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Same-sex Marriage in the Philippines

Most senatorial bets against same-sex marriage; Enrile is lone supporter ANDREO CALONZO, GMA NewsMarch 18, 2013 12:48pm 145 6 838 (Updated 11:17 p. m. ) Most senatorial bets for the May 2013 polls rejected the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Philippines, with Cagayan Rep.

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Jack Enrile the only candidate expressing support for gay union, interviews conducted by GMA News Online revealed. Twenty-four of the 33 senatorial hopefuls said they are not keen on giving same-sex couples the chance to get married in the country, where over 80 percent of the citizens are Roman Catholics.

Bangon Pilipinas senatorial candidate Eddie Villanueva, a religious leader who founded the Jesus is Lord Church, said he is against same-sex marriage because it is against Biblical teachings. “Sabi ng Good Book, huwag gayahin ‘yung nangyari sa Sodom and Gomorrah dahil darating ang paggunaw sa isang bansa ‘pag ‘yun ay ginawa,” Villanueva said in an interview. Ang Kapatiran Party senatorial bet Rizalito David, meanwhile, said same-sex marriage is “against natural law. ” “Ang lalaki, ang mapapangasawa niya ay babae, at sila’y mag-aanak at dadami ang sangkatauhan. Yan ang naturang batas at hindi kailanman nagkaroon sa natural law na pwede ang parehong babae o parehong lalaki,” David said in a separate interview. David’s party lists in its political platform a “spiritual dimension” to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. ” The issue on same-sex marriage recently came back to public attention with the election of a new head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis. As a cardinal, the new pontiff openly opposed a bill to legalize same-sex unions in Argentina. He even described child adoption by couples of the same-sex as a form of discrimination to the child. A chance for happiness’ Only one senatorial hopeful, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, said he supports the legalization of gay unions in the Philippines. “Let’s give everybody a chance for happiness. Let us not discriminate. If it is your inclination to be happy with a man, why discriminate against that? ” Enrile said in a separate interview. He said his view on same-sex marriage was influenced by the years he spent living in the United States. “I have seen in other countries couples of the same sex who have lived very upright lives and raised children,” he explained. Legal recognition’ Makabayan senatorial hopeful and Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casino, who did not have a categorical stand on the issue, said he is open to giving some sort of “legal recognition” to couples of the same sex. “It’s something I still have to study and learn. I’m willing to hear both sides, what the benefits and disadvantages are. I have an open mind,” Casino said. Liberal Party senatorial bet Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, who rejected same-sex marriage, meanwhile said he is open to giving “some rights” to “long-term” same-sex couples.

Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, who is also running under the administration slate, for her part said she “upholds the rights of same-sex couples to form families,” but added that passing an anti-discrimination bill in the country may be the proper first step towards allowing gay unions in the Philippines. — DVM/RSJ, GMA News Don’t expect Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage to have an impact here. It was a historical and an inspiring gesture, one that would galvanize a changing cultural perspective on same-sex relationships inside and outside America.

Here, it would spark debates on our readiness for same-sex marriage, but don’t hold your breath: it won’t alter anything here fundamentally. Don’t even think that this would suddenly lead President Aquino to push his allies in Congress to enact a law legalizing same-sex marriage. It just won’t happen. This is not to say that the social attitudes and behavior of Filipinos toward homosexuality and same-sex marriage are not changing. They are, and social media has triggered a shift in how we digest controversial topics that in the past have been filtered and controlled by traditional institutions, such as the Church and our schools.

I’m not saying that Filipinos are now more pro-LGBT, but the overall mood is changing, and there’s more openness to engage in an issue that is still otherwise considered taboo. Social media has democratized access to a wider range of narratives and stories on LGBTs and made them part of our common experiences, creating a climate that could help dismantle oppressive stereotypes about homosexuality. The bullying of LGBT kids in American schools, for instance, a Canadian transgender joining the Miss Universe, the coming out of Hollywood celebrities – these have all catalyzed conversations here.

And while we know that these happened elsewhere, we have embraced the universal elements of these stories. More importantly, social media has given us access to participate in these conversations. To respond to a homophobic slur in the past meant writing press releases or letters to the editors, the fate of which would depend on the mood of the editors. Today, Facebook and Twitter could help anyone – the in-your-face LGBT activist, the closeted bakla, and their fag hags – push alternative perspectives on LGBTs, and influence how opinion gatekeepers and icons see the issue. Why the difficulty?

If social attitudes are gradually shifting, why then is it hard to push for LGBT rights and same-sex marriage here in the Philippines? Many would automatically blame the Catholic taliban, and how it has been trying to control our political institutions. I think it is a wrong framing of the problem, and it grants the Catholic hierarchy a degree of influence that doesn’t exist. The Church has no control over public opinion, as proven by the continuing popularity of the RH Bill despite the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’s opposition to it and by the failure of the Catholic Church to mobilize the so-called “Catholic vote. What we perceive to be the Church’s political influence in fact indicates a fundamental weakness in our political institutions, a democratic flaw that makes our system beholden to interest groups like the Catholic taliban. The Church is powerful; the problem is that the state is weak. Legal recognition of same-sex partnerships, whether through marriage or civil unions, would not happen by engaging or reforming the Catholic hierarchy. It is after all the business of the Church hierarchy to be dogmatic, and we should just let it collapse under the weight of its internal contradictions.

We should be engaging and reforming the state and make it modern, inclusive, and truly representative. Strategic battleground For the LGBT community, that would require a change in strategy. One, it means that LGBTs must reframe the debate on homosexuality along secular and non-religious terms. While I understand why Catholic LGBTs want to carve a more tolerant space within the Catholic faith, the more strategic battleground is in the Constitution, not the Bible.

Same-sex marriage is understandably a sensitive religious issue, but it is above all about our sectarian values – about basic fairness and our constitutional rights, about human dignity regardless of the sex of the people we love. Two, we need to be more forthright about gay love and gay sex. For many years, LGBT activists have skirted the issue of same-sex partnerships and gay marriage as a non-priority, relegating it under more crucial issues, like discrimination in schools and the workplace.

This sends the wrong signal – that same-sex partnerships are secondary and unimportant, when ironically the root of discrimination against LGBTs is the rejection of same-sex partnerships, both the sexual and romantic sides of it. We need to embrace gay sex and gay love and feel less guilty about them. A modern state, embracing gay sex and gay love. Who said that marriage is easy? – Rappler. com (The author is coordinator of Akbayan’s LGBT Collective and a member of the Philippine National AIDS Council. ) BY JONAS BAGAS POSTED ON 05/11/2012 4:04 PM | UPDATED 05/13/2012 10:45 PM

Updated March 2013 Quick facts on key provisions State law and/or constitutional provision limits marriage to relationships between a man and a woman: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California*, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming California voters adopted a constitutional provision limiting marriage to relationships between a man and a woman in November 2008. This provision was challenged in federal court and ruled unconstitutional. Enforcement of this decision has been delayed pending a U. S. Supreme Court decision on the case. Supreme Court hearings are scheduled for March 2013 and a decision is expected by June 2013. State issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia

States allows civil unions, providing state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island Three of these states (Delaware, Hawaii and Illinois) also have laws limiting marriage to relationships between a man and a woman. Note: In Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, same-sex marriage has replaced civil unions. State grants nearly all state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (domestic partnerships)*: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington** **Effective June 30, 2014 domestic partnerships in Washington will be limited to couples who are 62 years of age or older.

State provides some state-level spousal rights to unmarried couples (domestic partnerships)*: Hawaii, Maine, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia State legislatures have been deeply involved in the public debates about how to define marriage and whether the official recognition of “marriage” should be limited to relationships involving one man and one woman or that same-sex couples should also be entitled to “marriage. ” State legislatures have gone both ways in this debate: either enacting “defense of marriage” laws and constitutional provisions or, going the opposite direction, adopting laws allowing same sex marriage.

Five states have adopted civil unions for same-sex couples that provide the same legal rights as marriage. Most states have adopted prohibitions of same-sex marriage. Most states do so by adopting “defense of marriage” language that defines marriage in their state constitution and/or state law in a way similar to the language in the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) —“the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. ” Other states prohibit same sex marriages or marriages between persons of the same sex or gender.

Thirty states have placed that language in their state constitutions (26 of these states also have statutory provisions adopting this language). A further eight states have statutory language adopting the restrictive language. Note that this count does include California, where federal courts have invalidated a 2008 initiative that added constitutional language defining marriage as limited to unions involving one man and one woman. The challenge to that constitutional provision is to be heard by the U. S. Supreme Court in 2013. Nine states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriages.

In Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa, the states’ highest courts ruled that the state constitution required that same-sex couples be accorded the same marriage rights as opposite-sex couples. In Vermont, New Hampshire, the District of Columbia and New York, Maryland and Washington, legislative bodies have passed statutory changes that allow same-sex marriages. In Maine, the legislature passed a same-sex marriage law in 2009, which was repealed in a voter referendum. In 2012, Maine voteres reversed course and approved a same-sex marriage statute. Same-sex marriages are currently being performed in those states.

Several states have also expanded the legal rights available to spouses in same-sex relationships while also limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples with civil unions and domestic partnerships. Same Sex Marriages in the Philippines (Affrmative) Resolved: Same sex marriages should be legalized in the Philippines. Let me start with a quote. If homosexuality is a disease, let’s all call in queer to work: “Hello. Can’t work today, still queer. ” That was by Robin Tyler. Instead of saying hey, I’m pulling off a sickie today, you say hey, sorry if I can’t go to work—I’m still gay. Can you imagine that kind of situation?

If so, let’s start asking ourselves today. Why do homosexuals have to be discriminated anyway? Do they harm you or anyone in the society you live in? Same sex marriages have been an issue in the Philippines for a long time now, but since we live in a predominantly Christian country, people simply avoid further discussion of such. According to the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of Philippines, Article 2, Section 6; the separation of the church and state shall be inviolable. Meaning, no matter how grave the social issue may be, the church can never contradict the decision of the government and vice versa.

It has been widely understood that the Roman Catholic church will always be against same sex marriages considering the fact that their beliefs and principles are based from the sacred scripture. However, citizens who do not opt to engage into religious ceremonies have the option to be conjugated by means of civil wedding. It has been said under Article 7 of The Family Code of the Philippines, that marriage may be officiated by a person other than a priest, rabbi, imam or minister. Included are any incumbent members of the judiciary within the court’s jurisdiction.

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