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Is gay marriage desirable for children, PNoy asks

December 3, 2013 2:45pm

(Updated 5:49 p.m.) Is that desirable for a child?
 
President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said this is one of the things one has to consider before approving of gay marriage.
 
During a forum at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Aquino was asked whether he was in favor of gay marriage, which he initially refused to comment on.  
 
"Can I avoid na lang answering [that]? I made a comment [previously], which I think was appropriate, and I made a mortal enemy of somebody because of that comment," he said without elaborating.
 
But he later explained that although he knows that human rights should be universal, he expressed reservations about gay marriage.
 
"Parang if we go into gay marriages, then siyempre, the next step will be adoption and I don’t know if… I still have to look at it from the child’s perspective," he said.
 
"Is that something that is desirable in an environment for a child? Yung in understanding the world to have—to induce more confusion. And that particular comment got me into the crosshairs of an individual who, up to this day, hates me for saying it," he added.

Liberals have been hoping that once the reproductive health law was passed, other social reforms would follow, among them the legalization of gay marriage and divorce. But the president's comments about gay and lesbian unions show he has yet to be convinced.

"It takes a village to raise a child"

President Aquino's views about the impact of gay marriages on children are old-fashioned, according to gay and lesbian advocates.

Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines spokesperson Clyde Pumihic told GMA News Online that the sexual preferences of adopting parents is "immaterial" to the child's welfare.
 
Pumihic explained that the concept of family has "broadened to include many support systems that are beyond nuclear arrangements."
 
"In fact, the broader meanings and responsibilities of parenting in the Philippines may turn out to be more beneficial to any child. This gives more support for the concept 'it takes a village to raise a child'," he said.
 
Pumihic added that attention is now more focused on raising children with diverse interests and more ethical value systems. 
 
"We are no longer bound by worries about so-called gender confusion. We give more stress on raising a new generation of people who care more about social justice rather than hewing to a rigid gender identity roles," he said.
 
But he said that LGBT rights "might have to wait" until Aquino is out of office because his style of presidency is really "out of synch with rights-based practices" based on his attitude toward the needs of many sectors.
 
There are at least 13 countries where same-sex marriage is legal. Among them: The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, Argentina, Denmark, France, and Brazil.
 
Gay marriage is also legal in parts of Mexico and the United States.
 
No legislation has been passed to allow the same in the Philippines, which is mostly a Catholic country.

Conciliatory pope
 
Pope Francis has not stated his stand on gay marriage but has been quoted as saying that the church should not be obsessed about opposing it.

When homosexuals told him they were condemned by the Church and felt "socially wounded," he told them "the Church does not want to do this."
 
He likewise said the Church should see itself as "a field hospital after a battle" and try to heal the larger wounds of society and not be "obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently." — RSJ/HS, GMA News

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