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    Sunday, April 16, 2017

    Sass Sasot to President Duterte: 'I hope you could feel the pain of LGBT Filipinos'

    Social media activist and well-known blogger Sass Rogando Sasot on Monday wrote an open letter to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte about civil union, specifically on 'same sex marriage'.


    According to the letter, "LGBT Filipinos want the family they raise to be afforded the same protection as the family people like you raise. LGBT Filipinos want the life they build with their partners to be recognised by the State, just like how the life you built with your two wives has been recognised by the State."

    "LGBT Filipinos don’t want you to violate our laws. LGBT Filipinos don’t want you to just follow Western countries and bend to their wishes.
    What LGBT Filipinos want from you is to understand and be more compassionate about why LGBT Filipinos want their partnerships to be recognized by the State," said Sass who is currently based in the Hague, Netherlands.


    READ THE FULL POST BELOW:

    DIFFERENT BUT EQUAL RECOGNITION: AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE ABOUT CIVIL UNION

    Dear Mayor Duterte,

    Maraming salamat po sa malasakit ninyo para sa bayan at sa inyong puspusang trabaho para sa bawat Filipino.

    I know you have so much on your plate right now. Making decisions and resolving issues that affect the lives of 100 million people and the generation that would come after them.

    Yet there’s an issue that you kept on talking about, which alienates your LGBT supporters.

    The issue is same sex marriage. You've mentioned it again while you were in the Middle East. You’ve been using that issue to demonstrate how the West could impose their values on other cultures. It seems that you are using the issue of same sex marriage in order to get back at Western countries interfering in the political affairs of our country. You said that you don’t have any problem with people of the same sex living together. You said you just can’t allow same sex marriage as our law right now doesn’t allow it. But your message isn’t coming across right.


    First of all, it's not only Western countries that legally recognized same sex unions. Argentina, a Catholic country like the Philippines, have legalized same sex marriage in 2010 without any pressure from Western countries. Yes, PRRD, this is the same Argentina where Pope Francis came from. In fact, during the time same sex marriage was being debated in Argentina, Pope Francis, at that time he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, supported civil unions for same sex couples. Marcelo Màrquez, a gay rights leader and theologian, remembers what Cardinal Bergoglio told him during that time: “He listened to my views with a great deal of respect,” said Marcelo Márquez, a gay rights leader and theologian who wrote a tough letter to Cardinal Bergoglio and, to his surprise, received a call from him less than an hour after it was delivered. “He told me that homosexuals need to have recognized rights and that he supported civil unions, but not same-sex marriage.” (see: http://tinyurl.com/ckz35pk).

    Mayor, relationships aren’t just about living under the same roof, as you wanted same sex couples to do. It’s about PARTNERSHIP, of building a LIFE TOGETHER.
    LGBT Filipinos want the family they raise to be afforded the same protection as the family people like you raise. LGBT Filipinos want the life they build with their partners to be recognised by the State, just like how the life you built with your two wives has been recognised by the State.

    Because the the life partnerships of LGBT Filipinos aren’t recognised by the State, the properties they raised together with their partners aren’t considered conjugal. LGBT Filipinos cannot put their partners as beneficiaries in their SSS and other insurance. If the partners of LGBT Filipinos get sick, LGBT Filipinos aren’t recognised as their next-of-kin. I've seen your picture with your first wife as she was in the hospital. LGBT Filipinos won't be allowed that kind of visitation rights automatically as they aren't recognized by law as the next-of-kin of their partners.
    Photo credits: Facebook Sass Sasot, Philippine Star

    Mayor, I hope you could feel the pain of LGBT Filipinos who couldn't be beside with their partners at the time they needed them most. LGBT Filipinos and their partners cannot have tax benefits afforded to relationships recognized by the State. LGBT Filipinos die legally single, even if they have been living and devoting their life with their partners for the rest of their lives.

    LGBT Filipinos don’t want you to bend the laws of any religion. Let the Church keep "marriage" and let the State provide a different recognition to partnerships built on love, trust, care, and faith. Follow what Pope Francis did when he was still the Cardinal of Argentina: Express support to the civil union bill that Congressman Alvarez and Congresswoman Roman filed in Congress.

    LGBT Filipinos don’t want you to violate our laws. LGBT Filipinos don’t want you to just follow Western countries and bend to their wishes.

    What LGBT Filipinos want from you is to understand and be more compassionate about why LGBT Filipinos want their partnerships to be recognized by the State.
    Some of us are dedicated workers in your administration, and a lot of us have been at the forefront of fighting for the changes you want for our country.

    We are also your citizens. Perhaps it’s time to listen to the different things that are hindering us to fully live a life of dignity in our motherland. You want us to be happy. Then perhaps it's time to understand why State recognition of our partnerships is crucial to our happiness.

    Respectfully,
    Sass Rogando Sasot



    Source: Facebook | Sass Rogando Sasot
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