Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte expressed support for gay marriage last weekend, declaring, “If that will add to your happiness, I am for it.”
President Duterte made the comments during an LGBT community gathering in Davao.
“I am for (same) sex marriage if that is the trend of modern times,” President Duterte proclaimed. “If that will add to your happiness, I am for it.”
“Why impose a morality that is no longer working and almost passe,” he continued, claiming “there will be no oppression” while he’s president.
President Duterte also revealed his interest in setting up an LGBT commission.
According to Pink News, “He asked for members of the LGBT community to put forward nominees for the commission,” asking “for the ‘brightest’ most ‘honest’ and ‘hardworking’ LGBT people to be put forward for the roles,” while the Telegraph claimed he revealed “he had gay family members” and joked “that he once toyed with the idea of being bisexual.”
A spokesman for President Duterte confirmed the president’s support for gay marriage in a statement.
“President Duterte is the president of all Filipinos. This administration has long espoused inclusivity and sensitivity. We make no distinction,” he declared. “We are all Filipinos enjoying our rights, freedom and equality before the law.”
In 2013, the Philippines was ranked among the most LGBT-friendly nations in the world.
According to Inquirer, “Of the 39 countries covered by a global survey, only 17 countries had majorities that accepted homosexuality, with the Philippines ranking at number 10 among the 17.”
“This high level of acceptance, which is comparable to that found in secular western Europe, is even higher than those found in Japan (54 percent), South Korea (39 percent) or the United States (60 percent),” they reported.
In November, President Trump met with President Duterte twice during his two-week trip to Asia, and claimed to have “a great relationship” with the president of the Philippines.