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House Speaker to push for legalizing same-sex marriage

Updated

by Philippines News Agency

MANILA — House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Monday he intends to file a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the country.

In a press conference, Alvarez disclosed that his staff has already begun drafting the proposed same-sex legislation, noting that he will sponsor the bill himself.

People take part in the Bucharest Pride, an event celebrating diversity and LGBT community in Bucharest on June 25, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / DANIEL MIHAILESCU) | Manila Bulletin

People take part in the Bucharest Pride, an event celebrating diversity and LGBT community in Bucharest on June 25, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / DANIEL MIHAILESCU) | Manila Bulletin

”I will sponsor it. If you look at the Constitution, there is a provision guaranteeing happiness for the Filipinos. Why would we deprive them of that? If they are happy with that, shouldn’t we support them?” said Alvarez.

A provision in the 1987 Constitution stipulates that the “state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights”.

Alvarez said that while the Catholic Church is free to oppose it, the proposed measure only covers civil union and provision on conjugal ownership.

”The beauty of democracy is we can argue and disagree, but at the end of the day, it is the majority that prevails. My proposal is about civil union. We do not meddle with the affairs of the Church. There’s no problem if they don’t want it,” he argued.

The House Speaker said it is part of his advocacy to defend the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, especially with their growing population.

”Anybody can question it. There will be debates about it. At the end of the day, we will vote for or against it. For me, I just want to send the message that we respect their (LGBT’s) rights,” Alvarez stressed.

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