Notes & Essays

Teddy Locsin Jr. shares his views on gay marriage

Don't get him started on straight couples.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

Gay marriage? What’s there to object? What could be worse than straight marriage? The same face but older; the same shallowness on her part and the unmerited smugness of a man who has suckled wisdom from the teats of the great Og Mandino. She losing the universal beauty of all young brides but putting up a fight that makes things worse, cutting trenches here and there. And he, well, if you weren’t handsome to start with, it’s ugly all the way. So what is it about gay marriage that’s more objectionable than straight?

Having no children can be the worst or the best part of it because they can adopt. Straight couples have been known to raise good children; gay parents more frequently spoil theirs. Gay parents compensate for I cannot imagine what—since they give their kids, if anything, too much attention.

Is it the physical intimacy of same sex couples? If they are women, men think about it all the time and pay or Google to see it. But can anything be more repulsive for a young girl than to share a bed with an old man sporting a flat nose however much he pays her?

I grew up thinking that gays made almost unnaturally ideal couples. I’d seen them all my life; gay relationships seemed to work well, with none of the open acrimony that is natural in straight unions. My first impressions of a cultivated life came from observing them.

Marriage to discourage promiscuity works pretty much with gay couples as with straight ones but fidelity lasts longer with gays. So I’ve observed in a long life. So-and-so was identified with someone no one quite knew; and it stayed that way until one died and the other was excluded from any inheritance.


It was that way in the gradual union of a rich bachelor and the housemaid who slowly rose in rank from serving his guests at table to sitting by his side, without causing the least uneasiness on anyone’s part. So it was with so-and-so and the quiet man who lived with him—in what capacity became clearer as many years passed and yet they stayed together.

What’s the problem with gay marriage? None. Not in law or theology and that’s the last word in that area.

In law a gay marriage partakes of the nature of a contract; the same as binds two businessmen in a mutually advantageous arrangement—or ties a victim to a crook until he is squeezed dry. So it can be in straight marriages. If a contract binds two parties and protects them against a third; and both from each other; why not two people of the same sex in the joint undertaking of getting a life?

They can’t have children? Some straight couples are similarly blessed with sterility. That is not a ground for dissolving their union or disallowing it in the first place—unless they are royalty in a kingdom in need of an heir. But in the Philippines the only thing approaching royalty in manners and morals is a brand of spaghetti. A Filipino in ermine looks like a skunk buried up to his neck in fur.

Justice Kennedy is right: every person in their last illness has the inalienable right to reach out for solace and sympathy from the hand of another—of the same or the opposite sex. This is a right not invented by Kennedy but one plain for all to see if they wanted. Since the American Supreme Court, which is to say the only real world court, has spoken, this right is now recognized for all couples. Beyond that, there is no more issue. No couple, gay or straight, has the right to insist that a religion adapt to their preferences of costume and rite. A man may wear the wedding gown and a woman the tuxedo but no law can compel a priest of a real religion to officiate. I will hang by the toes the gay couple who insist on it because modern democracy was invented, first and foremost, to protect and to advance the absolute right of religions to dictate their forms of worship. The binding part of a marriage anyway takes part on the side and after the wedding, when the parties sign the legal contract of civil union and not one of wedding. And anyway, even with the church, marriage is a transitory affair appropriate only for this imperfect world for it lasts only “until death do them part.” A twice or thrice widowed spouse will have none in heaven.

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This article originally appeared in our December 2015-January 2016 issue under the title "The Last Word on Gay Marriage." Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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About The Author
Teddy Locsin Jr.
Teddy Locsin Jr. is a politician, lawyer and journalist, who served as congressman for the 1st district of Makati from 2001 to 2010. He currently does the editorial segment for ANC’s nightly newscast The World Tonight. He was the former Editor-in-Chief of Today newspaper, and Executive Director of the Philippine Free Press magazine.
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