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An Overview Of The Place Of Gay Marriages In The Philippines

  • Category: World
  • Subcategory: Asia
  • Topic: Manila
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1826
  • Published: 12 March 2019
  • Downloads: 52
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Equality in the Eyes of the Law

Marriage is simply not for a homosexual couple. In the Philippines, Fonbuena (2015) reported that “up to 70% of the survey respondents said they ‘strongly disagree’ with same-sex marriage being allowed in the predominantly Catholic country.” This means that majority of Filipinos believe that marriage is a union that should only be enjoyed by people engaged in a heterosexual relationship. The legislation of same-sex marriage is highly improbable due to the Philippines’ pre-dominantly Catholic background and the belief of the majority that a homosexual relationship cannot possibly accomplish the primary reason of marriage which is procreation. Marriage is defined as “a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life” (Family Code of the Philippines, 1987.) The law is clear that marriage is exclusively for heterosexual couples. There is no mention of gays or lesbians. Not only that, but the act also states that the marriage may be annulled if any of the party is involved in homosexuality or lesbianism. That statement alone completely erases the possibility of homosexuals to receive the marriage right. In addition, the act emphasized that “marriage is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution.” Two men or two women cannot perpetuate human life because of the inability of reproduction and only through the help of modern technology can a child be produced. Cytrynbaum, Grafodatskaya, and Weksberg (2013), stated that “as the rate of assisted reproduction technology (ART) and the total number of pregnancies has increased, it has become apparent that ART is associated with potential risks to the mother and fetus.” This means that though procreation is possible, risks of birth defects and genetic disorders are high. Based on the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, the total fertility rate of the Philippines is 3.02 children born per woman as of 2017. These statements have shown that despite the possibility of homosexuals to reproduce through ART, success rates are still low compared to when heterosexuals use the coital method and shows that the purpose of procreation in marriage cannot be easily accomplished by same-sex couples. Natural marriage provides society with the very foundation of civilization—the procreating family unit. However, legalizing same-sex marriage could weaken that as proven so in a study. Borreli (2013) reported that a research conducted by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) suggested “that while children of LGBT parents are just as well adjusted as children with heterosexual parents, they can face some challenges.” According to psychologist Trayce Hansen (2012), same-sex marriage hurts and confuses children who are raised thinking that homosexuality is normal, and gender roles and expectations can be reversed. This threatens the institution of marriage and there may come a time when simply arguing about same-sex marriage will already be considered discrimination. In conclusion, same-sex marriage cannot fulfill the definition of marriage between a man and a woman (as defined in the Family Code) nor the purpose of procreation, and it will only serve to weaken the foundation of society and families. Hence, legalizing same-sex marriage is not necessary.

A heterosexual marriage, or a two-parent, mother-father family is for the best interest of a child. Some supporters of same-sex marriage think that all children really just need is love. But according to researches, this is not the case. There are psychological positive effects a mother and father can do to children. At the same time, the absence of either the mother or the father poses negative effects on a child. Same-sex couples can adopt children from orphanages, but is this truly for the best interest of the child? Wilcox (2005) emphasized that most fathers and mothers possess sex-specific talents related to parenting. An enumeration was included of the different unique talents of a mother which are breastfeeding, understanding, nurturing, and comforting infants and children. Mentioned also in the test is the different capabilities of fathers that are beneficial for the development of the children which are disciplining, playing, and challenging the child to embrace life’s challenges. Meyer (2007) stated that lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGB) have a higher prevalence of mental disorders than heterosexuals. This is due to minority stress—explaining that stigma, prejudice, and discrimination create a hostile and stressful social environment that causes mental health problems. Walton (2012) emphasized that “a parent’s stress level can affect a child’s very makeup, including his or her risk of mood disorders, addiction, and even disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.” Willis (2017) mentioned that “children and adolescents with same-sex parents are emotionally affected when they and their families are exposed to homophobia, discrimination, prejudice and social stigma.” All of these can cause stress on the part of children who grow up with same-sex parents. Confusion stems from the dilemma of either following their adopted parents who are their primary role models or trying to fit in with their friends or the people around. The rule on adoption in the Philippines states that “the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration in all matters relating to his care, custody and adoption.” Which leads us to think, is an environment full of discrimination for the best interest and welfare of the children? The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of R.A. 10627 of the Philippine Constitution otherwise known as the “Anti-Bullying of 2013” included humiliation on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) under bullying. However, there has been no law passed specifically for the abolition of discrimination towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Sabillo, (2015) reported, “it showed that 85 percent of the 1,200 respondents agreed with the statement, ‘Just like me, gays and lesbians also have the right to be protected against any form of discrimination.’ Unless the discrimination towards the LGBTQ community and their true acceptance into the society comes, homosexual parents cannot give the best environment for a child’s social and psychological development. Therefore, legalizing same-sex marriage is not beneficial.

Legalizing same-sex marriage in the Philippines is nothing but an action of making a moral wrong into a civil right that would entail critical cuts on national budget and immense changes both in the law and our country’s school curriculums. According to Global Finance (2017), Philippines ranked as the 69th poorest country out of the 189 in the world. Philippines may have beaten China in being the fastest growing economy in Asia for years now, but despite our economic growth, poverty rates are still increasing. The opposition understands that the LGBTQ community are simply asking for the equality and the marriage benefits that come with rights. However, Filipinos are not prepared nor ready to embrace marriage of the same-sex. Bagas (2017) mentioned that “If put to a popular vote, a motion for marriage equality will surely fail. A vast majority of Filipinos are still against the idea, despite the growing number of countries that have introduced civil laws on marriage and partnerships that are inclusive of LGBTs.” Elemia (2017) also mentioned that the senate of the Philippines approved of the Php 3.767-trillion 2018 national budget. However, none has mentioned any allocation towards the legislation of same-sex marriage. Instead, the budget is more focused towards the solution of the war on drugs.

Topacio (2014) mentioned that “there is, however, a middle ground wherein the law can provide a clear set of rules to govern property relations between those engaged in a same-sex relationship without having to promulgate a law regarding homosexual marriage.” Extending the provisions of Chapter 4, Conjugal Relationship of Gains of the Family Code from R.A. 386 of the Philippines to gay relationships is possible. The said provision as it now stands, states that a man and a woman who are capable of marrying each other and live exclusively with each other without the benefit of marriage can own their salaries, wages, and properties in equal shares (An Act to Ordain and Institute the Civil Code of the Philippines, 1949.) Once again, Topacio (2014) emphasized that “the reading of this law will readily reveal that it should be easy to amend so that the provisions may apply to homosexual relationships.” The article also indicated that the proposed amendment covers concerns regarding equal shares of wages or salaries, property distribution after death of either partner and legal separation or divorce. As for emergency medical decisions, these can be made by the partner through living wills and advance directives.

Hojilla (2017) mentioned that “there is no impediment against legalizing same-sex marriage in the Philippines. However, there needs to be an enabling law redefining, and changing the parties who may contract, marriage.” Legalizing same-sex marriage in the Philippines may not happen in the near future, especially when there are still external factors to deal with, like those relating to code, tax, and education. The code that will be most affected by legalizing same-sex marriage is The Family Code. Cruz (2015) reported that “Belmonte also does not think a pending petition before the Supreme Court seeking to declare certain portions of the Family Code unconstitutional and allow gay marriage in the country will work. Segments of the Family Code do not meet with the idea of same-sex marriage and therefore must be reformed in order for these to be in line. The Family Code limits marriage to a man and a woman. For same-sex marriage to be legalized, this must be reformed. Another issue would be financial and tax reforms. (“3 Major Tax Implications of the Same Sex Marriage Ruling,” 2015) states that “Perhaps the most obvious change for same-sex married couples living in states that didn’t recognize their marriages will be the simplification of the annual tax filing process.” This could potentially increase fees and costs related to tax, and may mean higher tax liability. Lastly, educational reforms may take place, and DepEd will have to adjust the curriculum if same-sex marriage will be legalized. Walsh (2013) reported that “The issues include schools’ treatment of same-sex parents and their children, the impact of the debate on gay students and on those who object to same-sex marriage on religious grounds, and the influence of the trend on the curriculum. With the current change to K-12 in the curriculum, an implication and influence such as this could greatly affect education in the Philippines.

The opposition believes that equality is a right for all, no matter the gender. However, legalizing same-sex marriage is not the answer to equality; instead, this opposition believes that the proposed amendment to extend the provisions of Article 147 of the Family Code to certain gay relationships is the best alternative. In conclusion, the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage would only lessen the allocated funds for reforms from the country’s national budget that is already focused on other government projects. Hence, same-sex marriage is definitely not practicable.

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