BY ROGER M. BALANZA
If that makes people happy, I am for it, said Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, commenting on today’s hottest issue of same-sex marriage.
In the Ato ni Bay cable television program on Skycable hosted by radio journalist Leo Villareal on Tuesday, Duterte said he would support any move to allow gay marriage.
For as long as it would make people happy, I will support it, he said. While no bill has been proposed in the Philippine Congress allowing gay marriages, gay groups are egging solons who would not touch the issue wary of repercussions from the Catholic Church which is against same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage has stirred worldwide discussion after US President Barack Obama said at a gathering of gay supporters that “the American people are on our side” when it comes to issues like same-sex marriage.
“We have never gone wrong when we expanded rights and responsibilities to everybody,” the president. “That doesn’t weaken families, that strengthens families. It’s the right thing to do, ” he said.
In the local scene, Duterte is a strong advocate of gay rights. The local gay group Pro-Gay-Davao is a political supporters.
The Davao City local government, with daughter Sara Duterte as mayor, has a big number of openly gay employees.
A pending local ordinance, the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, proposed by Duterte mandates full equality for all, with emphasis on gays and transgenders.
In what is seen as another strong support for more work opportunities for gays, Duterte earlier urged the Philippine National Police to admit gays in its force.
Even the communist New Peoples Army, the armed wing of the National Democratic Front (NDF) which has been fighting a four-decade old insurgency war, has gays among their fighters, Duterte had joked. ROGER M. BALANZA