If Du30 can bury dictator as hero, why can’t he promote equal rights for LGBT?
While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw a post regarding a statement on same-sex marriage that was recently made by President Duterte in Myanmar. He said that same-sex marriage would not be possible in the Philippines because we are a Catholic country and the law is against it.
Like other Filipino citizens, I was invested in the 2016 elections and spent a lot of time watching the presidential candidates’ interviews. I remember Mr. Duterte’s promise during his campaign: He would support the legalization of same-sex marriage in the country. He said that marriage was for “Adam, Eve, and the gays.”
Mr. Duterte’s reversal on the matter is not just about not fulfilling a campaign promise. It is tantamount to denying the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community a fundamental right. We, in the community, are not asking for special privileges. We are only asking for equal rights.
Personally, I felt insulted by the statement since it sounded like he only supported same-sex marriage during the campaign period to win votes from the LGBT community. Now that he is president, he is ignoring us and our rights, while focusing on his losing war against drugs.
Being a lawyer, a fact he mentioned way too often during the campaign period, he should know that current laws can be amended or revised. His statement reflects his indifference to the rights of the Filipino LGBT community and his lack of political will to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Also, he must be familiar with the Constitution, especially with the provision on the separation of Church and State (Article II Section 6), so we should not let our being a “Catholic country” hinder us from coming up with fair and just legislation.
It’s 2017, for Pete’s sake. We already have Manny Pacquiao in the Senate. We do not need another bigoted politician who walks back on his campaign promises. If he can fulfill his promise to bury a dictator as a hero, why not promote equal rights for his people? It’s not that hard.
NIKKI JOHN ZABALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
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