Soon after Mexico City legalized gay partnerships last Thursday, South Africa takes its turn in allowing homosexuals to tie the knot. As expected, church leaders were up in arms against the legislation.
Mexico is the second larget Catholic nation in the world. Its gay union bill is patterned after that of France, allowing inheritance and co-parenting right among others, though stopping short of adoption and the benefits of a full marriage. On the other hand, while homosexuality is illegal in many African nations, South Africa was the first country to enforce laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is the fifth country to legalize gay marriages after the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Canada, allowing the same benefits given to heterosexual couples.
In the Philippines, three bills have been filed to quell the same-sex union movement. Rep. Rufino Biazon and Sen. Rodolfo Biazon filed House Bill No. 1245 and Senate Bill No. 1575, respectively, which seeks to amend the Family Code to define marriage as a union between a "natural born man and a natural born woman." This voids marriages involving those who have had sex-change operations. On the issue of the Philippines recognizing same-sex unions done abroad, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago wants to make sure this doesn't happen, and thus filed Senate Bill No. 1276.
Last February, Ka Andres and Ka Jose of the New People's Army (NPA) exchanged vows while veiled by the hammer-and-sickle flag of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). While the CPP supports homosexual unions, some military officials labeled the event as propaganda to attract more members, proving that "the NPA has no religion."
Elton John couldn't care less. He recently accused religion as promoting "the hatred and spite against gays," and lashed at the inability of religious leaders to relieve global conflict. “Why aren't they having a conclave? Why aren't they coming together?” he asked.
Well, they did in a way, when Christian and Islamic leaders joined hands in Jerusalem to collectively condemn a major gay pride march, with threats of violence coming from the more fundamentalist members. The march did happen, but not through the Holy City as planned, but in a stadium far from harm's way.
If you want to read sad stories about gay people from other countries, see here and here.