Philippines not likely to recognize same-sex marriage, spokesman says

Manila, Philippines — The predominantly Catholic Philippines, a U.S. colony for 50 years, is not likely to recognize same-sex marriage despite its legalization in the United States.

"Our laws are clear. The Family Code only recognizes the marriage between a man and a woman," presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said two days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States.

In a radio interview, reported on by the Asian church news portal, Coloma said same-sex marriage by Filipinos in a foreign country will not be recognized in the Philippines.

He said the Civil Code of the Philippines states that "laws relating to family rights and duties or to the status, condition, and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines even though living abroad."

The country's Catholic bishops also said "the church continues to maintain what it has always taught."

"Marriage is a permanent union of man and woman, in the complementarity of the sexes," read the bishops' statement, signed by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the bishops' conference.

The archbishop said the Catholic church would not discriminate against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

"All will continue to find welcome in the church," Villegas said.

"No bishop, priest, deacon, religious or lay leader actively serving the church will ever demand to know of a person his or her orientation before serving the person," the archbishop said.

He added that the bishops "shall study [the U.S. decision] with assiduousness and revisit our concepts and presuppositions, always with an eye to being faithful to the Gospel and to the mission of the church."

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