Filipinos In America Weigh-In On Gay Marriage Ruling

By Steve Angeles and Don Tagala, ABS CBN North America Bureau

June 26, 2013

Redwood City, Calif – While the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community celebrated the newest developments in same sex marriage movement, some conservative Filipinos in California are not too thrilled with the high court’s ruling.

At a daily morning mass at St. Augustine church in South San Francisco, Filipino Catholics gathered just as news broke that the Supreme Court has paved the way for same sex marriage to resume in California. Many believe the court decision goes against their faith.

“Hindi pwede yang gay marriage but then again kung yan ang desisyon wala na tayong magagawa, ” lamented Angie Jacobs.

In 2008, many Fil-Am Catholics voted for Proposition 8, the initiative that banned same sex marriage in California. After 5 years of legal proceedings, they now feel their effort on the proposition has become a waste.

“That’s not good, that’s not right. We won the vote remember? Marriage is only for women and men. But what happened?” chimed Adel Reyes.

“There’s going to be appeals to turn this back,” wished Gracita Bitanga.

Their reaction is no different from conservative republican lawmaker Michelle Bachmann who said, “no man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted.”

Despite continued opposition by Filipino Catholics, recent polls show a new trend. A Pew Research poll from earlier this month showed that more Catholics now support same sex marriage; 61% to 31%.

Gay Pride Celebrations
Supporters of the ruling on the other hand are now gearing up for celebrations in various gay pride parades across the country.
“I have a lot of gay friends, it doesn’t matter if it’s a girl and a girl or a boy and a boy if they’re happy,” Jersey City resident Marga Alcantara said, “It’s about time to legalize same sex marriage.”

“Why should they actually confine the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman when people are in love, it doesn’t matter what they are. They’re in love so why stop them?” said New York resident, Ari Del Pilar.

Married same-sex couples are now entitled to the same federal benefits granted to opposite sex couples.

“Marriage symbolizes union, and you want to preserve the relationship, simply because you love to be with the person you vowed to be with for the rest of your life,” said Tess Acedo, who has been married to her same-sex partner for two years. She said that this ruling means they are now able to file joint tax returns, social security survivor benefits, federal spousal deductions, immigration rights, family leave and other benefits that used to be available only to heterosexual couples.

“I’m really excited kasi eventually talagang yung sinasabi mong demokrasya at saka freedom to live your life in a justifiable way eh mangyayari na,” Acedo said.

There are about 120,000 married same sex couples in the US.

Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in thirteen states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, the District of Columbia and five Native American tribes have legalized same-sex marriage.

You may contact Steve Angeles at and Don Tagala at

One Comment

Leave a Reply



  • maureen
    19 December 2013 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    I am a Fil-Am..married my tourist partner on August 22013 (same-sex marriage it is! =) )….Filed her papers on Sept. 18th 2013…Got the wonderful news today, her greencard was approved and it is on production! Yeheeyy!!! Took only 3 months! Just sharing…=)