Philippines President spoke in support of same-sex marriages

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) gestures during a joint press conference with Senate president Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez (not pictured) at Malacanang Palace in Manila on March 13, 2017. Duterte on March 13 said he agreed to Chinese ships surveying a strategic body of water despite warnings by his defence minister. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

Rodrigo Duterte announced plans for the commission as he spoke at the 7th LGBT year-end gathering at Azuela Cove. He asks LGBT activists to introduce him nominees for the seats in the commission. The President asked for the “brightest” most “honest” and “hardworking” LGBT people to be chosen for such responsible roles. As for same-sex marriages, the President claims to see no problem in it and admits that the law is going to be changed one day. A statement from Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said: “President Duterte is the president of all Filipinos. This administration has long espoused inclusivity and sensitivity. We make no distinction. We are all Filipinos enjoying our rights, freedom and equality before the law.” It creates a sharp contrast with homophobic remarks Duterte used to make previously. The President earlier this year claimed prisoners are ‘beyond reform’ because they have turned gay. The Philippines is one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in Asia, with a 2014 poll finding that 73 percent of Filipinos believe homosexuality should be accepted.


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