PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has thumbed down same-sex marriages, contradicting the stance of one of his top allies, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Duterte bared his stand in a speech before the Filipino community in Myanmar late Sunday, as he hit at the cover story of Time magazine about the emergence of young people with fluid gender preferences.
Duterte, who has lashed out against Catholic bishops and Catholic practices, this time invoked the country’s majority Catholic population in saying that same-sex marriages are unacceptable to Filipinos.
“Look at the cover story of Time, saying you can be he or she. No gender anymore. That’s just for them. It’s not for us because we are a Catholic nation, and there is [a provision in the]Civil Code that only a woman can marry a man [and only a man can marry a woman],” Duterte said.
The Catholic Church, whose adherents account for about 80 percent of Filipinos, believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, and teaches that the purpose of marriage is two-fold: love and procreation.
Under the country’s Family Code, marriage is defined as “a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life.”
The code also provides that “no marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present: a) legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female; and b) consent freely given in the presence of the solemnizing officer.”
Duterte said: “I have no problem with gays, but you should stick to the biological gender God gave you.”
“Do not mix us all up,” he added.
Buhay party-list Rep. Jose Atienza backed up Duterte’s statements, saying that same-sex couples can share affection even without marriage.
“President Duterte is correct. Marriage, whether civil or church, should be limited to between a man and a woman. Marriage should be for founding a family,” Atienza said.
“I respect the rights of two people sharing affection and material things, but to allow them to get married by law is not okay,” he added.
Rep. Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa agreed. “I am all for upholding LGBT (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender) rights, but I would admit that I have a moral dilemma on same-sex unions. My definition of a marriage is having a family, so it should be between a man and a woman,” he said.
Alvarez earlier said he was working on a bill that would give same-sex partners a right to inherit each other’s properties, decide on the health condition of an ill partner and adopt children. Alvarez has the support of the country’s first transgender lawmaker, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, who believes same-sex couples, like heterosexual couples, are capable of raising children.
Duterte also described European lawmakers as “crazies” in a salty-tongued rebuttal of criticism of his deadly drug war, while vowing again that all traffickers will be killed. The European Parliament issued a resolution last week condemning “the high number of extrajudicial killings” in his war on drugs.
“I don’t get these crazies. Why are you trying to impose on us? Why don’t you mind your own business,” said Duterte, who frequently uses swear words and other abusive language against his critics.
Duterte insisted foreign critics did not understand the Philippines, and said he would not be cowed by warnings from foreigners that he may face prosecution over his drug war.
WITH A REPORT FROM AFP