SAYING it is time to give everyone their equal rights, which the Constitution clearly guaranteed, Senator Robinhood “Robin” Padilla filed Senate Bill 449 institutionalizing civil unions of same-sex couples, establishing their rights and obligations.
In his controversial bill, Padilla cited Sec. 1, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution guarantees that “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”
The neophyte senator explained that it is clearly stated in the 1987 Constitution which clearly stated that every person has the right to equal protection and does not explicitly mention sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) as he maintained that it does not “prohibit or exclude” civil partnership or unions of same-sex couples.
He also stated that as our country is a state member of various international covenants promoting human rights, the Philippines, he said, has committed itself to uphold the dignity, equality, and human rights of all citizens.
“It is therefore incumbent upon us to take positive action that guarantees the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination,” Padilla said in his bill.
He also used the Yogyakarta principles, which he said is a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards, where 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.
Padilla also said that as of December 2021, same-sex marriage or civil unions, if not both, have been legalized in 31 countries and territories through either legislation or court decision.
In Asia, 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 marriage.
He also cited six cities in Japan that are now issuing partnership certificates to same-sex couples to enjoy by different sex-couple.