but noted that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community should be protected from discrimination.
In a forum in Adamson University on Saturday, senatorial aspirants Sherwin Gatchalian, Francis Tolentino, Lorna Kapunan, and Greco Belgica said they were not in favor of gays being wed in church, but expressed support for the passage of an anti-discrimination law.
Despite his opposition to same-sex marriage, Gatchalian, who is running under the ticket of Sen. Grace Poe, said Filipinos should respect the opinion and beliefs of each other on the controversial issue.
“I don’t agree with same-sex marriage but I also don’t agree with discrimination. In fact we really have to put a lot of mechanism and laws to eliminate discrimination in this country. Tayong lahat ay galing sa iba’t ibang pananaw, iba’t ibang paniniwala. Dapat igalang natin ang isa’t isa, bigyan natin ng respeto kahit na iba ‘yung ating paniniwala sa kasarian,” Gatchalian said.
Tolentino, former chair of the Metro Manila Development Authority, echoed Gatchalian’s call for respect but also maintained his opposition against same-sex unions.
“Igalang natin ‘yung karapatan ng mga nagsasama. Igalang po natin kung ano ‘yung kanilang paniniwalaan. Pero to institutionalize same-sex marriage, hindi po ako pabor doon. Irespeto, bigyang galang, at huwag po nating bigyan ng diskriminasyon, ‘yun po ‘yung essence ng sinasabi ko,” Tolentino said.
Belgica, meanwhile, emphasized that same-sex marriage is a sin against the teachings of God on family and procreation.
“Ang kasal po isang banal na pagsasama ng babae’t lalaki. Banal. Nanggaling sa banal na kasulatan, itinuro ng Diyos. ‘Yung gustong mag-asawa, lalaki’t babae, dahil gusto ng Diyos lumawak ang pamilya, tumibay ang pamilya, dumami ang tao,” Belgica said.
“‘Yung mga gustong magsama na LGBT, bahala sila sa buhay nila. Pero para irequire pa kami na ikasal sila, eh sobra na pong kasalanan nun. Ang sabi sa banal na kasulatan, mahal sila ng Diyos, at ‘pag nagsisi sila patatawarin sila ng Diyos,” he added.
Kapunan, a high-profile lawyer, said she was not in favor of a church wedding for same-sex couples, but said she was for the passage of a law that would give them civil rights such as the right to adopt children.
“We must recognize the legal consequences of a domestic partnership, the legal consequences of same-gender relationships. Immediately, I am for the passage of a non-discrimination law which will recognize the right of same-sex partners to adopt, to have co-owned properties, to have joint bank accounts. But ‘yung marriage before the church ibang usapan ‘yan kasi separation of church and state ‘yan,” she said.