Still looking for LGBTQIA supporters in the Senate.
If Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is to be followed, it’s say goodbye to marriage equality for LGBTQIA Filipinos. This after he stressed his religion-influenced belief that marriage is only intended for men and women, and only to build a family, just as he said that he does not believe the Philippines is ready for the institutionalization of civil unions for LGTQIA people.
Pimentel’s remark came after actor-turned-senator Robin Padilla filed Senate Bill (SB) 449, or the proposed Civil Unions Act, that seeks to “recognize the civil union between two persons of the same or opposite sex” to allow them to enjoy the rights, protection and privileges already afforded opposite-sex married couples.
Offering justification for his opposition to grant LGBTQIA people’s relationships the right to be legally recognized, Pimentel said: “Alam ko naman na ang moralidad o norms ng lipunan nagbabago ‘yan over time. So, tignan natin kung handa na ba ang Pilipinas dito. Ang aking pagbasa sa ating mga kababayan, number one, hindi pa tayo handa (I know morality or norms in society change over time. So let’s see if the Philippines is ready for this. But the way I see it, first, we’re not yet ready),” Pimentel said in a Super Radyo dzBB interview.
He added that, “number two, masisira ang ating understanding ng marriage kasi marriage po talaga ito. Bibigyan pa ng lisensya yata ‘yung mag o-officiate ng civil registrar… Halos lahat ng process ng marriage sinunod eh (secondly, it will destroy our understanding of marriage as this will be similar to marriage. Those who will officiate civil unions will be given license by the civil registrar… It will just mimic all the processes when one gets married).”
As if laws are made in a vacuum, Pimentel also said that discussions on same-sex unions could be started, but lawmakers are supposed to prioritize other measures affecting the economic and food crises, and issues of corruption.