Senatorial candidate Atty. Lorna Kapunan has called for debates to begin regarding marriage equality in the Philippines.
In #TheLeaderIWant Forum, Kapunan said that the Philippines Constitution mandates equal protection of all citizens; something – she said – that was patterned after the US Constitution.
In 2015, when the Supreme Court of the US decided by a vote of 5-4 to grant marriage equality, it used the US Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, which has the Equal Protection Clause that requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction.
The Philippines Constitution “lifted the Fourteenth Amendment when it says that no person shall be discriminated against on account of gender, political beliefs, et cetera,” Kapunan said.
However, the Philippines has a Family Code which was “recently amended to define marriage… as between a man and a woman.”
So what is my view on same-sex marriage? My view is: Let the debate begin. Let us start to discuss same-sex marriage.”
Kapunan also said that – if the position of the church is to be included in the equation – “we also have to hurdle that issue on procreation,” with this also mentioned by the church as reason, aside from union, of why people should get married.
In a 2015 interview, Kapunan said that same-sex marriage “needs further study” and has to go through public consultations because there are laws, including the Family Code of the Philippines, which must be amended to allow the same.
“But let me tell you: I’m a very big advocate of supporting legal consequences of a domestic partnership. We may not have same-sex marriages yet, but we must recognize that there are legal consequences to a man and a man, or a woman and a woman living together. They should be respected in terms of their property rights, they should be respected for their right to form a domestic partnership,” Kapunan said, stressing that “I will defend your right for a same-sex marriage.”
Kapunan served as the legal counsel of Janet Napoles, the alleged mastermind behind the pork barrel scam; and celebrities like basketball player James Yap, controversial doctor Hayden Kho and actress Rhian Ramos.
Also at the #TheLeaderIWant Forum, Kapunan defended her involvement with Napoles, saying that she represented the latter for a kidnapping case and not for the pork barrel scam. Kapunan also stressed that “I dropped her (Napoles); I surrendered her to the President.”