Duterte rejects same-sex marriage for PH

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines cannot legalize same-sex marriage, unlike the United States and several European countries.

Duterte was speaking before the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he is on a two-day official visit.

"Wala nang gender, because you can be he or she... 'yan ang kultura nila. Kayo lang. 'Di 'yan puwede sa amin, Katoliko kami. At there is the Civil Code, which is you can only marry a woman for me, and for woman to marry a man. 'Yan ang batas natin," the President said on Sunday, March 19.

(There's no gender, because you can be or she... that's their culture. That's only for them. That can't be applied to us, we're Catholics. And there is the Civil Code, which is you can only marry a woman for me, and for woman to marry a man. That's the law in the Philippines.)

"Dalawang brother-in-law ko gay. May mga pinsan ako na gay, wala akong ano, pero kung saan ka pinuwesto ng Diyos, diyan ka lang," he added.

(I have two brothers-in-law who are gay. I have cousins who are gay, I have nothing against them, but you have to stick to where God placed you.)

This is in contrast to Duterte's stance during the 2016 campaign period, when he expressed openness to possible legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

"Definitely, the gays were created by God... God made them so medyo nagkamali 'yung bilangan diyan sa Bible (there is a slight error in the Bible). [It should be] Adam, Eve, and the gays," he said during Rappler's "The Leader I Want" forum in January 2016.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, one of Duterte's staunchest allies, said last October that he would push for same-sex civil marriage in the Philippines.

But Alvarez also said it will not be fast-tracked because it is not among Duterte's priority measures. (READ: Same-sex civil marriage bill may 'divide' House – minority lawmakers– Rappler.com