Will PH lawmakers allow gay marriage?

Posted at 06/27/13 3:18 PM

MANILA - Inspired by the win of gay rights in the United States, a group said equality in marriages will also help end discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTs (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) in the Philippines.

In a statement, Engenderights Executive Director Clara Rita Padilla said she hopes the LGBT community’s win the Supreme Court of the United States will also be celebrated here.

“Enacting a law that provides equality in marriage and divorce is one step towards ending discrimination and hate crimes against LGBTs. It is an important step towards a humane and just society where people respect the rights of others,” she said.

The Supreme Court of the United States made two landmark rulings on Wednesday morning (late evening in the Philippines).

In the first one, it struck down parts of the national Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which only defines marriage between and man and woman. This means that all federal benefits will also be extended to married gay couples.

The second decision, on the other hand, struck down Proposition 8 marriage ban but only insofar as California is concerned. This means other states will have to decide on their respective jurisdictions.

“These two new landmark decisions come timely when in the Philippines the anti-discrimination bill seeking to protect LGBTs from discrimination has not yet been passed into law and where women’s reproductive rights are being denied due to fundamentalist religious beliefs,” Padilla said.

“Until Philippine law recognizes the right to equality in marriage and divorce of LGBTs, there will always be discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. People will always find an excuse to discriminate against LGBTs,” she added.