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Robin Padilla Files Civil Union Bill That Includes Same-Sex Couples

LGBT couples also deserve equal rights under the law.
by Erwin Colcol
2 days ago
Photo/s: QC Mayor Joy Belmonte/Facebook

Recognizing that LGBT couples also deserve equal rights and privileges under the law, Sen. Robin Padilla has filed a bill that would institutionalize same-sex civil unions in the Philippines.

In his proposed "Civil Unions Act", Padilla said the Philippines, as a member of various international covenants promoting human rights, should take action to guarantee the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination among its people, regardless of their sexual orientation.

"This proposed measure seeks to recognize the civil union between two persons of the same or opposite sex to be able to enjoy the rights, protection, and privileges afforded in this bill," Padilla said.

"Providing equal rights and privileges for same-sex couples will in no way diminish or trample on the rights granted to married couples," he added.

READ: How #YesToSOGIEBill Benefits Everyone, Not Just LGBT

Who can avail of civil union?

Under the measure, any person who complies with the following requirements will be allowed to register and enter into a civil union:

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  1. Legal capacity of the contracting parties, which means they are at least 18 years old, not prohibited by law to enter into a civil union, and free from any previous marriage.
  2. Consent freely given in the presence of the administering officer
  3. Authority of the administering officer
  4. A valid license to contract or enter into a civil union issued by the local civil registrar
  5. A civil union ceremony which takes place with the personal appearance of the contracting parties before the administering officer and their personal declaration

Absence of any of these requirements will render the civil union void.

What are the rights of a couple in a civil union?

Couples in a civil union are allowed under the bill to enjoy the existing rights afforded to married couples, such as:

  1. Right to inherit, which means a partner in a civil union is considered a compulsory heir of the other;
  2. Adoption rights, which means they are allowed to adopt their own children provided that they meet the requirements; and
  3. Social security and insurance membership, where they are allowed to apply for security and other private insurance membership and claim their benefits.
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What are the benefits and protections of civil unions?

Couples are afforded the following benefits, protections and responsibilities, among others, under the bill:

  1. All benefits and protections granted to spouses under existing laws,
  2. Laws on marital relations, such as those involving separation, adoption, child custody and support, property division, and spousal support
  3. Rights to become parents of a child during the civil union
  4. A certified true copy of the civil union record from the local civil registrar
  5. Laws relating to succession, survivorship, and other incidents of acquisition, ownership or transfer of properties
  6. Labor standard benefits, privileges, restriction and prohibition accorded to employees based on marital status
  7. Benefits under tax laws
  8. Immunity from being compelled to testify against each other
  9. Hospital visitation rights
  10. Visitation rights in detention facilities
  11. Decision making in burial arrangements

What are the penalties?

Any person who refuses to issue civil union licenses or certificates, denies the rights and benefits to civil union couples, or commits discriminatory acts against them will be slapped with a fine of P500,000 to P1 million or imprisonment of 10 years.

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Those who are not allowed under the bill to administer a civil union ceremony will also receive the same penalties.


Pope Francis Calls For Law On Same Sex Civil Unions

Pride is Forever: How to be a Good Ally to the LGBTQIA+ Community

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