Monday, February 22, 2016

Same-Sex Marriage and Our Approach to the Issue

Well, Manny Paquiao dropped a bombshell on us: 

Of course, this video was cut. A lot of his supporters are actually encouraging people to look for the full video as the one being circulated by the media doesn't fully capture his stance. So okay, here's the "full, raw, uncut" video they are encouraging us to watch:

Manny P.
Eto ang tunay na clip! Gago din ang media eh!!!Panoorin nyu bago nyu ibash si Manny PacquiaoShare nyu nadin!#KupalLord#KupalCares#SiKupalAngMayAlamCTTO
Posted by Kupal Lord on Thursday, 18 February 2016

There you have it. Pacquiao may think that people engaging in same-sex relations are worst than animals. But at least, he's not condemning them. He's just condemning the practice of same-sex marriage. Those last few seconds taken away by major media outlets really saved Manny for me. I mean without those few seconds, I would have thought he is a bigot or whatever word people are using nowadays (sarcasm?).

But hey, you can interpret his words any way you want. You may interpret it as him calling for Martians to attack and enslave our children if you want. But there is one thing that we must keep in mind when watching this interview: Manny Pacquiao is running for public office.

By filing his Certificate of Candidacy, Manny announced that he is ready to represent every individual in our nation regardless of race, religion, social standing or whatever. Well, that's what I hope. That's the kind of professionalism I hope from anybody running for public office. But sadly, professionalism is not really a word that people associate with our politics.

Manny Pacquiao gave us his religious view. And he also pointed to it as his reason for being against same-sex marriage. Many politicians do it. Going to the bible for guidance is not a bad thing. But if you're in a position to change the lives of millions of people of differing world views and different holy books, maybe it's time we slide that bible back in its drawer.

The separation of church and state has been discussed in this blog before. I've long discussed my belief that the state should not concern itself with religion. You see, government is not doing God any favors by following His teachings in crafting laws. We've criminalized adultery and yet people still do it. The reasoning behind criminalizing adultery is not necessarily because it is "evil". It is criminalized because the legal spouse and children are being put in disadvantageous situations by the practice. This line of reasoning should be at the forefront when discussing policies. The state was not created to further the advances of a particular religion. It was created to improve the physical state of living of all of its constituents regardless of their personal beliefs. Manny Pacquiao and other politicians fail to realize and practice the separation of their religious views and their political responsibilities.

But aside from that particular lack of realization, another observable political feature showing itself in the issue is our inability to digest ideas solely on their merit. When Vice Ganda voiced his displeasure with Manny's sentiments, he was attacked vigorously by social media. People are saying he's a hypocrite for negatively reacting to Manny's sentiments when he himself profits from ridiculing others. Some people on the other hand went quickly to the defense of Pacquiao because of the pride he has brought to the nation. With Pacquiao being a national treasure, they encouraged people to give the legendary pugilist some slack. But the problem here is that this issue is not about Pacquiao or Ganda or Abunda or anybody else.

Pacquiao exercised his right to free speech and there is nothing wrong with that. We shouldn't be scrutinizing him. We should be scrutinizing the idea that we are okay with denying same-sex couples the right to adoption, the tax right-offs, inheritance and other rights being enjoyed by heterosexual couples just on account of their sex. Mon Tulfo was quick to Pacquiao's defense and explained he just exercised his right to free speech and went on a little homophobic tirade of his own. The problem is we forget that with our right to voice our opinions, others also have the right to scrutinize those said opinions. Vice Ganda, regardless of his past, has the right to react to Manny's views. And the validity of Ganda's sentiments should not be tied down to his past.

With that said, this issue has brought out several of the traits of Philippine Politics.We certainly don't have the perfect political environment for instilling progress on all fronts. But it is time we change that. We are far removed from the colonization of other nations. We have long passed the times of dictatorship. It's time we start getting the most of our democracy through intellectual and logical approaches to current issues.

We are now at a point where we should ask ourselves several key question concerning same-sex marriage: Are we okay with people having the gall to liken our fellowman to animals just on account of who they choose to love? Are we okay with denying rights on account of their preferred sexual partners? Are we okay with distinguished people marginalizing the LGBT since they have "gay friends"? Are we okay with individual beliefs stopping the happiness of millions? Should we limit the other people's paths to providence and happiness by our own individual beliefs?

It's not that we have a, as Mon Tulfo put it, primitive society. It's just that we fail to ask the questions that would determine if we are ready for same-sex marriage.


  1. Hay, ang media talaga. Kng ano lang ang makakataas ng rating or makakapatrend yun na. Matagal na nating kilala si Manny, hinangaan, pinagmalaki because we know he's an athlete with a heart.

    I think, like what Gab Valenciano also said. He had the best intentions but he's not so eloquent in saying what he really meant.

    I also feel bad that when people speak up about their faith, they are condemned and persecuted for it. I think in the end, we can agree on one thing---respect is important in maintaining peace.

    1. As much as I hate to say it, there are some places where one's faith is irrelevant. Government is one of those places. If the government is to restrict a practice based solely on religious preference, we need to call for professionalism and ask for proof from the government that such policy measures would aid us in getting into heaven.

      If churches really believe that a particular practice is a sin, they should handle it within the congregation and not lean on the government to do their job for them. I mean, our priests (I'm a Catholic) study almost ten years. Shouldn't they be able to handle same-sex marriage without getting into it with the government?

      People are free to share their beliefs. But once you aim to become a public servant, you should be held to a higher level of professionalism. That's what our nation deserves.