8 Things We Need To Remember About Fighting For Marriage Equality in the Philippines
Jul 1, 2015   •   Kel Fabie
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Jul 1, 2015   •   Kel Fabie
Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has ruled in a majority decision that marriage equality must now be recognized in all 50 states of America. Suddenly rainbows were everywhere and everyone got along with one another and never had problems with tolerance and acceptance ever again.
Just like that, the shockwaves were immediately felt in the Philippines, and you have pundits of all shapes and sizes commenting for or against this ruling, as if it’s already legal in the Philippines.
Let’s not get a little hasty here. While yes, it would be nice to at least actually be discussing this issue on the table for the Philippines, it’s far from getting anywhere near it anytime soon. Let’s not forget…
As shallow as the cause of being allowed into Valkyrie might be, the fact that we still don’t legally recognize transgender
people and always end up having awkward discussions about which public restroom they should be allowed to use means that there are so many basic things we also need to fix.
The religious lobby, the not-so-hidden threat of bloc voting, and multiple instances of the government spending funds on religious activities when religious institutions don’t even pay taxes are merely the tip of the iceberg. To say that we live in a secular society in this country is a laughable assertion, given how much of our legislative agenda is directly influenced by religion. The fact that a clearly Catholic (hint: not a marginalized or underrepresented sector in society at all) party-list in “Buhay” is making so much noise in congress should remind us of this.
But the worst part of this lack of (actual, not theoretical) separation between church and state? The fact that it only exacerbates the difficulty of accepting progress that the religious could legally ignore anyways. Instead, because church and state are so intrinsically tied in this country, it feels like our laws need to correspond with what our faith dictates. Even if it doesn’t necessarily have to.
Victor Hugo once said, “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come,” and truer words have never been said. While some in the US would argue that the SCOTUS ruling took that power away from the people, they were at least in a position to debate about it. Here in the Philippines, we are nowhere close thanks to #1, which you will find out about in a bit.
Personally, I think it’s a bit ridiculous that we are debating whether or not these people have human rights, because duh, human rights?
Marriage in the Philippines is clearly defined by the Family Code as “between a man and a woman.” Much as the SCOTUS had to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) first, the Family Code has to be dealt with before we can have any meaningful discussion about marriage equality. This means another chance for filibustering, disappearing quorums and so forth, all because the people we elected to represent us don’t want to do their jobs.
One problem now showing up in the United States is that in some states, a gay couple can get married over the weekend, and then be fired on Monday because they’re gay, and there’s nothing they can legally do about it. The Philippines has it even worse in general when it comes to anti-discrimination laws, considering how we still make job applicants submit a photograph with their resume.
While having children up for adoption by gay couples isn’t explicitly illegal in the Philippines, joint adoption currently isn’t allowed (for obvious reasons). Furthermore, on a case to case basis, a gay individual who wishes to adopt could be denied solely on the basis of being gay, assuming the person making the decision considers homosexuality “immoral,” which means that they fail the “good moral character” criteria by default.
Look. Do we really want to subject even more people to potentially bad marriages they can’t get out of? Let’s settle this divorce debate once and for all! There is no #PinoyPride to be had for being the only country in the world not named the Vatican State that doesn’t allow divorce.
Marriage is a great thing, except when it isn’t. The fact that we have to jump through ridiculous and expensive hoops just to get Filipinos out of a bad marriage is why we have so many martyrs here who think it will all get better someday. And then it never does.
If gay marriage were legal, you don’t have to marry someone in your church, because it’s a legal procedure, not a religious ceremony. We still have religious freedom.
If gay marriage were legal, you don’t have to worry that marrying children, animals, or cadavers is next. Not only has this yet to be the case in the nearly dozen or so countries that have already legalized same-sex marriage, but have you ever heard of “consent?”
If gay marriage were legal, you don’t have to worry about being forced to marry someone from the same sex. It’s hard enough finding someone to spend the rest of your life with to worry about other people on the same quest, even if they have matching genitals and the thought of it squicks you out. Our lawyer friend, Trian Lauang, summed it up nicely in this post.
And lastly, if you’re not for marriage equality, don’t jump on the bandwagon with the rainbow profile picture. Instead, just go back to telling everyone how you’ve always been a Golden State Warrior fan… oh, wait.
Mabuti pa network marketers. At least, open-minded sila.
What are your thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling? Leave a comment and let us know!
Input your search keywords and press Enter.