Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday suggested that the Philippines must have its own law recognizing civil unions among same-sex couples sans Church ceremonies.
Locsin’s suggestion was in response to a landmark Japanese court ruling declaring as ‘unconstitutional’ the prohibition on same-sex marriage.
“Japan court 100% right. We must have a law recognizing civil unions. But anyone proposes that the Church be compelled to hold weddings as well…let me know. I have a stake ready, lotsa kindling and plenty of kerosene. Even Church weddings have no legal effect w/o civil marriage,” Locsin said in a tweet.
In a ruling on Wednesday morning, the Sapporo District Court in Hokkaido said the government’s lack of recognition for same-sex marriage was in breach of a section of the Japanese constitution requiring equal laws for everyone.
While Japan does not recognize same-sex unions nationwide several wards and municipalities have passed local ordinances allowing same-sex couples to secure “partnership certificates” giving recognition to the relationship.
In January 2020, the Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed a petition to legalize gay marriage in a country dominated by Catholics. Instead, the High Court ruled that whether same-sex marriage should be allowed in the Philippines “may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed by Congress.”
Locsin, in a separate social media post, also favored the passage of a civil union law that will take into consideration the change of immigration status of a foreigner in a common-law marriage arrangement with a Filipino national.
“Anybody can introduce a bill by finding a sponsor in Congress, Senate or House or better yet both; and then it needs to get a certification as urgent from the Palace which takes precedence in the consideration of legislative measures,” he said.