TAKING a cue from Pope Francis, two lawmakers said it is about time the Philippines had a law allowing civil union among homosexuals.
Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera welcomed the latest remarks of Pope Francis supporting same sex marriage.
According to Pope Francis, homosexuals should be covered by civil union laws.
“Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” Pope Francis said in a documentary film.
“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they have legally covered. I stood up for that,” His Holiness added.
Pending in Congress are the bills of Alvarez and Herrera both of which give protection to the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) and allow their union.
Being dominantly Catholic, the Philippines does not allow same sex marriage.
“I am thankful for the enlightening and courageous stance taken by Pope Francis. His words provide support to House Bill 6595 entitled “Recognizing the Civil Partnership of Couples, Providing for their Rights and Obligations,” which was filed during the 17th Congress,” Alvarez, a former Speaker of the House, said.
Refiled this 18th Congress, House Bill 2264 states that LGBT brothers and sisters deserve to have protections, under the law, for their respective union with the person they choose to be their life partner.
Alvarez said that with Pope Francis sharing his thoughts about this issue, he is optimistic that more legislators in the House and in the Senate will become open and supportive of the objectives of House Bill 2264.
“But let us be patient because, in the end, reality eventually catches up. This is a good opportunity to reignite, once more, the conversation about the realities of existing relationships and the need to have a legal framework for this kind of human relations.
“On my part, I understand that the opposition against civil unions come from members of our community with conservative views,” he added.
Herrera, author of HB 1357 or the Civil Partnership Act, said, “I am now hopeful that the two bills on Civil partnership, HB 1357 andHB 2264, pending at the comm on women gendr equality will finally move forward after being dormant for so long.”
“The public support by Pope Francis of the enactment of civil union laws could be exactly the impetus needed so that opposition to the civil partnership bill will melt away,” the partylist solon said.