MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte supports a proposed legislation which seeks to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (SOGIE), but is not in favor of same-sex marriage, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that while Duterte supports equal rights for all Filipinos regardless of gender, he is leaving it to lawmakers to finalize provisions in a legislation that protects the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.
LGBTQIA+ refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual community.
“Malinaw na malinaw po ang paninindigan ng ating Presidente, naniniwala po siya na lahat po ng Pilipino ay pantay-pantay ano man ang kanilang kasarian. Pero hinahayaan na po natin sa Kongreso kung ano ang magiging pinal na bersyon ng SOGIE bill (Our President’s position is very clear, he believes that all Filipinos are equal regardless of their gender. But we are leaving it to Congress to decide on the final version of the SOGIE bill),” he said in a press briefing from Catanduanes.
He said the President believes that members of the LGBTQIA+ community should have the same rights as everyone else.
“Sang-ayon po siya na magkaroon ng batas na iiral dun sa relasyon ng kaparehong kasarian. Dahil nga po itong SOGIE bill naman ay tinataguyod din ang karapatan maging pantay-pantay ang lahat ng Pilipino, suportado din po yan ng ating Presidente pero ang detalye iniiwan ni Presidente sa Kongreso (He agrees that there should be a law that protects same-sex couples. Because this SOGIE bill also promotes the right to be equal for all Filipinos, our President is also supportive of this but he leaves the details to Congress),” he added.
However, Roque stressed that Duterte opposes same-sex marriage.
“Pagdating sa yung civil relations na tinatawag, iba po ito sa same-sex marriage. Hindi po sang-ayon ang Presidente sa same-sex marriage. Whether be it church or civil, hindi po siya sang-ayon (When it comes to so-called civil relations, this is different from same-sex marriage. He is against same-sex marriage. Whether be it church or civil, he is not in favor),” he said.
On Oct. 22, Roque said Duterte backs same-sex civil union after Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pontiff in a feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival.
“The President has said it over and over again, pabor po siya sa isang batas na magri-recognize ng civil union sa mga parehong same sex relationships (he is favor of a law that will recognize civil union of same sex relationships). Recognition of civil union has always been supported by the President,” Roque said.
In the documentary, Pope Francis was quoted as saying “homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.”
Currently, there are 16 SOGIE bills filed in the House of Representatives but none of them seek to legalize same-sex marriage
The House unanimously approved its version of the SOGIE bill on third and final reading via a 197-0 vote during the 17th Congress, but it failed to progress in the Senate.
On Wednesday, the House committee on women and gender equality began its hearing on the proposed measure which has failed to pass Congress since it was first filed by former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and former Rep. Etta Rosales in 2000. Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com