Support for marriage equality in the Philippines has a tough road ahead. A new polls show more than 60% of people do not even support civil unions for same-sex couples.
The case for legalizing same-sex civil unions has gained momentum during a historic hearing in the Supreme Court on marriage equality.
Supreme Court Justices are reviewing whether the ban on same-sex marriage in the Philippines is unconstitutional.
During the hearing last week Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio asked co-plaintiff Jesus Falcis, who is also the lawyer representing the pro-marriage equality team, whether the LGBTI community would settle for civil unions over traditional marriage.
‘We are very happy that there are many people in the movement who support marriage equality per se, they do not want to settle for less, but of course, as advocates, if the Supreme Court rules in favor of civil unions only, we’re also fine with that, but it doesn’t mean we will stop fighting for equality,’ Falcis said in court.
61% say no to civil unions
Even if the LGBTI community settles for civil unions as a way to officially recognize its relationships.
A survey completed by Social Weather Stations (SWS) found that 61% of people in the Philippines opposed same-sex civil unions. Only 21% of the population said it approved of civil unions for same-sex couples.
SWS interviewed 1,200 people in March across the country. It asked do you agree ‘there should be a law that will allow the civil union of two men or two women’.
It found that the majority of people opposed same-sex civil unions in every part of the Philippines.
Also, the majority of people from every major religion did not agree with same-sex civil unions. The major religions in the Philippines are: Roman Catholic, other Catholic denominations and Islam.
The SWS conducted the survey as a ‘public service’ and not as a commission from a third party.
Single men – including divorced and widowed – were those most strongly opposed at 77%.
The LGBTI community wants marriage equality or same-sex unions to make ensure LGBTI couples have the same rights as heterosexuals.