PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he was amenable to amending the law to allow same-sex marriage in the country.
"I want same-sex marriage. The problem is we'll have to change the law. But we can change the law," the President said in his speech during the seventh lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community yearend gathering held Sunday, December 17, in Davao City.
"The law provides that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. I don't have any problems making it marrying a man, marrying a woman or whatever is the predilection of the human being," he added.
Duterte's latest remark was contrary to his previous statement in March.
Duterte had cited the Family Code of the Philippines, which he said merely allows marriage "between a man and a woman."
He, however, was quick to clarify that he does not condemn same-sex relationship as he wanted the LGBT community to "go out of this universe happy and fulfilled."
"In the Family Code, in our Civil Code that (is) defining the relations of men, our society, marriages, birth, (and) everything, it says marriage is always between a man and a woman. If I allow it (same-sex marriage), then I would have violated the law," he said in an interview in Pasay City on March 23.
“But if you would ask me what makes you happy, do it. You can only do it once. Never return back. This is one straight deal. So whatever makes you happy, you go out of this universe happy and fulfilled. If it makes the gays happy, let them be. I do not condemn anybody there. What makes you happy, good. Just don’t violate the law,” he added.
Executive Order 209, or Family Code of the Philippines, signed by former President Corazon Aquino on July 6, 1987 states that marriage is "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."
It further provides that marriage is invalid, unless the contracting parties are male and a female.
In his latest remark, Duterte reminded the LGBT people not to feel sorry, saying they are "normal" because they are also "creations of God."
"Are we normal? Yes. Are you normal? Yes. Is lesbian abnormal? No, of course not. Why? Because we are all creations of God. God was the one who made a mistake," he said.
"I hope there could never be discrimination (and) bigotry. There is injustice which nobody can answer now. God should have done something because there are confused men and women." (SunStar Philippines)