Malacañang said Thursday that passing a measure allowing the civil union of same-sex couples may become easier after Pope Francis expressed support for same-sex marriages in a documentary that premiered in Rome, Italy this week.

Harry Roque Jan 4 18 - Pope’s support for same-sex union may help measure become law – Palace
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque
(JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that President Duterte has always been supportive of the idea of allowing same-sex civil unions in the country but noted that it is up to Congress.

“The President has said over and over again: Pabor po siya sa isang batas na magre-recognize ng civil union sa same-sex relationships (He is in favor of a law recognizing the civil union of same-sex relationships),” he said.

“Recognition of civil union has always been supported by the President. Depende na lang ‘yan sa prayoridad ng ating Kongerso (It now depends on the priority of Congress),” he added.

According to Roque, now that Pope Francis has spoken, a law allowing same-sex civil union may now have a bigger chance of seeing the light of day.

“With no less than the Pope supporting it, I think even the most conservative of all Catholics in Congress should no longer have a basis for objecting,” he said.

Duterte had gone back and forth with his views on same-sex civil union, initially going against the idea then going for it before 2017 ended.

In a speech in February 2019, the President said that the Catholic Church should allow gay Catholics to get married.

“Even the gays. Allow them to marry. I am for same-sex marriage. Let us not kid each other anymore,” he had said.

Talks about same-sex civil union returned to the spotlight after a feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival this week, featured fresh interviews with the Pope about certain issues including discrimination, environment, migration, and racial and income inequality.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” the Pope said in the documentary. “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” he added.

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