The Philippines Congress this week launched an online poll to gauge support for legalizing same-sex unions.
Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a bill seeking the recognition of same-sex unions in October 2017.
A judge on the Supreme Court in 2018 said the country’s existing constitution and civil code could allow same-sex civil partnerships.
‘Are you in favor of the proposal in the House of Representatives which legalizes same-sex unions as a civil partnership in the country?’ The poll asks.
Head on to the Congress’ website and vote YES for #Equality!
— Side B Philippines (@SideBPh) May 21, 2019
Respondents can choose between three replies:
‘Yes, because this will give equal civil rights to same-sex couples. The bill provides such couples with legal partnership status that will govern their property rights, custodial rights over children and adoption rights.’
‘No, because the underlying intention is to legalize marriage between members of the same sex and I personally believe this is wrong.’
‘I am undecided.’
As of Wednesday (22 May) morning, 117,006 people had cast their votes.
So far, 51% of people had voted ‘yes’. Meanwhile, 48% had voted no. But, 1% said they were undecided.
Taiwan last week became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Man and Woman
Predominantly Roman Catholic, the Philippines does not grant LGBTI citizens equal rights.
A bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual identity or gender identity is languishing in the country’ senate.
Articles 1 and 2 of The Family Code of the Philippines defines marriage as between man and woman.
But, in May 2015, Jesus Nicardo Falcis filed a petition to the Supreme Court. He argued the court should dismiss the Family Code articles.
He argued the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the 1949 Civil Code of the Philippines did not restrict marriage to opposite sexes.
In 2018, the Supreme Court said it was ‘more inclined’ to dismiss the petition.