(Updated 11:17 p.m.) Most senatorial bets for the May 2013 polls rejected the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Philippines, with Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile the only candidate expressing support for gay union, interviews conducted by GMA News Online revealed.
Bangon Pilipinas senatorial candidate Eddie Villanueva, a religious leader who founded the Jesus is Lord Church, said he is against same-sex marriage because it is against Biblical teachings.
"Sabi ng Good Book, huwag gayahin 'yung nangyari sa Sodom and Gomorrah dahil darating ang paggunaw sa isang bansa 'pag 'yun ay ginawa," Villanueva said in an interview.
Ang Kapatiran Party senatorial bet Rizalito David, meanwhile, said same-sex marriage is "against natural law."
"Ang lalaki, ang mapapangasawa niya ay babae, at sila'y mag-aanak at dadami ang sangkatauhan. 'Yan ang naturang batas at hindi kailanman nagkaroon sa natural law na pwede ang parehong babae o parehong lalaki," David said in a separate interview.
David's party lists in its political platform a "spiritual dimension" to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness."
The issue on same-sex marriage recently came back to public attention with the election of a new head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis.
As a cardinal, the new pontiff openly opposed a bill to legalize same-sex unions in Argentina. He even described child adoption by couples of the same-sex as a form of discrimination to the child.
'A chance for happiness'
Only one senatorial hopeful, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, said he supports the legalization of gay unions in the Philippines.
"Let's give everybody a chance for happiness. Let us not discriminate. If it is your inclination to be happy with a man, why discriminate against that?" Enrile said in a separate interview.
He said his view on same-sex marriage was influenced by the years he spent living in the United States.
"I have seen in other countries couples of the same sex who have lived very upright lives and raised children," he explained.
Makabayan senatorial hopeful and Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño, who did not have a categorical stand on the issue, said he is open to giving some sort of “legal recognition” to couples of the same sex.
“It's something I still have to study and learn. I'm willing to hear both sides, what the benefits and disadvantages are. I have an open mind,” Casiño said.
Liberal Party senatorial bet Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, who rejected same-sex marriage, meanwhile said he is open to giving “some rights” to “long-term” same-sex couples.
Former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, who is also running under the administration slate, for her part said she “upholds the rights of same-sex couples to form families,” but added that passing an anti-discrimination bill in the country may be the proper first step towards allowing gay unions in the Philippines. — DVM/RSJ, GMA News