PAKASALAN ANG MAHAL | HRW urges Duterte to push legalization of same-sex marriage
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(UPDATED - 2:56 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines – United States-founded international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) is urging President Rodrigo Duterte not to renege on his promise to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage.
“Duterte’s reversal is not just about campaign promises – it jeopardizes the fundamental rights of LGBT partners and families,” Carlos Conde, HRW Philippines researcher, said Monday.
He said “allowing same-sex marriage would enable gays and lesbians in the Philippines to marry the person they love and would strengthen everyone’s rights.”
“From a human rights perspective, broadening civil marriage to couples of the same sex demonstrates respect for the fundamental rights of equality and nondiscrimination. It should be enshrined in Philippine law,” added Conde.
HRW made the appeal after Duterte on Sunday told a Filipino community in Myanmar that “same-sex marriage won’t work for us” because “we’re Catholics” and that a man can only marry a woman, as mandated under the Civil Code.
The organization noted that during the presidential election campaign last year, Duterte said he was open to the idea.
“If [draft same-sex marriage legislation] reaches me in whatever capacity, I'll consider it,” Duterte said in February 2016.
In July 2015, Duterte during his taped TV guesting on “Gandang Gabi Vice,” was asked for his views on same-sex marriage, and the then Davao mayor said it’s good, adding “everyone deserves to be guaranteed happy.”
HRW said Duterte’s remark had boosted his popularity in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and gave credibility to his image as a politician respectful of LGBT rights. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a close Duterte ally, responded by promising to support same-sex marriage legislation.
“Duterte’s backtracking is easily remedied. He and his government should demonstrate the political will to push through legislation to protect the rights of the country’s LGBT population, starting with same-sex marriage,” said Conde.
He said the Philippines should join countries such as the United States, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and Ireland that have enshrined marriage equality in their laws. marriage.