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Party-list solons join fray in opposing same-sex union

/ 02:43 PM October 24, 2016
RAINED OUT PARADE A mild rain fell over Baguio City on Sunday, but that did not stop over 50 gay rights advocates who mounted the 8th Baguio Pride Parade along downtown Baguio. The group is lobbying for an antidiscrimination law and has expressed objections to a plan to make AIDS testing mandatory for HIV-vulnerable sectors like the gay community. VINCENT CABREZA/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

Over 50 gay rights advocates mounted the 8th Baguio Pride Parade along downtown Baguio. FILE PHOTO/VINCENT CABREZA/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

Some party-list lawmakers on Monday joined the fray in opposing the proposal of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to legalize civil union of same-sex couples.

During the Ugnayan sa Batasan press briefing on Monday, Buhay Rep. Michael Velarde said marriage is a religious rite for the union of men and women, not of the same gender.

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READ: Solons oppose Alvarez’ same-sex union proposal

Velarde, the son of El Shaddai founder Mike Velarde, said he is open to finding a middle ground, although he did not clarify what this meant.
He said same-sex couples are already allowed to have property rights in the current legal system.

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“If you were looking for something na mag-o-overstep sa karapatan ng ibang tao, hindi ba mali din ‘yun. Hindi basta-basta isang bagay gawin natin, hindi natin pagiisipan ang ibang resulta,” Velarde said.

READ: Minority solons oppose same-sex union: It’s unnatural, unsightly

“We all have rights, all institutions have rights. All people have rights. So we have to find the middle ground… If you’re looking for legal unity, I think that’s an ideal we can look into. But marriage is a very sensitive topic, because it has always been part of religion, the marriage between man and woman,” Velarde added.

Aangat Tayo Rep. Harlin Abayon III said same-sex couples may already avail of property rights by entering into co-ownership or partnership agreements.

“We have laws on co-ownership, partnership and succession. Covered din naman ‘yun, they can always avail of that already,” he said.

ACTS OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz added that same-sex couples may avail of their legal rights on conjugal property without violating the law of God in the marriage between man and woman.

“’Yung batas, pwede mong baguhin, ‘yung Constitution, pwede mong baguhin; pero ‘yung law of nature and law of God, hindi pwedeng balihin. I personally stand on the basis na hindi pwedeng mabali ‘yung divine law and sanctity of marriage,” Bertiz said.

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“Pwede nating i-legal, they can enter into agreement or contract or make something like conjugal. Pero using the ceremony and the word marriage, I don’t agree on that,” he added.

COOP NATCCO Rep. Anthony Bravo said marriage should only be for the purpose of creating a family.

“When you speak of marriage, it’s really a bond of creating a family. Iisa ang aming posisyon: we are no for same-sex marriage,” Bravo said, noting though that he respects same-sex couples’ decisions to enter into legal partnership.

READ: Alvarez to file bill on same-sex union

The party-list lawmakers joined the brewing opposition in Congress against the measure, even if it was supported by Speaker Alvarez.

Earlier, Speaker Alvarez said he would sponsor the bill allowing same-sex union, adding that it’s about time to respect the constitutional rights of the LGBT community to be happy.

“Tingnan mo ‘yung Constitution natin. May provisions dun guaranteeing happiness sa mga Pilipino. Eh bakit naman ipagkait natin ‘yun? Sa akin naman, ako’y nakikisa dun sa ating mga kapatid na LGBT. Kung happy sila dun, bakit hindi natin suportahan?” Alvarez had said.

Alvarez said he would seek to amend the Family Code, which limits union between man and woman.

But he clarified that his proposal would legalize same-sex union, noting that marriage should be left to the mandate of the Catholic Church.

In the 16th Congress, then Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said it would be impossible for Congress to legalize same-sex marriage in the country with its deep Catholic roots.

READ: Belmonte: Same-sex marriage law in PH ‘impossible’ | Solon bats for bill onsame-sex marriage

In 2015, openly gay lawyer Jesus Falcis III asked the Supreme Court to abolish the prohibition on same-sex marriage in the Family Code.

The Office of the Solicitor General under the previous administration of President Benigno Aquino III opposed the petition and dismissed it as “intrinsically flawed.”

Falcis asked the Supreme Court to nullify Articles 1 and 2 of the Family Code, and Articles 46 (4) and 55 (6) of the same law. Articles 1 and 2 limit marriage between man and woman; Articles 46(4) and 55 (6) cited homosexuality as grounds for annulment and legal separation. JE/rga

READ: SC asked to allow same-sex marriage | SolGen asks SC to junk ‘intrinsically flawed’ same-sex marriage bid

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TAGS: law, LGBT, marriage, partylist, Same Sex Union, same-sex
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