On same-sex marriage

US President Barack Obama endorsed same-sex marriage on the same day that North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between man and woman. North Carolina becomes the 30th US state to ban same-sex marriage.

Over here same sex marriage is banned by the Family Code:

    Article 1. “Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life…”.

    Article 2. “No marriage shall be valid, unless these essential requisites are present: (1) Legal capacity of the contracting parties who must be a male and a female;”

The Family Code is the first hurdle that advocates of same sex marriage must overcome. They can introduce an amendment to the Family Code to expand the definition of marriage; or they can file a case citing the Code’s definition of marriage as unconstitutional because it is discriminates against the gay,lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and thus violates basic human rights and the equal protection clause.

It will be a tough uphill battle even though practically all Filipino families have at least one member who is an “l”,”g”, “b”, or “t”. Why many Filipinos will deprive their own family the right to live free of discrimination is beyond me. What surprised me even more is that the gay rights Ladlad Party’s entry in Wikipedia says “same-sex marriage is not part of the party’s platform.” What?

The issue of same-sex marriage cannot be left in the hands of politicians. They will have no qualms about sacrificing human rights for political expediency. They will not advocate a controversial issue where they have no guarantee of a political pay-off. But right is right and wrong is wrong and there is nothing more wrong in a democratic society than discrimination against any group, specially a minority and an unpopular one at that.

Religious beliefs and culture are often cited as the basis for opposing same-sex marriages. But cultures evolve and we now live in a secular, democratic, republic where many Filipinos are not members of any religious groups. During the Spanish occupation, government was the handmaiden of religion – priests called the shots – but today religion is the handmaiden of government. These days, churches cooperate and help government implement social, educational, and anti-poverty programs through schools, charity organizations, etc. and not the other way around. Strip away religious belief and the opposition to same-sex marriage is exposed as nothing more than homophobia.

I am heterosexual but I do not condone discrimination against those who are not like me. Those who do not share my sexual orientation have as much right as I do to enjoy the full benefits of all the rights and laws that I enjoy. If I can choose who I want to marry so can they. Same-sex marriage is not about culture, morality, or religion; it is about every human being able to enjoy civil and human rights to the fullest.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • UPnnGrd

    Malakanyang in general and PersiNoy in particular is already feeling the heat with regards Reproductive Health Bill becoming law. I doubt that PersiNoynoy and anyone in Malakanyang will want to call attention to their feelings about same-sex marriage

    • UPnnGrd

       And LOSS!!!   LOSS will be what happens to PersiNoy attempt to pass any constitutional amendment // LOSS will be what happens if Yellow Army wants con-change so PersiNoynoy can get re-elected 2016.  This LOSS is  if PersiNoy verbalizes that he espouses “same-sex marriage” for Pinoys and Pinays of Pilipinas.   ( ** My opinion… ** )

      • Manuelbuencamino

        PNoy is going to try an FVR and a GMA? Talaga?

      • UPnnGrd

         Yellow Army bringing up  “… same sex marriage ” for Pilipinas setting would ( ** in my opinion ** )  create a higher hurdle resulting in Pilipinas seeing  PersiN9oynoy distance himself even farther away from the many-years-already of effort to get Reproductive Health bill into law.

  • UPnnGrd

    the biology of producing children — out-of-scope in same-sex marriage.

    JoeAm  may be among those who will say “YES!!!!  Pilipinas should have more of same-sex marriage.  Pilipinas — a country that produces way too many babies.”

    • Manuelbuencamino

      you can produce children in or out of marriage so the biological function you refer to is incidental not integral to marriage.

  • Well said. J.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      joe I’m not J

      • MB, I’m J. Joe 

        I know damn well who you are.

        • Manuelbuencamino

          Hehe me old eyes missed the period