Today, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced he’d changed his mind about marriage equality. At a LGBTQ gathering in his home town of Davao City, it appeared there was a Duterte gay marriage endorsement. Earlier this year, though, he denied same-sex marriage would be coming to the Philippines.
At the LGBTQ gathering, Duterte said “I said I am for same-sex marriage if that is the trend of the modern times. If that will add to your happiness, I am for it.” He also asked the LGBT community to nominate a representative to be appointed to a government post, giving the community until the second week of January to nominate someone.
Duterte originally campaigned on the promise to bring marriage equality to the Philippines, but this March, he reneged on his promise.
After the election, when asked about other countries’ acceptance of LGBTQ identity and marriage equality, he said, “That is their culture. That’s for them. That can’t apply to us, because we are Catholics.” He also spoke against trans people, saying “Wherever God has placed you, stay there.”
Duterte’s reign in the Philippines has been controversial around the world. Duterte has been called the Philippines’ Donald Trump, due to his frequent crass comments. And like Trump, he’s the oldest person elected as his country’s president.
At a 2016 campaign rally, Duterte said that, as Mayor during the time of the 1989 gang-rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, he should have been the first to rape her:
When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a bitch, what a waste. What came to my mind was, they raped her, they lined up. Was I angry because she was raped? Yes, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, I think the mayor should have been first. What a waste.
Since taking office, Duterte has become infamous for his violent tactics in his country’s drug war. He’s urged Filipinos to kill drug pushers and addicts. The Philippine Daily Inquirer published a list of over 400 people who had been killed between Feb. 16, 2017 and June 30 in extra-judicial killings of accused criminals.
Featured image by Wu Hong via Reuters