Opinion Opinion Feature

Love will always win

Back when most of us were younger, we were taught that marriage was a union between a man and a woman. Today, this notion has been challenged several times already, especially now with the LGBTQ+ community pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriages across the globe. The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2001 and other nations have followed since, with the latest being Taiwan, the first nation in Asia—a culturally conservative continent—to do so.

In Asia, the Philippines was dubbed as “one of few gay-friendly countries in the world,” in an article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer back in 2013. The write-up was based on a survey that was conducted by the US-based Pew Research Center. This begs the question: how can a country that is supposedly “gay-friendly” not allow same-sex marriage?

There have been multiple attempts to permit same-sex unions with the latest being House Bill No. 6595 or the “Civil Partnerships Act” which was proposed by several members of the House of Representatives back in October 10, 2017. The act supposedly recognizes and supports same-sex marriage. A legal relationship between two persons of either the same or opposite sex is the definition of the term “Civil Partnerships” which is frequently used under the act.

The House of Representatives is also currently conducting an online poll on their website, asking the Filipino people whether or not they agree to allow same-sex unions, or they’re unsure. The online poll was first discovered and reported by several media outlets on May 21, 2019, and upon visiting the website a few weeks later, I noticed that a majority of the respondents showed support for same-sex marriage. While this may seem like it would increase the chances of the Civil Partnerships Act to become a law, there are still many with multiple arguments against same-sex marriage.

One of which commonly mentioned is the definition of marriage under Executive Order No. 209, also known as the Family Code of the Philippines. Article I of the Family Code states that “marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life”.

However, despite existing legislation, I believe that there are several reasons to support the idea of granting the LGBTQ+ community the opportunity to get married. One of which is that people should not force their traditional view of marriage to impede on the Bill of Rights. The LGBTQ+ community should be given the freedom to marry anyone of their choosing.

Not allowing the LGBTQ+ community the right to get married violates the Bill of Rights, Section III, Article 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Under that provision exists the right that all Filipinos have. It declares that everyone should be governed by the same laws and carry the same rights, stating that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”

Legalizing same-sex marriage in the Philippines by passing the Civil Partnerships Act can help re-establish the long due respect for a part of society that has experienced many trials and tribulations throughout the course of history. With only 27 countries supporting same-sex unions, it’s time for the country to become the 28th nation to do so. The lawmakers of the land, the House and the Senate, should write or pass laws that cater to the rights and responsibilities of society, such as by is removing the notion that marriage is only meant for heterosexuals.

Bench Peralta

By Bench Peralta

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