Duterte drops same-sex marriage, backs birth control
NAY PYI TAW, Burma (Myanmar) —President Duterte has made his opinion known here on two controversial issues that has faced opposition from the mainstream Catholic church: Fluid gender identities, and birth control.
But while Duterte invoked Catholic morals in expressing his distaste for the former, in the same speech, he chastised the Church for being a hindrance to the latter, which he encourages.
In a one-and-a-half-hour speech on Sunday night during his meeting with the Filipino community here, the longest speech he has delivered during an overseas trip so far, Duterte segued into his thoughts on gender identities and same-sex marriage after blasting the European Union parliament for a draft resolution calling for a United Nations probe on extrajudicial killings in the Philippine’s war on drugs.
“Tingnan mo ‘yung TIME magazine ngayon. Wala nang gender because you can be a he or she….‘Yun ang kultura nila. Eh di kayo lang, hindi ‘yan pwede sa amin kay Katoliko kami (Look at the latest TIME Magazine issue. It says there is no longer a gender distinction because you can be a he or she…That is their culture. But that’s just them. That’s not allowed with us because we are Catholics),” Duterte said.
Duterte was referring to the TIME Magazine March issue, with the cover story on expanding gender identities in the United States titled “Beyond He or She: How a new generation is redefining the meaning of gender.”
“And we have a Civil Code, which says that you can only marry a woman for me, for a woman to marry a man. Iyan ang batas natin at bakit walang nung— bakit papasok itong mga gender? (That’s our laws, and why should these other genders be brought into it?)” the President added.
Duterte tried to soften the stance by pointing out he had two brother-in-laws and cousins who were gay, but went on to say: “Kung saan ka pinuwesto ng Diyos, diyan ka lang. Huwag mong haluin kaming lahat…Biro mo…you erase the great divide between a woman and a man?” (Where God put you, stay there. Don’t mix all of us up. Would you believe, you erase the great divide between a woman and a man?)
Later on in the speech, he once again recalled the TIME Magazine issue. “God. Nawala na si Adam pati si Eve. Paano na ‘yung istorya sa religion natin noong high school pa tayo? Hindi nga high school, Grade 1, (What about what we were taught in religion classes in school?)”
The President was quick to clarify, however, that while he had a “deep and abiding faith in God,” he did not believe in the Catholic creation myth.
“But it’s more of a universal conduct,” Duterte said, explaining his religious philosophies. “Because religion is the source of the conflict actually of the killings in the world, because we’re not understanding each other,” Duterte said, in a mix of Tagalog and English. “Religion is very contentious. Ask me what my religion is, and I will say God, period,” Duterte said.
It was at this point when Duterte segued into birth control, and called the Catholic Church a “problem.”
“The Philippines is overloaded with people. Me, I am really embarking on aggressive birth control,” Duterte said. “It really is too much. I am telling you this because that is what is contributing to the misery of the Filipino. We are just too many with not so much resources.”
“Ito kasing ang naka-lintik nito itong simbahan, (What’s damning it is the Church),” the President ranted. “Always the sanction is ‘you will go to hell.’”
“These Catholics, it’s high time that they let go,” the President said.
The rant on religion was truncated as Duterte announced he felt cramps up his legs. “Perhaps someone who is listening is now angry. God, if you are God, be kind just a little bit to your creation,” the President quipped, to chortling from the crowd. SFM
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