Why I am in Favor of Same-Sex Marriages in the Philippines
Rev. Ceejay Agbayani
am a firm believer and advocate of same-sex marriages in the Philippines. This
is what I will be pursuing in the next ten years.
WHY I AM IN FAVOR OF SAME SEX MARRIAGES IN THE PHILIPPINES
I am in favor of same-sex marriages in the Philippines primarily because this is a right of every Filipino LGBT person.
Marriage, I firmly believe, is a fundamental right. Whether you are LGBT or not, marriage must be available to those who want it.
Actually, same-sex marriage is not a religious issue, it is a human rights issue.
As of today, I have conducted more than 196 weddings since 2009. Most of my weddings are lesbian weddings; I had only 22 man-to-man weddings.
MARRIAGE IS ABOUT MUTUAL LOVE, RESPECT AND SUPPORT
I do not want to single out same-sex marriages. I believe that understanding same-sex marriages is understanding marriage as it is.
Marriage for some people is something that is forced, and that you cannot get away from it once you avail yourself of it. For them, marriage is something that requires you to love your partner no matter what. This is unfair.
Marriage is about mutual love, respect and support.
In any relationship, love must be the central aspect of marriage. It is love that makes the relationship, in the first place. Without love, we cannot have a good and stable relationship. Thus, mutual love must be essential in marriages.
Respect is universal. Respect is not gained but due to everyone. Respect for your partner is another thing that must be remembered and understood in a marriage. Without respect, it is like treating each other with no honor and dignity to one’s own being.
We have to admit, we cannot survive in a relationship without supporting each other, both emotionally and materially. Many of us think that the socio-economic aspects of life are the things that need to be considered in order to have a good marriage. This is also part of the concept of marriage, but this is not the only one. A person who loves his/her partner must responsibly support his/her partner for both of them to survive.
NEW FAMILY, NEW LIFESTYLE
Family is always associated with children. Without children many people think that it is not a family. This is not true. A family is not created because of the children. The essence and nature of the family in not in the blood nor in the children. It is in acceptance, “belongingness,” communication or connectedness, responsibility, and empowerment.
When you have new family, whether with a child/children or not, your life will be different. You are most likely to become a mature and responsible person in everything that you do, you will always think of your partner, your new family. Every single move and action becomes central to your relationship as partners, as a family. You will have a new lifestyle.
Rev. Ceejay Agbayani is
the founding pastor of the LGBT Community Church
of Quezon City in the Philippines. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary with a
Master of Divinity and was awarded the Bishop La Verne Mercado Award in Ecumenics.