Sen. Robin Padilla has filed Senate Bill 449 aiming to to institutionalize the civil union of same- sex couples.
Under his proposed measure, Padilla seeks to recognize the civil union between two persons of the same or opposite sex to be able to enjoy the rights, protection, and privileges afforded in this bill.
“This representation firmly believes It is high time that the Philippines provides equal rights and recognition for couples of the same sex with no prejudice as to sexual relationships are protected and recognized and given access to basic social protection and security,” he said.
Providing equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples, he said, will in no way diminish or trample on the rights granted to married couples.
He noted that the Philippines still lacks legislative measures to afford equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples that is enjoyed by different-sex couples.
He noted that as of December 2021, same-sex marriage or civil unions, if not both, have been legalized in 31 countries and territories through either legislations and court decisions.
In Asia, he said Taiwan became the first country’ to enact marriage equality in 2019 after its Constitutional Court ruled that marriage could not be restricted to opposite-sex couples and gave parliament two years to enact legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, six cities in Japan are now issuing partnership certificates to same-sex couples to enjoy some of the rights and benefits of marriage.
In filing the bill, he also cited Section I, Article III of the 1987 Constitution guarantees that, “A/person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
It also mentioned that no person be denied the equalprotection of the laws.”
“Philippine laws affirm that every person has the right to equal protection before the law and while the 1987 Constitution does not explicitly mention Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC), it does not prohibit or exclude civil partnership or unions of same-sex couples.”
According to the neophyte senator, as a state member to various international covenants promoting human rights, the Philippines has committed itself to uphold the dignity, equality, and human rights of all citizens.
He said it Is therefore incumbent upon us to take positive action that guarantees the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination.
Guided by the Yogyakarta Principles, a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards, he said all States are called upon to take all necessary legislative, administrative, and other measures to ensure that any entitlement, privilege, obligation or benefit enjoyed by different-sex or married couples should likewise be available to same-sex couples.