The Philippines is one of the most conservative former Spanish colonies on Earth. The gay marriage debate here is more or less just a whisper here in the land where ‘its more fun’. The country is 86% catholic and it shows in the dominance of the catholic church.
It wasn’t until last year that government managed to push through all the objections of the church just to give out free condoms. read more here: Condoms in schools, finally! .
While the rest of the world claims victory after victory when it comes to LGBT rights in the Philippines we take President Duterte simply saying he’ll ‘consider’ gay marriage as a victory. WTF?! We can do better than this!
Why is same sex marriage important? Marriage is part of the foundation of our society. It signifies your intent to spend the rest of your life with a single person forsaking all others (not really but that’s for another blog).
Marriage brings with it all sorts of benefits such as “the rights to jointly adopt children, own conjugal properties, intestate succession, migrate, avail of tax exemption, and avail of benefits related to insurance, social security, medical, hospitalization, next-of-kin, burial, among others”. source: Benefits of Marriage
We LGBT citizens and residents in the Philippines we deserve all of those same rights just as we have to pay all of the same taxes. By denying us the right, and yes its a right, of marriage the government is saying our relationships do not have the same value as straight ones.
Luckily the winds of change are beginning to blow at our backs. Last year Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez III of the Philippine house of representatives filed a bill to create civil unions in the country.
Geraldine Roman, the first ever transgender congresswoman, threw her support behind the bill. A whopping 150 legislators have backed the bill. That’s nothing short of amazing but we cannot stop. LGBT Pinoy and Proud now has 60k members its not only one of the largest gay pinoy groups its one of the largest pinoy groups on facebook! LGBT Pinoy and Proud
Its a good start but but we mustn’t stop! Don’t think the religious oligarchy is just going to sit on its hands while we chip away at their power. We must show the Philippine people that being pro gay doesn’t mean being anti-God. I am a gay man that loves the Lord and my partner.
My faith is what is led me to be a better partner to him.
There are simple things you can do to help the fight!
1. Don’t be ashamed! Live in your truth the creator made you this way. Embrace it.
2. Respond (politely) to myths you hear about us. Let people know that: No we’re sex crazed animals that pay straight men to blow them
3. Join a gay group on Facebook or here. There are power in numbers
4 Form your own gay group at school or a social club
5. Get to know your queer peers. You’re not alone. Meet others who are special like you
Bottom line we’re here we’re queer and they need to get used to it