Imee: Amen To Pope Francis’ Call Supporting Same-Sex Civil Unions

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Following a landmark expression of support for same-sex civil unions by Pope Francis, Senator Imee Marcos has revived her call to grant same-sex partners the right to jointly own property in a similar way that married heterosexual couples do.

Through Senate Bill 417, Marcos has sought to remedy the absence of a law legalizing same-sex unions so that partnered LGBT members could enjoy property rights.

The Marcos bill, entitled “An Act Instituting A Property Regime For Cohabiting Same Sex Partners And For Other Purposes,” was among the first that she filed as senator in July 2019, granting same-sex couples who have been living together for at least one year an equal share in property, income, donations, or gifts acquired during the relationship.

Marcos said her bill could pave the way toward a law on civil unions among the LGBT community that Pope Francis advocates.

“ ‘What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,’ ” Marcos reiterated, quoting Pope Francis in the documentary “Francesco,” which featured in the ongoing Rome Film Festival and received the 18th Kineo Prize in the Vatican Gardens on Thursday.

“It’s time to seriously take up legislation that will benefit our relatives, friends, and workmates who are part of the LGBT community,” Marcos asserted.

“As Pope Francis also said, ‘Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,’ ” Marcos added.

To guard against abusive same-sex relationships, inherited property and assets that involve other parties are excluded in the proposed legislation.

Also, the lease or sale of assets acquired during a relationship must be approved by both same-sex partners, in writing.

Debts or loans acquired without the consent of the other are considered personal obligations and liabilities.

The co-ownership of property ends when a same-sex couple splits up, or upon the death or permanent disability of one of the partners, after which all properties can be equally divided.

Same-sex partners will have the option to continue joint ownership of property, but this must be declared by both partners in writing and duly notarized.

“As controversial as the issue of same-sex unions continues to be, the sharing of assets individually or jointly acquired in an ongoing relationship is the most natural thing to do,” Marcos said.