President Aquino's statement of "respect" for gay marriage is welcome - but don't expect wedding bells for same-sex couples in Manila any time soon. The country's Catholic bishops wield powerful political influence - the government is struggling even to pass legislation to make contraception more freely available to the poor who most need it, and the country is now the only one where there is no legal provision for divorce. Gay marriage would simply be a bridge too far.
Still, there is a clear shift in secular sentiment, and in time, marriage equality will surely come - even to the Philippines.
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said he respects the rights of gay couples to get married but admitted that he has reservations if the couple wants to adopt a child.
“I don’t think I’m ready to tackle that fight right now… But the perspective, and I really would have to take quite a lot of… it is their choice,” Aquino said in an interview in New York during the Asia Society Forum Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).The President stressed that he has no problem in gay relationships as long as they don’t trouble anybody.However, on the issue on adopting a child, Aquino seems hesitant on the welfare of the child.“Normally I would say, you’re adults, you should be able to do whatever you want so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else. But if the next step is we want the right to adopt, then, I would be in a dilemma,” he said."