After saying same-sex marriage is good, Duterte backtracks on promise to consider it

President Rodrigo Duterte said that same-sex marriage does not follow the law in the Philippines, which is a contradiction to his stand during the election campaign to support gay unions.

His stand on the issue pleased some Catholic bishops, who have him a ‘pogi’ point, as per Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes’ statement.
Despite Duterte’s rejection of same-sex marriage, he still launched a tirade against the Catholic Church for stopping birth control, something that he supports.

This part of his speech then led to his talk about the Time magazine issue on gender identities and gay unions.

At his meeting with Filipinos in Myanmar, he said: ““Look at the latest Time magazine issue. It says there is no longer gender distinction because you can be a her or she …. That is their culture. But that’s just them. That’s not allowed with us because we are Catholics.”

President Duterte was referring to Time’s cover for its March issue, which is about expanding gender identies in the US.

Image credit: Time

He added that same-sex marriage would be a violation of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

“And we have a Civil Code, which says that you can only marry a woman for me, for a woman to marry a man. That’s our laws and why should these other genders be brought into it?” Duterte said.

This current stand is the exact opposite of his positive attitude and statements regarding the possible legislation of gay unions during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In July 2015, Duterte came on the ABS-CBN talk show “Gandang Gabi Vice,” back when he said that he was not running for president. He was asked if he would still accept his son if he was homosexual, to which he replied that he would. Duterte added that everyone should “respect… human dignity because all humans are created by God.”

He also said that same-sex marriage is “good.”

“(Same-sex marriage) It’s good… Everyone deserves to be happy… Kahit sa mga dormitoryo noon, ayoko talaga yung mga bakla na niloloko. I was the first to give a statement sa Davao when [party list] Ladlad was denied registration,” Duterte said.

Davao City started implementing the Anti-Discrimination ordinance in 2012, which holds people who discriminate people based on gender, sex and sexual orientations criminally liable.

Here’s Duterte’s guesting on Gandang Gabi Vice:

On January 20, 2016, Duterte said that there was a slight error in the Bible as the Holy Book should have said, “Adam, Eve and the gays.”

“Definitely, the gays were created by God… God made them so medyo nagkamali yung bilangan diyan sa Bible. Adam, Eve, and the gays,” Duterte said on the sidelines of Rappler’s “The Leader I Want” forum.

“Maybe the gays were made to order to by God also or their God would be incongruous. Why just create a man solely for the function that is a universal practice? We assume in our catechism that we are created in the image of God. Definitely, the gays were created by God and there has to be a reason for that,” he added.

“I have nothing to do with the sexual predilections of my fellow human beings. God must be kind to all. I have many friends, I have relatives, who are gay,” Duterte said.

On February 18, 2016, President Duterte said that he would consider approving same-sex marriage if a proposal reaches him should he become president.
In a CNN Philippines report, he was quoted saying: “If it reaches me in whatever capacity, I’ll consider it.”

Carlos Conde of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) reminded Duterte of his earlier promise to support the legalization of gay unions. He recalled Duterte’s statements during the presidential campaign about considering same-sex marriage, which boosted his popularity among the LGBT community and gave credence to his reputation as a politician who respects LGBT rights.

“Allowing same-sex marriage would enable gays and lesbians in the Philippines to marry the person they love and would strengthen everyone’s rights. From a human rights perspective, broadening civil marriage to couples of the same sex demonstrates respect for the fundamental rights of equality and nondiscrimination,” he said.

“Duterte’s backtracking is easily remedied. He and his government should demonstrate the political will to push through legislation to protect the rights of the country’s LGBT population, starting with same-sex marriage,” Conde added.

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