Duterte backs gender equality bill but still opposes same sex marriage

Published November 5, 2020, 5:46 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is supportive of the gender equality bill but is still opposed to same-sex marriage, Malacañang said Thursday. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President is not amenable to proposed church or civil marriage of same sex couples.

Roque made the pronouncement amid the congressional hearing on the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression Equality bill. The measure aims to provide protection for members of the LGBT community from discrimination, harassment, and violence, and penalize those who commit such offense.

“Malinaw na malinaw po ang paninindigan ng ating Presidente, naniniwala po siya na lahat po ng Pilipino ay pantay-pantay anuman ang kanilang kasarian (The President’s position is very clear. he believes that all Filipinos should have equal rights regardless of gender),” Roque said during a televised press briefing.

But Roque clarified: “Hindi po sang-ayon ang Presidente sa same sex marriage. Whether be it church or civil, hindi po siya sang-ayon (The President is not in favor of same-sex marriage. Whether be it church or civil, he is not in favor).

“Pero sang-ayon po siya na magkaroon ng batas para magkaroon ng batas na iiral doon sa relasyon ng kaparehong kasarian (But he is in favor of having a law governing the union of same sex couples),” he added.

On the pending SOGIE bill, Roque said the President supports the passage of the measure to promote gender equality. Roque, however, said the President will let Congress decide on the details of the proposed SOGIE measure.

“Dahil nga po itong SOGIE Bill naman ay tinataguyod din ang karapatan na maging pantay-pantay ang lahat ng Pilipino, suportado rin po iyan ng Presidente (And because SOGIE bill promotes the equal rights of all Filipinos, the President supports this bill),” he said.

Duterte previously expressed support for legalizing gay marriage but later backtracked his position. He claimed that marriage in the country, a predominantly Catholic nation, is only between a man and a woman.

After Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions last month, Roque claimed that the President supports the passage of a law recognizing the civil union of same-sex couples. “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 said last month.