Former transgender woman: I am against gay marriage, but pro-LGBT rights

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Born as a boy, Pastor Gavino ‘Vins’ Santiago had sexual reassignment to be transgender woman here in the 80’s. He even got married to a British national and thought he was living the life he’s always dreamed of.

But his relationship with his partner was far from perfect. He said ‘meeting’ God influenced him to accept her natural gender.

Now, he is a pastor of Bagong Ilog Christian Fellowship and has to chosen to live life as a man.

Though a strong supporter of LGBT rights, he believes marriage should only be for a boy and a girl since same-sex marriage is not in the Bible.

On the other hand, some are saying it’s about time that same-sex union is recognized here in the Philippines.

One of them is Bemz Benedito, the current spokesperson of Ang Ladlad, a group pushing for LGBT rights in the country. Benedito says she has experienced several instances of gender inequality in the country and that it is high time that the Philippines embrace equality for all gender.

“We are after the recognition of the state and their rights and privileges as couples because right now we are not recognized by the state. We just want the same rights and privileges being enjoyed by heterosexual people. For example when we rush our partners to the emergency room, we cannot sign the waivers, because we are recognized,” Benedito said.

“Even ‘yung mga napundar namin nung aming mga matagal na partner, kapag nawala ‘yung aming partner, hindi ito mapupunta sa amin, sa pamilya. Kahit di tanggap ng pamilya, automatic ‘yun pupunta sa kanila. We have one case, a couple for 30 years, hindi tanggap ng pamilya, pero at the end of the day hindi napunta (sa partner)–kundi napunta sa pamilya na hindi tumanggap sa kanya,” Benedito added.


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