Alvarez lamented that marriage remained elusive for same sex couples, pointing out that there were couples who would opt to resort to civil union instead of marriage.
He said he would entrust the filing of the civil union bill to Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the country’s first transgender lawmaker.
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“We must also consider the fact that marriage may not be for everyone. Presently, it even excludes certain groups of people. Let us tackle this issue head on. I will file a bill that will legally recognize and protect civil partnerships,” Alvarez said.
“Our citizens should not be excluded from society just because of the person they love. They must also be treated with equality before the law. I support Rep. Roman’s fight against discrimination in our society,” he added.
Alvarez, who is estranged from his wife, also pushed for the easy dissolution of marriage.
He said it was time for Congress to pass a bill allowing couples not happily married to easily void the unions before the courts.
“Let us not only aim for landmark legislation, grand in scope, but also seek to address concerns that involve the basic fundamental unit of our society – the family. Admittedly, there is a sad reality about some marriages,” Alvarez said.
“We do not only get it right the first time around. Unfortunately, the present system practically coerces married persons to remain with each other even if their relationship is beyond repair and has continuously caused harm to the well-being of the husband, wife, and worse the children involved. We have to change this,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said he would be entrusting former senator Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano with pushing for the measure in the second regular session.
“I thank Rep. Pia Cayetano for her commitment to file a bill that will allow for the dissolution of marriage. Married persons can mutually agree to end their marriage subject to the approval of the court,” Alvarez said.
In a press conference, Alvarez clarified that under his proposal a marriage may be dissolved upon the filing of a joint petition before the court on the basis of a couple’s “unhappiness.”
“Kung ayaw ng isang party, yung kabilang party puwedeng magfile ng dissolution of marriage based on unhappiness… There are lots of reasons to make a person unhappy. Nilalagay natin para ma-generalize natin yung grounds yung dissolution ng marriage,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said marriage could easily be dissolved after just one hearing where a judge might dispose of the joint petition for dissolution in just a matter of days.
“Isang hearing lang yan tapos na yan. Hindi naman siguro buwan, araw lang. Itatanong lang ng huwes talaga bang kusang loob kayong pumunta dito sa kasunduan na ito,” Alvarez said.
He said the dissolution of marriage would also state the agreement on the custody over properties and the children.
Alvarez said he would also file a bill that would remove the term illegitimate children, to make children born out of wedlock legitimate.
As to the civil union bill, Alvarez said this would be a new provision in the Family Code that would allow both same sex and opposite sex couples to enter into a civil union.