Speaker of the House in the Philippines parliament has announced he will present a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.
Pantaleon Alvarez, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the third most powerful official in the parliament has pledged his personal support for same-sex marriage and his staff have already started to draft the bill which he will introduce on Monday.
When speaking to the media Alvarez has claimed this issue is all about making Philippine’s people happy.
“If you look at the Constitution, there is a provision guaranteeing happiness for the Filipinos. Why would we deprive them of that? If they are happy with that, shouldn’t we support them?”
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) October 3, 2016
The Philippines is largely a catholic country and there is expected to be backlash from the church over this bill, but Alvarez is confident this bill won’t be expecting the church to change their beliefs or the way they deal with homosexuality.
“My proposal is about civil union. We do not meddle with the affairs of the Church. There’s no problem if they don’t want it,” he was quoted saying in a press conference.
“The beauty of democracy is we can argue and disagree, but at the end of the day, it is the majority that prevails,” said the speaker.
Alvarez has been a government worker since 1998 when he was elected congressman for his province of Davao del Norte.
The bill is unlikely to be granted safe passage through the parliament as other politicians are now building their defences.
Danilo Suarez, the spokesperson for the minority party, suggested to Rappler that the same-sex debate was lower down a priority list for the country.
“Why do we even need to talk about that? The House will be divided. Our attention might be refocused. (President) Duterte is concentrated on drugs and peace and order. There’s health, employment, education.”
Last Updated on Oct 5, 2016