by Charmaine A. Tadalan
“Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law,” wrote Boethius, a Roman senator, consul and philosopher of the early 6th century.
The fight towards gender equality in the country is facing rough sailing anew with the recent pronouncement of President Duterte frowning on the union of the same sex, a reversal of his stand on the matter during the campaign.
But Canada-based Filipino couple Jonathan Sac and Kristoffer Flaminiano are unfazed.
“Love is not something that we need to get an approval from the Catholic people,” Sac told the Manila Bulletin in an online interview. “It is a feeling that we need to express and feel. Love is love, equal is equal.”
He shared that when he got married to his long-time partner, matters of religion were never on the table.
“When I got married here in Canada, the registry never asked me about my religion. They told me that this is my right and I’m protected with this right,” Sac said.
For Sac, religion is not always material to marriage. “What if I’m not a Christian? What if I don’t believe in Bible?”
Sac says society fails to understand the value of same-sex marriage.
“Mahirap ipaintindi ang salitang same sex marriage; at first, hindi sya SAME SEX MARRIAGE LANG, It is a piece of paper that gives us right to practice and life to enjoy like a regular people,” he pointed.
Sac, who has been married for four years now believes equal rights do not exist if members of the LGBT community cannot enjoy the same rights and opportunities that others have just because the law does not recognize it.
Coming from a Catholic family, Sac had his share of troubles as he came out of the closet.
“Changing people’s mind is hard to impose. It should come naturally,” Sac said.
“When I opened up to my family about my sexual orientation (that I am gay), It is hard for them to accept,” Sac shared considering his initial interest to become a priest.
His family, initially resented his being gay but soon understood his preference after making them understand.
“I guess lahat naman nadadala sa magandang paliwanagan. ’Di ko naman dapat pang ipilit sa kanila (family) kasi being gay is a natural thing for us. Wala namang nagturo sa amin na maging ganito,” Sac said.
Sac, 36, and Kristoffer, 29, met in Canada and were together for three years before they decided to marry.
“We decided to get married because we think that this is good and we are recognized here without any judgement — like regular couples, we do have share and provide something to live, like house or apartment, car, and lahat ng ikabubuhay namin,” Sac said.
“Pareho kaming nag hahanap buhay para mabuhay. What will happen to us if there is no law that protects us?” he said.
Sac shared that if he and Kristoffer were in the Philippines, both of them would still settle together – a proof that, indeed, love will always win.