Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that Philippines cannot legalize same-sex marriage, unlike the United States and several European countries on his two-day official visit to Myanmar.
“Catholic-majority Philippines cannot legalize same-sex marriage, “said Duterte, citing restrictions under both civil and religious laws and also indicated the differences in cultural values and practices between Western nations and the Philippines.
“There’s no gender, because you can be he or she… that’s their culture. That’s only for them,” he said, as quoted by Rappler.
However, he noted that the decision by no means suggests his intolerance towards homosexuals. He pointed out that he has two gay brothers-in-law and several cousins.
“I have nothing against them, but you have to stick to where God placed you,” he said.
An estimated 80 percent of Filipinos are Roman Catholics, and while the country has been recognized as one of the few gay-friendly countries in the world, many conservative groups including the nation’s bishops have voiced strong objections to same-sex marriages.