THERE are many things that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has said and done over the past year or more that I find wrong and distasteful. What he did last October 10, however, is worthy of note, as he and a few other congressmen filed House Bill 6595, which aims to legalize and grant the same rights to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) couples as that of married couples.
In other words, this is about as good as the same-sex marriage law that many have been waiting for; or dreading, depending on who is reading this.
I’m sure this will be the hot topic of many sermons, bible studies, and prayer meetings in the coming days and I’m pretty sure that at one point or another, Leviticus 20:13 will come up: “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.”
Just for fun, bring a realistic toy gun or knife to these meetings and enthusiastically volunteer to kill these abominations. Let’s see how your pastor reacts.
Oh, and don’t forget the verses before that. You’re also supposed to kill adulterers, which would probably wipe out most of congress because according to the House Speaker himself, “Who doesn’t have a girlfriend?” On second thought, wiping out congress might not be such a bad...Okay, I’ll stop right here and move on to the next point.
Just 9 chapters before in Leviticus 11, the Lord talks about what you can and cannot eat and among those you cannot eat, which are interestingly also called abominations, are pigs, crabs and shrimps. So if you still eat lechon or that sinigang na hipon or garlic crabs, you should question why you aren’t as strict in following these other commands.
Leviticus 19:26-28 also prohibits eating anything with blood (no dinuguan or those medium-rare steaks as well), shaving the sides of your head or trimming the edges of your beard, or getting tattoos. Anyway, go read the entire book (and add a dash of Deuteronomy there as well) and see how many people you have to kill for being abominations or doing abominable acts.
“God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” is the battlecry of many a Christian in the fight against same-sex marriage. However, if you do believe that God created everything, then you would come to the inevitable conclusion that God did, in fact, create Steve as well.
Seriously, if you are so keen on that one verse in Leviticus 20:13, why don’t you take these other verses seriously as well? And no, this is NOT advice or a directive for you to take those verses seriously. I am not telling you to go out and kill people but to sit down and think.
Anyway, back to the bill and some other points. The writer(s) tries to draw away some flak by using the term “civil partnership” instead of saying “marriage” or “same sex marriage,” but all the rights, obligations, benefits and protections of marriage seem to be included in this bill as outlined in Section 11:
“Civil partnership couples shall be afforded the following benefits, protections and responsibilities...all benefits and protections as are granted to spouses in a marriage under existing laws, administrative orders, court rulings, or those derived as a matter of public policy, or any other source of civil law.”
The only strange clause I found was on adoption where homosexual couples can only adopt a child if the child either belongs biologically to one of the partners, or if there are no married heterosexual couples willing to adopt the child (Section 14). This suggests that the bill’s author still maintains the view that heterosexual parents are somehow better or more ideal for the child than having homosexual parents, which I consider rubbish.
There are good parents and there are bad parents, period. Their genders are hardly an issue, although I understand the social impact on a child in a conservative society such as ours. Yet, that should not be a hindrance for good and well-meaning LGBT couples to adopt a child and love him or her as their own. That would certainly be a better situation than leaving them parent-less.
If this bill passes, we will be one of the first countries in Asia to have such a law. Same-sex marriage is currently legal mostly in dominantly Western societies -- Europe, the Americas and Australia.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 27, 2017.
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