House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez’s vow to author a same sex marriage bill has surprisingly divided the House of Representatives that used to avoid even discussing the idea out of fear of political backlash from religious groups opposed to it.
House Deputy Speaker Fred Castro and Senior Minority Leader Lito Atienza predicted a rejection even as recent poll surveys on the issue indicated that only three out of ten Filipinos are in favor of same sex union.
However, women lawmakers, among them House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano (NP, Taguig City) and Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Bagong Henerasyon party-ist), were among the early supporters of Alvarez’s plan to have the measure approved during the 17th Congress.
Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, a transgender, is expected to push for the measure that Alvarez may file within this month.
Castro pointed out that the proposal is opposed to the Constitution. “There is a prohibition under the Constitution.
If you are going to legalize that, we should bear in mind that the Constitution says that marriage is an inviolable constitution and when we speak of marriage its between a man and a woman,” said Castro.
Atienza, a fierce oppositor of same sex marriage and divorce proposals, said he is deeply bothered by Alvarez’s move to test the waters in determining acceptance of the bill. “Marriage, as defined by law, is a union between a man and a woman. We are ready to defend the rights of anyone especially those in the LGBT community. But marriage should exclusively be, as intended by nature, for a man and a woman,” said Atienza. (Ben R. Rosario)