Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez, Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced his intention to file a bill that will legalize same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
He said that this is his way of showing respect to the rights of the under represented LGBTQ community in the country. He said that the bill would allow members of the LGBTQ community to pursue their own happiness.
“Dumadami na yung population ng LGBT. Gusto ko lang ipadala ang mensahe na iginagalang natin ang karapatan na. (The population of the LGBT [community] is increasing. I would like to send them the message that we are respecting their rights.)” – House Speaker Alvarez shared in a press conference in the lower house.
Alvarez further cited the Constitution to support his cause, saying that the Constitution guarantees a person’s happiness.
He also shared that he is still looking for someone to co-sponsor his initiative.
He further clarified that his proposed legislation will only deal with the civil marriage, or union between same-sex couples. He explained that his proposal will not be touching the issue of marriages solemnized by the church.
Congresswoman Pia Cayetano, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, met his proposal with favorable welcome.
“It will pave the way for healthy discussions on these issues that affect the lives of millions of our kababayans in the LGBT community.” – Pia Cayetano on the same-sex union legislative initiative by Alvarez.
Cayetano shared that she witnessed the period when certain issues were taboo, including the Reproductive Health Bill, which she said took a long time to even be attempted to be discussed.
She expressed that the time has come to set aside biases and discomfort to talk about issues that affect that lives of people. She also said that she looks forward to the legislation that will be filed by Alvarez.
As for other legislators, they appear to be somewhat dismissive, if not completely opposed to Alvarez’ proposal.
Lito Atienza, Buhay Partylist Representative and Senior Deputy Minority Leader in the lower house, expressed his dissent to the proposal made by Alvarez.
Bingbong Crisologo, Representative of Quezon City, also expressed that he is personally against the measure, saying that he is an advocate of God, and that the Bible forbids same-sex marriage.
If filed, Alvarez’ measure would be the second time that a bill aiming to legalize same-sex marriage would be filed in Congress.