January 23, 2018, 11:58 pm
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Same-sex marriage

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is cozying up to the LGBT community. This is apparent in his latest pronouncements before this group (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). Duterte told the 7th LGBT Davao year-end gathering that he was against gender discrimination and that he supports gay marriage, a position that the Chief Executive failed to take before.

To prove that being gay is personally acceptable to him, the President said he has two homosexual brothers-in-law and that he was open to having gay Cabinet members and was even for changing the law to allow same-sex marriage in the Philippines. We can only imagine how the gays of Davao City met these statements with applause and screams of approval, putting Duterte on the pedestal of heroism for the cause of the LGBT.

Duterte cited that while the Family Code limits the legal definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, this law can be amended if needed. He said he does not have a problem with a man marrying another man “or whatever is the predilection of the human being.”

The President said, “I am for same-sex marriage if that is the trend of the modern times. If that will add to your happiness, I am for it. Whatever makes the person happy, I will give it. Why should I hold it back?”

When President Duterte chooses to talk like a poet or a philosopher, he could. He stressed, “Why impose a morality that is no longer working and almost passe. It’s leftover rice.”

One indication that the President meant what he said is his challenge to the LGBT community to nominate one of their own to be a commissioner of the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor.

The Chief Executive has declared all positions vacant in the PCUP, including its chairman, after he found out that the commissioners have not been meeting as a collegial body and that they were engaged in unauthorized travels and junkets abroad.

Duterte believes that there is no dearth of bright and smart Filipinos even in the LGBT community who can be tapped to serve in the commission.

This show of social tolerance on the part of the President is most welcome for many Filipinos, although the usual bigotry on the part of religious sects and churches has started to rear its ugly head again, with members of the various faiths bombarding TV surveys of criticisms against these latest presidential pronouncements.

We say the President should not be fazed with these criticisms and should flesh out his words with action because for once, he is on the right track.
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