Bernardo M. Villegas
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Need to Amend SOGIE Bill (Part 2)

          It must also be pointed out that when the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are intrinsically morally evil, she is not discriminating against homosexuals.  All other uses of sex that are outside marriage and are not open to the transmission of life are also morally evil.  Thus homosexual acts are in the same category as masturbation, prostitution, adultery, fornication and the use of artificial contraceptives as immoral because all of these involve the use of sex that is not within God’s plan for marriage and the family.  The degree of guilt will depend on the usual determinants of morality, i.e. whether or not there is full knowledge and full deliberation, as well as the circumstances surrounding the act.  Among the conditions to be considered in judging the morality of homosexual acts are the absence of supportive parental relationships, false education, lack of normal sexual development, poor habits and even peer pressure.  This stresses the importance of giving parents, guardians and teachers the moral authority to provide a healthy environment for the normal sexual development of children and the youth.

         In the name of freedom of conscience and of religion, we should therefore strongly object to the House Version which stipulates that parents should be penalized if they prevent a child from exhibiting or expressing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.  Parents are endowed with the inalienable right to foster the right moral values among their children, according to their religious beliefs.  Catholic parents who practice their faith will make sure that their children are helped to overcome any same sex orientation because they are concerned with the future moral welfare of their offspring.  As mentioned above, the Catholic faith is very clear about the moral teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil and can condemn a person to hell if unrepented.  Parents are only thinking of the salvation of the souls of their children when they try their best to help their children to rid themselves of same sex attractions which could easily lead to their engaging in same sex acts when they come of age.  Although not everyone will agree, there is enough evidence from behavioral sciences that same sex orientation can be cured.  Parents should not be denied this hope that with the right upbringing practices, they can help their children who manifest same sex orientation early in life to cultivate what they consider the more normal sexual behavior.  It would be against their parental rights to deny them this right to include what they consider normal sexual behavior as part of the character education of their children.  Obviously, in practicing character education, parents are never allowed to inflict or threaten to inflict bodily or physical harm against the child.  This is already included in laws protecting children welfare and does not need separate legislation.

         As an economics professor, I would strongly object to my being penalized for teaching or writing that LGBT behavior will harm the future of the Philippine economy.  I have written profusely on the economic crises and declines of practically all the advanced countries of both West and East because of very low fertility rates.  Every economist knows about the demographic winter being faced by such countries as Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong as well as practically all Western European countries, except France.  It is a no brainer that widely promoting same sex unions can lead to a big drop in fertility in the future since except for the very complicated practice of artificial insemination, these unions are usually childless.  It would be against my academic freedom if I am prevented to express my objection to same sex unions because of this scientific observation I am making as an economist.

            As a final note, let me be clear that nothing ever justifies demonizing, condemning or insulting a human being on the basis of his or her sexual orientation.  Pope Francis already set the example by answering “Who am I to judge?” when asked early in his pontificate what he thought about gays.  The very fact that a person has same sex orientation does not mean that he or she is actually engaging in same-sex intercourse.  He or she may be a very moral or disciplined person who, through human effort and with the help of the Sacraments or other sources of grace such as prayer and sacrifice, is actually avoiding homosexual acts.  Therefore, those of us who have relatives, friends, employees and other personal contacts who manifest same sex orientation should deal with them with great respect and sympathy.  It would be morally wrong to avoid dealing with them.  As I wrote above, they can be some of the most talented and productive persons we can deal with.  If, however, we have enough evidence that they are actually living a gay lifestyle (having same sex intercourse), those of who us who are parents and educators as well as employers building a desirable corporate culture should at least be wary that they do not corrupt by their personal example those who are under our care.  Nothing will ever change the teaching of the Catholic church that same-sex intercourse is intrinsically evil.  Society owes it to us practicing Catholics (and may I add Muslims who are even stricter in this regard) to respect our right to safeguard the morals of the people who depend on us for guidance and advice.    For all these reasons, I recommend that the Senate should significantly amend the SOGIE bill to remove provisions that will discriminate against certain religions, parents, academics and scientists whose constitutional human rights may be violated.  For comments, my email address is