MANILA – Singer-actor Ice Seguerra and his partner Liza Diño on Saturday expressed their support for Sen. Robin Padilla's proposed measure institutionalizing civil unions of same-sex couples.
Under Padilla's bill, same-sex couples are granted rights such as civil union, adoption, and social security and insurance benefits.
It penalizes "any person who knowingly or willfully refuses to issue civil union licenses or certificates despite being authorized to do so."
In an interview with radio DZRJ on Friday, Diño said they just wanted to live a normal life like straight couples.
"We are citizens of this country and I think it is our right to be afforded these civil rights, very basic civil rights," she said.
Diño underscored the importance of adoption rights and other social benefits in supporting the bill.
"Ang basic talaga sa akin, owning of property, recognizing ang aming mag-carry ng last names, adoption rights, social benefits," she said.
"Hirap kasi, doon mo na-realize hindi kami puwede mag-own ng properties together.
"So lahat ng pinag-ipunan naming dalawa nasa pangalan niya, wala sa pangalan ko."
Without a law, Seguerra cannot adopt Diño's 14-year-old daughter.
"They don’t see us as a family. For them, we’re just two people with a young person," Seguerra said.
He also pleaded with leaders of religious groups to respect their rights.
"We respect the churches, we respect the different religions against us. Wala kaming magagawa doon. But please respect us also as citizens of this country na karapat-dapat kaming may karapatan na proteksiyonan ng batas sa bansang ito," he said.
The couple said they are ready to go around the country if needed to take part in discussions on the issue.
"More than anything we want everyone to understand and be on board with this," Seguerra said.