Pinoys happy with MP vote on gay marriage

By Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Feb 08 2013 05:16 PM | Updated as of Feb 09 2013 01:17 AM

LONDON – Filipinos in London join jubilant gay rights campaigners celebrate the historic passage of the same-sex marriage bill in the parliament's lower house.

The Pinoy gay community hopes that the UK society accepts people for who they are by allowing same-sex marriage in the country.

With the majority vote of 225, the same-sex marriage bill is passed in the House of Commons.

The legislative nod is said to be a historic step forward for the equality of gay people in the UK.
While the existing civil partnership for same-sex couples gives the same legal rights as marriage, Pinoy gay couples feel there is a distinction.

“It's different. This one is a contract. It's government recognition of legal rights but not really a marriage,” said Cathy Dy.

“Yes, because when you get married it's in church. I don't know if it's going to be in the church. It's like God is recognizing the partnership, the union. So, yes, it's going to be really important for us and for other couples now, who will get married, will have a chance to get married someday,” said Liz Perez.

A few days before the historic gay marriage vote, Dy and Perez exchanged vows in a civil partnership rites.

The two still want to get married in Church.

“Definitely. Oo importante talaga yun, Saka katulad sa atin sa Philippines, di ba? Pag nakasal sa simbahan, it's binding talaga, in the eyes of the lord,” Perez said.

“Mas masarap pag nakasal sa simbahan, di ba?” added Dy.

Pinoy gay rights campaigners hailed the commons vote.

“Finally, we will be treated as people rather than second class citizens or different from heterosexual people just because of gender,” said Dee Channele.

“In the Philippines, there is plenty of transgendered women who want to get married but it's not happening. Here, we're lucky enough here in Europe where same-sex marriage is allowed,” said Nomi Folsom.

Philip de Vera waited three decades for the passage of the bill, which he says is a victory for equality and dignity.

"Couples who love each other should get married in the church and it doesn't matter whatever gender or sexuality. Marriage is very important it is a reason for celebration and not discrimination," said De Vera.

The bill will now move to parliament's upper house - the House of Lords which is expected to vote in May.

The journey of the gay marriage bill is not complete, but couples like Dy and Perez believe that equality in Britain is not elusive and far fetched.