Please read this with open mind…and do not come up with a conclusion till after the last line.
On Same-sex Marriage
and Marriage itself
by Apolinario Villalobos
In the Philippines, the issue on same- sex marriage remains very sensitive, fragile, delicate, volatile, brittle, etc. The first time I heard about this kind of marriage, I immediately made a conclusion that “marriage” per se, be it done in churches, city hall, or basketball court, should not be applied to a homosexual relationship because such ceremony understandably involves the “father- to- be” and the “mother- to- be”, which has a biological implication. To put forward “adoption” of a child as a reason to substantiate the matrimonial ceremony for gay couples is flimsy. A gay couple can live together as they please and adopt a child, anyway, and without a binding document, so that any of them who first develop the feeling of suffocation can just step out of the door…so why still seek “marriage”?
Those behind the gay movement should assert for recognition, understanding, tolerance, and respect, instead. In this view, police precincts should change the signage on their special desk for children and women, to include gay. Understanding and tolerance must start within the family to help the individual grow emotionally stable. With those given, respect follows. That is how this issue should be treated, not jump into the marriage issue immediately which is proved as not even completely effective for heterosexual partners.
Another compromise that would totally eliminate the “same-sex marriage” issue is by having a law that shall recognize all types of “ceremony” for gay couples, without question on their gender. A word should be coined for such kind of ceremony to give it some kind of substance. The gay couple should be referred to as “partners” and not as “husband and wife”. The Catholic Church definitely cannot do this because it avers that marriage is “made in heaven” and only for a man and a woman who are expected to procreate because of their biological make up. On the other hand, because gays are a form of life, creatures of God, too, the Catholic Church should give them due respect, hence, understanding and tolerance of their emotions.
Individuals with special sexual preference must not be faulted for having such kind of feeling. First of all, nobody ever asked that they be born in this chaotic world. However, when they were formed in the womb, either intentionally or accidentally, they were not also given the choice which gender to have, much more the questioned in-between one. It is a good thing that when infants were baptized, they did not show any sign of gayness, otherwise they would not have been given the “watery blessing” by discriminating priests!
Gays on the other hand, must understand that failed marriage is expensive, considering the cost in the filing of legal separation and divorce, and with stringent conditions, yet. I gathered that a simple divorce procedure could cost a staggering 300 thousand pesos or more!
I had been advocating for the marriage contract to have a validity period, beyond which the couple can go on their separate ways if they do not want to renew the expired document. Therefore, there is no need for them to file for the expensive divorce. Contract is a legal temporal binding document between or among parties and is never complete without expiration in the form of validity period or conditions as basis for its nullification. So why not put such provision in the civil marriage contract? The Catholic Church seems to have seen this angle, as it has its so-called optional and symbolic “renewal of vows” for couples after living together as husband and wife for years. But none of this kind is being done for the civil marriage.
I know of a woman who lovingly “warned” her bed-ridden husband who could only stare but could not speak due to a series of stroke, not to die yet, until after their diamond wedding anniversary. The woman, herself, told me this story while sounding funny. But for me, the message is clear…perpetuation of love between couples is not dictated by any law, nor written on any piece of document but dwells in the heart, that not even a series of stroke rendering a husband or a wife bed-ridden, can suppress.
For Filipino gays who would like to get married, my suggestion is an expensive jaunt to the United States. I am sure that with the decision of the US Supreme Court, the non-gays will also use this reason to get a US visa, as any US embassy is not supposed to reject such a harmless request which is the latest bold manifestation of freedom for which the country of “big opportunities” is known.