Robredo, Lacson back civil unions for LGBT Filipinos – #BotongPinoy2022

Robredo, Lacson back civil unions for LGBT Filipinos – #BotongPinoy2022

The topic of lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexual (LGBT) rights was briefly raised during Sunday night’s presidential debate moderated by CNN Philippines’ Pia Hontiveros and Pinky Webb.

The moderators asked three candidates, Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Senator Manny Pacquiao, and if they will support legal recognition for LGBT couples in the Philippines. Only former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. failed to attend the debate among the ten presidential candidates.

Pacquiao emphasized that while he respects LGBTs, he will not back efforts to expand their rights in accordance to his faith. For her part, Robredo made clear her support for civil unions as well as having anti-discrimination protections for LGBT Filipinos.

“I’m all for civil unions. Pareho po kami ng paniniwala ni Pope Francis na may karapatang lumigaya kahit sino. Hindi dapat sila pinaparusahan because of the choices they make. Obligasyon ng pamahalaan na siguraduhing hindi sila nadi-diskrimina at lahat ng opportunities na available sa lahat, dapat available din para sa kanila,” Robredo said.

Meanwhile, Lacson also took an affirmative stance on having civil unions for LGBT Filipinos. “Same sex marriage? No. Civil unions? Yes. Tama ang sinabi ni VP Robredo. Bigyan natin sila ng equal na oportunidad at pribilehiyo,” he said.

COMMENTARY:

It is important to note that there are two important issues affecting LGBT Filipinos right now. The first one is the need for stronger anti-discrimination protections in schools, workplace, public spaces, etc. Although not everyone experiences discrimination on a daily basis, it cannot be denied that this still happens.

The second one concerns the need to have a pathway for legal recognition of same-sex relationships in the country. Marriage equality is not be a top priority for LGBT rights advocates right now because it will almost-certainly not be achieved anytime soon. The divorce bill isn’t even moving forward.
Nevertheless, it needs to be part of public discourse. It must be stressed that marriage as a religious ceremony and as a basic human right are two different things. If civil unions will guarantee that LGBT couples can have the same rights just like straight married couples, then it is a worthy compromise.

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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