Pope’s Support for Same-Sex Civil Unions Jolts Efforts for Change in Philippines


A bill aiming to give same-sex couples in the Philippines spousal and property rights has languished in the House of Representatives for three years due to strong opposition from the country’s influential Catholic Church. But after Pope Francis’ stunning endorsement of same-sex civil unions last month, the lawmaker who first submitted the legislation is optimistic that resistance from her conservative colleagues is fading. “There are so many limitations that we have set in our laws in the country today that do not fit the society we have right now,” Bernadette Herrera-Dy told VICE News. She added that she senses a major shift in thinking on the issue in Congress, where a similar bill to hers was filed in the Senate late last year. Francis made the comments in a documentary released on Oct. 21, and while he has made similar endorsements before, it was the first time he had done so as pontiff, offering a glimmer of hope for gay Catholics across the world.

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