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61% buck same-sex union

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The civil union of individuals with the same sex remains largely unpopular in the Philippines, which purportedly has an open society, as a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll showed majority, or 61 percent, of respondents opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage.

The survey also showed 44 percent of 1,200 respondents in the nationwide survey said they “strongly disagree” with the proposed law legalizing same sex marriage while 17 percent said they “somewhat disagree” with it.

The survey results confirmed the Palace view the nation is not yet ready for same-sex marriage.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said even lawmakers, including the first transgender member of the House of Representatives, Geraldine Roman, had the position that time is not ripe for the pending same-sex marriage bill in Congress.

Roque added the measure that the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community is earnestly pushing in Congress, instead, is the enactment of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression (SOGI) which aims to end discrimination against LGBT members.

Oppositors mostly Christians

The SWS survey, held from March 23 to 27, showed most of those who opposed same-sex marriage belong to the Christian religion, followed by members of the Muslim and Roman Catholic faiths.

Only 22 percent of respondents said they agree with the proposal to have a same-sex marriage law, while 16 percent said they are still undecided on their support to the proposed law.

SWS posed the premise “there should be a law that will allow the civil union of two men or two women” in which the respondents were given the choices of agreeing, disagreeing or being undecided with specific degrees on their sentiment.

SWS said the opposition to the civil union of same-sex couples was dominant “in all areas and religions.”

The survey indicated the lowest net agreement score came from the Visayas at -45 (21 percent agree, 66 percent disagree), followed by Luzon at -42 (20 percent agree, 63 percent disagree), Mindanao at -38 (21 percent agree, 58 percent disagree) and Metro Manila at -27 (29 percent agree, 56 percent disagree).

Roque said legislators believe Filipinos would find it hard to accept same-sex marriage because it’s “too revolutionary.”

Roque noted even President Rodrigo Duterte has changed his mind on the legalization of same-sex marriage.

“There was a time he said he was against it. There was a time he said he’s for it. So this is really fluid,” Roque said.

Roque quoted Justice (Marvic Mario Victor) Leonen as saying, “Sometimes when you file these cases prematurely, it will have negative effect on the cause that you want to advance.”

Last June 19, the SC tackled for the first time the same-sex marriage in the oral arguments based on a petition seeking its legalization.

By religion, net agreement was lowest among Iglesia ni Cristo members at -64 (11 percent agree, 74 percent disagree), followed by members of other Christian denominations at -55 (15 percent agree, 70 percent disagree), Muslims at -48 (12 percent agree, 60 percent disagree) and Roman Catholics at -36 (24 percent agree, 60 percent disagree).

SWS said respondents to the survey were equally divided between men and women.

Opposition to the civil union of a same-sex couple was strongest among single men who are widowed/separated/divorced, with an extremely weak net agreement score of -70 (7 percent agree, 77 percent disagree).

On the other hand, net agreement was very weak among married men at -49 (18 percent agree, 67 percent disagree), married women at -45 (20 percent agree, 65 percent disagree), single women who are widowed/separated/divorced at -37 (22 percent agree, 59 percent disagree) and single women who never married at -30 (21 percent agree, 51 percent disagree).

It was moderately weak among women with live-in partners at -27 (31 percent agree, 58 percent disagree), men with live-in partners at -25 (33 percent agree, 58 percent disagree) and single men who never married at -18 (28 percent agree, 46 percent disagree).

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