Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman yesterday said she supports the legalization of divorce in the country, believing that people should get a second chance at being happy in their marriages.
“I’m in favor of giving second chance. We have to face the fact that there are relationships that have no hope,” said the 48-year-old Roman, the first transgender woman to be elected in Congress.
Referring to divorce, Roman said: “I want a possible solution for people who are totally incompatible to remake their lives and pursue their happiness. I think they also have a right to do that.”
Roman, who describes herself as “legally and anatomically female”, underwent sex reassignment surgery at age 26 in New York and had her name changed. Her gender was also legally changed.
She has a Spanish man as a partner, but they are not married.
Divorce has always been a touchy subject in the Philippines, being a predominantly Catholic country.
During the previous 16th Congress, Gabriela party-list Reps. Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus refiled House Bill (HB) No. 4408 or “An Act Introducing Divorce in the Philippines”.
The measure, which the Women’s rights group had been pushing for since the 13th Congress, never gained traction in the House, however.
The Philippines is the only country outside the Vatican which does not have a divorce law.
The only option for unhappy married couples is to file for an annulment of their marriage – a long and tedious process.