Senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros reiterated her position that passing an anti-discrimination bill (ADB) should be prioritized instead of pushing for marriage equality in the Philippines.
Interviewed by Bilang Pilipino 2016, Hontiveros said that “ang mga kababayan nating (our fellow Filipinos who are) LGBT are not pushing for same-sex marriage.”
Hontiveros claimed that LGBT people “yung gumagabay sa atin (are guiding us)” to, instead, focus on the “urgent task” to pass the ADB “para mabawasan natin yung (so we can lessen the) atmosphere of hatred at para mas maprotektahan yung mga kababayan nating LGBT laban sa karahasan (at) para makamit nila yung buong karapatan nila bilang mamamayan (and for us to protect LGBT Filipinos against violence and for them to attain their full rights as citizens).”
As early as 2013 (the year Hontiveros sought for the second time a seat in Senate), in an entry in her Twitter account, Hontiveros already expressed her focus on ADB first even if she said she upholds the right of same-sex couples to form their families.
Also in 2013, as a guest speaker at the Development-at-Work Forum organized by the Center for Development Management, Hontiveros discussed LGBT issues.
“We say that we accept LGBTs, and yet we sometimes find ourselves praying that our siblings or children do not turn out to be gay. We find LGBTs entertaining on TV shows, but not inside homes, or within the family. It is this rejection of LGBTs that creates an environment of abuse for many young Filipinos who are perceived to be LGBT by their parents or siblings,” Hontiveros was quoted as saying then.
Hontiveros was the representative of Akbayan in the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 2004 to 2010. Partylist Akbayan sponsored the ADB in the Lower House of Congress.