Topic |  


Topic |  

sundry-thumbby Jes B. Tirol


Last week the United States Supreme Court by a vote of 5 in favor and 4 against ruled that same same-sex marriage is now allowed in all 50 States in the U.S.A.

Before the United States ruling, we also heard of the country of Ireland voting overwhelmingly to change their constitution to allow same-sex marriage.


Since most of our laws and legal decisions are based on laws in the United States, will the Philippines follow the U.S.A. example?

Basis of Ruling

The basis of the ruling is the equal protection of rights according the US Constitution.  If there is a law against discrimination due to color of skin or physical disability, then the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) should also be given their equal rights.  They should be given the right to marry the person they love even if he/she is of the same sex.

Since a law is applicable to everyone, then it follows that “regular” persons will also be allowed to have the same sex marriage.

Contradiction of Terms

By definition, marriage is a legal contract, entered into by a man and woman, to live together as husband and wife.  The general purpose of marriage is procreation or to have children.


Since the same sex marriage could not produce children, it is not marriage in the strict sense of the word.  The purpose is only love and other emotional attachments.  In the same sex marriage you could not distinguish who is the husband or the wife.


Same-sex marriage should be called by another term in order to distinguish it from the regular marriage.

My recommendation is conjugal or connubial partnership.  The conjugate means to join together.  Each partner will be called “spouse”, which is applicable to a male or female partner.

Old Bisayan Culture


Our history books do not tell us how marriage was done prior to the Spanish era.  The word kasál comes from the Spanish word casar, which means to marry or join in wedlock.  Strictly speaking our kasál refers to the wedding ceremony performed by the Priest.

The Bisayan equivalent is the term mínyo.  How to become a mínyò is not yet discovered by our historians.  What ceremony was done?  There should be a ceremony (Bis: dáygag) because living together without the dáyhag is lúon.  We know that a mínyò will consist of a bána (husband) and asáwa (wife).  In a lúon the partners are called bana-bána and asáwa-asáwa.  When the bána and the asáwa will begin to live together, they become magtiáyon.  (Base word: áyon = agree).  In the lúon the partners will only be puyò-púyò.


The Variant

In the old Bisayan culture there was also a variant of the concept of magtiáyon.  It is the kuráng.

A kuráng is a homosexual to homosexual or lesbian to lesbian relationship where the two partners live together as magtiáyon or puyò-púyò.  It is similar to what is now called same-sex marriage.  We know that it was not recognized by the Spanish priests.  But since the word existed, then we can say that the situation existed in olden times.

In places were the kuráng was tolerated by the local community, the partners were called saliúbay.  (Literally means “always at the side”).  Saliúbay is similar to the English word “spouse”.

The word kuráng is also applicable to a relationship where only one partner is gay or lesbian and the other is “normal”.

Since a kuráng relationship is considered abnormal, the partners are always subjected to the “power of negative suggestions”.  Any sickness, be it real like the present day AIDS, or just psychosomatic due to mental suggestions, is called kurangrang.

Will We Follow the Americans?

If the Filipino legislators will pass a law to imitate the Americans, then the old practice of kuráng will resurface.  It still exists today but it is being talked about in whispers.

One Comment

  1. Jeroen Hellingman Jeroen Hellingman July 9, 2015

    The one thing that has amazed me most is the high speed this change has been made in American society. It was in 2001 that the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage, and it was just 11 years ago that the first US state followed suit.

    I think the reason for this turn in public perception is simple: no harm is done, when two people commit to each other in a loving relationship, and want to build a future together.

    Marriage is not just a symbolic act. Society has chosen to attach a large number of benefits to it. Tax benefits, shared ownership, inheritance rights, automatic recognition of parenthood, and so on. You shouldn’t deny access to those benefits based sexual orientation, just as you shouldn’t deny access to them based on the color of skin; both are things people are born with and cannot change.

    You propose a form of conjugal partnership. Most countries legalising gay marriage first introduced the concept of a civil union before opening up civil marriage to same sex couples. In the Netherlands this happened in 1998, and it included all rights and obligations of marriage, except for automatic recognition of parenthood, and more relaxed rules for dissolving this union, as compared to a wedding. Although intended to give gay and lesbian couples the same benefits as opposite-sex couples, in most countries that have it, civil unions are an option for all couples.

    I think this route will also be a good solution for the Philippines, which, as you show has traditionally been tolerant towards homosexuality. Also opening up civil unions to opposite-sex couples, combined with the option to dissolve them, will also remove the sting from the endless discussion on divorce, and the significant social problems that the absence of divorce legislation creates in the Philippines, such as people being forced to remain in abusive relationships, and couples being stigmatised and harassed about ‘bigamy’, because a spouse has disappeared from the scene many years ago.

    Once you have taken those steps, it is only a small step to recognise those unions are just the same as marriage for all purposes. It took the Netherlands just 3 years, and in the US, the entire process took 15 years. You can’t hide behind a dictionary definition for long. Words are not the same as the things they denote, and it is up to
    speakers to decide what words mean.

    Already in 2001, when travelling on a bus in rural Bohol, a gay person asked me where I came from, and learning I was Dutch, he asked me if I could help him come to the Netherlands, so he could marry his boyfriend.

    Note that all this doesn’t mean that people will be forced to change their religious views. Churches can still decide on their own policies in this regard. However, if you wish to have any meaningful separation of state and church, the government should stay out of that, neither enforcing religious views on those who don’t subscribe to them, nor grant privileges based on such views or church membership.

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