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Rodrigo Duterte pledges to introduce same-sex marriage in Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte (CNS)

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has said he want to bring same-sex marriage to his country, in a move that will bring into even deeper conflict with the Church.

Speaking to an LGBT group in his home city of Davao on Sunday, Duterte said: “I want same-sex marriage. The problem is we’ll have to change the law. But we can change the law,” the Japan Times reports.

“The law says marriage is a union between a man and a woman. I don’t have any problems making it marrying a man, marrying a woman or whatever is the predilection of the human being.”

The Philippines maintains strongly Catholic laws. Divorce and abortion are illegal, and the state has kept the traditional definition of marriage until now.

“Whatever makes you happy, I will give it to you. Why would I stop it? Why impose a morality that is no longer working and almost passé?” Duterte added.

The president has a history of clashes with the Church. He has openly attacked it on several occasions, accusing the clergy of sex abuse and hypocrisy.

The church, on the other hand, has become one of Duterte’s most outspoken critics, accusing him of undermining the rule of law and of violating human rights in his violent “war on drugs”.

Duterte has also previously joked about rape and boasted about his womanising, although has made allies with the gay community.