Congress has final say on same-sex civil union
Conservative lawmakers no longer have a basis to oppose same-sex civil union legislation in the Philippines after Pope Francis endorsed such arrangement for gay couples, Malacañang said in a report by Philippine News Agency.
The Catholic Church is opposed to gay marriage but the Pope said in a documentary released on Wednesday that same-sex couples should be protected by civil union laws because they are “children of God and have a right to a family.”
“Depende na lang iyan sa prayoridad ng ating Kongreso,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
“Pero with no less than the Pope supporting it, I think even the most conservative of all Catholics in Congress should no longer have a basis for objecting.”
Roque also reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s support for same-sex civil unions.
“[The] recognition of civil union has always been supported by the President,” he said.
Bills seeking to introduce same-sex civil unions remained pending in Congress.
In December last year, the Supreme Court denied with finality the petition seeking the legalization of same-sex marriages in the Philippines on technical grounds.
However, the high court said the 1987 Constitution, from its plain text, does not define or restrict marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity of expression.
But the SC said arranging state recognition for same-sex relations is an issue better left to Congress.
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