THE Philippines, being a predominantly Catholic nation, is not yet ready for same-sex marriage, Malacañang said Thursday, June 21.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said it may be "too revolutionary" for the country to legalize marriage of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) couples.
He made the remark after the Supreme Court conducted Tuesday, June 19, its first oral argument on the petition to allow same-sex mariage in the Philippines.
"Ako po ay naniniwala na hindi pa po talaga handa itong Supreme Court na ito at ang bansa para sa ganitong proposal na marriage talaga amongst sa same sex," the Palace official said.
(I believe that the Supreme Court and our country are not yet ready for such proposal of marriage amongt same sex.)
"Alam nila na too revolutionary siguro na tanggapin ng ating lipunan iyong same-sex marriage," he added.
(They know that it's too revolutionary perhaps to accept the same-sex marriage in our society.)
The high tribunal's oral argument comes as the LGBT communities celebrate Pride Month in honor of the June 1969 Stonewall riots in the United States that served as the catalyst for gay rights movement all over the world.
On Wednesday, June 20, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed optimism that the Supreme Court would vote in favor of same-sex marriage in the Philippines.
Reacting to HRW's remark, Roque said the international rights group was "detached from what's happening in the Philippines' Supreme Court."
"Dahil ang tingin ko po, 'yung mga deklarasyon ng mga justices eh parang mahirap na mailusot itong kasong ito," he said.
(I think the declaration of our justices [in the Supreme Court is] it's difficult to approve this case [of legalizing same-sex marriage].)
"Even the President has actually changed his mind on it. There was a time he was against it. there was a time he said he's for it. So this is really fluid," he added.
In March 2017, Duterte opposed the proposal to push for a same-sex marriage, emphasizing that the Family Code of the Philippines only permits marriage "between a man and a woman."
Under the Family Code of the Philippines, marriage is defined as a "special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into accordance with the law for the establishment of conjugal and family life."
In December 2017, the President retracted his previous remark as he expressed his intent to amend the law to allow same-sex marriage in the country. (SunStar Philippines)