Just as he’s getting flak for the supposed flip-flopping of his position re marriage equality, Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte stressed that he does not condemn anybody, and even said to let LGBT people be, even as he also stressed that the Philippines currently has a law that mandates that only those who were assigned male and female at birth can marry each other.
“Ako, I am centered on the human being. What pleases your existence. Isang danaan lang tayo sa buhay na ito. Kung ano ang makapaligaya sa isang tao o dalawang tao, kanila yan (We pass this life only once. So whatever makes a person r two persons happy, that’s their call),” Duterte said. “But for the reason that there is a law… in the Family Code, sa ating Civil Code that defines… marriage is always between a man and a woman. If I allow it, then I would have violated the law.”
Article 54 of the Civil Code of the Philippines states: “Any male of the age of sixteen years or upwards, and any female of the age of fourteen years or upwards… may contract marriage.” This was amended by Article 5 of the Family Code of the Philippines (Executive Order No. 209), signed by the late Pres. Corazon Aquino, stating: “Any male or female of the age of eighteen years or upwards not under any of the impediments mentioned in Articles 37 and 38, may contract marriage.”
The Family Code also specifically states (Article 1): “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman (Emphasis ours – Ed) entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code.”
His personal position, Duterte said, is: “Pero… kung tanungin mo ako, kung ano ang malapaligaya sa iyo, gawin mo (But if you ask me, whatever makes you happy, do it). If it makes the gays happy, let them be. I do not condemn anybody there.”
Duterte added: “Just don’t break the law.”
In the House of Representatives, Duterte ally Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez earlier said he aims to pass a bill that will grant LGBT couples the right to civil union. But more focus is currently being placed on the 17-year-old Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB), with transpinay Rep. Geraldine Roman, along with the likes of Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, pushing for this in the Lower House; while Sen. Risa Hontiveros pushing for the same in the Senate.