Sen. Robin Padilla’s Civil Unions Act Grants Hope To Same-Sex Couples

Senator Robin Padilla’s bill calls to grant same-sex couples the same rights as hetero-couples.

Although the SOGIE bill is currently protecting the LGBTQIA++ community, there’s one last step to take: to legalize same-sex marriage. Senator Robin Padilla recently filed Senate Bill No. 449 or the Civil Unions Act, calling for the “institutionalizing of civil unions of same-sex couples”. It outlines everything from the rights they have as a couple to punishments against those who discriminate and deny them their rights.

Sen. Robin Padilla: “It is high time that the Philippines provides equal rights and recognition to same-sex couples.”

The Civil Unions Act., or Senate Bill No. 449, tackles the last and major hurdle that same-sex couples have been fighting for years. Sen. Robin Padilla cites, “The Philippines, however, still lacks legislative measures to afford equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples that is enjoyed by different-sex couples.”

He also made it clear: “Providing equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples will in no way
diminish or trample on the rights granted to married couples.”

A Summary of the Civil Union’s Act

Same-sex couples, should this bill become law, will be allowed the following:

  • They can apply for a civil status change to “MARRIED”.
  • Same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license.
  • The government will recognize their marriage, allowing them perks and privileges for married couples.
  • The state will recognize the kids same-sex couples adopt as theirs and their “heir”.
  • They can co-own properties unless they sign a “prenuptial agreement”.

According to the act, anyone who “willfully denies” or “discriminates” against them for being a same-sex couple will receive a penalty. Companies, labor groups, adoption agencies, or any organization may also receive punishment for similar acts. Religious societies and institutions may choose not to recognize their union but they cannot and must not discriminate simply because they’re a same-sex couple.

The punishment? It’s either pay up a fine of PHP 500,000.00 ~ PHP1,000,000.00 or go through jail-time for the next 10 years.

Forms of Discrimination

Sen. Robin Padilla also listed in the bill are also forms of “willful denial” and discrimination such as:

  • Refusal to hire either or for being a same-sex couple.
  • Denying them training, promotions, or privileges on the grounds of being a same-sex couple.
  • Kicking them out of the labor group for simply being a same-sex couple.
  • Clearly stating or implying in a job ad that same-sex couples cannot apply.
  • Stopping them from using certain facilities because they’re a same-sex couple.
  • Stopping them from owning something just because they’re a same-sex couple.

Unfortunately, they’re still untangling the mess of “denying same-sex couples because people are allowed to freely express their religion”.

The bill can make a lot of couples and kids happy!

If Sen. Robin Padilla’s bill does get passed, many same-sex couples can adopt kids who have been abandoned or born from teenage pregnancy. It also settles a lot of legal issues such as custody when a same-sex couple adopts a child, instead of just sending them back to an orphanage. However, there is still a lot to untangle especially the argument about the “separation of church and state”.

More stories about the LGBTQIA++? Here’s more!

This Couple Shares How Families Can Be Better Allies to the LGBTQ+ Community
Miel Pangilinan Opens Up About Being Part of the LGBTQ+ Community
7 Best Things To Say To Your Kid When They Come Out

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