Neophyte Senator Robinhood “Robin” Padilla defended a bill he proposed that seeks to give same-sex couples the same rights enjoyed by married straight couples under the law.
“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,” said the senator.
Padilla, who filed Senate Bill No. 449 in July and admitted that his bill will most likely face opposition from Catholic Church leaders, said he is willing to talk with those who would oppose the proposed measure.
“Providing equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples will in no way diminish or trample on the rights granted to married couples,” said the new senator.
Padilla noted that civil unions for same-sex couples have been legalized in at least 31 countries and territories.
Under his proposal, same-sex couples can enter a civil union if they are 18 or older and are free from previous bond of marriage or civil union.
Once the bill passes into law, same-sex couples will be afforded adoption rights and rights to inherit.
The bill provides a fine of up to PhP1 million or up to 10 years in jail for those who refuse to issue civil union licenses or certificates despite being authorized to do so; and for employers who engage in unlawful or discriminatory employment practices.