A leading law professor who is hoping for an associate justice post in the Supreme Court of the Philippines spoke out against LGBT people at his hearing.
Jeremy Benigno Gatdula told the Judicial and Bar Council same-sex unions were ‘not a valid definition of marriage’.
‘It is not contributory to common good’, he said.
Gatdula also said the Philippines granted LGBT people rights ‘over and above what is given to other people’.
‘I do not see how that can be a discriminated sector [LGBT] when they’re holding so much power in society’ he said, according to Rappler.
He said: ‘They clearly have leadership in media, they have clear leadership in business and politics.’
‘They can make the mayor of Manila do a gay pride parade whereas all other sectors cannot do so. They can make multinationals create an entire marketing programs to support their cause.’
He also said there was no way to prove a person was LGBT. ‘So how will it be possible for us to construct a legal system to be able to account for something that even the scientific community is having a difficulty with?’ Gatdula asked.
Equal marriage and civil unions
Predominantly Roman Catholic, the Philippines does not grant LGBTI citizens equal rights.
What’s more, earlier this month, the country’s Senate failed to pass long-awaited anti-discrimination legislation.
Articles 1 and 2 of The Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as between man and woman.
But, a judge on the Supreme Court in 2018 said the country’s existing constitution and civil code could allow same-sex civil partnerships.
Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a bill seeking the recognition of same-sex unions in October 2017.
‘We interpret the Constitution as it was meant or understood by the people at the time that they ratified it’ Gatdula also said.
‘I believe in 1987, people thought marriage as between a man and a woman,’ he said.